Justin loves Kelly is by far the worst movie I can ever recall watching. It was a Saturday afternoon and nothing was on so I figured why not. It was so bad it was almost entertaining on some level. Unfortunately the Raptors and Pistons was not the same way. In the end if basketball games were rated like movies this had one star written all over it. If there was a game that I have watched, where I cared so little and honestly believed the teams that were involved felt the same way this was it. After all the Pistons and Raptors had little motivation to win this basketball game and both of their front offices would quietly be rooting for them not to win if were being completely honest about it. If this was a preview of what is to come on Thursday with the Nets and Raptors it will be ugly. Here is hoping you win a prize for Fanapolooza that might be the only motivation I can give you to attend. All I know is I can't win with my media pass but I will be there.
When you are praying a game does not go to overtime based on how truly pathetic it was that sums up this game. The scary thing is it almost did as Linas Kleiza who was suppose to sit this game out with a bad knee ended up playing and missed a wide open three that would have sent this game to overtime tied at 76. You think that is a typo if you didn't watch this game but it is not as the Pistons win 76-73 and the Raptors knock off one team on their quest to gather as many ping pong balls as they can in spite of themselves. The tank....I mean team rolls into Milwaukee who still clings to playoff life but could be eliminated with a Sixers win as they tip a half an hour before the Raptors and Bucks. So safe to say the Bucks will be motivated to win unless news leaks that the Sixers win that game.
Today's loss vaulted the Raptors ahead of Golden State who beat Minnesota today and are just percentage points behind the Cavs who are one better in the loss column but one fewer in the win column. The Kings hammered the Bobcats giving them their 20th straight loss and as we mentioned this morning the Bobcats have long ago locked up the most ping pong balls for May and the draft lottery. That Kings win makes it still realistic that the Raptors could in theory catch them. Even New Orleans is still possible at the third worst record but one Hornets loss or Raptor win and that is done. Currently the Raptors are 6th worst (Tied with New Jersey who they play on Thursday) and at best could end up at 3rd worst. If thinks went totally wrong the Raptors could do no worse than 9th worst heading into the lottery. This would take the Raptors winning their final two games and everyone else losing out. Which may not even be possible I am not going to check the schedule to confirm this. If you are that obsessed with this tanking stuff I am sure you already know or will find out.
In the end this was an unwatchable game that thanks to the lack of attendance in Detroit few people were actually subjected too. To take anything from this game of any true value would be a mistake. I mean Solomon Alabi is throwing down dunks and seldom seeing the floor Charlie V the former Raptors his making a three. It is hard to believe he holds the Raptor rookie scoring mark with 47 points. In the end the mood to end this season is a predictable on of can we just get this over already. The Raptors will have a very interesting off-season ahead in which Bryan Colangelo has put a lot of pressure on himself. Almost as much as he has allowed the organization to put on his draft pick from this season Jonas Valanciunas who has replaced any form of a halftime show for games.
In the end if the lottery does not fall the Raptors way I am really not all that concerned if they pick 4th or 9th. This is a draft that while it lacks any true game changers it makes up for in depth of talent. If the Raptors don't walk away with Anthony Davis or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist it is not the end of the world as we know it. Especially if Jonas lives up to the hype that he is being given. Ultimately you will be getting two top 10 talents being added to this roster no matter what happens and that is pretty good news. Colangelo will also be very active on the trade front as I suspect he feels this is the best way for him to take advantage of the cap room he has been able to a mass. In free agency there will be a number of other teams with big money to spend at the top of that list being the Dallas Mavericks. They have their eyes set on Deron Williams but they are not the only team with money to burn.
Still nothing about today's game made me feel like I am going to miss the Raptors after this Thursday. This has been a season to forget in almost every respect except for the fact the Raptors seem to have found their coach for the future in Dwane Casey. If he can do what he has done with this group imagine what he might be able to do with more talent provided by Colangelo this off-season. He might not need a number one pick or any huge moves to get this team going in right direction. Casey has shown he can coach up almost anyone to play acceptable defense in his system this year. If you can hide Calderon and Bargnani you are indeed a defensive guru. So do yourself a favour and get ahead start on things and start trying to forget this season already. Start with this game if you had the misfortune of watching it.