Monday, January 25, 2010

An Emotional Rollercoaster Ride

Last night, the Air Canada Centre held the best ticket in town - and the show did not disappoint. Those who were in attendance were treated to what may very well turn out to be Toronto's game of the year. After both teams exchanged blow after blow, the final buzzer sounded, and the Raptors walked away with a 106-105 win over the defending NBA champions.

Like the game itself, the month of January has been a very emotional rollercoaster ride. Canada's lone NBA team has surely had its lows, having to suffer sinking defeats to teams such as the Pacers (after blowing a 23 point lead) and the Bucks (a team several games below .500). Yes, these valleys have been depressing, dismal, and downright confusing. But it's the peaks of this month that have provided us with the thrill of what being an NBA fan is all about. And January's high points have come in the form of very impressive wins against the Spurs, the Magic, the Mavs, and now Kobe and his Lakers. These are no slouch teams, and it marks the first time - at least that I can remember - that the Raps have been able to beat such an impressive collection of teams in one month.

After last night's epic performance, the Raptors are now also a surprising 6-1 against Western Conference teams at home. This is an important record and point to build upon as the Raptors prepare to play a very important stretch in their schedule. Here are their next 10 games:

Miami (23-20)
@ New York (17-26)
Indiana (15-29)
@Indiana (15-29)
New Jersey (3-40)
Sacramento (15-28)
Philadelphia (15-28)
Memphis (23-19)
@ New Jersey (3-40)
Washington (14-29)

As far as I'm concerned, the Raptors can win all 10 of these games. The fact that the Raps get to play the only two teams above .500 on this stretch at home means it very well could happen; if they play with the same intensity they did with last night.

A win against the Lakers like that was just what the Raptors needed. Definitely of the "hard fought and earned" variety, the Raps just need to take all the good things from that game and build upon it. A push in the right direction. Now is the time for the Raptors to defy the odds and force this rollercoaster to ascend until they please.


To all the fake Lakers fans that were in attendance at the ACC. I'm not talking about the few L.A. fans who cheered Kobe and the LakeShow on for the entire 48 minutes, only to have to deal with ridicule afterwards. I'm pointing a finger and shaking my head at all the loud and obnoxious "Fakers" who were decked out in Lakers gear, and took every opportunity to express their happiness at the Raps and their fans' expense. Yet when the home team began to make their run and even take the lead, these same "Laker fans" began to cheer for the Raptors. What? Please, I've been to Raptors home games against the Lakers before. These same fans would have rubbed it in real good had Kobe made that final shot. Those people took the easy way out last night. For shame.


To that one Lakers fan who made boastful comments to the fans around him all game, then quickly made a run for the exit when Kobe missed the final shot. Good for him. At least he ran away with his team on his sleeve.

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