Toronto Raptors: A Guide for the Part Time Fan, Week 5

Visions of an 80-win season are creeping in.

Ok, maybe we’re a little delusional. But based on the way this ball club’s playing right now, there’s not much that can stop them.

They exceeded our expectations from last week and are currently atop the NBA standings again, riding a five-game win streak that includes an incredibly satisfying demolition in Cleveland.

Even our fans came out on top in Ohio.

And if that wasn’t feel-good enough, we brought Vince Carter to tears in his most recent return to the Air Canada Centre. Then we beat his Grizzlies, who, until then, were the top team in the league.

The only thing that could beat the last seven days is another undefeated week ahead…


The Dinos are back in action tonight in Atlanta against a Hawks team they already beat earlier this season before returning home to host a very strong veteran Mavs squad on Friday. They then head to California for matchups against the Lakers – everyone’s favourite disaster – and the highly talented Kings on Sunday and Tuesday, respectively.

We expect a 3-1 record, 50 field goals attempted from Kobe, and for Nick Young to remind us why he was a Shaqtin’ a Fool MVP nominee last year by the time we check back in with you next Wednesday.

We just can’t get enough of his obscurity. At this point in his incredibly young career, he’s pretty much a celebrity just for seeing the floor – which is all we really want from him this week.

Caboclo was drafted by the Raptors in the offseason as a relatively unknown 18-year-old from Brazil and many are saying he’s two years away from being two years away before he’s NBA ready. That said, the Lakers aren’t NBA ready either, so it’s possible he gets some garbage minutes at the Staples Centre on Sunday if the game’s already decided in the fourth.

By the way, here’s how he put his first two career points on the board:

Valanciunas put up his best game of the season Monday against Phoenix, finishing with 27 points and 11 rebounds while missing only one shot the entire game. Though he’s been relatively consistent to start the year, averaging 12 and 10 a game, the Raptors need more breakout performances from their 22-year-old Lithuanian big man if they want to retain their spot atop the Eastern Conference.

He’ll have his hands full this week against Al Horford, Tyson Chandler, DeMarcus Cousins and… and some guy from the Lakers you’ve never heard of. Here’s what happened the last time J-Val and Boogie squared off:

The NBA and ESPN acknowledged our existence, which never happens.

“We’re pretty angry as it is. We pay attention to what people are saying and we want to be a group that’s taken very seriously. We’ve worked hard to gain (the public’s) respect. It’s going to take some time, so we go into every game with a chip on our shoulder.”

– Lou Williams, after scoring a career-high 36 points against the Cavaliers.


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Cover photo courtesy Raptors Facebook Page