GAME 7: Blazers VS Toronto Raptors
7pm; Comcast Sports Network
After a brutal, national TV overtime loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder Thursday night, the Blazers square off against the Toronto Raptors tonight, who are coming off a 108-103 Friday night loss to the Lakers.
There's no such thing as a free win in the NBA, but this is about as close as you'll get. The Raptor's horse, Chris Bosh, took his talents to South Beach this offseason. Without Bosh, they're left with a ragtag collection of NBA players. The Raptors starting lineup can score. Bargnani is a threat behind the arc, DeRozan is a great athlete that can get to the rim. Both Jack and Calderon can score at the PG position. Weems is averaging 11 off the bench.
The Raptors on paper.
Starting five: Reggie Evans, Linas Klezia, Andrea Bargnani, Jarrett Jack, Demar DeRozan
Off the bench: Jose Calderon, Leandro Barbosa, Amir Johnson, Sonny Weems
The Blazers are singing Sean Marks to replace Fabricio Oberto.
Chronic jump-passer Jarrett Jack has played well enough in Toronto to take Jose Calderon's starting spot.
The Raptors are not a good defensive team and are giving up nearly 105 points per game. The Blazers need to exploit this by attacking the basket and getting to the freethrow line.
LET'S GET RICH
Blazers -12.5 Raptors
Rudy Fernandez. Phantom back pain. Read: I don't feel like playing tonight.
Don't get caught looking ahead to Sunday night's showdown in Los Angeles against the Lakers. Ideally, this one is put away early so the starters can rest for the entire 4th quarter.
Andy Popp is a Portland native that loves sports and beer. You can contact Andy Popp at either firstname.lastname@example.org or BlazersPipeline on Twitter. When he's not at PDX Pipeline, you can find him at lowposts.com.