Raptors Report Week 11: Toronto Closing in on Fifth Seed

Sachin AroraCorrespondent IJanuary 10, 2010

NEW ORLEANS - FEBRUARY 06:  Jose Calderon #8 of the Toronto Raptors dribbles during the game against the New Orleans Hornets on February 6, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

To me, this week was great for the Raptors considering the opponents that they have faced. They came away with two road wins, where they have struggled—one against the reigning Eastern Conference champs and one against a struggling Philadelphia team who managed to put up a good fight and make it close.

This team has showed incredible toughness and finally has everything working.

Jose Calderon has returned from injury has looked great off the bench.

Only a game back from the fifth seed, the Raptors are looking better than ever. The loss against the Celtics to end the week sort of put a damper on things, but the Raps have won eight out of 10 and are playing some good basketball. To start the game, the Celtics ran over the Raptors with a 10-0 run, but in a game that had the looks of a blowout, the Raptors made it close.

Record: 2-1

Performance on a scale of 1-10: 8

Positives: The Raptors defense is quickly getting rid of that "worst in the league" tag and going to "mediocre." With the offense of this team, I think that we'll take that happily. Offense certainly hasn't been a problem, and Chris Bosh and Andrea Bargnani have been spectacular, pouring in the points.

Negatives: Hedo Turkoglu has been looking more and more like a bust. He has been nothing but mediocre this whole season. Imagine the things this team could do if he was actually playing to his potential. If the Raps could play tough throughout the whole game and be a little more consistent, that could push them over the top.

Overall, this team has been playing some great basketball. If they get the win vs. Boston, their weekly rank goes from eight to nine or even 10.

Jarrett Jack remains the starting point guard, but it hasn't seemed to affect Jose Calderon. He's been great off the bench, but it would be nice to see Jose back as a starter.

Jack is great off the bench because of his versatility.

If the Raps keep playing this way the rest of the season, they should have the 5th seed.


Next Report: Sunday, January 17