Sunday, 27 February 2011

London 2011: Raptors/Nets Season so-far.

We'll start this bumper guide to this weekend's groundbreaking events with a brief look at how our two teams, Toronto Raptors and New Jersey Nets, have performed this season so far.

Toronto Raptors

The Raptors, the only Non-American NBA team (Canada), were one of the teams unlucky enough to find themselves a part of last summer's chaotic trade window. We saw LeBron James destroy a budding franchise by leaving his boyhood team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, to build a new life in Miami with the Heat. Toronto felt this big time, as their own Superstar, Center/Forward Chris Bosh, joined James in Miami to form a super-team with long-time Miami star Dwyane Wade. Bosh and LeBron's old teams have both had similar seasons, though the Raptors have coped much better than the Cavaliers (losers of an all-time worst 26 straight games).

In 2009-10, Toronto missed the playoffs by losing just 1 more game than 8th place Chicago. This year, the playoffs are out of the question as the Raps enter a rebuilding phase in this post-Bosh era. They brought in Chicago Bulls' youngster James Johnson, who played big in his first Raptors game, against his old team, to help them to a confidence-boosting victory. Currently at 16-43, the Raptors are 13th in the East and will finish this year with more losses than victories.

New Jersey Nets

The New Jersey Nets have just come off completing the 4th-worst year in NBA history, with 12 wins and 70 losses. The Nets set new records along the way, becoming the only team to ever start the year by losing their first 18 games. They also became only the 3rd team to have played 43 games and come up with 3 wins from them. After 50 games, New Jersey broke another with their horrific 4-46 record. The worst record ever seen in any of the 4 major American Sports.

Things are beginning to look brighter for the Nets however, as they are now co-owned by Russia's 2nd richest man, Mikhael Prokhorov and rapper Jay-Z. The Nets recently pulled off a star-signing of their own in securing the services of All-Star Deron Williams, a player that the team will be looking to build around for the future. A big signing that rivals any of the mid-season trades this year. New Jersey sit 12th in the East, just 2 losses ahead of Toronto which of course means that 2 Raptor wins could see the teams trade places in the standings. The Nets, are currently playing in Newark, a relatively small area for a big team such as NJ. Next year however, the Nets are looking forward to moving into the brand new, state-of-the-art Barclays Center in downtown New York.

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