First off, if you’re a regular reader you’ve likely noticed I’ve been a little AWOL lately, and it’s due mostly to starting up a new job this week and a handful of other things I’ve got on my plate. Still, even through the busy season, the Toronto Raptors play on. Not necessarily well, but the games still actually occur. Coming off a pair of losses in Florida, they’re home tonight to face the 2-24 New Jersey Nets. For all the goods, check in at Raptors Republic.
When the Nets were still winless a couple weeks ago, I checked ahead on the Raps’ schedule to see when we face them and was instantly terrified thinking this could be the game where New Jersey snaps its streak. Instead it was the Bobcats (yeah, the same Bobcats that beat Toronto by about 63 points) that were the victim, falling 97-91 in New Jersey on Dec. 4. After a win in Chicago four days later, the Nets have now dropped five more straight, all by double digits. With point guard Devin Harris struggling after a breakout year last season, the Nets should be a team the Raps can handle pretty handily at home, provided Vince Carter doesn’t return last-second and hit a 50-foot buzzer beater.
As easy as it is to count on a win in this one, nothing about the way Toronto has played lately screams guarantee. Chris Bosh grabbed a combined eight boards in a pair of listless efforts (by the entire team in general — not to single out CB) in Miami and Orlando and Hedo Turkoglu did everything possible to prove to the Magic they made the right decision in installing some Vinsanity in his place. Still, against a reeling Nets squad at the ACC, I can’t see this one ending too, too badly.