Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Raptors Game Day - Welcome Back Swirsk

The Raptors play the Chicago Bulls tonight at the ACC. The next 10 games are a critical stretch for this team if they really have their sights set on making the playoffs.

Games against Chicago (two games), Indiana (road), Phoenix, Atlanta (road), Detroit (road), Sacramento, New Jersey(road) and Milwaukee are ALL winnable games for this team. If they don't come out of this stretch at 7-3 or the very least 6-4 then they are likely done for the year.

Reports are swirling that Jermaine O'neil could return tonight for the Raptors and if I were Jay Traino I would would NOT hesitate to bring him off the bench.

The LAST thing this team needs to do is jerk Bargnani around again. He has settled into a great groove playing alongside Chris Bosh and to upset that now could do terrible damage to his game. After all lets be honest, O'neil is not part of the long term plans here so if it makes him upset I say deal with it.

Tonight also marks the return of beloved announcer Chuck Swirsky to the ACC.
Swirsky left Toronto in the off season to do radio play by play for the Bulls. He stated family reasons for the move but I have always maintained that there was something more to it. He LOVED the city and couldn't do enough to promote this team and the city. I am sure the ACC crowd will give him a warm reception tonight.

As for this team well I wonder what the plan is. Had they won the games they absolutely should have won earlier in the season (OKC, Milwaukee ect) then they would be right in the race for 8th spot with a chance to do some real damage in this next stretch. I am assuming that a trade will be made sometime before the deadline and I know that Colangelo is likely holding out to get the best deal possible but how long should be wait? Once a trade is made it takes some time to implement the new person into the rotation. One would assume that any trade will be for a starting Wing and so it becomes that much harder to incorporate that person into the mix.
Its my opinion that if he waits too long that it could do more damage than good.

The game is on TSN 2 again tonight so look here later in the day for the link to the live stream of the game.

UPDATE - O'Neil and Calderon will miss the next 2 games according to Jay Triano today.

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