It is back to business after a day off from the DNB for me. It was not completely a day off though as I did do an article for the Bleacher Report on Ed Davis and DeMar DeRozan. Both have had some issues of late and will look to bounce back tonight against the Sixers. This is a big game for a lot of reasons for the Raptors in a number of ways. First being the Sixers already hold two wins over the Raptors and if they were to win tonight would hold any kind of tie-breaker with the Raptors should it become a factor for the playoffs. The Raptors are 0-5 in the Atlantic Division so far this season. This is a big problem for them in terms of them trying to legitimately earn their way into playoff contention.
Way back on November 10th, 2012 it was Sixers with a balanced scoring effort defeating the Raptors 93-83. Philly had 5 players score in double figures for them. Raptors actually had got a decent game out of Andrea Bargnani in that one leading all scorers with 23 points.
The second meeting came ten days later in Philadelphia and Nick Young went nuts off the Philly bench scoring 23 points. It would lead the Sixers to 106-98 win over the Raptors. Jrue Holiday was also great in this one with 19 points and 12 assists. In addition Jason Richardson found the fountain of youth and scored 21 points. Raptors despite the loss had 5 players in double figures led by DeMar DeRozan with 24 points and Bargnani with 22.
You can certainly make the argument that the Raptors are much improved since that time. You can also make the case the Sixers have not been as good. Will that translate to out on the floor at the ACC tonight that becomes the real question.
The Raptors always use to have a clear advantage against the Sixers with Bargnani in the mix. The Sixers really had no option to guard him defensively. The current Raptors are a lot more like Philly now being a bit under sized and rolling with a smaller line-up based on injures.
The Raptors also seem to be working behind the scenes at trying to improve the roster. Rudy Gay is once again becoming one getting tied to the Raptors in trade rumours. Hasan Alanam Of Canada.com speaks of a deal the Raptors might have with the Grizzlies in this article. So much for my article about Ed and DeMar being together for a few years more in Toronto if this happens. Trading Davis and Calderon to Grizzlies for Gay is not really something I think ultimately helps this team. In the short term it might improve them. In the long term you are saddled with an over-priced contract for a player that I would not say is a franchise player but is being paid like one.
Also if you trade Ed Davis is that saying Andrea Bargnani has once again been saved from being moved? Clearly this would not be something that this fan base would embrace with open arms. Bryan Colangelo if he fails to move Bargnani really has shown loyalty that should ultimately end in his firing. Only way it wouldn’t is if the addition of Gay would somehow get the Raptors into the post season. It would also take an Andrea Bargnani that has under gone a miraculous transformation.
I somehow fail to see this happening. If the Raptors don’t finish this home-stand strong it is a moot point of talking about the playoffs.