This is the end, my friends. It’s the last day of the NBA regular season and the Heat and Raptors are wrapping it up with a meaningless matchup at the Air Canada Centre. The Heat already have the second seed in the East locked up and it won’t matter if they lose tonight and the Lakers win to match their 57-win total because the Heat swept their season series. The Mavs could potentially match the Heat’s win total tonight and would have home court advantage in that case if the two teams met in the Finals, but I don’t know anyone who actually believes the Mavs have a realistic shot of making it to the finals.

I’ll be at this game as a guest of the magnanimous Raptorman so if you happen to see me, feel free to come say hello. I’ve got a cold, though, so you probably shouldn’t shake my hand.

Injury report

Toronto: Andrea Bargnani, Reggie Evans, Amir Johnson, Jose Calderon, Sonny Weems, Martin Lewis, Leandro Barbosa and Linas Kleiza are all out.

Miami: Udonis Haslem is out while Mike Miller is questionable — which almost certainly means he’s out.

Five questions

1. Which of the Raptors currently on the roster do you expect (or hope) to not be on the team next season?

2. Do you want Bryan Colangelo to address the Air Canada Centre crowd tonight?

3. If Colangelo does speak, will he receive louder boos than Chris Bosh?

4. Have you seen where TSNRadio1050.com redirects? LOL.

5. What would you like me to change about or add to these game threads next season?

Start time: 8:00 PM ET
Channel: Sportsnet One
Probable starting lineups
Toronto: Jerryd Bayless, DeMar DeRozan, James Johnson, Ed Davis, Zan Tabak
Miami: Mario Chalmers, James Jones, Juwan Howard, Joel Anthony, Maverick Carter

For our final pregame song of the season, I figured since we’re playing the Miami Heat I’d pull a track from the Grand Theft Auto: Vice City soundtrack. Let’s go with “One Thing Leads to Another” by The Fixx. Don’t even try to act like this song doesn’t rock.

Comments (9)

  1. Tabak is in? I saw him him out clubbing last night looked kinda rough. I doubt he starts.

  2. scott- reader since 03, ish, great work this year w/ the revamped site. im liking the game thread format (5 questions + pregame song, etc).. and the overall activity/amount of posts, your writing in particular being at a pretty high level.

    i dont know what the ‘page hits’ are like these days, but i’m guessing you’ll get more readers once we’ve got a half decent product on the floor…

    anyways

    1) ranking in order of necessity: triano, bargnani, barbosa, calderon. not extremely stoked in our young core, but they haven’t yet been proven to have fatal flaws like the aforementioned, so they can all stay.

    5) game threads are pretty much on point. if you’ve got time, put in a few more ‘opinion’ posts, they get ppl talking. eastern conference power rankings, monthly player report cards, breakdown of offensive/defensive schemes (more in depth than the video breakdowns). all with ample pictures of nate robinson of course.

  3. Good job slogging through this season Scott (and Holly).

    I’ll just take a crack at #1, ignoring marginal guys/free agents like Weems, Dorsey etc.

    I don’t want to see Triano or Bargs back next season. I can deal with Jose even though I don’t like that contract much. I’d prefer him as a backup. The guy can run a team and he cares.

    I’ll sum up Triano and Bargs this way…Bargs was worse on defence and on the boards this season (think about that for a second), was on record not even thinking he had to improve in those areas, and he was never held accountable. I’m sorry, but the only three words that come to mind are “fuck that shit.”

    I’m looking forward to the draft/trade/free agent speculation, but moreso to the day I can look forward to the playoffs again.

  4. Big loss, glad to see the team step up and lose this one.

    The Raptors clinched the third worst record in the league so hopefully (at the very least) that’s where they stay when it comes to the lottery.

  5. Ok: Derrick Williams, Irving, Enes Kanter or . .

    Brandon Knight. I like him and expect the Raps to heavily invest time considering Knight as the PG of the Future. Smart and talented – I like the combo.

    http://tinyurl.com/64s5g9e

    http://tinyurl.com/6763mcq

    http://tinyurl.com/5v3qsky

  6. My biggest wish is for no more Bargs please, Mr. Clause.

    I don’t want Triano around for too long. I’m fine with most of what he does aside from defense. I know he hasn’t got the personnel for it, but he hasn’t put any kind of imprint on this team defensively (all good coaches do to varying degrees, depending on the players they have to execute the game plan).

    At some point this team will need a serious injection of talent.

  7. Not returning… I expect all our guys signed out past this season to return – Ajinca, Barbosa, Bayless, Calderon, DeRozan, Davis, James Johnson, Kleiza, Bargnani and Amir. The thought of which is too depressing for words. It’s possible Barbosa, who will expire after next season, can actually be moved… I am sure there would be some interest in him despite everything. No one else (who should be moved, that is) can probably be moved for anything except an exploding volcano.

    Who would I like to see disappear? The entire roster except Bayless, Davis, James Johnson and I guess Ajinca, who hasn’t managed to offend me. Realistically, I am happy to have Amir back – being mildly overpaid is no crime at all, and you could probably not get as productive a player for him.

    I’d really love to see the end of Calderon (although he is a personal favorite) and of DeRozan, who does everything except all the things that actually win games, and of course Bargnani but we are stuck with Bargnani FOREVER. And Kleiza, we are stuck with his goldbricking, no-talent ass for what will feel like the rest of our natural lives.

  8. Clearly the comments here are from the truly committed. Few but well spoken and with much frustration from this season (and previous ones).

    So it seems the core at this point that is worth building around is Bayless, DeRozan, Davis and James Johnson. Amir is easy enough to add into that group. So that’s a 1-2-3-4-5 (not sure if Davis is a truer 4 or 5 but for argument sakes he can be a 5). The biggest issue is at this point, even with DeRozan’s scoring numbers up, none of them is a star, just works in progress that have a common thread of athleticism.

    The question I’m most interested in is what do we most need from this upcoming draft and is it going to be available at #3 (or wherever we draft)? It seems like the biggest need would be a tall athletic 3 who can big time score and build our offence around in future years. Is Harrison Barnes really that guy? I don’t know enough about his game to answer that and I’m sure Scott you’ll have some pre-draft analysis stuff as it gets closer.

  9. Our best 5 players are great if you add a Lebron or Kobe or even a Durant.

    Really what is available is more of the same of what we have.

    This might be the first off season I truely think that all 15 players are expendable.

    And no, I dont have a soloution.

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