To a lot of people, today is simply December 23, the eve of Christmas Eve. But to Raptors fans, who may be in a foul mood as they await a season we all hope flies by and takes us straight to the 2012 Draft, they may be more inclined to celebrate Festivus this year.

So before I go on, I invite you all to bust out the aluminum pole, air your grievances (Raptors fans have 16 years worth of them) and pick a Raptor you’d like to test in the annual “Feats of Strength.”

First, some interesting news and notes from the land of the Dinosaurs.

- At 23, Kevin Durant is one of the best basketball players alive today (some would say the best) and looks like he should be on his way to a Hall of Fame career. So imagine the surprise to Canadian basketball fans then, when it was tweeted that Durant’s favourite NBA team is our very own Toronto Raptors. Personally, I’d like a little clarification on the matter. Were they his favourite team growing up because maybe he was a big Vince Carter fan? Was he a Jurassic Park fan and a dinosaur junkie? Is he a sports masochist? Or, was he actually saying that outside of the Thunder, he likes the Raptors the best right now, as a compliment to some of Toronto’s youngsters? I’m going to bet it was one of the former choices, rather than the latter. None the less, it looks like the first Festivus Miracle of the year has occurred.

- If you missed anything from RaptorBlog yesterday, I argued that Amir Johnson should be in the mix to start at centre and a Grantland article revealed that P.J. Carlesimo doesn’t think much of Andrea Bargnani’s rebounding ability, while Jay Triano ensured Bargnani knew nothing about this.

- This is a few days late, but in case you haven’t noticed, Dwane Casey wrote the foreword for this season’s edition of Basketball Prospectus. It is both interesting and encouraging to read about how much Casey values analytics and advanced statistics’ place in understanding the game. As you read in his foreword, Casey claims that the Raptors “have in place an analytical system that is second to none.” It’s also interesting, and confusing, to hear Casey speak about how the Raptors “guy” for advanced metrics and statistics is in Japan. Huh?

Since we at RaptorBlog understand and share your passion for advanced stats as basketball fanatics, we are going to have a new member of the team this season. Blake Kennedy will have stats-related posts throughout the season for RaptorBlog, to keep us sports nerds happy.

- As the Christmas weekend and therefore the 2011-2012 NBA season is practically upon us, a lot of sports sites and blogs are revealing their predictions for the season. I noticed a couple of things in ESPN’s predictions yesterday. First and foremost, Henry Abbott, renowned NBA writer for True Hoop, predicts that Dwane Casey will win NBA Coach of the Year. I don’t want to put words in Mr. Abbott’s mouth, but I’m assuming that if he’s picking Casey to take home Coach of the Year, he must also be predicting the Raptors to massively over-achieve, and possibly make the playoffs? Also of note, CBA know-it-all Larry Coon (he literally knows everything about anything when it comes to NBA CBA and salary cap rules) picked DeMar DeRozan to take home the NBA’s Most Improved Player award.

- Lastly, stay tuned to RaptorBlog throughout the next couple of days, as I will be unveiling my predictions for the Raptors’ season, as well as my final thoughts on the Raps’ rotation heading into the regular season, some time today or tomorrow. To ensure you don’t miss a beat, ‘like’ our RaptorBlog facebook page.