Key early season games for the Raptors: Part II

On Oct 03, this corner of the blogosphere identified for you two key stretches of games this season for the Toronto Raptors:

1. The first 6 on the schedule;
2. The set of 15 from Nov 30 to Dec 27; and,

said the very real possibility exists that this team, with its roster as is, might in serious jeopardy of missing the playoffs entirely, despite the fact others [i.e. NBA observers and the team’s general fanbase] were considering it to be a “legit contender” for a spot in the Eastern Conference Finals this spring … based, primarily, on their off-season acquisition of a former 6-time League All-Star, Jermaine O’Neal [C].

In addition, a variety of different W-L scenarios were developed that explained just how this possibility might come to fruition this season for the Raptors, a team most NBA observers had put into the up-and-coming category, based on their Atlantic Division Title, 2 seasons ago, and their 2nd consecutive appearance in the EC Playoffs last year.

Key early season games for the Raptors

Should the Raptors happen to lose this evening, to the Cavaliers, in Cleveland, a likely scenario … considering they are +11.5 point underdogs … this would then give the Dinos a rather inauspicious 8-12 [.400] W-L record at the 20-game mark of the regular season schedule [i.e. approximately at the 1/4 pole of the NBA’s Playoff Race].

While the Raptors were able to get out to a quick start, winning their first 3 match-ups, they eventually finished that initial stretch of key games with a 4-2 mark. 

October Opponent Result
 Wed 29 [#1]   @ Philadelphia   W 95-84, 1-0
 Fri 31 [#2]  vs Golden State   W 112-108, 2-0
November Opponent Result
 Sat 01 [#3]  @ Milwaukee   W 91-87, 3-0
 Wed 05 [#4]  vs Detroit *   L 93-100, 3-1
 Fri 07 [#5]  @ Atlanta *   L 92-110, 3-2
 Sun 09 [#6]  @ Charlotte   W 89-79, 4-2
 Mon 10  @ Boston *   L 87-94, 4-3
 Wed 12  vs Philadelphia   L 96-106, 4-4
 Sun 16  vs Miami   W 107-96, 5-4
 Tue 18  @ Orlando *   L 90-103, 5-5
 Wed 19  @ Miami   W 101-95, 6-5
 Fri 21  vs New Jersey *   L 127-129, 6-6
 Sun 23  vs Boston *   L 103-118, 6-7
 Wed 26  vs Charlotte   W 93-86, 7-7
 Fri 28  vs Atlanta *   W 93-88, 8-7

—————————–
* Indicates game against a plus .500 Opponent
—————————–

That said …

it’s the 2nd stretch of key games … several of which fit into the winnable category [i.e. against less-than-stellar opponents] … that might prove to be the Raptors undoing this season:

November Opponent Result
 Sun 30 [#1]  @ LA Lakers *   L 99-112, 8-8
December Opponent Result
 Tue 02 [#2]  @ Denver *   L 93-132, 8-9
 Fri 05 [#3]  @ Utah *   L 87-114, 8-10
 Sun 07 [#4]  vs Portland *   L 97-98, 8-11
 Tue 09 [#5]   @ Cleveland *   ? [L-?]
 Wed 10 [#6]  vs Indiana   ?
 Fri 12 [#7]  @ New Jersey *   ? [L-?]
 Sun 14 [#8]  vs New Orleans *   ?
 Mon 15 [#9]  vs New Jersey *   ?
 Wed 17 [#10]  vs Dallas *   ?
 Fri 19 [#11]  @ Oklahoma City   ?
 Sat 20 [#12]  @ San Antonio *   ? [L-?]
 Mon 22 [#13]  @ LA Clippers   ?
 Fri 26 [#14]  @ Sacramento   ?
 Sat 27 [#15]  @ Portland *   ? [L-?]

Survive this 2nd set of 15 games … under the direction of their new head coach, Jay Triano … for example, with a humble 6-9 W-L record … and the 2008-2009 season remains salvagable for Toronto.

Fail to capitalize on the winnable games in this set, though, and the Raptors might just be better off … from a long term development standpoint … focusing their efforts [under Bryan Colangelo, President/GM] on, How exactly to get into the NBA’s Draft Lottery Again, without really trying to, as they did during the 2005-2006 season, under the direction of their vilified former GM, Rob Babcock.

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2 Responses to “Key early season games for the Raptors: Part II”

  1. The AltRaps Blog » Toronto Raptors Linkage for December 9th from 15:59 to 16:03 Says:

    […] Key early season games for the Raptors: Part II – […]

  2. Oh, Thunder Road « Khandor’s Sports Blog Says:

    […] Key early season games for the Raptors Key early season games for the Raptors: Part II […]

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