Now on to the matters at hand and that is the Washington Wizards. The Raptors can say at least were better than the Wizards. Well not really but record wise it is true. While everyone was wildly predicting great things for the Washington Wizards I was one of the few that did not. In true Wiz Fashion they have already had a major injury in Antwan Jamison and yes Gilbert Arenas is still talking a better game than he plays. Although at least he is playing for a change. The worst thing the Wizards ever did was re-sign him. How you can commit the amount they did to a player that has a long injury history and a longer history of being a self centered diva is beyond me. Some still hold out hope the Wizards can turn it around. Let's just hope it doesn't happen this week. Jamison has played 6 games since returning to the Washington line-up. His numbers are what you have come to expect from him 21.7 points and 9.3 rebounds. Coming back to earth slightly after a huge debut in his return to the line-up.
This week that sees the Raps take on the Wiz twice and Hawks and the Bulls. I watched the Bucks (who Raps play Next Week) and the Bulls play last night and Milwaukee pulled out a 2 point win over Chicago. I had not seen a ton of the Bucks this season but safe to say that this team is for real and will be part of the race for the playoffs. Even though it is early both teams sit in front of the Raptors and it is always important to get wins vs the teams in front of you in the playoff race even at the start of December. This is a key week if the Raptors hope to start turning things around.
At least the will not have to worry about Mike Miller dropping 3's tonight for the Wiz as he has been injured. But they will need to figure a way to stop Arenas as he can still get hot and is still faster than Jose Calderon even with his repaired knee. The Raps issues really are the same each game of late and it is not as much about individual match-ups. They need to get some things right before you even consider the match-ups.
- Better Defensive Effort ( Transition and Perimeter most of all )
- No Second Chances ( Offensive Rebounds can kill a Defense )
- Less Help More Do ( Players need to stay in front of their man )
- When the Offense Stops the Defense Never rests. (If shots don't fall still have to defend)
- Heart, Hustle and Overall Effort (Full 48 minutes)
Those are just some of things that stick out. Really regardless of who the Raps are playing these things need to improve. Also the Raps need to figure out how the heck to sweep a back to back. They get 2 more chances to do that this week . The time for excuses and talking is rapidly running out. This week in December is going to tell us a lot on if the Raps can get this thing on the right track sooner than later if at all.