Arsenalist

The Toronto Raptors Blog with an Arsenal touch

Nervous leads

Posted by Arsenalist on March 29, 2007

It’s never comforting to see the Raptors lead early in a game, no matter how big the lead gets, I just can’t seem to be happy or content. Big early leads evaporate fast, eventually leading to heartbreak and mild depression so I’ve learned never to get too high during these times of bliss. So even when the Raps were up 20 on Miami in the second quarter last night, I was happy but composed, not daring to write-off Miami. Even when Antoine Walker scored a hoop to cut it to 18, I couldn’t help but mutter, “Oh, shit”. Such is the psyche of the Raptors fans.

Raptors won the game but I didn’t really care, they can finish 3rd, 4th or 5th and they’ll be competitive in any playoff matchup. It’s a breath of fresh air to see games at the end of the season not be so meaningless. Usually by this time, tanking is the general theme of the team and it’s nice for once not to calculate how many games we have to lose to get a chance at a top three pick.

Eddie Jones competing with Kobe back in the day for the Lakers #2 option was pretty ridiculous now that we look at the situation almost a decade later. EJ never really panned out and remained too much an outside threat rather than a guy who could create his own shot, his occasional slashing and intermittent athletic ability kept teams guessing for a while but eventually everybody realized that this guy can’t break you down. I like the guy, he should have stuck with LA and become Kobe’s sidekick, you know, kinda like Lamar Odom.

The atmosphere at the arena seemed electric – after Kris Humphries got two hard-earned offensive rebounds on one possession, the crowd really got behind him, it’s just too bad he ended up shooting an airball. The ACC crowd is the best when it comes to rewarding hard work and Humphries brings that every night. He’s JYD, only less erratic and more reliable. Morris Peterson’s cliffhanger free throw was pretty cool. The Score finally broadcast a true HD game instead of just stretching the screen out and adding to the squishiness of the court thanks to their stupid ticker. Once you go HD, it’s hard to go back. Now if only Sportsnet and Raptors TV could do the same, we’d be in business.

So right now the Raptors are third in the East and would be matched up with Miami in the playoffs. I think we can take ’em out. Parker had a sensational game and Juan Dixon stepped up to make up for the missing Bargnani, but we need Andrea and his consistent outside threat to free some room up for Bosh down low. We need Bargnani for the playoffs, I hope he recovers in time.

Here’s the Game in a Flash, you can check out more highlights in Chasin’s RealGM thread:

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