Playing Out The String Begins In Charlotte.

The Raptors begin the post All-Star Schedule tonight in Charlotte with the Bulls waiting for them in Toronto for a game tomorrow night. Demar DeRozan promises to go nuts in this final stretch of the season after getting jobbed in the Dunk Contest for a 2nd year. That is really what season is about for the Raptors now. How there younger players approach and play the rest of the games on the schedule. There is no playoffs in this team's future and a uncertain future with no CBA in place after this season. Bryan Colangelo is making noise about trading one of his first round picks. I think that would be a mistake at this point. But it is not like I have agreed with the J.O Deal, The Hedo signing and a lot of other things. Let's also hope he is talking about the Miami pick and not their own pick. Trade deadline is 3 days away and the Melodrama has ended. There is not likely much Raptor drama despite all the talk from B.C at least that is what I am thinking. Reggie Evans one the Raptors more interesting expiring contracts is almost set to return. If he makes it past Thursday it will be nice to see him back. Reggie has in a recent interview expressed that he could be interesting in staying with the Raptors if it was possible. Oh yeah and there is a game tonight the Bobcats and Raptors with Charles Oakley as an assistant for the Bobcats. Charlotte has had a massive overhaul since the Raptors last saw them. Brand new coaching staff and an attitude to go with it.

The Basics: Toronto 15-41 (Last Road Win 1/05/11 @Cavs) Charlotte 24-32 ( 15-12 at Home)

When Last We Saw Them: Bosh was back and the Raptors put up a great fight led by Andrea Bargnani with 38 points and no defence to speak of. The Crowd was fired up but fizzled while the Raptors had to with in 4 points with less than 4 to play before finally getting sun burned by the Heat.

Key Match-Ups: Stephen Jackson and Gerald Wallace are the key guys for the Raptors to shutdown in this one. Jackson has potential to go off both in losing his temper or scoring a ton. While Wallace has been a thorn in the Raptors side for years and is the exact opposite of what Raptors have been. He is a freak athlete and has always got the better of the Raptors when he has been healthy and in the line-up. Raptors need to take advantage of Augustin and Brown with Bargnani and Calderon. The X-Factor is a motivated Demar DeRozan that seem less than impressed he got jobbed again in the Dunk Contest. He tweeted that he is going Ham on the rest of this season. I am not up on my slang but it seemed to imply he is going to as the Rock says BRING IT!!! For the rest of the year. That is good because we need to see that happen.

Other Things of Note: Bobcats are 15-13 under Paul Silas who prior to Charlotte last coached Lebron James and the Cavs in 04-05 before taking over in Charlotte. Bobcats have a 2-0 lead in the season series vs the Raptors. Had a great chat with Chuck Swirsky yesterday and many of you have already checked that out. But in case you have not based on the feedback I have got you probably should. Chicago who the Raptors play tomorrow do not play tonight and will be sitting back waiting for the Raptors which will make for a tough back to back for Toronto prior to the trade deadline. If people expect the Raptors to do a lot at deadline I think you will be sadly disappointed. I don't see this team doing anything. Will see If I am right on Thursday or before that but pretty sure I am.

Where Is It On ?: Sportsnet Uno (This was Sportsnet's chance to prove they care about B-Ball after TSN FAILED to show MVP of All-Star Game but let's face it Trade Deadline Wars are coming and no one at TSN or Sportsnet is paying attention to basketball)

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