Friday, March 19, 2010
Thunder Is Just Loud Noise; And Raps Ready To Make Some Of Their Own
If the Raptors can sustain the effort and level of play they showed off against the Hawks, then suddenly, their objective changes. No longer is it simply just: Make the playoffs. But now it's: Do whatever it takes to finish above the 8th seed.
Winning a playoff series would be monumental in the grand scheme of things. Not only would it be the team's first playoff series win since that guy who jumps high was here, but it would play a huge role in convincing Bosh to stay here. It's all about moving forward, and the Raptors have their best shot at doing that with the 7th, 6th, and 5th seeds. Fans of this team may quickly point to the fact that we've played Cleveland very well this year - and they would have a legit point.
But let's face it. Does anyone honestly think that LeBron's potential final year in Cleveland will end in the first round of the playoffs to the Toronto Raptors? I don't see it happening. Our defense is already bad enough. But imagine not even being able to breath on James? Frustration to no end.
So now with a confidence building win over Atlanta, the Raptors now welcome yet another team very similar to the Hawks. Kevin Durant and his OKC boys practically embarrassed Toronto in their one and only previous meeting this season. And it was expected. I've said it time after time again; Toronto has trouble playing against teams with fast and athletic wings and that boast undersized yet skilled and strong big men. If we can somehow find a way to steal the win tonight, it'll help solidify one very important fact - The Raptors can hang with anyone at home.
Adding the Thunder to a list that includes the Cavs, Lakers, Mavs, and Hawks looks nice on that NBA resume doesn't it?
You never want to look too far ahead, but if you can grab a win tonight, the Raps are potentially looking at a 5 game winning streak (Nets and Wolves just around the corner). How big would that be? A basketball game is said to be a game of runs. But when you think "bigger picture", that same observation could be made about the entire season. Obviously, what matters most is that you finish strong.
For Toronto, that started against the Hawks, and will look to continue tonight.