Start time: 7:00 PM ET
Probable starting lineups
Toronto: Jose Calderon, DeMar DeRozan, Rasual Butler, Andrea Bargnani, Amir Johnson
Cleveland: Kyrie Irving, Anthony Parker, Omri Casspi, Antawn Jamison, Anderson Varejao
Toronto: Jerryd Bayless is day-to-day with a sprained ankle.
Cleveland: Semih Erden is recovering from thumb surgery.
With a 3-2 record going into this game, it appears the Cleveland Cavaliers might not be totally crappy. Mind you, those wins were over Detroit, New Jersey and Charlotte, but those wins still count. The big story with this team is that it appears they made the right draft picks with Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson, who are clearly their two best players and appear to be improving with each game. Thompson isn’t in the starting lineup yet because Cavs coach Byron Scott apparently wants Jamison’s offense in the starting lineup, but Thompson’s a significant reason why the Cavs have the 10th-best Defensive Rating (points allowed per 100 possessions) at this point.
At 2-3 and coming off an impressive win over the Knicks on Monday, the Raptors haven’t exactly been pushovers themselves, thus far. Frighteningly, the Raptors threaten to detread their tank right at the beginning if its journey with a shockingly easy schedule over the next six games: vs. Cavs, vs. Nets, at Sixers, vs. T-Wolves, at Wizards, vs. Kings. Couldn’t the Raptors win four or even five of those games?
No, I’m not predicting a playoff run for this team. But Dwane Casey has them playing real defense while Jose Calderon and Andrea Bargnani have been extremely effective overall in the first five games. Shockingly, the two highest-paid players on the team are playing like they’re worth the money. I won’t comment on what it says about Raptors fans that so many of us are hoping this boosts their trade value, especially since I’m one of those fans.
- The Raptors assigned Solomon Alabi to the D-League today. Are we ever going to see this guy play? He can’t be that much worse than Jamaal Magloire, can he?
- Eric Gordon and Chris Kaman are still catching feelings about being traded to the Hornets. They’re mad that Clippers management told them they wouldn’t be traded… and then traded them anyway in the Chris Paul deal. Why do so many players fail to understand how the real world works? If you admit to players that they might be traded, it screws with their head and messes up their performance. By the very nature of their job responsibilities, General Managers are required to be professional liars in their dealings with players, media and other GMs. It’s not personal, it’s business. Get over it, chaps.
I couldn’t think of a good comedy video for today, but this clip of Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard scoring on Bolton keeper Adam Bogdan in the Premiership today is pretty funny. Note Howard’s response — he doesn’t rub it in because he knows how humiliating this is.