Off to the great white north and the land of hockey and poutine. The Raptors suffered a tough loss after blowing a big lead last night. The Spurs suffered a tough win after blowing a big lead last night.
This one should have a double dose of ugly. Therefore, I like our chances.
1. Song: Groundhog Day by Big Sugar
Big Sugar is a little known, in the US, band out of Canada from the mid to late 90s. I got turned onto them by an old canuck co-worker when he moved down to Austin from Toronto. A few years later, the lead singer and guitarist from the band, Gordie Johnson moved to Austin and started a band called Grady with Ben Richardson and Scott Layton (of Double Trouble fame). I saw them a half-dozen times in their first year. Gordie is insane good.
“Groundhog Day” is a fantastic tune from the Big Sugar days. They have a very extensive catalog and I could have picked a good dozen songs. But, you know, Tim is Groundhog Day so…
2. Key Match Up: Jose Calderon vs Tony Parker
Jose Calderon strikes me as the one guy on this Raptors team that will make the guys around him better. If you take him out of the game, then they are left with a lot of guys creating their own shot. Tony needs to have one of his better defensive efforts of the season.
3. Keeping An Eye On: Manu Ginobili and DeMar DeRozan
I’m looking for Manu to start getting a little of his offense back. I expect him to make a couple shots from the perimeter and, in general, start looking like he feels good out there. He hasn’t so far.
I’m a big fan of DeMar DeRozan and I have been since his first summer league. He’s seems to be getting better year-by-year and this is my one chance to see him this year. He’s a pretty strong guy at the two position, but I think Kawhi might give him a lot of trouble. I’m keeping my eye on those two.
4. Bold Prediction: Spurs by 12
I think the Spurs will pull away early, the Raptors will make a run spanning halftime, then the Spurs will pull away again. I say the Spurs win 87-75 in an ug-fest.