7 Losses in a Row…and Counting

jason maxiell raptors pistonsThrow it down Big Man! Throw it down!
Raptors 75, Pistons 96

Before getting into it (not much to get into really…sadly…), my disgust for this TSN2 situation came full circle tonight. I live up in North York, no Philthy’s in site, and after stumbling from bar to bar with nothing but the leafs playing, I find a joint that has the Raptors playing nestled between two TV’s blasting the Leafs game. Not a great environment to watch a Raptor game, but on a plus side, the wings were great. Something needs to be done ASAP, I can’t go on like this, if a mediator is needed to get TSN2 on Rogers, I volunteer my services, I’ll get it done.

…these post-game’s are getting infinitely harder to write. Seriously, just pick a random post-game from before, and do the following:

  • replace the team name with Detroit Pistons
  • replace the Raptor killer of the night with Tayshaun Prince
  • replace the bench spark with Jason Maxieill

No seriously, it will be about the same…

As per usual, the Raptors got out to an early lead off the back of some good work on the boards by Bosh. He grabbed 3 rebounds early in the 1st, all three were offensive rebounds that translated into 4 points. The best part; he opened things up with a drive and not a jumper, 13 seconds into the game. I can’t even remember the last time his first shot wasn’t a jumper. With the Raptors up 10-2, the Pistons took a full time-out, and brought in Maxiell, who got dunk after dunk (4 in the first quarter – 4 monstrous ones, I actually lost a wing cause I reacted to one, pissed me off).

For the second time this season,  O’Neal has come off the bench, and he looked none-too pleased. Sure he was smiling early in the game, but you could just see in his face that he and his agent were going to work the phones aggressively later to talk Riley into pulling the trigger – might as well be warm right? The Pistons have a plethora of forwards who are pretty much interchangeable. They are all high-energy, move well and make you pay for your mistakes. Not exactly the type of the team you can effectively gauge O’Neal’s effectiveness against a the second unit. I thought he did a good job of getting to the line, that’s about it, his touch around the rim was rusty again, he air-balled a turn around jumper from the left block, he doesn’t lean into his shots and sadly, he had 1 rebound in 20 minutes of play…ONE REBOUND.

Speaking of rebounds, the Raptors as a team had 28, lol. 12 of which came in the first quarter. The Raptors got 16 rebounds the rest of the game. To put this in perspective, Maxieill got 11 rebounds in about 25 minutes, 5 of which were offensive (compared to 8 total for the game for the Raps); and McDyess, off the bench, grabbed more rebounds then any Raptor player AND out-rebounded the entire Raptor bench single-handedly. So much for improved rebounding huh BC?

The game was effectively over at the 7min mark of the second, with Prince giving the Pistons the go ahead popping a J and giving the them their first lead of the game. Once they sink their teeth in, and taste some blood, they are relentless.

That’s his natural position and he’s just a really good player, said Toronto’s Chris Bosh, who scored 19 points. It’s always tough to match up with him whether he’s at (small forward) or (power forward) because he’s so versatile.

He plays great defense, and he was knocking down his jumper today. He did a fantastic job.

If only Bosh would have encouraged Moon in such a manner, he might have been motivated to you know, play harder. I dunno, just putting it out there. Kapono should never, never ever-ever!, cover anyone who is good. His wing defense has regressed as much as his wife’s love for him has. The guy has no lateral quickness; he doesn’t force his check into a waiting defender; he doesn’t rebound well; and lately, even if he doesn’t travel, he can’t hit a jumper. I know BC is talking him up, but this may be too tall an order. Who the hell is going to give up anything but crap for Kap?

There are a couple positives though, mostly individual play, but at this point, I’m grasping at anything that will deter me from heading down to the ACC and making the front page of The Star:

Anthony Parker
In the mold of Ron Harper, Parker is reinventing himself as a point guard in the NBA, and a capable one at that. He’s not flashy, and he doesn’t have that break-down speed to get in the lane, but what he does do is run the offense: make sound plays; shoot over his check and play solid defense at the 1. He haven’t missed Calderon all that much, although I welcome his return eagerly.

Andrea Bargnani
I will continue calling him VL for one reason: since we started calling that, he has gone off, and I don’t want him to let up if we retire the moniker.  Not the greatest game offensively, but he did a bang up job on Wallace, keeping Sheed out of the game, and off the boxscore. A small win, but a win none-the-less.

Err…that’s about it, two good things. They lost again, next up is Chicago on Friday in Chi-Town…not much hope there. Frankly, at this point, tank…get us a young player and do something with the O’Neal contract.

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