RaptorsHQ Lunchbox Links - Tanking, Final Four Talk, and oh...More Tanking Talk


A later session of Lunchbox Links today as the Toronto Raptors prepare to take on the Miami Heat tonight. Here's a look at the match via SB Nation's Heat blog, "The Peninsula is Mightier," and from the Raps' side via the National Post.

LeBron James of course will be a key player for the Raps defensively tonight, so let's hope he doesn't have his Method Man/Jay-Z/DMX playlist going. Or it could be a long night for the Dinos.

Which of course, would be fine for us tanking enthusiasts. There's been a lot of tanking talk going on of late, so much that ESPN.com's TrueHoop, has dedicated an entire series of posts to the topic. If you've got some time, it's worth perusing the options that have been posted so far, many of which are quite creative in terms of how they would solve this yearly issue.

Of course part of the reason tanking has become such a hot topic is because of the success the Oklahoma City Thunder have had using this tactic, while they were still known as the Seattle Sonics. But as TrueHoop also cautions, this is not an easy model to adhere to for most franchises; not only does it provide a painful fan experience, but it also still requires a lot of luck.

Without it, you can draft all you want but you could be stuck on an endless treadmill of mediocrity, although that's something that the Wages of Wins argues is in the end, better as a long-term solution for a franchise.

One way or another, an NBA team's future success is going to hinge on the draft to some extent, and that's why this weekend's Final Four has piqued a lot of interest. Some of the top prospects and their respective teams have indeed already been eliminated, but some of the very top tier are all alive and well. To that end, Yahoo! Sports' Eric Freeman looks at potential NBAers from each of the tourney's four remaining clubs, while the Toronto Sun's Ryan Wolstat takes a closer look at the latest round of the epic Kentucky-Louisville rivalry, and Grantland's Mark Titus gives his Five Fearless Final Four Projections.

Finally, on a sad note, it looks like Sonny Weems' season is over after injuring his ankle recently. It's a tough blow for Weems who was having a great season overseas, even blowing away competition in a Euroleague dunk competition.

Get well soon Sonny. We're all hoping to see a dunk-off between you and the NCAA's recent dunk champ, James Justice, in the near future.

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