Game of the Day: Portland Trail Blazers vs. Toronto Raptors

Holy cannoli, this is a dire selection of NBA games on this fine mid-November Sunday. Choosing between the three games on tap today is a sort of like choosing one of the three Big Momma’s House movies. No matter which one you end up going with, it’s mediocrity all the way around. With a gun held to my head I’ll choose Broncos at Chiefs as my game of the day. Oh wait, that’s the NFL, isn’t it? I’m just supposed to do NBA, right? Forgive me if I don’t dig deep into the details of today’s game of the day, but I’m trying to make sure I pass my second to last semester of college. It’s certainly not a runaway winner, but Portland at Toronto is my game of the day.

Nov 15, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Portland Trail Blazers power forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) shoots the ball against Boston Celtics power forward Brandon Bass (30) during the first half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Portland is off to an impressive 7-2 start; a testament to the drastic improvement of an absolutely dreadful bench from last season, and a core four (Aldridge, Lillard, Batum and Matthews) that is just as promising for the future as they are talented. I pegged Portland as a playoff team before the season began and I feel justified by the very early sampling I’ve seen so far. Toronto is in the always unenviable “Are they a playoff team or not” limbo. By my account, they should be Riggin for Wiggins—ya know, because he’s Canadian an all—but they could very easily remain in the Eastern Conference playoff race as long as Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan don’t go 17 for 62 shooting in one game too many more times.

What most intrigues me about today’s game is the Rudy Gay/Nic Batum matchup which I documented a little over two months ago. It seems to me that Batum is capable of doing all of the things Rudy Gay does, only he doesn’t shoot the ball as much and he is much more prone to launching a heinous assault another man’s genitals. I fully expect Batum to play well, Rudy Gay to shoot a whole bunch and clang a deep two pointer at the buzzer.

The Pick: Blazers 98, Raptors 97

National TV: None

Regional TV: CSNN (Portland) and RSN (Toronto)

Time: 1:00 pm EST