Clipp Show Invades Toronto

Let's face it there have been a lot of negative vibes this year in the NBA and with the Raptors. The Raptors with a loss today would have to win every single game to be .500. Not that it will happen mind you. But a positive in the NBA has been Blake Griffin and his rookie season that was delayed a year. Has there ever been a buzz for the Clippers coming to town? Not till this season, but thanks to the Blake Griffin Show there is. The Clippers come in off the embarrassment of being that team that lost to the Cavs ending their record 26 game losing streak. That alone should provide all the motivation the Clippers need for today. It also features for my money a preview of the slam dunk final with Demar DeRozan and Blake Griffin on the court today. Should be interesting if either is able to get out on the break for an uncontested dunk attempt. Eric Gordon who challenged Demar in the the Dunk-In last season is out for the Clippers with sprained right wrist and a bone chip fracture. That just sounds painful doesn't it? This could have been a rivalry game for the Raptors as this franchise was once the Buffalo Braves. Just like the Leafs and Sabres in hockey it could have been great. But the franchise had long left Buffalo in 1979 long before the Raptors came along in 1995. Maybe not since Bob Mcadoo played for this franchise in Buffalo have they had a player as good as Blake Griffin.

The Basics: Clippers 20-33 ( Lost 6 of last 7) Toronto 14-40 (Lost 15 of last 16)

When Last We Saw Them: Raptors dug a hole for themselves vs the Blazers. They dug out of that hole only to be buried by LaMarcus Aldridge down the stretch of the game. Raptors had good performances from Bargnani, DeRozan and Bayless late. But in the end the 23 points they gave up to Rudy Fernandez in the first half and the 25 they gave to Aldridge in the second half (Had A Game High 37 Overall) was to much to overcome.

Key Match-Ups: This does not take a rocket scientist now does it. Blake Griffin and how the Raptors deal with him will be the most important match-up of the day. Who draws that assignment is another question as well. Amir Johnson was finally forced to tap out after battling through a number of injuries. Not sure if Ed Davis is ready for this incredible challenge. It could be very tough for the Raptors. Jose Calderon will be matched up with Baron Davis who is hot of late averaging 20.6 point 10 assists and 4.6 rebounds in his last 5 games. While Calderon has struggled to make shots of late and in the last game only attempted 4 shots proof that his confidence may not be there. Advantages for the Raptors should come from Bargnani matched with Jordan (DeAndre not Mike) and DeRozan needs to get the better of Randy Foye.

Other Things of Note: Reggie Evans does not buy into the Blake Griffin Hype. But he did buy into to being a guest in the Dino Nation Blog, as did Demar DeRozan. There is not many all-time series that the Raptors lead but this is one of them with a 19-12 advantage overall (9-6 at home) and have won 4 straight vs the Clippers. But I am sure if you look up the Raptors numbers vs Cavs before Lebron was drafted they were nice too. Blake Griffin is a game changer in more ways than 1. This year has had a lot of lows for the Raptors, but does anyone remember this low moment from March 13th 1998, in which the Raptors lost to the Clippers 152-120. That was the largest margin of victory for the Clippers over Toronto. Clippers had 7 players in double figures lead by Lamond Murray with 25 while Reggie Slater had 20 to lead the Dinos. Case you wondered the Raptors largest win over Clipps is a 24 point spread back in 2009. No Chris Kaman and Craig Smith likely for Clippers as well today.

Where Is It On? This is the first one of those changed games (3 others to come). Originally it was going to be on Sportsnet 1 but now it is on TSN 2 (Seriously Blake Griffin Can't Get On The Main TSN or Sportsnet? Pathetic)

For Hardcore Hoops Fans: If you would like a nice lead up to the Raptors and Clippers. I will be live blogging the Magic and Lakers for The Score.com and Score Mobile.

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