MJ's team is in town to take on the Toronto Raptors. The Bobcats have tanking to an art form this year and it may just be enough for the Raptors to show up to beat the Bobcats. Kinnon Yee breaks down tonight's matchup.
It's a question that hasn't been an issue for a while, but I think it's a question that Bryan Colangelo should be asking himself going into this draft. After all, with two second rounders, could the Raptors ostensibly trade away an asset and a pick to move up in the draft?
If you ask me, Sonny Weems in the man I would rather have back in a Raptors uniform, especially with Dwane Casey as a coach.
There's a case to be made for DeRozan in that he's still developing and he has the higher potential. Nevertheless, Weems to me has always been the more exciting player and perhaps the more well rounded player. I know in his last season with the Raptors, he didn't do much and settled for jumpers. But I largely blame that as a product of the system he was playing in. A lot of his aggression was missing, and under Triano, he hardly got consistent minutes.
With Dwane Casey at the helm, I believe we'd see a very different Weems. We'd hopefully see a return to his 2009-2010 form and he'd be a good defensive upgrade at the SG position over DeRozan.
To me, Sonny Weems at least had this edge about him, and by European accounts, he's been solid, if unspectacular. Unlike DeRozan, he's at least has shown some ability to focus in on a player defensively, or go off for a bunch of dunks, or draw fouls.
Just think of the marketing possibilities.
Then again, it may just be time for the Raptors to go ahead and move past these two wing players. In a draft full of talented SGs and SFs, there just might not be anymore room for either player in the upcoming year. It may be time to get some new blood in arguably the Raptors' relatively two weakest positions.
Now as bad as the Raptors have been, they've never been the worst in the league.
I know that's not saying much, but if you're a Charlotte fan, it must be painful.
It's been so many years since Mourning, Curry, and Bogues were all the floor, and there doesn't seem to be any relief in sight. You've got Michael Jordan as your owner but no real young prospect to energize your team.
And when your team can't even make 10 wins in a year full of upset games, there's not a lot to hang your hat on.
So tonight should be one of the easiest nights for the Raptors in this shortened season. (In fact
Except for one thing. Two of the seven wins that the Bobcats have had this year, have come at the Raptors' expense. In fact, the Raptors have yet to win a single game against the Bobcats this year. So even if it's only a matter of pride, I expect the Raptors to come out with full effort against the Bobcats tonight, and if they hope to win, here's what they'll need to do:
1) Experience vs Youth - Paul Silas is fully intending to bring out his young players for the rest of the season to give them experience and to show what they can do. So in tonight's lineup, we should be seeing guys like Kemba Walker, Reggie Williams, and Gerald Henderson in the lineup. For the Raptors, this means that their more experienced young players need to play smart and show their basketball IQ tonight. Guys like Gary Forbes, Ed Davis, and James Johnson need to play smart and need to play with energy if the Raptors want to come out with a victory.
2) Challenging Shots - In both loses, the Raptors allowed the Bobcats to shoot over 50% from the field. While in the first game, the Bobcast were simply more efficient from both the free throw line and the arc, in the second loss, the Raptors still couldn't put a lid on the overall shooting percentage of the Bobcats. They allowed players like D.J. Augustin and Corey Maggette to run wild on them.
With Silas playing his younger players, and neither D.J. Augustin or Corey Maggette being at 100%, the Raptors should have a much easier time defending against the Bobcats, unless the effort is missing. The Raptors simply need to show the intensity that Dwane Casey has been preaching all season if they hope to get this win.
3) Stars playing like stars - Both Andrea Bargnani and DeMar DeRozan have not played very consistently since Bargnani's return. Sometimes one star will have a good night, while the other takes the night off. Sometimes both starts will have bad nights like in Sunday's win against Washington. There hasn't really been many examples where both players have clicked together this season and while it's not that important that the Raptors make a decision between DeRozan and Weems, it is pretty important that the Raptors know if both Andrea Bargnani and DeMar DeRozan can play with each other on a long term basis.
Otherwise, if neither player can play to their full potential when playing with one another, Bryan Colangelo must look at moving one of them. And I think we can all guess which one he would choose.
And the Bobcats aren't the only team the Raps need to be concerned with this week. Here's Franchise and Sasha breaking down this week's matches in another episode of RaptorsHQ TV: