We gave you our thoughts on which team we'd rather be earlier today, the Jazz or Raps, but what did the opposing team's blogger think?
Check after the jump for SB Nation's Utah Jazz Blog, SLC Dunk's take on the situation...
I appreciate having the opportunity to do this, particularly because I think I'm in a unique position to not only be accurate about this as a Jazz fan, but also as a huge supporter of the Raptors. Yes, I am a Jazz fan; however, I'm not initially dismissive about the Raps like some other NBA fans are. After all, I'm a proud Canadian Citizen who used to go to Raptors games back when I was doing high school and undergrad in Ontario; and still goes to Raptors home games after immigrating to the USA. (And chips on the table, I'm also an allophone Newfie displaced in Detroit right now, I've had an interesting life, I guess that's the main bullet point here.) Yes, Toronto doesn't have a rich history of success; but it's the present that counts. And right now, clearly, I'd rather be the Jazz.
Current success: Utah made the playoffs in the Western Conference, and while they got obliterated by the San Antonio Spurs; they still made the playoffs in the Western Conference. The Last time the Raptors made the playoffs Smitch was the head coach and Rasho Nesterovic was making $7.8 million dollars, and averaging 7.8 points per game. That was a long time ago. Advantage Jazz here.
Cap Space: The Raptors aren't paying anyone crazy money next year (Jose and Andrea both make about $10M, point of reference next season Al Jefferson is making $15M by himself), and have a metric tonne of salary cap space. Aaron Gray and Jerryd Bayless aren't going to break the bank. As a point of comparison the Jazz cap situation for next season looks much worse. That said, two years from now the Jazz cap situation becomes fantastic (only $16m on the books). I'd call the cap situation even here.
Experience vs. Potential: Both teams have a good mix of youth and guys in their physical peaks. The Jazz have less ancient people, which is good and bad. The sky is the limit for a number of Jazz players, however I don't really expect all of them to reach their full potentials. For the Raps I think that some of their guys may fall into the same situation (DeMar, Ed, and Jerryd in particular). I'd rather have Calderon instead of Harris. And Bargnani is always super interesting as a player. The Jazz look to be severing ties with Raja Bell, and the jury is still out on Josh Howard/Jamaal Tinsley. I'd say the Raptors have better veterans, while the Jazz have better future potential. So this is a wash here.
Market: There's no comparison between Toronto (or, to be fair, the GTA) and Salt Lake City, except that both markets have been very good to European players. They seem to love living in those markets. American players? Not so much. The Raptors are far from the only game in town, but when it comes to Canadian basketball they are. The Jazz ARE the only game in town for people in SLC (let's be honest here Utah people, minor league baseball, major league American soccer, and college sports don't measure up). The Jazz are on American TV a lot more (TNT, ESPN, NBA TV), partly because of their time zone. The Raptors have their own 24 hour TV station (which I get here in Detroit, don't tell my cable company). Yes RaptorsTV is no more (now NBA TV Canada), and as much as I love Norma Jean Wick (and I do), I gotta give the Jazz the edge here.
Coach: About equal, and I'm not going to get into it.
Over-all Talent: Jazz win, despite how unbalanced their talent is (heavily skewed inside). I know you guys beat us in OT on our own court last year - but it was fluke! Linas can't possibly have a career game against the Jazz EVERY game he plays!
Outcome: I'd rather be the Jazz than the Raptors right now. Sorry this is so long. I did not want to just be automatically dismissive and I wanted to look at all the factors. This is actually a lot closer than some people would think - the Raptors aren't that far behind the Jazz. Or alternatively, honestly, the Jazz aren't that far ahead of the Raptors. Also, I cannot stress this enough, I am in love with Norma Jean Wick. She's been in like three different X-Files episodes. She knows the Yao Ming song. All the Jazz media people are dudes with brain damage. True story. Go Raptors. Go Jazz.