Old 01-01-2010, 10:16 AM   #1 (permalink)
landry fields forever

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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Living in a van down by the river
Posts: 19,088

The Raptors are on a five-game winning streak.

Consider that fact for a moment. Consider that fact after how inconsistent this team looked through much of the first third of the season. Consider that fact in conjunction with the knowledge that they haven't had a similar streak during a competitive part of the season since February of 2007 three seasons ago (last year's six-game streak came when the notion of the playoffs was all but extinguished)!

Heck, even consider the fact that some Raptors fans, a notoriously cynical bunch, actually see upcoming games against Boston and San Antonio as winnable because of those teams' perceived momentary shortcomings. It's hardly a run to the Finals, but for the Raptors it's nearly as rare.

It's easy to say in hindsight that a stretch against New Jersey, New Orleans, Detroit (twice) and Charlotte should be considered an effortless five wins, but hasn't an inability to execute in exactly those situations been what has plagued this team do dramatically in recent memory?

This Raptors squad has shown a remarkable lack of urgency in so many winnable games over the last few years that no one would have been that surprised if the they had gone 2-3 in this stretch if for no other reason than that's what this team has a history of doing.

Remember the lead-up to the playoffs in 2008, when the Raptors had a string of easy targets to help them round into post-season shape but went 7-13, including losses to sub-.500 clubs like Sacramento, Atlanta, Charlotte, New jersey and Chicago, to limp into a series against Orlando? Remember last season when losses to New Jersey, Oklahoma City and Golden State set the tone for a team that didn't have the focus or urgency to collect desperately needed wins just to keep their season afloat?
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