Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Pre season thoughts

I thought that it was interesting, even though it is pre-season, the Memphis lost today to Unicaja Malaga by 3 points. Once again, I know it's pre-season and we should not read into anything. But with European teams getting stronger and stronger every year, it is becoming much more common for those teams to get a W in these pre-season games. The Raps of course lost 2 years ago when Anthony Parker played for the other team and hit a buzzer beater. Last year, the Clips and other NBA team, I can't remember which one, lost.

The common thread here is that all the NBA teams that had lost were weak NBA teams. The Raptors, which is not a weak NBA team, won on Sunday against a Italian squad quite easy actually. I watch the game, and even though it was close all the way into the middle of the 4th, the Raptors were not 100% there. Coming off a back to back this early in pre-season, they did not have the energy to blow the opponent out. Not to say that the Italian club was weak, they were a great three point shooting club, but the Raps were by far the better team.

That's why I am suprised Memphis lost, I figured they would be much stronger this year. It's early though, and this again means very little. Good news for Memphis fans though is that Juan Carlos Navarro came off the bench and dropped 5 three's for 21 points. The bad news? Darko came off the bench and shot 1-6 with 2 boards.

Let me take the time here to also mention the Boston vs Raps game. I had a chance to watch it and I will say that both teams put effort into it, but the Celtics were on a whole other level in terms of intensity. Garnett had league MVP bounce to his step. The Boston bench was standing much more then sitting the entire game and that included when both teams went deep into the bench during the fourth. That's right, Garnett and Pierce were being cheerleaders just as much as anyone else. And this is all very good news for the Raps! Because for the 3 quarters that mattered, the Raps and Celtics were dead even in terms of gameplay.

I personally don't believe the big Celtic three will take long to adjust to each other. All three are great players and most importantly, not selfish. They might take a while to beat the Spurs, but they will be able to take out 75% of the teams right off the bat this year. It's the bench for the Celtics that will take some time to get comfortable. I mention this all because I feel the Raps were at 65% on Saturday while the Celtics might have been at 80%. Close games against the Celtics will be tough because of the star power, but the depth is going to hurt them alot more then some people believe. And Posey is not the big answer that I might have thought a few weeks ago.

Book it now. The Raps will finish ahead of the Celtics this season.

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