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The Weekly Rap, March 13th-19th: The Late Season Push

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We’re nearing the end of the regular season and everyone is getting tired.

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Miami Heat Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, is this thing on? Yes? OK, good.

Welcome to the Weekly Rap with your special guest host, me, Daniel Reynolds. As the figurative father figure of this website, I’m stepping in today to fill in for my son Mitch as he returns from the final of Canadian university men’s basketball. Sadly, our Ryerson Rams fell to the Carleton Ravens, to which all I can say: haven’t you won enough?

Second place in Canada, but, of course, number one in our hearts.

Meanwhile, back in the pro game, the Raptors have four games this week, three of which are at home. They need some good news so let’s make some predictions here.

March 13 vs. DAL

First off, I don’t think we fully appreciate Dirk.

As the Mavericks have risen, and fallen, and risen, and fallen again, Nowitzki just keeps working his unbelievable magic, taking his one-legged fadeaway, and showing off a keen sense of humour. Some people like their champions to be psycho killers, or quiet pros, I enjoy the Dirk variety the most. All that being said, the Raps gotta bury these guys. I give them a fired up 10 point win.

March 16 vs. OKC

Serge Ibaka Revenge Game? I mean, sure, Ibaka dropped a 31 point, 9 rebound, 4 block performance way back in mid-November, but he could still be cheesed about getting traded? Someone is going to have to match the intensity of Russell Westbrook as he continues to lay waste to any sense of NBA decorum; why not Serge? As an aside, this pro-Westbrook MVP column from Albert Burneko of Deadspin remains the very best. Raps lose this one by 5 after Westbrook grabs another triple-double and scores against Cory Joseph, Norman Powell and Delon Wright.

March 17 @ DET

Boy, I really wanted to dismiss this Detroit game and forget this dumb team was even still in the league. The game the Raps gave up to the Pistons still hurts my soul. I don’t have a joke here (or anywhere really; sorry, Mitch). The Pistons are somehow at .500 and in seventh place, and in truth, they’re still low on the teams I hate list. (The Wizards are currently no. 1, with the Celtics close behind, and the Bulls in there at 3.) But I desire their destruction. Raps win by 12. Wishful thinking perhaps? I don’t care.

March 19 vs. IND

Now here’s a team I had forgotten was in the NBA. It feels like it’s been approximately eight years since these two teams played each other — and after such a fresh rivalry was developing! Paul George still induces terror in my heart, even if the rest of this ramshackle team is not much to sweat. Huge double prediction here: big game from Jonas Valanciunas, but a Raps loss by 7. I hated typing that sentence.

So there you have it. A 2-2 week for a 40 degree Raptors team. I don’t love it, guys. What’s your prediction for the next seven days?