Thanks to Anas for holding it down for DNB while I was off watching the team both Jack and Bosh played for move on in NCAA Tournament. Maybe Paul Hewitt (Coach of Georgia Tech) should coach Raptors. Maybe he can get this team to play some defense. I admit have only seen highlights of what went on at the ACC last night. However it was an even worse script then what I had envisioned. I fully expected the Thunder to win this game. Despite the win over Atlanta, the Raptors did not play well and many of the issues that were part of their 5 game losing streak were still evident. In fact let's be blunt this team has been a tragic embarrassment since the All Star Break. So what a better time to bring on the NBA embarrassment that is the New Jersey Nets. They are on pace to set an NBA record for the worse season EVER!!! The Raptors need to keep them on that pace if not all bets are off at what happens next. Raptors have beat the Nets all 3 times they have hooked up. Including one on the Road at the I-Zod Center for a rare road victory.
Amazingly as bad as the Raptors have played they remain in the playoff and the teams around them with exception of the Bucks have all struggled. Bobcats, Heat and Bulls are all terrible as well. Raptors are just a full game behind Miami and still sit 2 and half games ahead of the Bulls who have lost 10 straight. In all likelihood the Raptors will make the post season. However scrapping in as the 7th or 8th seed has not that goal. Raptors had much higher aspirations for this season. As Chris Bosh's frustration with this team grows so does the feeling he may not remain. Many feel that the success or lack of success in the post season will be a big factor in what Bosh will do. Chris has not exactly laid out a criteria for what he is looking for to make his decision. However winning is always part of the equation for CB4.
4 of these next 6 games will say a lot about just where this team is heading. What should be easy wins over the Nets tonight and Minnesota on Monday. Then two what barring something unforeseen losses to Denver and Utah. After that the most important road trip of this Raptors Season. Remember about 2 months ago I mentioned a back to back late in March that would mean a lot? March 28th at Miami and next night at Charlotte. These games have taken on the massive important nature that I felt they would back in January. If the Raptors do not win at least 3 of these 4 games vs Nets, T-Wolves, Heat and Bobcats then all bets are off and Raptors will be hard pressed to be anything better than an 8 seed.
That would mean a match-up with Cavs in the first round. Which everyone seems as doom. Well I don't as much as others. I mean sure I picked the Cavs to win the NBA Title this year. I also see them as the best team in the East. However that does not make them the worst match-up. Hawks and Magic for me are tougher match-ups for Toronto. Boston would not be except for the fact that Celtics seem to be in the Raptors heads and have been for awhile. But bottom line is if Raptors don't defend better they would have a hard time advancing in March Madness let alone the NBA playoffs.
Raptors really need 2 wins on this short road trip badly. In fact I would say anything short of 2-0 is a major failure. If the Raptors were to some how lose to the Nets I can only imagine the mood of this fan base which is already ugly. Worse yet can you imagine the mood of Bosh if that happens? I can't say I would blame him. His frustration is evident and when the leader of the team in frustrated you have to imagine the entire locker is to various degrees. The T-Wolves on Monday may actually play worse defense than the Raptors as the got torched for 158 by the Suns not that long ago. A 2 game winning streak in this battle of the least in the East would be huge or to quote George Costanza "Gold Jerry Gold". But it is another Costanza line that comes to mind at the moment. "Serenity NOW!!!" that is how frustrated I am, as I am sure you all are. Raptors should be happy to know their fans cared enough to boo this team off the floor. Why do I say that? Simple you only boo if you care and have passion. Raptors are in serious danger of what comes next happening. What is that? Apathy and it is not pretty. If Bosh were to go and this team stinks as much as it could with out him...Apathy will be here. That is not good for anyone including me.