The Bulls beat the Wizards last night so that makes it a game and half lead once again for the Raptors. This weekend will tell us a lot on if the Raptors have learned from their mistakes. It also might speak to if this new starting line-up is actually making a difference. The Raptors play the Sixers this afternoon and the Warriors on Sunday. The Raps dropped games to both in their last meetings. The Sixers prior to that awful west coast road trip and the Warriors as part of that awful trip. The Raptors as we discussed yesterday in looking at the schedule, if they win the games they are suppose to win should go 42-40. These 2 games are of that nature.
Sixers are just 3-7 in their last 10 games and clearly are a team just waiting for April 14th to get here. In games like these it is essential to have quick starts. Get on top of a team out of the playoff race and they will likely they will quit. But if you let them hang around that can spell trouble. Raptors let the Clippers hang around for a half and they can not afford to do that with bad teams. Philly when they play to their potential can be one of those athletic teams that give the Raptors trouble. That being said this new starting 5 may be a bit more capable of handling that. Weems and Wright are a defensive upgrade from the Rook and heDO or heDON'T. When it comes to defense it is almost always heDON't.
The Warriors on Sunday will challenge that awful 3 point defense of the Raptors. I was shocked to hear that stat the Matt Devlin mentioned in our interview. The fact the Raptors lead the league in 3 point defense for any stretch of time this season is surprising if not shocking. Safe to say the Raptors have given no indication that top level 3 point defense will return. This is why for those that think the Magic are some how a better match-up for the Raptors I would say no. Not that the Raptors would have a good chance to win over Magic or Cavs but at least Cleveland shots a little worse from beyond the arc. Raptors have matched up better vs Cavs then against Magic in the regular season. Raptors will face the Cavs one more time this year. That game should give you a clear indication of where the Raptors are at. I have a feeling Cleveland will want to send a message in that game to the team they could likely see in round 1. In other words Raptors will get the Cavs best punch.
I will be covering today's game for The Score and am heading to the ACC for Raptors and Warriors on Easter Sunday night covering that one in person. It has been a great experience covering some games this year. This may possibly be the last game I am covering this year. It has been a great experience getting access to games and the team. I have appreciated the opportunity and hopefully have made the most of it. So in case this is the last game I am covering this year I wanted to thank Jim and the Raptors PR Staff. They have treated me well this season and I am grateful for that. Very interested to see how this team is feeling heading into this final push to the season.
So come join me this afternoon for the Live Blog on The Score and check me out on Twitter on Sunday as I will try to keep you posted on what I am up to at the ACC. If you don't know by know it is @dinonationblog and you can stay up to date with all that is going on with myself and the Dino Nation Blog. Keeping it short today cause I actually am working on a feature this morning for the blog that will be up next week. Also have a special guest booked next week. He has been in the blog before and I am happy to have him back. If you put on your thinking caps you likely can figure it out given the state of things with the Raptors at the moment.