Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The week ahead

So here we go. This next week I feel is going to be a rough one. A stretch of time where we can see this Raptor team dip below 500 by more then a few games. In one weeks time, I got this feeling that the Raps will be in desperation mode, and that actually might just be what this team needs to be honest. They are already feeling it now, especially with the ACC actually booing them at the end of the Warriors game. But in a week, when they are below 500, I think it’s going to hit it’s peak and at that point, it will be go time for the Raptors.

Tonight at Dallas
Wednesday at Memphis
Friday at Cleveland
Saturday vs Chicago

Well 2 out of 4 would be ideal, get over this stretch of games still at 500. I mean, this team is eventually going to have to start to make some moves up the standings, but as they try to build some sort of momentum, we can only hope for at least a split here. Now a breakdown with these games…

Dallas is a machine at home, and the Raps have not shown the ability so far to beat the top tier teams (Boston, Orlando, Utah) so I don’t know how we should expect them to do it on the road. It would be nice to think that this team is going to pull off the big win, especially since they have actually been very good on the road so far this year, but I am not holding my breath. I don’t have good feelings about tonight.

And then Memphis. Here is the problem with the Raps. When they get matched up against shooting teams, those teams always seem to get on fire against the Raps. I have no doubt that the Raps will keep the Griz below what ever Memphis season avg is in PPG, as the Raptors have improved in it’s defense so far this season, but with a disappearing offense on the Raptors end, they won’t be able to go toe to toe. Again, on the road the Raptors have been playing better. This game is one that the Raps should get, but right now in this gloomy state, I can just as easily see them losing because of the type of team Memphis is.

Cleveland I have good feelings about. The Raps played Cleveland tight last year, and it was actually Anderson Varejoe who hurt the Raps the most last season. With him gone, and the Raps in a potential state of panic going into this game, this is one I feel confident in the Raps winning, and even doing to the Cavs what the Raps did to the Nets/Bulls.

Back at the ACC for Chicago. It all depends on how well they did the previous 3 games. Because we do know that the Bulls will be remembering what the Raps did a few weeks ago, and with Nocioni in the starting 5 now, it will be a different Bulls team to a certain degree that will be looking for revenge. Now if the Raps went 0-3 going into this game, then the desperation of the Raps will toss the revenge factor aside and give the Raptors a win. But if the Raps actually end up with some success during the 3 games, this one could be difficult. Of course, the reality is also that the Bulls just flat out don’t look good, so really the Raps should win this game regardless.

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