Given the total dejection that was clearly evident in the Raptors Locker room last night, it is going to be tough to bounce back and win tonight in Detroit. Knowing that you can win out and still that may not be enough. About the only thing Raptors have going for them in terms of the Bulls Schedule is that Boston as we sit now can jump up to 3rd in Eastern Conference standings. That is important for them as it would give them 2 things. Perhaps an easier match-up vs the Bucks who are injured and without Andrew Bogut. Although, give them credit they are current in 5th with the same record as Miami. However second and more importantly they would avoid King James and the Cavs in round 2.
In terms of the Charlotte game the outlook is not as positive as the Bobcats are pretty much locked in at 7th and will face a tough series with Southeast Division rivals Orlando. So it is safe to assume the Bobcats will rest most if not all of their significant players. In effect having the Bulls play a team that would more resemble a Charlotte Summer League team rather than the actual Bobcats roster. So basically what I am getting as is the Raptors must win tonight and vs the Knicks. Pray for a Boston win on Tuesday, and an Atlanta loss tonight so that game will still have meaning for Boston.
In other words, the Raptors need a ton of things to fall their way to have a shot at the post season. Even if not mathematically eliminated by a loss to Detroit tonight. They most certainly will be logically eliminated. In fact some may feel that they are already that and I would be hard pressed to argue that point.
Detroit is actually playing decent of late as well. Add in the fact Charlie V always seems to get up for games against the Raptors. Putting a final nail in the Raps coffin is something that I would think would motivate him. When motivated he can be very good. The Pistons come in off a loss to Charlotte by 4 but prior to that had wins over Atlanta and Miami (Both Playoff Teams) and Philadelphia. The flip side of that is the Raptors have lost 5 straight and Chris Bosh along the way, as well as Antonie Wright who I saw on crutches last night at the ACC so safe to say he isn't playing. The Raptors are a terrible 3-7 with no Bosh on the year and historically are terrible without him as well as they are in Detroit. Raptors are 7-21 all time in Detroit but did win there earlier in the year. They also have won 3 straight vs the Pistons overall. The 2 teams hooked up in a Christmas Holidays back to back that saw Toronto smack the Pistons 94-64 and beat the same Pistons 4 days later 102-95 in the only 2 meetings of the year. But Chris Bosh played in both of those games, while the Pistons in that 30 point blow-out were missing many key players.
If you are a fan of keeping hope alive you hope against hope that the Raptors can win tonight. If you are tired of the pain and just want it to end you hope they don't. I think there are a lot of folks in that camp at the moment. But regardless of where you stand or sit there is at the very least 2 games left to play and this is one of them. Raps have to get a win and that seems like a broken record at this point.
But if you want a smile...even though I don't have one in this picture. Here is a picture of myself and Kid Raptor from last night at the ACC that I posted on Twitter earlier.
Be you a grown up like me or just a kid....it never is fun to watch your team lose. Like I told kids I coached when I was younger that are a bit older than Kid Raptor. When is the last time you saw a team go out and say "YEAH!!! We Lost". It was a good way to get the kids to buy into the concept of teamwork and roles. The task for Jay Triano with grown men has been a far more challenging one. However that simple fact remains that losing no matter how old you happen to be is NEVER FUN.