After spending almost all of last week in New York with limited internet access, I come to Toronto and see a few big headlines from Raptorland that I missed.
For one, Kyle Lowry DIDN'T MAKE THE ALL-STAR TEAM AND JOE JOHNSON DID??
I'll have to read Zach's piece on the site and do some digging but sounds like the coaches took a bigger name player over Kyle, and weren't ready to deal with the fact that Toronto could have potentially had two All-Stars this season.
Also...it sounds like I missed the greatest dunk since Vince Carter roamed the halls of the ACC. Wow Terrence Ross, just...wow.
And outside of these speaking points, it looks like the Dinos continue to roll beating Orlando and Denver, and losing a tough match to Portland. The club is three games over .500, only a half game back of Atlanta for third in the East and recorded 11 wins in January, tying a franchise record.
So things are looking pretty good heading into tonight's game against the Utah Jazz. The Raptors may won only once in Utah in their past seven visits, but this isn't exactly the usual Utah Jazz club that Toronto has to face. The Jazz have played better of late but still have only 16 wins on the season, and rank near the bottom in most offensive and defensive categories.
In fact, the Jazz rank dead last in defensive efficiency and with the Raptors sitting just outside of the league's top 10, this might be akin to last night's Superbowl romp by the Seattle Seahawks. The Jazz have the league's third-worst average point differential so again, this should be another Toronto win.
The one area of concern for Toronto tonight though should be getting off to a good start. The Raps got off to a rough start in Portland on Saturday night getting outscored 31 to 19 in the first quarter, and might be a tad bit road weary this evening. The Jazz have some athletic youngsters who can take advantage of any early-game malaise by the Dinos so the club can't fall asleep early. With all the goodwill around the team of late, the last thing Dwane Casey and crew want in the middle of a road trip is to lose a very winnable game like tonight's.