Dino Nation: The Path To Christmas Is Tough For Raptors
Old 11-26-2008, 02:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Dino Nation: The Path To Christmas Is Tough For Raptors

Ugh ... things only get tougher from now until Xmas. All the more reason why games like tonight are must wins.

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Originally Posted by Dino Nation
There has been a great deal of talk about what lies ahead for the Toronto Raptors as relates to the schedule. The road to a visit from Santa is a tough one for the Toronto Raptors. They will need to keep hard at work through this holiday season. This is a key reason why a game like tonight versus the Bobcats is very important for this team to get back on track. After that they will take on the Atlanta Hawks who they have already faced this year. That was a rather one sided loss to the Hawks in Atlanta that the Raptors lost 110-92. So to say a win over the Hawks will be easy is not being honest. Also when you factor in the one of the Raptors that played well in that game will likely not be active for that game. Jermaine O'Neal was one of the few guys that could hold his head high after that game in Atlanta based on his personal performance.

This is followed by a 3 game road trip out west that the Raptors will not be the favourite in any of these games. Lakers, Nuggets and Jazz would all be favoured to get a win over the Raptors. So if the Raptors do not get at least a win tonight over the Bobcats they could be on the verge of a long and painful losing streak. You may have heard a lot of folks are not happy with Coach Sam Mitchell. People already are wanting him to be fired. A long losing streak would only add to that idea of a change at the coaching position. It would be difficult to imagine Sam Mitchell finding a way to get through that. The Thunder and Wizards have already made changes early on in this NBA season. But both of those teams were truly in rough shape. That being said if the Raptors are having a 7-game losing streak heading into a home game versus Portland. Can you just imagine the scene at the Air Canada Centre if Mitchell was still the coach? I can and do not want to imagine it. The scene would be very ugly indeed. It already is pretty ugly at the moment.

When you look even further ahead you see the following:

King James and Cavs
T.J Ford's Return
2 more with Nets (1@ NJ, 1 in Tor)
Chris Paul and Hornets
Tim Ducan and a Spurs team that could be fully healthy

About the only softies you will find in the Raps schedule heading towards Christmas is games against the Thunder and Clippers.

The point to all of this is the Raptors need to get their act together in a hurry or the fate of Sam Mitchell is not the only thing on the line it could be the fate of the season itself. A team that is battling through injuries and facing a lot of pressure has to some how find a way to find itself and get this season back on track. Before the season ever got started people said that as in the past the Raptors schedule was front loaded. Meaning that the games before the end of the year would be much tougher. After the start of 2009 just as in past seasons the Raptors see a schedule that sees more home dates and a bit easier level of teams to face. But to truly take advantage of that they must find a way to survive to that point.
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Old 11-26-2008, 02:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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This is a crucial time of the season for the raptors. A positive win december(or even a .500) would be a huge boost for this team. I think that the media is being too negative. This is a team that is trying to find itself. That is hard to do when you dont have a solid backup poitn guard and consistency. The Raptors have the potential to overcome these early woes. It is a matter of getting through it. I think the hardest job for a coach is to get a team to stay positive at times like these and motivate them to improve individually as well as a team. Mitchell is getting killed in the press and by the fans and his strength as a coach is going to be determined by how he continues to handle this tough situation. The point is that it is still early. The Raptors will get better. This isn't a time to make rash moves and I think BC knows and understands that best. Give it time and i have a feeling that things will turn around. As all of the players said after the Boston game, it's all about trust. When the Raptors develop that. They will be successful.
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