Jay: Raps vs. Sonics Preview
Coming down the stretch, there are some games the Raptors are just going to have to take care of, whether they have their star player or not. This is one of those games. With or without Chris Bosh, the Raptors should be able to handle the Sonics. Hell, after watching Georgetown beat Louisville today, I think the Hoyas might be able to take the Sonics (how good did Hibbert look again?). While nobody in sports says that they look ahead on their schedules, everybody does, that’s precisely why they say it. The Raptors right now should be saying, “This is a game we need to get. We have the Lakers, Golden State, Denver, Sacramento and Utah coming up and only one of those teams is relatively soft (um…that would be the Kings). Who knows when Bosh is going to be back (was that the strangest injury you’ve ever seen? Sure, he said it happened a while back and that he had been playing through it, but it was like somebody was working a voodoo doll…note to self, check Hornets’ staff).
The good thing for the Raptors is that Roger Mason Jr. does not play for the Sonics, because they apparently have no defense to stop the Raptor Killer. But the Sonics do have Kevin Durant, who has been making a lot of impressive plays this season and is a clear lock for ROY. What I’m most worried about with no Bosh around isn’t the toll it will take on the Raptors scoring, because I think they have enough other options and a point guard (Jose) who is good at finding those options, it is on the boards. The Raptors are bad on the boards, that’s no secret. Without Chris Bosh, they’re just plain awful. If you need anything to justify that statement, just flash back to that train-wreck that was the Charlotte game, where the Bobcats had 32 second chance points to the Raptors 0. If that is happening against the 24th best rebounding team in the league, what happens when they come up against the best rebounding team in the league…yep, the Sonics.
So that’s where we kick it back to what I was saying about the Raptors upcoming schedule. They face the best rebounding team in the league on Sunday, the Lakers are 4th, Denver is 2nd…thank God Sacramento and Utah are down in the Raptors territory. The thing with Utah is that they just score 105 points per game and shoot almost 50% on average, so it looks like they don’t have to worry about rebounding all that much right now.
But back to the Sonics game…with Bosh’s knee apparently making no real progress, the Raptors are going to have to figure out ways to play more complete team basketball. Often, when you run into games you should win and you have your whole roster, you can just let the bigs get the lead and then coast it out with the reserves. The Raptors should still be able to get ahead with some perimeter ball movement and good shot selection, but wait…that has been some of the problem lately. Shot selection. If the Raptors are going to take care of the Sonics, they will have to move the ball and find those good looks, because any rushed shots surely aren’t going to be coming back into the Raptors’ hands. That ball will be going the other way.
Anyway people, good to be back, enjoy the game!
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