Tuesday February 24 2009 – 12:01pm Eastern (Toronto)

TONIGHT

It was exactly two weeks ago today that the Raptors were in Minnesota to face the Timberwolves.  The Raps were riding a 6-game losing streak and the Wolves proved to be the perfect tonic for what was ailing T.O.

The Raptors used a 37-point 4TH quarter that night to knock off Minnesota (110-102) - riding the shoulders of Jermaine O’Neal in that monster final frame.  The veteran big man went right after rookie Kevin Love and took the youngster to school.

But O’Neal is now in Miami, and Jay Triano said he’ll look to Chris Bosh (who didn’t play in that tilt two weeks ago) to pick up the slack in J.O.’s absence.  If the Raptors can run like they did against the Knicks on Sunday, they should have success (exposing mismatches, etc) against Minny’s thin front line. 

The Wolves will have some help though – as Craig Smith (broken rib) is healthy again and back in the line up.  And recently-acquired forward, Shelden Williams, gives Minnesota more depth up front as well.

NAME GAME

For what it’s worth … apparently folks in the Timberwolves organization and community are quite particular about the name of their franchise.  “T-Wolves” should be stricken from everyone’s vocabulary according to the folks in Minnesota.

So, when referring to the franchise, word has it that “Timberwolves” or “Wolves” is acceptable, but “T-Wolves” is simply sacrilegious. 

Alrighty then.

NUMBER CRUNCHING

Just going through some statistics – provided by TV stat guru John Rusin – and I thought these ones sorta stood out:

Shawn Marion – 3 games with Toronto:
PPG – 13.3
REB – 11.0
ASST – 4.0
FG% – 43.1
Min – 37.7
Season Average – 12.1 PTS, 8.8 REB

Jason Kapono – Last 5 games:
PPG – 14.6
FG% – 46.0
3FG% – 46.2
REB - 4.2
MIN – 29.8
Season Average PPG – 8.3

Joey Graham – In February:
PPG – 13.0
REB – 4.6
FG% – 53.6
FT - 24/28
MIN - 28.4
Season Average PPG – 8.0

Be sure to tune in to tonight’s broadcast – with Jonesy and I – at 7:00pm.  We’ll have the post game show (“The Rap”) after the final buzzer as well.

E. Smith

5 Responses to “Wolves And Numbers”
  1. 1.

    I simply refuse to yank off my rose cloured glasses just yet. Win tonight and see how you stack up against playoff-bound competition coming up.

    Maybe we’ll catch a few taking us lightly.

    We STILL have not seen what a completely healthy Raps team can do this year over an extended period.

    Eric, if the Raps are showing any promise, I think Bosh returning for max money is very likely. If they are a complete disaster, personal happiness can rival the $$$ (but not often for athletes).

    The question is, do the Raps HAVE to offer him the max to keep him or would he potentially take a bit less in order for us to sign another A player with or without Marion to rival Boston, Cleveland etc.

    Don’t forget that at least Cleveland, Miami and Orland can all look a lot different (good or bad) after next year as well so there’s a chance to make a real move.

    - Gary
  2. 2.

    Hope triano uses some big bodys tonight PO and NJ.

    - Rob from brantford
  3. 3.

    Eric, do you think BC will bring Amare and Nash together?

    - Raps Fan
  4. 4.

    raptors win 110 to 96

    - ginomassari
  5. 5.

    Rob, that’s one thing we’re not “short” of – bigs!

    Bosh, Bargs, Jawai, Vosk, O’Bryant maybe to a lesser degree Hump and Marion, but no big wide-bodies.

    What we need is more bigs with the stones to do the dirty work and battle in the paint; that’s where Dwight Howard and KG make their money…

    Go Raps tonight

    - Gary
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