Saturday, February 03, 2007

Time to get a seat on that bandwagon?

I have been been unkind to Toronto's NBA team in the past but the city's newspapers are perking up to the recent run of form which culminated with last night's win over Atlanta, giving Sam Mitchell and Company 24 wins and 23 losses (0.511). After November's controversy over the Atlanta scoreboard operator in one of two losses to the Hawks, the location of win 24 must have been satisfying.

This result gives them a thin but growing lead of two games over Vince Carter's Nets at the top of the Northeast Division. It's been five seasons since they had a winning record at this point in the season. It was also extremely unlikely back in November when Sam Mitchell's position must have been somewhat shaky. December began the turnaround with the blog "Pink Slip Sam" dormant since the 10th of that month.

It's difficult to get too enthusiastic - still only two games up and their record would be only enough for third at best in any of the other five divisions, and fifth in the Central. The reality is that with the Jays trapped with the Yankees and Red Sox, the lack of popular draw for the Argos and the Rock and the unproven lure of Toronto FC (as opposed to the lure of David Beckham), even a single Raptor playoff run would be a big deal to downtown businesses, and that's enough reason to hope. If that bandwagon does roll beyond round 1, I have a Bosh shirt picked up from when I biked for tykes - that said, Nicole is doubtful that I cut a Nash or a Bird figure so much as the one that 99% of skinny white guys do in a basketball shirt.

UPDATE: Torontoist's Ken Hunt points out the role Stephen Colbert had in the turnaround since that defeat by Maccabi Tel Aviv.
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