November 30th – Toronto Raptors (8-7) at Los Angeles Lakers (12-1)
The man who would be MVP (at least… he says he could be) playing against the man who is (reigning) MVP.
Yup, that’s right: Chris Bosh is in town to play Kobe Bryant and the Lakers. Bosh’ll get every chance to show exactly what he’s made up, going up against the Lakers, who haven’t lost to the Rap-pack at home in 7 years.
Toronto have really yet to impress, regardless of the start to the season that Bosh has had. Sitting a game over .500, the Raptors looked at the start of the season to be one of the teams to beat out East, with the addition of Jermaine O’Neal, and the expected emergence of Jose Calderon. O’Neal does look the goods, if somewhat frail still… and Calderon has impressive – all in addition to CB4’s near-MVP-like play… yet the Raptors still manage to lose games that you’d think they’d win. Losses to Boston are explicable, but losing to teams like Philadelphia (perhaps the biggest under-performing unit in the NBA thus far) and New Jersey – both at home – beggars explaining.
They have their work cut out for them against a Laker unit that hasn’t enjoyed a start like this for several years. Gasol, Bynum and Odom make life very, very difficult for opposition big men – there’s simply no respite. Trevor Ariza has been phenomenal off the bench, with his play he should be in 6th Man conversations (as a ‘true’ sixth). And Kobe is still Kobe, despite playing the fewest minutes many a year.
LA will win this one.