The Sixers come into the second night of their second back-to-back with sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Division. I'm not sure the last time this has happened (even for one game) but I'd guess it's been at least five years. Thus, mild and tempered congratulations are in order for starting the season with 5 road games and not getting themselves into a hole. Golf clap, everyone.
|Jodie Meeks||SG||Demar DeRozan
Tonight, Ed Stefanski's Raptors venture south of the border to meet the Sixers for a Saturday evening affair at the Wells Fargo Center. Toronto is coming off a loss at home against the Nets in which Anthony Morrow ripped them a new twoney from beyond the arc. The Raptors sit a game behind the Celtics for third in the Atlantic, but they confuse me for a number of reasons. View them after the jump and stick around for the game thread soon.
- Why does Ed Davis not get more minutes? Amir Johnson is still technically young, but he's been in the league for 37 years so it's not like he's heavy on the upside like Mr. Ed. Seems like a very similar situation with Meeks starting over Evan Turner.
- Why isn't Jerryd Bayless a better player? He may be the fastest player I've ever seen on a court but he's got no jumper, doesn't play defense, and hasn't actually become a point guard. I'm rooting for him to figure it out eventually.
- I was so wrong about DeRozan. When he left USC after a year, I was extremely low on him, but he's worked himself into a player. There's still a ton of room for development, but I thought he was Gerald Green and thankfully, he's not. The Raptors have a stud on their hands.
- Andrea Bargnani. Simultaneously the best and worst basketball player of his generation.
- With a lineup of Bayless, DeRozan, James Johnson, Bargnani, and Davis, the Raptors have a high upside youth movement on their hands that, with a top 5 draft pick this year, would be looking mighty good in 2-3 years. Unfortunately, they'll keep starting Rasual Butler and Jose Calderon because obviously 25 wins is better than 20. It makes basketball sense, after all.
The Sixers should be able to capitalize on the Raptors' badness and dominate this game end to end. I'm excited to see Iguodala on DeRozan and how Jrue exploits Calderon's defensive inefficiencies. Looking for ET to run the offense and for the love of God, will Spencer Hawes ever go cold? Stick it here and check out Raptors HQ for all things Canadian.
Also, happy 3rd birthday to my nephew and future shooting guard, Austin. Celebrating in Phoenix with Toddler Patron.