The Champs Are Here!!!

The history of Raptors vs Lakers is not a pretty one. There was of course the 81 point game by Kobe Bryant that gave the Raptors all the wrong kind of attention in the U.S. However Lakers always have had the Raptors number as they lead the all-time series with a 21-5 Record. Which includes a 10-3 record in Toronto. They bring with them to Toronto a league best record of 33-10 just a 10-7 record on the road. The task for the Raptors could be even tougher if Andrea Bargnani is not able to suit up. Even with him Gasol and Bynum are a tough twosome to deal with. That is not to mention Lamar Odom and Ron Artest. In fact you could argue the only clear advantage the Raptors have is at the point guard position. I will take Jarrett Jack and Jose Calderon over Derek Fisher and Jordan Farmar.

In reality the Raptors chances of getting a win today are likely slim at best. However can they play a game like they did against the Cavs and not lose momentum. That is a more interesting question. The task will be tough but the Lakers do not enter this game on fire or anything. They are just 6-4 in theri last 10 and bounced back from a loss in Cleveland to beat the Knicks which is not exactly an impressive feat as the Raptors trashed those same Knicks not that long ago. Kobe Bryant has fractured his right index finger but it is only an annoyance for Kobe. In all honesty whatever you think of Kobe Bryant bad or good. No one can deny the competitor this guy is and his desire to win may be unmatched in this league. Mix that with his killer instinct and you understand why he has earned the nickname "Black Mamba".

We all know the Lakers career high vs the Raptors but the Raptors high is held by Vince Carter with 34 points. Chris Bosh was able to pour in 44 points against the Bucks. However if he could score a high number against the Lakers that would open up some eyes. Bosh is having one of his best seasons stats wise. Some still point to his lack of defense. However almost ever star from Jordan to Kobe and others have had their defensive effort questioned. Basketball is one of a few sports that players have to play both ways. You will not be seeing Peyton Manning tackling anyone today unless he throws a pick and even then it is highly unlikely. Chris can be a capable defender but is it not far more important that he scores for this team. Who would pick up the slack if he did not. The fact that you can just count on Chris Bosh getting you 20 points and 10 rebounds as an almost given is something special as well. If you flopped those numbers around and say Bosh had 10 points and 20 rebounds would the Raptors have a chance to win? Not likely. If Bosh can play D on the plays that matter the most that is all I personally ask.

If there is no Bargnani expect Rasho Nesterovic to start again. Rasho despite not playing much this season held his own in the game vs the Bucks. A much tougher task today for him. If the Raptors can be in this game in the late 4th quarter that in itself will be progress and win or lose it can have a positive impact moving forward. When you play the best in this league it will expose you and let you know where you are truly at. So the Raptors face another tough challenge and a chance to measure themselves against the best in the league. That is something that a team should embrace and will see if the Raptors embrace that challenge today. THE CHAMP IS HERE....So time to step up and give him your best shot.

Join Me for all the action on The Score Live Blog of Raptors vs Lakers. I usually get rolling a little early for Raps games it is a 6pm scheduled start time but probably get it going 10 minutes prior to that.

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