The Value of One Game

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Raptors vs. Rockets Preview

Is Tonight’s Game More Important to the Raptors or the Rockets?

Like most fans, I have grown tired of watching the Toronto Raptors play against unworthy competition, because really, that is what the Atlanta Hawks, the Detroit Pistons, the Orlando Magic are.

The way the league is constructed, ten teams are in full blown tank mode, 10 teams are just not good enough, five teams are quite good but not there yet, and the final five are where the competition is at. Tonight the Toronto Raptors take on the Houston Rockets – the best team in the Western Conference and the hottest team in the entire league.

They are 51-13 and an incredible 34-1 when healthy, absolutely rolling in the midst of a 17-game win streak.

The Raptors?

Well, they have only lost once since February 2, going 13-1 over that stretch. These are the two hottest teams in the entire league, these are two of the best teams in the entire NBA, and on Friday night there will be a showdown between the best in the West and the beasts of the East!

That being said, it is only game number-60 something of the regular season and with all the emphasis and hype placed on the game, at the end of the day it really is in essence, somewhat meaningless. The Houston Rockets are entering Toronto and will be set to play their third game in four nights, north of the border against the best home team in the league. If the streak is to be snapped, it would only make sense for it to happen tonight – the schedule could be the downfall, fatigue, or maybe even the Raptors just being a good, strong team.

If the Rockets win, they will still be viewed as a top-two team in the league. If they lose, will that perception change?

No.

It’s the Rockets, the Golden State Warriors and everyone else.

From the Raptors perspective, a win could very well provide them with a confidence boost, but watching the Raptors play, they are a team that feels that they can hang and beat any of the 29-other teams in the league. A loss to the Rockets will not change that fact unless the Rockets enter the Air Canada Centre and blow the Raps out.

Will nail-biter of a loss really set the Raptors season back?

Nope.

If they win, will they be considered a top-two in the league?

Nope. It would still be the Rockets, the Warriors, and then everyone else.

So really, tonight will definitely be one of the more highly anticipated games on the schedule, but let’s not blow this one out of proportion. In the grand scheme of themes, a loss for either of these two teams will not be backbreakers, it will simply signal a need to make an adjustment. Despite what we hear on ESPN, the Toronto Raptors are a deserving first seed and although the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers would receive more respect if they were in the Raptors’ position, the fact remains that through 60-plus games, the Raptors have been the best team in the East and likewise, the Rockets have been the best team in the West.

As basketball fans, tonight should definitely be a can’t-miss game!

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