That was hard to watch and don’t let the score fool you, this game wasn’t even close. The Celtics come into our building missing one of their big guns and blow us out of the water while we play like stiffs in awe of our opponents rather than go for the kill in a statement game at home. We didn’t match Boston’s fire or energy and ended up getting beat by Boston role players such as Rondo and Posey. We couldn’t adapt to Garnett who whenever pressured by a double team always managed to find a shooter who was left wide open because of a late defensive rotation. The Raptors achilles heel. Holes this big in your defense can only be compensated for by having a great offense which wasn’t there today, instead we had the same perimeter oriented approach towards scoring that only works on occasion (see second half of Indiana game) and can’t be relied upon to score against a good defense on a consistent basis. Did the Raptors honestly think they’d be able to mount an Indiana-like comeback against Boston? That shit happens once or twice a year if you’re lucky.
The bottom line is that Boston is just better than us. They have more star power, better fitting role players, a coach that understands the strengths and weaknesses of the team and does a good job of exploiting the former and hiding the latter. Doc Rivers is by no means a great coach but over the years he’s learned how to deploy the resources he’s given to good use. James Posey, Eddie House and Rajon Rondo are all great fits in a Boston team where everybody seems to know how to approach the game and know what their role is. Contrast this to our style where the first offensive possession of the game is a Jamario Moon fadeaway and where despite all our coaching staff’s efforts we can’t get our #1 pick a clean look to save his life. The disparity between the two clubs is evident in our 0-3 record against them. This is no fluke, they are better than us both player and coaching wise. We are a good team, they are a contender. They have Eastern Conference champions written all over them, we can at best hope for a second round birth.
Let’s talk about Bargnani. If it looks like a bust, plays like a bust, acts like a bust, it’s probably a _____. You fill in the blank. He looks awful but I’ve decided to analyze him in an entirely different post coming in the next week hopefully. Suffice to say every time he touches the ball he embarrasses himself and the GM who drafted him. To put it bluntly it looks like Kris Humphries might have a better career than Bargnani. The Italian can’t seem to grasp simple basketball concepts and is repeating the same defensive and offensive mistakes over and over again, his confidence is so low that I wouldn’t trust him in a jumpball against Rondo. Besides the occasional three point shooting he hasn’t lived up to the expectations and hype that the media and the Raptors franchise has shoved down our throats. Right now it’s turning out to be a disaster pick and I can’t even blame the coaching staff for not “bringing him along” because its clear that the problems that plague him have much more to do with mental makeup, confidence and ability more than incorrect utilization by the coach.
In this paragraph I’ll try my best to summarize what we did wrong. Forgive me if the grammar and sentence structure is a little of. Anthony Parker either missing open shots or taking bad shots. Chris Bosh taking too many jumpers when guarded by the likes of Kentrick Perkins and Glen Davis, didn’t end up having an impact on the game. Jose Calderon doing nothing to take away Rajon Rondo’s penetration. Non-existent rotational defense when double teaming Kevin Garnett – Rondo was left wide open, somebody should cover for Calderon when he’s doubling. Andrea Bargnani. Jamario Moon being too block-happy when guarding Pierce. Token man-defense on Eddie House and Tony Allen despite their hot shooting. Not getting Jason Kapono involved in the offense instead having him worry about how to get himself involved in the offense (you know, coaching stuff). Too perimeter oriented – complete points in the paint domination by Boston. When the pick ‘n roll failed (i.e.: Boston switched or fought through) we had no clue what to do next. No energy, hustle or desire.
Despite all that we could’ve cut the lead to 7 if Kapono had drained that three in the fourth quarter but we all know it wouldn’t have mattered. We couldn’t stop Boston from scoring and had trouble putting two good possessions together so it’s only deserving that we lose. The blame doesn’t go on any one person but the entire team as a whole including the coaching staff who is impotent when faced with the prospect of having to come up with a plan when the jumper isn’t falling. This blog is getting boring because after every loss the same issues come up and I write pretty much the same shit every time. The Indiana win was a fluke, this right here is reality. I concede the Atlantic Division to the Boston Celtics and am on the verge of labeling Andrea Bargnani a bust. It’s this close.
The mini-streak we had going doesn’t amount to a thing when you lose the most meaningful game of the month to your divisional rivals. For the third straight time. At home. In a blowout.
* andreabargnani.com is available.
* I was wrong in thinking that the Celtics were a three-man team when the season started.
* Sam just needs to add a couple plays to his thin playbook where a shooter like Kapono can get a clean look.
* One-on-one moves and Joey Graham don’t go together.
* At the risk of sounding like a broken record I’ll say that our rotational defense is terrible. The most guilty parties today were Delfino, Calderon and Graham. To a lesser degree Kapono.
* We go through too many offensive droughts that bury us early and we just don’t have a run-killer on our team when Bosh is struggling.
* Not having a regular 8-man rotation is affecting this team’s offense. Don’t give me a PPG stat, those are meaningless.
* I want to take the Caliper test that Bargnani took and see how I do. Damn curious.Follow @raptorsrepublic