We haven't had an edition of LBL in a while, so we've got a number of interesting links to get through today. To start, a look ahead to tonight's match-up against the 76ers via Yahoo Sports, as well as a recap of Philly's win last night over the Nets from SB Nation's 76er blog, Liberty Ballers.
The Raps sit tied for fifth overall in terms of the NBA's worst-records, inches away from the fourth-worst Kings and sixth-worst Nets, so a loss tonight is a must. Paul Jones recently argued on Sportsnet.ca that "wins shouldn't be frowned upon" but I'm going to have to respectfully disagree. The most logical thing for Raptors' fans is to hope for losses at this point as more losses equal more shots at top talent. I get the whole "winning helps the culture" thing but is winning 23 versus 20 games REALLY going to sway free agents and give the culture a huge boost as Jones suggests?
Speaking of tanking and the NBA draft lottery, The Basketball Jones releases its first version of the 2012 draft lottery bandwagon rankings. The Raptors, they fail to make the top five.
However in Chad Ford's latest mock draft, version 3.0, the Raps do come in at numero cinco and Ford's mock should have fans smiling. There's no Anthony Davis or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist sitting there but he does have Florida guard Bradley Beal slotted at this spot and says:
Analysis: The Raptors already have DeMar Derozan in the backcourt, but I doubt they'd pass on the chance to land Beal. The Florida 2-guard has the ability to play point guard and would give Toronto a shooter with deep range -- an ability that DeRozan lacks.
That's not to be said that DeRozan won't make a huge leap next year. SB Nation looks at the curious case of Goran Dragic and how his recent emergence should teach us all lessons regarding player development.
But are we putting too much stake in the lottery? Wages of Wins discusses Why tanking doesn’t work in the NBA, and haven't the Charlotte Bobcats seemingly been tanking forever? Where Do the Charlotte Bobcats Go from Here? And how bad could the Nets trade for Gerald Wallace turn out to be?
In other Raptors' related news, The Toronto Sun's Ryan Wolstat presents a nice look at Alan Anderson, a recent D-League call-up, Sonny Weems Zalgiris Agree To Part Ways, and looks like Loren Woods is in trouble with the law. He was charged recently with drunken driving.
In other news and notes, Grantland.com looks at the NBA's worst tattoos (wait, where's Hoffa's shark?) and we'll cap this session off with the 2011/12 NCAA Dunk of the Year Tournament: Round 1, the best in NCAA crams this past season.