Archive for the ‘Charlotte Bobcats’ Category

The Raptors continue their season long six-game homestand with a matchup against a horrible Bobcats team that always seems to give Toronto problems.

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Earlier today, I wrote about the piss poor officiating the Raptors have run into through the first 12 games of the season, and while I made it clear that the refs shouldn’t be blamed for the team’s disappointing 3-9 record, it’s also obvious that the officiating has at least contributed to a couple of the tough breaks the Raptors have had.

Nowhere was this more evident than on Wednesday night in Charlotte, where both Kyle Lowry and Andrea Bargnani appeared to fouled in the dying seconds with the Raptors down one. Bargnani, especially, had his shooting hand hit as he released the potential game-winning shot.

In case you thought it was just Raptors fans and “homers” finding something to complain about, the “NBA Official” twitter account tweeted this on Thursday evening:

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The Raptors followed up their infuriating loss in Philadelphia on Tuesday with a tough one-point loss in Charlotte on Wednesday, dropping to 3-9 on the season and severely damaging the hope of eventual playoff contention many fans had for this team. And no, it’s not too early to say that.

Now here are some thoughts on the game…

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Start time: 7:00 PM ET
Channel: Sportsnet

Probable starting lineups
Toronto: Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Dominic McGuire, Andrea Bargnani, Jonas Valanciunas (I’m just assuming that with a game under his belt, Lowry takes back his rightful place as a starter over the defensively inept Jose Calderon)
Charlotte: Kemba Walker, Jeffery Taylor, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Byron Mullens, Brendan Haywood

Injury report
Toronto: Landry Fields and Alan Anderson remain out
Charlotte: Ben Gordon is questionable, while Gerald Henderson and Tyrus Thomas are out long term

Random Thoughts

  • The Bobcats are a surprising 5-4, but if you’ve actually watched them play this season, you’ll know that they’re not that much better than their historically bad team from last season. They’ve beaten the Pacers, Mavericks, winless Wizards and overachieving Bucks in Charlotte, while beating the Timberwolves in Minnesota on a nasty crossover and game winning shot from Kemba Walker. I have a feeling this Bobcats team will be much like the 2010-11 Cavaliers team, which started 5-5 and played well enough to open the season before finishing 19-63.
  • Kemba Walker is off to a great start in his sophomore season, averaging 18.8 points, 5.3 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 2.6 steals in over 36 minutes per game. If Lowry still isn’t ready to log big minutes and Calderon ends up guarding Walker for the majority of the night, I could see the Bobcats adding to Toronto’s embarrassment.
  • I’m also a big fan of No. 2 overall pick Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who continues to expend every ounce of energy while he’s on the floor, just as he did as a star on Kentucky’s national championship team. While I continue to make fun of the Bobcats (how can you not?), I actually think they have a couple of long term pieces in Walker and MKG.
  • I’m curious to see whether the loss in Philly was some sort of last straw for Dwane Casey in terms of shying away from Valanciunas in crunch time, but I highly doubt it. No matter how well JV is playing, he’ll likely always lose fourth quarter minutes to Andrea Bargnani and Amir Johnson this season, even when they don’t deserve those minutes ahead of him. Personally, I’d like to see what Amir and Jonas could do together for a stretch.
  • I’m still steaming over last night’s meltdown in Philadelphia, and a win against Charlotte won’t change that, but it is a necessary result if this Raptors team wants to go anywhere this season. A win might not cure our frustration, but a loss to the Bobcats might send us all spiraling into a sports-induced depression. I’m predicting a Raptors win tonight, but I am in no way ready to call it a sure thing, as the Raptors are very capable of more disappointment.
  • Ramon Sessions apparently forgot that he plays for the Bobcats, and that no team in the NBA, no matter how bad, is a game the Bobcats “should” win

Jeremy Lin's Rockets aren't worth the premium price tag, but a Raptors/Pacers opener offers great value

As the discussion intensifies and the anticipation builds with the season inching closer (24 days until training camp), it’s usually around this time that fans begin to peruse the schedule in search of games they’ll try to land tickets for. It’s also around this time that fellow season seat holders begin trying to narrow down their list of games they want additional tickets for.

On Thursday, Raptors season seat holders received an email that included the details of the 2012-13 tiered pricing at the Air Canada Centre.

There will be five tiers this season: Best Value, Value, Premium, Premium+ and Super Premium. Here’s which visiting teams fit into each category.

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