Raptors fans …
So you’re scared and you’re thinking
That maybe we ain’t that young anymore
Show a little faith there’s magic in the night
You ain’t a beauty but hey you’re alright
Oh and that’s alright with me …
Going into tonight’s game, which of these two player rosters would you prefer, if you were a working GM in the NBA?
|Oklahoma Thunder Active Roster|
|34||Mason, Desmond||GF||6-5||222||10/11/77||8||Oklahoma State|
|5||Weaver, Kyle||G||6-6||201||2/18/86||R||Washington State|
| Toronto Raptors Active Roster
|4||Bosh, Chris||FC||6-10||230||3/24/84||5||Georgia Tech|
|14||Graham, Joey||GF||6-7||230||6/11/82||3||Oklahoma State|
|21||Jawai, Nathan||FC||6-10||285||10/10/86||R||Midland College|
|33||Moon, Jamario||SF||6-8||200||6/13/80||1||Meridian (MS) CC|
– Player injured
One is $12.7 million over the Salary Cap; the other is $1.1 million under the Cap.
One has an average age of 24.7; the other an average age of 26.6.
One has 2 No. 1 [overall] NBA Draft Picks on it; the other has 1.
Both are led by first-time, interim head coaches.
Objectively speaking, when you’re hard-pressed to distinguish between the authentic talent levels of two teams in the NBA with respective W-L records as far apart as these … i.e. Toronto is 10-15, .400; Oklahoma is 2-24, .077 … it does not portend well for the squad with the higher win percentage, if it’s also playing away from home.
As the first game in a 6-stop Western road trip, this is now a crucial get for the Raptors.
* Win tonight … and the up-coming match-ups against the Clippers, Kings and the Warriors will not look nearly so daunting.
* Lose tonight … and the Dinos will be staring straight into the abyss of a calamitous 10-game losing streak:
Sun Dec 14 vs New Orleans/15-7, .682 – LOSS
Mon Dec 15 vs New Jersey/12-12, .500 – LOSS
Wed Dec 17 vs Dallas/14-10, .583 – LOSS
Fr Dec 19 at Oklahoma City/2-24, 0.77 – ?
Sat Dec 20 at San Antonio/15-10, .600 – ? [L]
Mon Dec 22 at LA Clippers/7-18, .280 – ?
Fri Dec 26 at Sacramento/7-19, .269 – ?
Sat Dec 27 at Portland/17-10, .630 – ? [L]
Mon Dec 29 at Golden State/7-19, .269 – ?
Wed Dec 31 vs Denver/17-8, .680 – ? [L]
from which they might not be able recover this season.
On the road, in the NBA, is where a team – especially one that’s struggling – finds out exactly what it’s made of … and, whether it should either:
A. Sit tight, [and] take hold
B. Trade in these wings on some wheels.
Come Jan 01 2009, the Raptors will have their answer.
“The door’s open but the ride it ain’t free.”
– Thunder Road [Bruce Springstein]
Tags: Andrea Bargnani, Anthony Parker, Bruce Springsteen, Bryan Colangelo, Chris Bosh, Chris Wilcox, Damien Wilkens, Desmond Mason, DJ White, Earl Watson, Hassan Adams, Jake Voskuhl, Jamario Moon, Jason Kapono, Jeff Green, Jermaine O'Neal, Joe Smith, Joey Graham, Johan Petro, Jose Calderon, Kevin Durant, Kris Humphries, Kyle Weaver, Michael Westbrook, Mo Sene, Nathan Jawai, Nick Collison, Robert Swift, Roko Ukic, Steven Hill, Thunder Road, Will Solomon