The Toronto Raptors got back in the win column and got more help from an unlikely source in Vince Carter and his Orlando Magic. The Raptors need to play much better if they hope to make it 2 wins in a row with a very realistic shot to make it 4 in a row with the Nets and Minnesota on the sked on Saturday and Monday. But the win tonight will not be an easy one. The Thunder are surprising everyone even me who was one of the few that picked them to make the playoffs in the west. However they are not only in the playoffs but still hopefully of getting home court advantage. In a sense Oklahoma City is in the spot in the West that most Raptors fan hoped and expected the Raptors to be in the East.
Kevin Durant has been the 2nd best player in the league to only King James in the minds of many. He has a talented young cast around him with Westbrook, Green and Harden. This OKC is so young they all could almost be eligible to enter the NCAA March Madness. Kentucky might be deep but they would be hard pressed to stay in a game with these young guns from OKC. Durant a former national player of the year. Green the former Big East player of the year. Westbrook and Harden both standouts in the Pac-10. OKC makes an NCAA All Star Roster that can compete with almost anyone in the NBA forget about the NCAA.
They offer all the same challenges that Atlanta does in terms of off the chart athleticism. The Raptors did beat Atlanta minus Joe Johnson but it took a lot on luck(Perhaps of the Irish and Jack Armstrong) to eek out a win. It will take a stronger effort from the Raptors to win tonight. at the top of that list Chris Bosh. He did hit the big shot to win the game vs Atlanta but it will take a full 48 minutes to beat a motivated Kevin Durant and company.
OKC is no longer a joke. They are perhaps on the verge of becoming an elite team in the NBA. They are a lot closer than the Raptors are that is for sure. Toronto would like to get a win and move on to the road were they have struggled with 2 very winnable games. But that will be far from an easy task.
My bracket in the NCAA tournament went up in flames yesterday(Thanks Hoyas) if the Raptors hope not to do the same they will need one of their better efforts of the season to get it done. Even though this Thunder team is young they have a winning road record and are no easy out regardless of where they are playing. So take a break from the Madness and check out the Raps. I will be doing that in between Live Blogging to college games for the Score. Jack and Bosh's Yellow Jackets against the Joey Graham Oklahoma State Cowboys. So both in college rooting and NBA playing it is all about OKC today for Bosh and Jack and the Raps. After Raps game I am doing Louisville and Cal. Head to the Score.com and click on Blogs then LiveBlogs or follow me on Twitter @dinonationblog and I will post direct links there. Busy times with Madness and Raptors but I love it. Basketball from when I have lunch to go to sleep. You can't beat that.