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The Week Ahead: December 5 - 11

After what can only be described as a highly successful week for the Raps the schedule makers have decided to cut them some slack with only three upcoming games, the lone home game against the LA Kobes......errr, Lakers. Can the Raps keep the confidence up? Is a 3-0 week completely un-thinkable or are we destined for some failure? Well here's some thoughts....

Tuesday December 6, at Washington on the SCORE

Is there a hotter player outside of AI then Gil? Arenas has been an absolute star early on this season and is making the loss of Hughes a lot easier. That being said this team has a below .500 record. One of their wins however came at the hands of the Raps in the season opener this year when no-one could contain Jamison. I am sure Joey G remembers the match-up because that was rookie initiation week for him. Can we expect a better defensive performance now? Unfortunately Jamison is a whole lot tougher than VC so it will take more than a shoulder to throw Jamison off. The Arenas vs. Calderon/James match-up could be detrimental. Gil has arguably the best first step in the league.

If we all recall it was lack of an inside presence and poor shot selection in the fourth Q that did the Raps in that game. After watching the past two victories neither of these things has been a problem....can it continue? Here' hoping Haywood gets into some foul trouble. Oh and speaking of this home opener it feels like eons ago when that opening song and dance was anywhere near good or funny. Nice to see the Raps on the road, even having to see Loren Woods in the opening intros is too much Loren Woods.

Wednesday December 7 vs. Lakers on SPORTSNET

The only home match-up of the week. The second game in another back-to-back. Think we could convince Hoffa he is on the road? Is there a player in the NBA that should be despised more than Kobe? You would have to hate being a Lakers fan right now. This team is weak and someone please force the Lakers to trade Odom, he could be such a better player in another system. Phil Jackson should have stayed retired as his legacy is going to bruise like a peach now that he actually has to coach. I think a strong argument could be made that Anna Nicole Smith could have coached the Jordan led Bulls and Shaq led Lakers to championships and she probably can't even spell the word. Jackson is overrated.

Oh and just a quick thought on Kwame Brown....he should thank his agent. The Lakers got hoodwinked in signing him to that deal. He reminds me of Ryan Leaf...hopefully he disappears just as quickly.

Raps should win this game. Again I pity Joey G. likely having to guard Kobe. This would be a great opportunity to activate Eric Williams! The thought of Jalen guarding Kobe is not pleasant. Kobe' star has fallen from grace and he is simply lucky he only has to deal with "guards" on the court. Kobe signifies everything that is wrong with the NBA. Look for the Raps to abuse the Lakers in the post but you have to wonder if we have an answer for Odom.....oh wait we have version 2.0 in Smooth.

Did I mention Kobe or "mamba" is vermin? Sure hope he enjoys those rings that Shaq won.

Saturday December 10 at Charlotte on SPORTSNET

Lucky for Raps fans, this week does not feature a game on TSN so we don't have to listen to Rod Black or Brian Heaney. Unfortunately for the Raps, this is not last years Charlotte team. A couple of RapsHQ members watched the Bobcats play the Warriors this weekend and they are a fun team to watch and are a tough team in the paint. Okafor, May and Primoz makes for a young and talented front-court and Gerald Wallace is currently playing for the off-season and the large pay cheque awaiting for him.

This could be a great game to watch and I expect a track meet. It will also be the first opportunity for us to thank Babcock for not drafting Raymond Felton. The Raps will have a few days off before this one and they will need to come out of the gates quickly. The Bobcats do not back down from anyone and always play hard. Could be a great game to watch. Charlotte will likely be missing their sharp shooter and former Raps first rounder Kareem Rush and the 'cats are not that deep so Mitchell needs to take advantage of that fact.

Another winnable game.

Prediction: After correctly predicting last week am I expecting to much if I go with 2-1? That would mean we would have won 4 of the last 5 upon this weeks conclusion....probably, 1-2.