Well here we go ready or not. The Raptors face the prospect of total meltdown should they not find a way to hand Nets loss number 25 of the season for them. If they don't the heat around this Raptor team will reach the boiling point. I listened to the show Hoops last night on the Fan 590. They took a ton of calls and you could hear the anger and frustration in the various calls. I can only imagine the posts on twitter should the Raptors drop this one. The Raptors have made some offensive units that were struggling look great. It is pretty sad when you lose count how many times teams have scored 60 points or more in a half against the Raptors. It is hard to recall a Raptors team that had this rough a time on the defensive end. There was lots of blame being handed out by the various callers. A lot of folks are on board with me in terms of having major concerns about Jay Triano. Some others went straight to the top and took aim at Bryan Colangelo. Credit to Paul Jones and Eric Smith for allowing fans to basically vent for 2 hours.
What was lost in all of the frustration was a pretty interesting interview with Chris Bosh earlier on Prime Time Sports. He was there in part to promote his recently released DVD "First Ink". Although that was interesting and in general people that have seen the DVD have had positive reviews of it. It would be the conversation after that would be interesting. The most of which, how Bosh expressed a feeling that Toronto has started to feel truly like home for him. It was very genuine and it seems to support something that I have felt. In the past I had suggested that I felt Chris Bosh was looking for an excuse to stay and not go from Toronto. I just got that feeling and impression. If you were hoping Bosh would declare his desire to stay in Toronto and with the Raptors it did not go that far. However it did offer some hope that if this basketball team could turn things around that Chris may be willing to stick around.
In terms of the team itself he did seem pretty calm about things. He said that it is taking time for this team to come together. He also said that you have to remain positive because regardless there is 50 or so games left in the season and they are going to be played regardless of what happens. The truth is though what happens will likely greatly define if Bosh is going to continue to enjoy Toronto as his home.
While this individual game in the grand scheme is not life and death for the Raptors. The fact the Nets have been so horrible and the fans are on the brink, it could be much like that game vs the Thunder last year that I referenced yesterday. If the Raptors can get past this one they have a schedule that should offer some opportunity to bounce back a bit. The Hornets, Pistons twice and Bobcats are all games that Raptors should feel they can win. It is not something to take pride in, but thanks to the fact the East is brutal the Raptors are really not in terrible shape in terms of playoffs. You can likely write off the idea of home court advantage in the playoffs but to finish 5th is still a goal with in range.
The Raptors have some things to sort out before we even attempt to consider playoff positioning.This game tonight can be the slow start to the slow road back or it could end up being the car going off the cliff. It will also mark the first time the Nets have rolled into town without Vince Carter. Let's hope there is no booing tonight because if there is it will be directed at the Raptors and not Vince. The Nets and Raptors Rivalry appears to be pretty much dead now. The Raptors did of course play their first ever game against the Nets and they won it at the Skydome. The Raptors will hope to do the same tonight at the ACC because it is badly needed not just for the players and organization but for the loyal fans of this team. They feel like they have been lied to again. They got their hopes up and have once again had them come crashing down. This would be the final insult to that. Raptors face a must win tonight for their fans personal sanity.