Sunday Speculation - How many feet under are the Raps?

The answer is 42    “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, Douglas Adams

Kyle Lowry offered the idea earlier this week that the Raps are 5 feet under – but not yet 6. Assuming he’s referring to the team’s playoff chances, I’m going to have some fun with numbers. Can the Raps undo the burial process?

Let’s start by assuming the magic number for sliding into the East’s eighth & final playoff slot is 42. The East’s current #8 is Boston at 9-8, & in the West the Rockets & Lakers are tied at 8-8. In a league with more parity than anticipated, being a hair above .500 may be sufficient to sell those overpriced post-season ducats. The Raps are a profoundly disappointing 4-13, & if they’re going to finish in the money, they need to go 38-27. That’s a tall order, to put it mildly, & there’s no time to waste. The team commences a 5-game road trip in Denver tomorrow, & their 1-9 record away from the ACC offers little solace. Through my rose-coloured pincenez, I foresee a 2-3 trip, with victories in Sacramento & Portland. Now our record is 6-16, & 36 wins in the remaining 60 games becomes the target. That’s a .600 win rate, which is tougher than a cheap steak for a team which isn’t within shouting distance of .500. For a near-miracle to occur, a number of things have to go right, to wit:

  1. Win at home. The Raps are at the ACC for 34 games after this trip, with only 26 away. They are 3-4 at home, which offers some hope.
  2. Win some close games. If the Bobcats(!) can be 6-1 in games decided by 4 points or fewer, why can’t the Raps? It’s time to stop fumbling away tight victories. And how about an overtime win, huh?
  3. Get healthy, & stay that way. A hobbling Bargnani is of little use. Should DeRozan or Jonas blow out a knee, we’re toast.
  4. Plug the hole at the 3. I never thought I’d write this, but the Raps miss Alan Anderson. The Small-Forward-by-Committee plan has been a flop, & Mikael Pietrus doesn’t inspire confidence. I’m not anticipating anything wonderful when (if?) Landry Fields returns. Is it time to trade Jose Calderon for a real Small Forward?

There’s a lot of dirt on the coffin currently. I’d put the Raps’ playoff chances at no better than 15%, & a disappointing road trip will be the Last Post.

Brian Boake is a staff writer for Raptors Rapture. “Like” Raptors Rapture on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RaptorsRapture for all the latest news and updates about the best damn NBA team from Canada.


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