A few days ago Dirk Nowtizki became the 1 millionth player to exploit the Raptors in the dying seconds of a game to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Fait Accompli! Despite Nowitzki’s heroics, Matt Bonner must be given due credit for Nowitzki’s feat. Or let us for a moment presume Matt Bonner is innocent and obediently following orders from those in command. This leads us to Sam “Sitting Duck” Mitchell.
The genius of putting a slow-footed, unaccomplished defender on arguably the league’s best shooter (see 3-pt contest victory) must have been tempting to Mitchell given Bonner’s defensive reputation. Later Mitchell justified the move saying, “Hey, he made a 17ft fallaway”. Now, if you’ve been watching basketball for the past few years, one of the things you should know is that Dirk Nowtizki can hit a fallaway 17 footer while taking a piss, let alone having Matt Bonner “defend” him.
What irked this this fan even more was that last night while listening to The Wrap with Eric Smith and Paul Jones where Jonesy – as Eric lovingly refers to him – had the audacity to quote Mitchell’s comment as a means of defense for the coach, almost justifying the defensive assignment!
Guilty! Aye Guilty! Guilty I am of leaving Hoops with two minutes left and the Raptors down by 8. No clue had I that they’d come back to tie only to lose in fatal overtime.
The fourth quarter is of great interest, even intrigue! Who is the go-to guy on this team? Is it Mike James or Chris Bosh? It’s Chris Bosh. So it should be made mandatory if not punishable that the first touch in the half-court set should go to Chris Bosh. A poor caller made the same point on The Wrap but Jonesy responded saying that teams are making an additional effort in preventing the ball to come to Chris Bosh and that the Raptors perimeter players lack the confidence to make the entry pass. Baloney! Well, he’s partially right that teams are making an additional effort, but it’s not asking the world of James and Calderon to dump the ball in the post. It’s a simple pass which is taught starting from middle school on up. If an honest effort is made both in game and practice, this should be the easiest part of the game. Let’s not make the star player a non-factor because of an entry pass. Bosh not receiving the ball in the fourth quarter had as much to do with Atlanta’s defense as Mike James’ unwillingless to give up the rock.