Q: What do you call the Suns when they are missing both Nash and Stoudemire?
A: Good enough to beat the Raptors.
This marks another occasion (last time being against the Bucks) that the Raptors couldn’t take advantage of a team missing its star. Sadly, the Suns are missing their two stars, which speaks loudly about the state of the Raptors: THEY CAN’T TAKE ADVANTAGE OF LIMPING TEAMS. Much like AltRaps’ gangsta roll when he goes to the Lower Rail, this game was ripe for the taking. In fact, this game went down like a standard night for Alt at the Rail:
Alt – Casually strolls into the joint. Casing it out, and looking for his spot to make the move. He takes a seat at the corner table across from the stage and beside the bar. It’s strategic because he knows he can get his drink on and it’s hard for the girls to get to him. When he pays for that beer, he makes sure that the waitress sees the stack of Sir Robert Borden’s, the word gets out slowly…
Raptors – Bosh and Bargnani are casual to start. With Amare out, and Shaq the only big of consequence available to Gentry, it is imperative they attack him and get him to pick up a few early fouls. They are aggressive on the offensive end, and grab a few boards, but don’t take it to Shaq. In fact, not only does Shaq not pick up even 1 foul, he manages a steal and 3 dunks. Weak these guys are in the paint, weak.
Alt – After 3 $7 beers, Alt is feeling good about himself. One of the girls manages to squeeze her way through the crowd, and plops down right beside our man. He keeps her talking while getting the strategic rubs, smiles and compliments; all for free, before popping the drink offer. She grudgingly accepts, knowing full well that $20 that just went to the annoyed waitress should be getting stuffed into her purse at the front dance area.
Raptors – Marion leads the charge, playing aggressively in the paint with that sweet baby hook from 8ft out. The man is crashing the boards ferociously on the offensive glass, leading to easy put backs. The best part: he is pushing on the break. In fact, I would argue Marion is better at orchestrating the Raptors on the break then Calderon is. Kapono takes advantage of some lazy ass perimeter D, turning good looks into really good looks with some fancy footwork and pump fakes. Amazing what being active will getcha.
Alt – After a couple drinks and rubs, my man is get ornery. She put in the work, and it wasn’t easy, but he agreed to one dance, with the condition that she starts earning when Savage – Swing is played. She agrees, knowing full well that as soon as she’s got him in the room, he’s going down.
Raptors - Kapono keeps up the strong shooting, and Parker decides to contribute a little. Jose is still nowhere to be found 6pts 5asts 4tos, in fact, it’s so bad Banks got some burn. The Raptors couldn’t make a stop, but were matching the Suns basket for basket for much of the quarter. They trail the Suns by 4 heading into the 4th, dangerous territory.
Alt – He didn’t know what hit him. Between the $8 beers (price goes up as you get more intoxicated) and $20 dances, our boy wonder was left with squat. Slowly but surely, the Lower Brass took little pieces of him until there was nothing left.
Raptors - The wheels fell off. For all the great work by Marion, and the wasted efforts of Bosh, Bargnani and Kapono, the Raptors were out-worked, out-hustled, out-classed and out-lasted by an aging team, missing their stars. At the end of it all, some dude with a pony tail dropped 20pts and 10rebs on the Raptors, and was the difference in the game as the Raps lost by 20.
Since it was a TSN2 game, I had to catch a stream, and got the American feed. The commentators were lame, but thankfully I didn’t have to endure Leo at all. The commentators did say something funny, after Shaq put down another dunk in the 4th, they said that was the easiest 38 points he has scored in his life. The funny part was that he went on to drop another 7 to finish the night at 45.
Shaq went 20-25 from the field, 5-8 from the line, grabbed 11 boards and even dished out a couple assists. Can we all agree that Triano is probably the worst coach in the league? The strategy last night had to be to attack Shaq and get him out of the game, but sadly that’s not what went down. In fact, the Raptors conceded 90 points in the paint (40 of which were from Shaq). Which means that 45 of the 55 made fields goals were layups, dunks or short jumpers (within 8-10ft). Only 10 of the 55 shots were jumpers, LOL. That would explain how the Suns shot 56.1% from the field.
Didn’t seem like there is any rhyme or reason to what is going on out on the court. The guys are running around with no real purpose. Bosh and Marion are busting their chops on both end of the court, but the rest of the guys aren’t, or are seemingly not giving it their all. Much like when AltRaps leaves the Rail with his head down and pockets empty, reeking of alcohol, fruity-body spray and shame.
While I’m at it, WTF was Roko doing attempting a trey with 6+ seconds left in the 3rd? Get the ball to someone who can hit the ball man. Jebus.