So the Raptors haven't won a lot of games lately.
In fact, they've won only two of their last 10.
But tonight is different right? Tonight, the Charlotte Bobcats are in town and hey, Toronto HAS to be able to beat them no?
To get the lowdown on the competition and the Dino's chances this evening, we turn to Ben Swanson, of SB Nation's Charlotte Bobcats' blog, Rufus on Fire, for our weekly instalment of "Blogging with the Enemy."
1. RaptorsHQ: The Bobcats currently have the league's worst record with a measly three wins in 29 attempts. Obviously there has been a slew of injuries that the club has had to deal with, but give us your take on Charlotte's struggles, and the reasons for them beyond team health.
Rufus On Fire: The Bobcats main weakness, aside from injury, is simply a lack of talent. This is especially evident in the frontcourt. Sure, Byron Mullens has looked like a decent NBA player based on statlines, but he's really not very good. The lack of frontcourt talent is evident on a game-by-game basis as the Bobcats get thrashed in the paint early and often. The team also lacks a true dominant night-in, night-out scoring threat. Corey Maggette somewhat fills this role, but it's not a long-term option. At times they also look disinterested and lazy, but as their main players return, they've looked more focused.2. RHQ: There was some hope for team improvement attached to the drafting of players like Kemba Walker and Bismack Biyombo last year. How would you assess their performance so far this year and do you see them being integral pieces for this franchise going forward?
R.O.F: Inconsistent. Kemba's been up and down, but lately seems to be improving bit by bit. He's shown some prowess as a passer, but often focusing on scoring. This may be because with so many injuries, he was pretty much the only scoring threat on the team. Regardless, he put up a ton of shots and has not often been a great distributor, but he is progressing. Biyombo's more recently moved into a starting role, finally. Bobcats fans were boggled by DeSagana Diop's getting more playing time than Biyombo. Now he gets more consistent playing time. His post defense is still in development and he bites on a bunch of fakes, but his help defense is impressive. That said, he does not take off on any play and has a seemingly unquenchable thirst for continuing to learn all aspects of the game. I would stop short of calling them integral pieces because given a better opportunity, the Bobcats might take it. No one is really safe, but signs (not offering Augustin an extension) would indicate Kemba and Biyombo are in the team's long-term plans.3. RHQ: On to tonight's match-up. What are the keys for the Bobcats in terms of getting a W over the Raps?R.O.F: Augustin/Walker (whoever starts.) The starting lineup changes so often, I can't predict it) and Biyombo, probably. Sure, the Bobcats will need Corey Maggette and Reggie Williams to score, but Augustin/Walker needs to facilitate the offense and shoot consistently, but more importantly, he can't be a doormat for Calderon. That's where Biyombo comes in. Biyombo's help defense needs to be in tip-top shape to help defend the rim from Calderon's penetration ability. DeMar DeRozan's quickness can also beat Reggie Williams, which puts more pressure on Biyombo to be a defensive threat in the paint.