We'll kick this edition of LBL off with some further thoughts on last night's game, which saw the Raps lose to the Hawks here in Toronto. The Toronto Sun's Ryan Wolstat gives us his take, noting the importance of aggressive DeMar in his Points Per Game.
And from a Hawks' perspective, Peach Tree Hoops looks at last night's loss, calling out a key point that Dwane Casey may want to remember in the future:
Joe Johnson punishes teams that try to place a small guard on him. Toronto started a lineup that consisted of 6-foot-3 Jose Calderon, 6-foot-3 Jerryd Bayless and 6-foot-7 DeMar DeRozan. Even DeRozan at 6-foot-7 has a hard time with Johnson due to his strength and the Hawks looked to exploit that matchup early and often.
The loss though got "Tank Nation" feeling better about things once again. As the Score.com's Joseph Casciaro rightly points out, Toronto's current wins pace has the team headed for never-never land; just missing the playoffs in the East, and outside of a top five lottery chance slot. Something has to give although with Andrea Bargnani out for likely another week at least, and Toronto facing teams like Boston, Miami, and a surprising Milwaukee club in that span, perhaps lottery odds will be looking up this time next week.
Speaking of Bargs, a great piece courtesy of Sportsnet's Michael Grange on his development, and finally some potential insight on why said growth in his on-court game, is finally happening, five seasons in.
And while Wages of Wins gives Bargs' some dap, they also question just how impactful he's been in terms of Toronto's wins this season.
And along the same veins...Welcome to the Offical Online Presence of Charles Oakley. Yes, Mr. Oakley, whose friends Want You To Let Him Cook In Your House.
More links after the jump...
Let's wrap this one up with a few non-Raptor related notes.
First, from Sports Illustrated.com, a look at the atrocious shooting numbers so far in this lockout shortened season.
And finally, a dream link for hoop heads as Slam has redone their archives, publishing their complete archives of covers.
That draft class was ok wasn't it?