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RaptorsHQ Lunchbox Links for February 28, 2012

We kick off today's links with one last look at All-Star Weekend, courtesy of the TBJ crew. A great job by the 'Joneseseses, but they did miss out on one pivotal moment apparently...

...a pick-up game with rapper, Jadakiss!

Turning to the second half of the NBA season that gets underway tonight, SB Nation previews the Eastern Conference playoff race, where three battlegrounds have emerged.

For the Toronto Raptors, Eric Koreen of the National Post looks at the main stories to focus on for the second half, while's Jay Satur previews tonight's match against the Rockets, which resumes Toronto's quest for...ah...a top draft pick.

Unfortunately that pick may not be Kentucky forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who threw local media for a loop after KY's win over Vandy, by declaring his intent to return to school next year.

Of course we've heard kids say this time and time again, only to declare, so you take statements like this with a grain of salt. But that being said, lately more freshman phenoms have opted for a second year (see the bulk of the top players from last year's freshman class) so who knows.

Regardless, NCAA Championship week is coming up, and for a full primer on the games and players, check out SB Nation's post on the topic here.

And finally, on a positive note, former D1 stud and one-time Raptor, Julien Wright is back on the basketball map. Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears tweeted yesterday that Wright is joining the Austin Toros of the NBA's Developmental League. Wright obviously has a tough road back into the league, but I'm really hoping he makes it. Wright was one of the nicest Raptors that I have ever spoken to, always willing to accommodate interviews and the like, even waiting around after most players had vacated the locker room, to give his take on the team's play.

Good luck Mr. Wright from all of us here at the HQ.