Monday, March 8, 2010
Red And Black Retract?
I want to you know?
I want to smash that protective glass. I want to put my hand over it, feel the shinny glossy red exterior and just slam it down with all the world's effort. But is it panic time just yet?
As of today, here's what the bottom half of the Eastern Conference playoff race looks like:
5. Milwaukee: 33-29
6. Toronto: 32-29
7. Miami: 32-31
8. Chicago: 31-31
9. Charlotte: 30-31
I don't know about you guys, but that's an awfully close race. Milwaukee, Miami, and Charlotte are all on winning streaks, while Toronto and Chicago are the teams that are struggling. This is a perfect example of how fast things can change in the NBA. It was only a little while ago when Toronto and Chicago seemed destined to take the 5th and 6th seeds, while the rest struggled for the last two spots.
Unfortunately, the tables have turned and the Raptors now embark on a 4 game West Coast trip. What horrible timing...we never do well with these road trips out west. For those that don't remember, here's what our last trip looked like:
Clippers W 104-89
Suns L 100-101
Nuggets L 112-130
Jazz L 94-101
Can we afford going something similar to 1-3 during the next 4 games that consist of bouts with the Lakers, Kings, Warriors and Blazers? Considering where we are in the grand scheme of things, I don't think so. Being realistic, I feel like splitting this trip will be a success. I think it plays out like this:
Lakers - L (going to be tough to sweep the Lakers, it's in LA, they remember the loss we gave them earlier, and they're hungry to get back on track)
Kings - W (we're a better team, no way we should lose this, if the Raps come out with a sense of urgency, this should be an easy win)
Warriors - W (the most unpredictable game out of the 4, raps need to come out focused, our defense has regressed back to its poor ways, and all it will take to lose is a bad shooting night; we play hard on d, and we win)
Blazers - L (2nd game of a back to back, I think the Raps are looking forward to going home, and I just can't see them edging this one out)
Obviously I'd love to see us go 3-1 or even win all 4 games. But with Bosh still shaking off some rust, and the team not being able to practice at full health, I think going 2-2 would be more than just fine.
And for more on this 4 game stretch, let's bring in my favorite duo Matt Devlin and Jack Armstrong with another edition of "Life on the 2nd Bus", as well as a nice little preview of the Lakers game from Beverley Hills.