by Holly MacKenzie/@stackmack

I didn’t expect to be covering a team that is 7-12 on the season.

Maybe I wanted to believe in the nine new faces on the Raptors roster this season, or maybe when a team scores as easily as this one does, you figure that they’ll figure it out on defense at least enough to win games. Then there are the nights where the defense is alright, three players top 20 points and still the team loses.

Last night was one of those nights. Playing the Wizards at home before heading out on a three-game road trip, the Raptors lost 106-102 and with the loss they fell to 7-12. The vibe was not a pleasant one in the Raptors locker room after the game. In the Wizards room, they just seemed happy to get a win on the road.

And, me?

I was just happy to see Gilbert Arenas doing his thing on the basketball court. Particularly in the fourth when he decided to go into aggressive mode and score 12 points. I’ve seen Antawn Jamison before, but every time I get to watch him up close, I’m floored by how good he is. It’s great to see the Wizard guys healthy. Beautiful, was the baseline dunk that Caron Butler had in the final minutes. Crazy to see DeShawn Stevenson get another DNP-CD. Hurts my heart to see Javaris Crittenton still on the inactive list. Makes my happy to see Earl Boykins play the entire fourth and have a huge impact on the game.

The Lakers took down the Hornets in LA last night for their seventh win in a row. Kobe only had 18, but played just 32 minutes as the Lakers had five players in double-figures led by Andrew Bynum’s 21 and nine boards.

From the Lakers and Raptors games: Food promos annoy me to begin with, but if your team loses, don’t cheer for a damn piece of pizza. Last night the sole shot Hedo Turkoglu hit was a three at the buzzer to win pizza for the crowd. They cheered. Yuck. And if your team is winning, don’t get too upset over the other team trying to play hard until the final buzzer sounds, even if it means killing your food promo. Think about it: You just kicked their ass, they want to control something.

Okay, rant over.

After I was moaning over drafting Ray Allen in my fantasy draft, he showed up with a big game against the Bobcats, scoring 27 points in Boston’s 108-90 victory. The Bobcats struggled against the Celtics, trailing by as many as 26 points in the game as they allowed Boston to shoot 55 percent from the floor. Those 27 points from Allen came on 6-for-9 shooting, including five three-pointers. That’s efficiency.

Also, Nazr Mohammed getting in KG’s face was crazy. I’m not one for fighting, but I respected that.

Quote of the night: “I’m happy for our fans. They got to go home and watch (North) Carolina and Michigan State. If any of them were smart, they would have left early and watched that game.”  – Larry Brown

Russ Bengtson broke down the Knicks/Suns game (which the Knicks won 126-99), perfectly. “The game was boring… The Suns didn’t even show up.”

Not sure how the Suns managed to score just 99 points, but the defense thing wasn’t really a surprise. Giving up 39 points to the Knicks in the first quarter is still a jaw-dropper though. Danilo Gallinari had 27 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots for the Knicks. Larry Hughes had 11 points and 12 (!) assists.

One night after Monta went nova and scored 45, he came back down to earth and had 15 points in the Warriors 135-107 loss to the Nuggets. Blame it on the Denver altitude, that’s what I’m going to do. While the Warriors went with an eight-man rotation, the Nuggets had all 12 men in on the action in their victory as every Nuggets player scored at least four points, with Melo leading the way, netting 25.

Great line from Dwyane Wade in the Heat’s 107-100 win against the Trail Blazers. Wade put up 22 points, 12 assists, five rebounds and a steal in his 37 minutes of play. Michael Beasley added 27 points on 8-for-15 fgs while shooting 11-for-12 from the free throw  line and Quentin Richardson added 20 points and nine rebounds as he continues to get younger by the day.

Now, about this Allen Iverson thing… Can we just get the ink on this contract so it can dry and be official? I can’t take this anymore. Here’s hoping Philly and A.I. sort things out and the reunion goes better than everyone is expecting.

Question for you: Out of the teams that are currently having success, which one(s) can you just not trust to keep it up?