Maybe the Raptors are not tired, but it is a safe assumption after a long night in Memphis, where in one of the strangest basketball games I have ever witnessed the Raptors came away with a 114-110 OT win. They return to the Eastern Time zone and face the Charlotte Bobcats. One of the teams that I have personally guaranteed will finish below the Raptors. The Raptors have just 22 games left and are 9 wins ahead of the Raptors. The Raptors are just 5 wins shy of are pre-season prediction of 20 wins sitting at 15-29. The Bobcats are 6-36 and yes one of those 6 wins came at the hands of the Raptors back home in Toronto. That was without Andrea Bargnani though and after last night you wonder how much the Raptors will have him today. In addition how effective he can be. They will likely be without Jose Calderon as well. If Jerryd Bayless can play like he did last night that will be less of an issue. The Bobcats will return to the ACC for one more visit after today on April 3rd. Raptors have not won consecutive games since the last time Andrea Bargnani returned and he exited near the end of the 2nd win that was the wild OT win in Utah after a win over the Suns.
So let's just cut to the keys to the games.
1. Suck It Up Butter Cup- This is one of those games where it is unrealistic to expect the Raptors to be at 100%. What you would expect is for them to play solid defense and try and grind out a win. Add in the fact you had an embarrassing loss to that mix and that can provide you some motivation when your gas tank is reading E.
2. Bayless Balance- We need to see a balanced effort from Jerryd Bayless with the assists to go along with scoring. Near the end of last season we go to see a glimpse of what he could be. Again last night we saw some of that. It all gets mixed in with some crazy what were you thinking moments. But at the end of it all no one wants to win more than this guy. I firmly believe that.
3. Some X Factors Please- In a game where you expended so much to win you need someone unexpected to step up and provide a big performance. Maybe a big game from Ed Davis? One of those nice games that Amir Johnson can provide on occasion. An Aaron Gray double double? Something like what the Raptors got from Gary Forbes last night. Someone needs to step up.
So that is all we have for you today. Game goes at 7pm and seeing as my March Madness bracket is a mess I will be watching. Even if it wasn't I would be. You know your hardcore when your watching Raptors vs Bobcats. No more Bobkittens I learned from the last time....LOL.