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Old 04-09-2008, 08:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
Dr. J. Naismith
convinced that Raptors fans are only happy when they're unhappy.

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Jay: Raps vs. Bucks Preview

So you’re a team captain, you’re a leader, you’re the face of the franchise. Your team has been struggling, you probably aren’t 100% healthy and the playoffs are just around the corner. Sounds like the perfect time to rally the troops, to talk about picking it up down the stretch and carrying that momentum into the playoffs, to get everyone thinking that, “Hey, this is just the nature of basketball, as easily as we have struggled, we can turn it around in time for the playoffs.” Right? Right? No. If you’re Chris Bosh, you figure this is the perfect time to come out and say that you need to trust your teammates more, which the media translates into: Bosh doesn’t trust his teammates. Nice work Chris, way to get that team confidence up before the playoffs, because it’s not like confidence is something the team is lacking right now, nope, the Raptors have tons of that.

Which brings me to the Bucks. I don’t know if there is a worse matchup for the Raptors right now than the Bucks. You see, the problem is, the Bucks aren’t very good, but they do have some good players who can quickly turn a game around. If the Raptors win this game, it will bring a bit of confidence, but nobody is going to start thinking, “Okay, we have things turned around, we’re on the right track.” If the Raptors lose this game, there are going to be some serious questions going around heading into the playoffs. Given, it’s not like losing to the Heat, but it also isn’t like losing to the Celtics by 1 in triple OT. There are differences in the magnitude of wins and losses; wins and wins; and losses and losses. I only hope the Raptors don’t have to find out about that the hard way.

I am a little nervous about the Ford vs. Williams matchup. Mo Williams scores more than TJ does and averages around the same amount of assists per game (but let’s remember that Mo plays far more minutes than TJ). The part that worries me is that Williams is quick and will not hesitate to shoot the ball. If he knocks down a few near the start of the game, TJ might want to step up against him, turning it into a competition. We have seen the good and the bad of this, most glaringly, the game against Orlando. Bosh has said that he has not been trusting his teammates, but this might be a game where he also needs to trust in himself and in his ability to dominate a guy like Charlie V. If that game can get going early, it might help to tame what could turn into a schoolyard competition.

What also makes me nervous about facing the Bucks just before the playoffs is that Andrew Bogut is a thug. We might have to let Primo show just how “gangsta” he is (and remember, the Groin is a Gangsta). I fear Bogut getting into another one of his elbow swinging moods, breaking somebody’s nose or just sending them to the floor (wow, sound like some of the ferocity the Raptors need? Not as his position, but that fire is desperately lacking here).

Well, enjoy the game!
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