garrett-hinchey
Charlotte Bobcats 105, Toronto Raptors 100

Pinch Blogging: The Arsenalist is away and he asked me to write his blog for this game and the game against Jersey. Here it goes:

Well that sucked. Forgive us if the “Sea of Red” is more of a “Splash of Pink” this year. We’re in a dogfight for playoff position and we are getting out gutted in the fourth by a team already eliminated. Raymond Felton and Earl Boykins, beat us down the stretch. They didn’t even have Wallace for half of this game. How do they want this more than us? Even with the loss we clinch a playoff birth. We aren’t backing into the playoffs, we’re staggering there, only to pass out and asphyxiate. We are 14 of our last 20. Playoffs will be a whole lot of pain if our fourth quarter D is any indication. When it’s late in games and the crunch is on, we suck. Well, not Rasho. He was solid.

I thought Moon had a great game and he got off to a good start with a block on high school nemesis Gerald Wallace. But down the stretch he was relegated to the bench so that Sam could go to our two PG system that allows him to give his PG some minutes while not upsetting T. Ford in the process. I think this is the only reason he does it. I understand Charlotte’s line up allowed us to do this, but did we want to? Do we not have a line-up that we feel is our best that we want to go down the stretch with yet? We do not seem to know what we want to do. This season’s been a big disappointment with Moon being the only real bright spot.

On to the game:

First quarter was lob-a-palooza as Raps were in love with the alley-oop. TJ had the offence humming. Defence was spotty though; when we made a nice play, they came back and got easy shots.

We started the second flat. The three ball was not our friend as we were O’fer for the half while the Bobcats were stroking it. Kapono turned down look for three that even I couldn’t blame on Smitch. Bargs couldn’t hit the three either but I thought he did a good job driving to the hoop and trying to create. There were a couple plays though where his one on one defence, which I usually find is good, was pretty bad.

Bosh was quiet but effective in the first half. Rasho was great and had a real nice finger roll, but J Rich willed the Bobcats with some sweet plays of his own and we were down five at the half. RapsTV crew gives us a nice shot of Jose getting TJ some water at the half. I’m surprised they didn’t have Stevie Wonder or the theme from Family Ties cued up just for that moment.

In the third Rasho and his Raps went to work inside and clawed back with hard work and getting to the line. Moon hoist’s three and saves the streak. I thought Ford played well in the third, must have been the water. Assist Calderon. We end the quarter with the lead. TJ and Rasho really do have good on court chemistry, always have. Rasho’s a smart player.

At 4:20 of the fourth Sam goes with the TJ and Jose backcourt. Moon, the recently announced Sprite impact player of the game, then goes to the bench. Sam’s not having it. We were getting to the line, which was helping to offset that we couldn’t get stops. Sam converted on another time out play using Kapono as a decoy and Parker hits a big three. However, late in the fourth down one and TJ get’s his pocket picked gives up an and1 to Boykins. Raps never recover. I can’t put this all on TJ because he played a good game overall and there was lots of choking all around, from Bosh, and even Parker, who threw up a brick late that just left me shaking my head. Perimeter defence was once again a killer, and you know José had a piece of that. Delfino played poorly as well. Funny enough, we won the rebounding battle.

It’s not just the losses; it’s the way we’re losing. We don’t look together. We switch on everything and give them their mismatches, we look out of sorts down the stretch, and we don’t know what line up we want, it just hasn’t been good. BC’s going to have some tough decisions to make in the off season.

Next game, Jersey. If a win was ever needed, it’s tomorrow (well tonight might not have been so bad either).

Peace,

East Coast

Some liners

  • How do we get Dudley in a Raps uniform?
  • Parker, what the heck was that shot? Let’s shave your sister’s head and put#18 on her back.
  • Bosh unclutch down the stretch.
  • Rasho was solid. He’s very consistent and efficient. He’s the man.
  • At one point Chuck says how he’s fired up about next year….Wow. Telling.
  • How good is that freaking apple crisp?
  • Chuck has to stop calling out other teams players.
  • Great game by Richardson.