I said it yesterday the Raptors margin for error over these next 3 games is nothing. If they do not win their next 3 contests it pretty much is over as far as any slim playoff chances they may hold. It is all based on what the Raptors face after that. They have little to no change of getting a win in the next 4 after these 3. The Sacramento Kings have been a total failure this season and are trying to rebuild around Kevin Martin. He was not in the line-up when these teams faced off on Boxing Day. The Raptors would get a rare win on the west coast as they beat the Kings on the road for only the second time in franchise history. It is a rare 6 pm tip time at the Air Canada Centre. The Kings come into this game on a 4 losing streak and a 3-19 road record. I mean it does not get more of a gimmie win then this does it? If the Raptors get even half of the performance they got from Jose Calderon in his return to the line up it should be a cake walk.
All Star Thoughts
I have said this for years and last night offered proof to my point. Yesterday I was on CJLO in Montreal and that is the host city of the NHL ALL STAR weekend. The breakaway challenge winner was Alex Ovechkin who put on a silly hat and some sunglasses and used two hockey sticks and eventually scored. Can anyone say that was even close to as entertaining as Dwight Howard putting on a Superman outfit and dunking a basketball. Not even close. I get that I am in Canada and hockey will always be bigger then basketball. But even hockey fans have to give the nod to the NBA's All-Star Saturday night as opposed to the the NHL's pathetic rip off of the event for their sport. In the market that matters for the NHL, the United States, it will be viewed as I have stated a cheap rip off that is not good in comparison.
Gary Bettman came from the NBA and has tried to use NBA ideas in the NHL with little success. David Stern is a far better commissioner for his sport and it is made the most clear when you compare the two sports All Star Weekends. The NHL had to bring in a rule that forces players to sit out the next regular season game for the season if they skip the NHL ALL STAR GAME. The NBA ALL STAR WEEKEND is an event that most players love to be at even if they are not part of the game or events. The NBA is the better league when you get right down to it and that may not play well in Canada but the simple fact is that it is the truth. The All Star Weekends of the two sports just offer the most obvious comparison that makes that fact clear.
It will be interesting to see if Chris Bosh gets the nod to be in the ALL STAR GAME. I have seen most thinking it is likely a lock that he does. But given the Raptors record I am not convinced it is. Should he not it will be interesting to see how he handles that moving forward. He has been more vocal and angry about what is going wrong. If he were not to get the personal honour of going to the ALL STAR GAME if for no other reason then his team's poor record. That good be a point where we see Bosh say enough is enough. Whatever happens I am glad that Chris is starting to show some emotion and say loud and clear that this is not acceptable. I think on this the Fans and CB4 are on the same page.
Lakers vs Spurs
Before the Raptors take on the Kings. A match-up of 2 of the NBA's best teams with the Lakers and the Spurs. I am going to be live blogging it for The Score. You are welcome to stop by and take part as you get set for Raptors and Kings. After all there is no football being that it is the bye week before the Super Bowl. So that gives you a chance to see more basketball. It is a 3:30 tip time and if all goes well it will end before the Kings and Raptors get going and that game originally scheduled for TSN 2 has been moved over to TSN. Maybe they are finally hearing the angry basketball fans? Wishful thinking I am sure.
The Score Live Blog Link- Spurs and Lakers
After I am done with Spurs and Lakers. It is right into Raptor Rewind of Kings and Raptors. A busy day but hopefully a fun one.