If the Raptors were ever looking for a place to pick up some momentum, they probably would have written a script that included the Sacramento Kings somewhere along the lines. The Kings are having a horrendous season, one in which they have not beaten an Eastern Conference team all season. That’s pretty tough to do. The Raptors haven’t even been able to accomplish that feat and for a good chunk of the season, the Raptors have been Rapt-horrific.
The Raptors were definitely thankful for the return of Jose Calderon against the Bulls, as he was able to provide a steadying presence, but was also just able to flat out make some plays, something the Raptors have been lacking with him out of the lineup. You have to give credit to JT for managing his return to the lineup, working him in and out and using AP as the backup while still making room for him in his regular position.
There was one thing that bothered me a bit about Jose’s post game interview. It’s something that is said across all sports, so it’s not like he said something that I’ve never heard before. Jose said, “[w]hen we play like that for 48 minutes, we’re [a] much better team than our record shows.” Okay, I hate that. No, you’re not a better team than your record shows, because your record shows that you can’t play for 48 minutes. When any team plays great for 48 minutes, they are going to look like a great team. The fact is, the Raptors this season are not a great team. Hell, they’re not a good team. So to say that the Raptors record is somehow deceiving just isn’t accurate. Sure, the Raptors have been up on a lot of teams and have lost a lot of games down the stretch that they should have won, but that’s precisely why they have the record that they have. It’s a simple rule across sports. Your record indicates EXACTLY what kind of team you are.
Now saying that a record indicates what kind of team you are doesn’t mean that you can’t rise to a challenge or even come up with some surprising wins. There are a lot of factors that go into wins and losses. We saw the Hawks almost upset the Celtics in the playoffs last year, so you see what I am saying. But the fact remains, teams who have a lot more losses than wins, tend to find ways to lose and vice versa.
Anyway, the Raptors should be able to handle the Kings and should be able to take a two game winning streak into a game against the Nets, but you know what happens to teams who start looking ahead on the schedule…
3 in the Key
1. Jose will need to continue to provide that steady hand, but will need to recognize the many opportunities to push the ball up the court that will present themselves against the Kings.
2. Run the court. The Kings have been extremely lazy at points during the season and they can be beaten down the court.
3. Don’t look ahead on the schedule. The Raptors aren’t good enough to look past anyone.