The Toronto Raptors returned from Atlanta, winners of four straight games and will attempt to make it five in a row by beating their Atlantic Division rivals, the Boston Celtics, later tonight.
Adam ran a poll earlier today and it will be intriguing to see which version of the Toronto Raptors shows up tonight. In fact, giving the 2012-13 edition of this team a single identity is quite difficult.
There’s the now infamous 4-19 start that saw the team lose a slew of close games. There were a couple of instances where questionable refereeing cost the team opportunities and points at the end of games.
The Raptors went on a run afterwards and talk of an improbable playoff push began to dominate the headlines of this and many other Raptor-related websites. The second identity revolved around the solid play of Jose Calderon and emergence of Ed Davis.
The third and current edition is the team that has existed since the acquisition of Rudy Gay. They’ve managed to blow hot and cold and their current winning streak seems to have happened too late in the season.
The Boston Celtics have gone 3-0 against the Dinos so far this season and are locked into the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. Doc Rivers is likely to rest many of his veteran players for this game and Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett in particular have been dealing with nagging issues in the last month.
DeMar DeRozan has been on a tear lately and will look to keep that momentum going in the final regular season game. He had his second-straight game with 30+ points against the Hawks but has had his struggles against the Celtics in the past.
This is going to be the last regular season basketball game played in Toronto for a long time. Instead of worrying about the state of the team, the future of Dwane Casey, Bryan Colangelo's contract situation, the lack of cap flexibility or the team's draft pick situation, I urge everyone to simply sit back and enjoy the basketball. The dog days of summer will soon be upon us and there will be plenty of time for endless debates about ways to 'improve' the Raptors and what they 'should do' going forward.
There's a basketball game tonight. Let's savor it.