It’s the battle of the forsaken, free-falling franchises! The Raptors have lost three straight and have an 11-23 record while the Cavaliers have dropped seven in a row, 17 of their last 18 games, and sit (or, more accruately, lay and moan) at 8-26.
What can you say about a game like this? Both of these teams are rapidly running out of reasons to care about whether they win or lose. In spite of the Cavaliers’ virtually unceasing string of losses recently, ESPN’s Accuscore predictor still has them as slight favorites in tonight’s game. How depressing is that?
Toronto: Sonny Weems is out, Jerryd Bayless is probable, Jose Calderon is questionable, Ronald Dupree is unmentionable because he was waived today.
Cleveland: Sadly, we won’t get to say hello to our old robotic friend, Joey Graham, because he’s out for a little while with a strained quadriceps. Anderson Varejao and Daniel Gibson are both expected to return to the Cavs’ lineup tonight.
1. The Raptors have lost their last 11 games played in Cleveland. Will they finally break that streak?
2. Is that recently homeless dude with the magical voice going to introduce the Cavs’ starting lineup tonight?
3. Are angry Cavs fans starting to turn on their owner? The Cavaliers team page on Basketball-Reference.com is sponsored by “An Extremely Ticked Off Cavs Season-Ticket Holder” who wrote: “You have clicked on the Basketball-Reference.com page featuring the flotsam of the worst owner in professional sports, the Napoleonic carnival barker dwarf, Dan Gilbert. Compared to Dan Gilbert, Ted Stepien was a freakin’ genius.”
4. Does Cavs rookie Manny Harris have the best name in the NBA? I ask because “Manny” is a nickname and his real name is Corperryale L’Adorable Harris.
5. What would have been the best post-breakup song that the Cavs could have played in the introductions when LeBron James made his return? The answer is below.
Start time: 7:00 PM ET
Probable starting lineups
Toronto: Jerryd Bayless, DeMar DeRozan, Linas Kleiza, Andrea Bargnani
Cleveland: Mo Williams, Manny Harris, Anthony Parker, Antawn Jamison, Leon Powe
For tonight’s pregame song, I’m going to suggest “This Love” by Pantera as a suitably angry post-breakup song that the Cavaliers should have played when LeBron returned to Quicken Loans Arena last month. It might have spooked him a little more than the crowd did. “I’d kill myself for you… I’d kill you for myself…”