Remember in the Lord of the Rings movie, "The Two Towers," when the Orcs and bad guys were crushing the good guys in that massive battle at Helm's Deep?
And even though the odds were against them, the good guys kept fighting, and rode out to meet the onslaught of Orcs, which bought them enough time until Gandalf and his posse showed up?
I had to laugh last night when I stumbled upon this movie while flipping through the channels, and this exact part in fact, especially after last night's predictable loss to the Washington Wizards. This scene was essentially the exact opposite of what the Toronto Raptors have done of late.
The club has been in a free-fall, having won just four times in their last 17 games, and many of these losses have been of the "let's just get this season over variety," as the club again plays out the final slate of matches in a playoff-less campaign.
And really, that's all there is to say here right?
The team is mere percentage points out of a three-way tie for the eighth-worst record in the league, but eighth-worst, barring some help from David Stern, isn't going to allow this team to keep its lottery pick. And while I understand the logic used by those who would rather see the team lose its pick this year, this still isn't an ideal ending. The club's free-fall is a classic Raptors' tale in fact, one where the team isn't bad enough to likely retain its lottery selection, and not good enough to prevent Oklahoma City from adding another solid piece to their already formidable entourage.
At least if the club went on a bit of a streak like they did with Shawn Marion a few years back, perhaps the argument could be made that:
"hey, look at this club go! With a full training camp next season, look out!"
Instead, the team is losing now on a nightly basis to the likes of Charlotte and Washington, with little to show for next year.
(The "little" being the play of Jonas Valanciunas, the one player along with Amir Johnson who appears to be looking to "ride out to face the Orcs" so to speak.)
So as fans, we're left with a collection of pieces that don't look to fit too well, rookies that still have a ways to go, and a team that looks lost both offensively and defensively. And this is all without everyone's favourite scapegoat, Andrea Bargnani.
It's a tough thing to watch and after last year's season, almost a nightmare. This team was supposed to be markedly better, but instead, in many ways, it actually looks worse.
And there are still nine games left counting tonight's affair!
Therefore I'm not going to get into three keys for a win, or even a loss. Suffice to say, I think we're all just looking forward to this season being over, speeding up hopefully what will be a whirlwind of changes come season's end. I'm not sure if these changes will impact the current roster, coaches or management, but something needs to give.
And therefore tonight's game unfortunately feels more like a frustrating delay, then an actual opportunity for analysis and enjoyment.