The Toronto Raptors are the talk of the town. That can happen when you knock off the defending NBA Champions. The Lakers are crying foul or is it no foul in terms of the call that sent Hedo Turkoglu to the line which lead to the Raptors winning the game on 2 Hedo Turkoglu free throws. Did Hedo flop on the play? Should the foul have been called? That is not for me to worry about. Laker fans can make the excuse of they got jobbed on a call but the bottom line is the Raptors won. They also had a chance to win the game and Kobe didn't make the shot.
The truth be told win or lose, I would be proud of the Raptors today. They fought hard in this game against a quality opponent and gave the Lakers a battle. This team is take steps in the right direction. The A.C.C is also becoming a difficult place to play basketball again. When the Raptors won their lone Division Title it was on the strength of a great home record. The Raptors have won something like 10 of their last 11 games on home court at the A.C.C. That is pretty impressive however you cut it.
The question will become do the Raptors use this win as a springboard into the second half of the season? The Raptors have flirted with the .500 mark for quite some time and need to start building wins and getting beyond that point and try to break away from the pack and focus on positioning for the playoff rather than just making them. The idea of getting home court advantage in the playoffs is rapidly becoming a long shot at best. However the 5th seed is wide open and seems to be a 3-way fight between the Raptors, Heat and Bobcats. The Bobcats have been on fire of late but are terrible on the road and face a lot of road games in the next stretch of games. The Raptors schedule is becoming much more favorable in terms of home dates and opposition as well. The Heat are a team that has not shown any kind of consistence as well and they have turned to Rafer Alston to be their point guard...remember him? The chance to make a strong move is here.
Also some great news out of Raptors practice today. Reggie Evans practiced for the first time at full speed. Evans is targeting a return date of Feb 17th after the All-Star break as a possible return/debut date. I have mentioned it before that I am rooting for Reggie to get back and hope he does well once he does. As Reggie told me in one of my visits to the ACC this season, this is the first major injury he has ever had. Frustration can now turn to hope as Reggie is almost ready to make his long awaited Raptors debut. IT IS ALMOST TIME TO UNLEASH THE BEAST!!!
That is good too because if there was one thing that was not so great yesterday as I mentioned in my V-Log it was the rebounding where the Raptors got killed. Reggie Evans in effect will be like the Raptors making a move and giving up nothing to improve. Some would say that is what they did in the first place trading Jason Kapono to Philly. However I was not taking a shot at Kapono just mean that Raptors will be adding something without giving up anything from the roster they started the season with.
Speaking of the Heat they are up next for the Raps at the ACC in what will be a very important match-up. More on that in the coming days as the Raps actually have a few days to prepare for this one as it does not take place till Wednesday.
The Dino Blogger is going into battle. I was approached about taking part in a pro vs joes style Raptors debate contest being put on by WHOTHEMAN.com. They have also hooked me up with my own home page. I am going to have one of the folks from the site come on to be a guest in The Starting 5 and explain this tournament and how it all works. However basically if you enter and get selected you could end up taking on me in Finals or one of the other Pro Bloggers/Experts in the final. But I will save all the details for the interview. What they have also given me is a chance to post video questions for their users and you folks to chime in on. I didn't have a question for you. I thought of something better.
So take up the Challenge and give your best 2 minute sales pitch to Chris Bosh to remain a Raptor. Fans in other NBA cities have been doing their best to get him to leave so why not do your best to convince him to stay. Chris is a member on the site so he may even see you video himself. The good ones I will post here in the DNB. So bust out your Cams and do your best.
Finally barring anything strange Danielle will be making her debut in the Dino Nation Blog tomorrow. So please check out what she is doing and share your opinions with her. Hopefully you will enjoy her contributions here. That is all for today I am liveblogging college basketball tonight...Hoyas and Orange it gets no better. Check my Twitter @Dinonationblog to get linked up for the live blog starting at 7pm.