Friday, November 9, 2007

Friday November 9, 2007

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A must win game to night in Philadelphia, if the Raptors want to right this ship.

The season is still very fresh and there is a lot of basketball to be played, but tonight’s game is against a division rival that the Raptors have already beaten. The Raptors have gone on a small losing streak and this is a great opportunity to put an end to it.

The 76ers have one main go to guy in Andre Iguodala (who dropped 23 on the Raptors opening night), so limited his touches will be key for Parker and Kapono. The Raptors have to ensure that no one else has a good game, for example Kyle Korver (he was hot on opening night with 20 points on 7-12 shooting).

Rebounding is another area of concern from the last game against the 76ers. Reggie Evans grabbed 15 boards and keeping him off the glass will fall on Bosh and Bargnani. Rebounding is an area that was missing in the last game, against the Magic, where Turkoglu and Bogans had stellar nights of 15 and 11, respectively.

Rounding out this week’s hectic schedule of 4 games in 5 nights is the first meeting this season against the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls snapped their 4 game losing streak and beat Detroit. The Bulls are projected to be one of the strongest Eastern Conference teams this season, so this game will not be an easy one for Toronto. Not to dwell on rebounding, but that was a key to the Bulls win over the Pistons, where the Bulls had 15 offensive rebounds. Stopping this team on the glass may prove difficult, as 3 of their starters are 6-9 and they have taller players on the bench (Joe Smith 6-10 and Joakim Noah 6-11 – who had 5 of the offensive rebounds).

On offense, the Raptors need to get back to their game. They need ball movement and players to hit the open shot. This is a team built around 2 quick point guards, and their ability to break-down the defender and get to the hoop and when that is stopped, kick the ball back out. Rotate the ball to an open man and bury the jumper. Chris Bosh and Andrea Bargnani need to aggressively attack the basket and be aware of the double teams. All standard clichés, but true.

Enjoy the games and join us on Monday night on Talking Ball.

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