Turns Out It WAS VC Tribute Night

Magic 104, Raptors 96 – Box

In what amounted to another middle-finger being pointed at the Raptors by our ex-franchise player, Vince Carter had the last laugh again. How ridiculously ill conceived is this plan to honour Raptors greats of the past? I mean, Oakley was cool because he is years removed from playing, and he’s interesting. But making a fuss about players like MoPete, Bonner and VC while they are still playing and trying to get wins for their teams (against the Raptors) is stupid. At least we didn’t have a “Sea of Blue” cross-promotion with the Leafs as the Magic rolled into town.

I enjoy playing in that atmosphere and I enjoy coming back here and playing, just being a part of this.” Carter said. “This is where it all started.

At the end of the day, this Magic team is on a different level than the Raptors. They were missing an injured Jameer Nelson, and Brandon Bass didn’t get off the bench, and still had more than enough to take this one to the bank.

I’m really only concerned with the 4th quarter, as the first three were evenly played. The same issues are starting to surface, and we are seeing some developments in the fourth quarter that are very,very concerning in my humble opinion.

Like the last few games, the Raptors had a stretch of 4 minutes where they didn’t score. Not only did they not score, they didn’t try to get a good shot:

  • Turkoglu stumbles into the lane and misses an off-balance layup (should have went straight up)
  • Bargnani clanks a three off the front of the rim from 25ft
  • Jack forces a jumper and misses
  • Calderon misses a three that should have fell from the foul line extended

See any trends? I’ll give you a hint: Bosh didn’t touch the ball. To be fair, he didn’t check into the game until the 8:25 mark. However, he didn’t actually take a shot until the 4:28 mark when Reddick nicked his elbow on a jump shot attempt (another bad shot). The Magic were on a 15-2 run before Bosh hit his free throws.

The last time we played them, we gave him free rein to the rim,” Howard said of Bosh. “He got a lot of easy rebounds. Tonight, we kept a body on him, forced him to stay out of the lane and not be able to get those easy rebounds.

They did a great job of keeping Bosh out of the game. He did score 22, but only had 5 rebounds on the night. He literally had two shot attempts in the 4th (one of them he drew a foul so it didn’t count). Let me repeat that: CHRIS BOSH HAD ONE SHOT IN THE FOURTH QUARTER. One…We let a big opportunity pass through our fingers considering we had Howard on the ropes early in the first quarter with two fouls.

I have to say it, but we really missed Belinelli coming off the bench today. Amir picked up some slack, and Weems chipped in some, but Belinelli has been huge for us down the stretch of games hitting some big/clutch shots.

Uhm…what else was there…yes..the pick and roll defense was terrible. Arse broke it down with some guerilla videography, I have nothing to add except +1.

Four Factors to Losing

Shooting the Ball Well
Neither team shot the ball particularly well, but the Raptors were marginally more efficient from the field.
Raptors – 48%
Magic – 46.3%

Taking Care of the Ball
Both teams did a great job of limiting turnovers.
Raptors – 9.8%
Magic – 7.6%

Offensive Rebounding
When you go 9-32 from behind the arc, there will be plenty of long-juicy rebounds to grab. Howard led the way with 5 offensive boards, that translated into 5 points scored by the Magic.
Raptors – 20%
Magic – 28.5%

Getting to the Free Throw Line
The Magic got to the line at a higher rate, and hit more from when they got there. When you are hitting from the field, this is what good teams do, pound it inside and draw fouls.
Raptors – 36.3%
Magic – 42.1%

Safe to say that the Magic won this game by solid offensive rebounding and getting to the line.

Player Impact

Bosh marginally led the way, but Johnson was HUGE. Amir had his best game as a Raptor without Belinelli dropping ridiculous passes to him.

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