So guess what? My rec league team won its first round playoff game this afternoon. I won't be humble about it: I hit the long shot to put it into overtime. And we did just enough in those three minutes to hang on for a one point win. I mention this because you know who else is flying high right now? The Toronto Raptors.
We knew the first month of the season was going to be tough for the Raps. A heavy road schedule (12 games in total, and trips of four and five games), contests against solid teams in both conferences, and showdowns with names like Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Blake Griffin. There have been unfortunate losses - the Kings game still sticks in my craw - and the injury to Jonas Valanciunas is concerning. But, here we are with the Raptors at 11-6 and riding a four game win streak. Not bad.
Meanwhile, their opponent tonight, the Phoenix Suns, are in the midst of a four game losing streak - including two losses to the busted up New Orleans Pelicans. This is not a good look. Now the Suns are a deep team, they can run out a bunch of different looks (including one with former Raptor Sonny Weems!) and keep the game pace fast. Coach Jeff Hornacek also announced before the game that veteran centre Tyson Chandler will be out for today's game. This adds to the idea this Suns team will want to run and gun. At the same time, the Raptors are coming off an exhausting (I assume) game against the Wizards last night. I say this with not a small note of concern.
But forget all that. The good vibes are flying in Toronto - in rec leagues, in the NBA, on a sunny Sunday afternoon - so let's not thinking pessimistically.
Read up on Sean Woodley's game preview here. And then let's get settled into the comments and keep the good times going.