Well, here we are again. Another possibility for a shitty effort that still could possibly lead to a win because Toronto isn't nearly the opponent Philly is (and will remain).
The bottom line is I expect the Raptors and Kings to make runs, play little defense, and in the end if the Raptors execute they might win the game because it's at home. I'll be shocked if this is a competent game of NBA basketball from the Kings end. You can make this a double if it's Tyreke Evans leading the charge.
On the other hand, this is a great game for Jimmer Fredette and John Salmons to get on track. Let's hope they do as both have not been their real selves that we should and can expect on a consistent basis. Salmons has been unfairly blamed for things beyond his control (he actually plays hard consistently) and Fredette is struggling with things all rookies struggle with on a team with no star players or real leadership emanating from the star wannabes. This lack of star power night in night out is making players like Salmons and Fredette glaring weaknesses more obvious. Thrown in the crappalicious swirl of a dysfunctional lockout and franchise and there you are with the Jimmer.
Stars make the game easier for their teammates; Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins routinely expose their teammates flaws.
Toronto's ORtg is 98.6 (25th of 30) and DRtg is 104.0 (19th of 30). Toronto's typical pace is 88.7 (26th of 30). Sacramento's ORtg is 98.8 (23rd of 30) and DRtg is 109.9 (29th of 30). Typical pace comes in at 94.0 (4th of 30).
Raptors HQ typically does a linking session during the middle of the workday. I find it worth checking.
Is Ed Davis the right pick for the Raptors (at the 13th pick) in the 2010 draft?
Would you believe Andrea Bargnani is worth believing in?
The dynamics of a transitioning team. (Something Kings fans should be exceptionally familiar with.)
A game preview in the Toronto Sun I find amusing.
Eric Koreen of the National Post (Canada) talks about the state of the Raptors.
Doug Smith of the Toronto Star talks about DeMar DeRozan.
Stathead final thoughts
Since 1985-86, the Kings first year in Sacramento, there have been no rookies with a TS% higher than 57% for a single season. Only 9 rookies have even produced a 54 TS% or higher (including Jason Thompson and Jon Brockman). There have been 54 rookies who have received at least 100 minutes of playing time in at least 5 games. Justin Williams and Jon Brockman are 1-2 on this list. It should tell you that sometimes rookies do not make adjustments as quickly as you would hope.
Speaking of rookies, Jimmer Fredette has a 45.2 TS% and Isaiah Thomas has a 46.5 TS% for the season. I'd be pretty surprised if Jimmer didn't finish with at least a 54 TS% (he has yet to get any run of confidence) and Thomas' shots will get easier if this team would ever actually run an offense (and I mean Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins; not the coaches wanting an actual offense run) within a reasonable schematic.
But, as long as Jimmer's weaknesses keep being emphasized (which is what happens when you play with Tyreke Evans in particular), then you're going to look bad. Jimmer's own weaknesses are not all on Tyreke after all; Jimmer has gone off his feet too often and the game looks too fast for Jimmer too.
My hope is that tonight Jimmer gets a glimmer of hope and we see the Jimmer we were all hoping could emerge when the Kings drafted him with the 10th pick.
The game starts at 4pm PST. The game may or may not be on an outlet you are capable of receiving at one time or another while the universe orbits. I'll be on Twitter openly wondering if it's illegal to shoot grenades from a 1000 miles away at Tyreke Evans for being him. (I'm guessing no, but it's good to have a dream yes?)
I think that pretty much covers it.