Game 15: Raps vs. Hawks - Pre-game

Well, if there’s one thing you can say about the Hawks this season, it’s that they are a little streaky.  So far this year, they have seen a 6 game winning streak to start the season, then a 4 game losing skid bringing them back to Earth, but now they have won 3 of their last 4.  Here’s hoping that it’s time to go skidding in the opposite direction again.

The thing about the Hawks is that they are pretty much middle of the pack in most of the statistical categories, except from behind the arc, where they lead the league in 3 point percentage with 42.6%.  Ahead of Portland and your beloved Raptors.  Bibby and Johnson are proving to be legit consistent threats from downtown, so the Raptors will have to be sure to try to get them to put the ball on the floor, although they will need guys to help or else Bibby will have a field day.

As we mentioned earlier, the Raptors have a western road trip coming up after this game and it would be nice to see them head out on that trip with a win, but this isn’t going to be an easy one.  The Hawks are playing good basketball and we all saw last year in the playoffs what they are capable of.

The Raptors are going to have to give Bosh a little more help against the Hawks, because they can’t expect him to carry them every night.  I think Bosh played about 45 minutes against the Bobcats, which just shouldn’t be happening.  You’ll start to get jelly legs at the end of games on the west coast if you are running out 45 minute nights and the Raptors certainly don’t need things to be any less light on their bench.

I think this is another game where you sit JO in order to get him ready for the west coast road trip.  If the Raptors are able to play off the fan enthusiasm, they might be able to get a lead and then see what they can do with it (read: blow it).  With some of the young and athletic players on the Hawks, there will be a lot of opportunities for blocks and I don’t know if I want JO feasting on blocks right now when he is still sore (apparently the ankle is worse than the knee).  If you land on a sore ankle, there is a chance you will roll and then there goes your knee.

Will the Raptors be able to make the youth and enthusiasm of the Hawks?  Are they going to be able to keep up or are we going to see some guys pulling at the ends of their shorts by the 3rd quarter?  I guess we’ll have to tune in to see.

3 in the Key

1. Avoid trying to run all night with the Hawks.  Slow it down and run the offense.  Hold on…the Raptors  have no plays.  Okay, slow it down and wait for nature to happen.

2. Force Bibby and Johnson to put the ball on the floor, but remember to get help in the lane.

3. Don’t be afraid to get a little tough with the Hawks.  Thump and Bump!

2 Comments

Doc  on November 28th, 2008

Ugh … I don’t know what to think about tonight’s game. I’d like to sincerely think we have a chance especially with JSmoove still on the Atlanta injury list, but if Jose and Parker don’t step it up defensively against Bibby and Johnson this game will be over before the half.

Now that Bosh has expressed his need to the league’s MVP, well its now time for him to back those words up and expose young players like Horford tonight. If he can’t do that, then I seriously think Bosh needs to take a step back to reassess things. :(

Pruedence  on November 28th, 2008

There’s no doubt that tonight’s game will be a tough one. Without Jermaine O’Neal it’s going to be even a tougher one. Hopefully, the Raptors will come out on top, I’m cheering for them all the way. But with Atlanta’s athleticism, I don’t see how the Toronto Raptors will be able to come out on top.

Lets Go Raptors!

Leave a Comment