Knicks Beat Raptors In Thriller: Post-Game Q&A With Hoop Heads North, A Raptors Blog

Our heroes win another last second thriller behind the leadership of Raymond Felton and perpetual all-star play of Amare Stoudemire.  The Raptors have been the source of three of our 14 wins, so we’ll miss them until April.  Watching it all were our Raptors analyst friends at the hilarious  Toronto Raptors Blog, Hoop Heads North.  It’s been a while since we talked to our “frenemies” (a little term I picked up from College Wolf) at the blog with the Canadian bacon flava spiced with a couple of pinches of seasoning from Maritimes, Ontario and Alberto, so it’s always enlightening to hear what blog founder Sean Francois has to say about the NBA.  He was very disappointed as a Raptors fan last night, but he also happens be a big UNC fan and has man-love for Raymond Felton — so watching the ball fall through the rim, for Felt, after twenty bounces wasn’t a total lost for at least one Rap fan.  (oh, make sure you check out the segment of his show video show Rap Talk News we included to start your day with a couple of laughs to go with that “Knicks Are Back” smile.)

Knicks Fanatics Blog: What did you learn about the Raptors in their game against the Knicks?

Sean Francois, Hoop Heads North: Honestly, I didn’t learn anything new about the Raptors in these two games against the Knicks, BUT I did see some great individual efforts tonight by Andrea Bargnani and DeMar DeRozan, and by Amir Johnson & Jerryd Bayless in Sunday’s game. In fact each player, respectively, either put up career numbers or close to career numbers. The Raptors showed their ability to fight and keep games close, but in order to put another string of wins together they must be able to close out those close games as well. This will be imperative if they want to be in the hunt for the playoffs when the end of the season rolls around.
KFB: What was the most critical aspect of this game from a Raptors fan’s perspective?

Sean: 48 minute commitment to defense. You can’t control if your shot is always going to fall, but you can ALWAYS play hard and stiff defense on the other end of the floor. Consistency in that part of their game opens up so many fast breaks and other easy scoring opportunities. It’s much easier to run and get to the line when you’re running a fast break, as opposed to a half court offense. I’m not saying anything the team doesn’t already know, or doesn’t try to do, but as Raptors fans we don’t always see that night in and night out.

KFB: Where do you expect the Raptors to finish this year and will they wind up better than the Knicks?
Sean: I honestly believe the Raptors will win 30+ games this season, and they will be battling for the last playoff spot in the East when April/May rolls around. Will they make the playoffs? Well, I’m not going to say that, but they will be in the hunt. That said, the Knickerbockers are ROLLING right now, and are a team the Raptors could model their game after with regards to their style of play and how they spread the floor with shooters yet still having guys that crash the glass. At this point I would be shocked if the Knicks don’t make their long awaited return to the NBA Playoffs this season.

KFB: When the Heat come to Toronto are your fans going to be as nasty to Bosh as the Cleveland fans are to the Heat? As Raptor fans are to Vince Carter?

Sean: Raptors fans will definitely show an overt disdain towards Chris Bosh when he returns to the Air Canada Centre, and the fans have to right to do so. The animosity shown towards Vince Carter by Raptors fans has dwindled as the years have gone by. Bosh and Carter will always be Raptors villains, that just comes with the territory when you leave a team in the fashion they both did.