"We Used To Wait" - Arcade Fire
Game Overview: This may be the Bobcats' best shot at a win until facing the Pistons after the All-Star Break. Once an offense-heavy squad, first-year Raptors head coach Dwane Casey has turned the team more defensive-minded, amazingly. The starting backcourt of Jose Calderon and DeMar DeRozan still is not a strong defensive unit, however. But they all try hard and have decent defensive positioning. Scoring is now a weak point, especially with the injury to Andrea Bargnani, who was playing all-star quality ball. Alas. The team's frontcourt defends the paint well, which does not bode well for the Bobcats, who tend to have trouble scoring in the paint. But the return of Corey Maggette looks to alleviate this some.
Mostly, I'm concerned about the Bobcats' defense. While the Raptors' backcourt's defense is lacking, their offense is not. They're quick and can drive to where they want with quickness. Calderon can shoot and DeRozan can drive well. The Bobcats cannot defend in the paint well and will probably need a strong performance from help defenders to guard the rim.
Key Matchup: Reggie Williams vs. DeMar DeRozan -- The Bobcats will need Williams' offensive versatility against DeRozan's defensive liabilities, while on the defense, I have my worries. DeRozan has regressed this season, but is still great at driving with his quickness on the dribble.
Life As A Raptors Beat Reporter Of The Day
My pal Eric Koreen, who writes across the border for the National Post, just had the pleasure of covering #Linsanity and his media following. At the 5:25-5:30 mark see him (back right) react to an awful question and restrain himself loudly groaning and murdering a colleague.