"This is something these guys should be used to," Triano said. "You have to learn how to play these games. You can't just cancel 18 games (the number of back-to-backs remaining) You have to find a way to fight through it. Maybe you do something different."
Asked what that might be, Triano just shook his head.
"I have no idea," he said. "I'm trying to figure it out. Usually, we let them sleep until noon. Maybe we wake them up and practise? I really don't know if that helps or hurts the cause.
"You can use the excuse of getting in at 2:30 and the fact that they have been sitting here for two days practising, but at some point you have to find the energy," Triano said.
A night after the Raptors passed up shot after shot to get a better one and each was patting the other on the back for being so selfless, they came out in Charlotte last night and had six different players score the team's first 12 points. It was about the only positive of the entire night from a Raptors perspective.
The final score, 116-81 was ugly in so many ways. The 81 points by the Raps were easily a season low. The previous low of 91 against Utah came on another back-to-back.
The 34.5% shooting percentage was also a low mark for the season. The margin of defeat was another low watermark.
For the record, the Raptors are 0-3 on the back end of a back-to-back with 16 more to come this year.
The Raps kept it close for a half, down by just six, but even that was somewhat deceiving.
It was primarily on the strength of just two players that allowed the Raptors to remain anywhere close for the first 24 minutes.
In a game that seemed devoid of energy on the Raptors end, Amir Johnson and Andrea Bargnani were the only Raptors with any life.
A week or so ago, maybe a bit longer, the memory fades, Jay was talking about his team and it’s seeming inability to fight through tough times every now and then and he said:
“We’re a fair-weather team.”
Pretty good assessment right there after that dog’s breakfast Wednesday night.
What he meant, and what we’ve seen, is that if the team’s offence is working at a high level so is its defence, an inverse reaction to what normal teams do.
And as soon as they got stagnant last night and the turnovers piled up and the Bobcats had them forcing quick jumpers, the game was effectively over.
I don’t think it’s a fatal flaw over the season but it’s something that has to be corrected. And it gets corrected by the players realizing it and digging down deeper when they aren’t operating at full efficiency on offence.
You get a procession of Bobcats streaking to the hoop for dunks and layups without argument, the home team scoring an astonishing 74 points in the paint to Toronto's 44.
And you get Gerald Wallace, the Charlotte swingman who has never been named to an NBA all-star team, looking like an all-world, one-man wrecking crew.
Wallace, who came in averaging 13.7 points per game, scored 31 in his first 32 minutes of playing time because he's the kind of energetic athlete the Raptors don't fare well against.
Gerald Wallace drops 31 and 13 to carry Bobcats past Raptors
The Bobcats turned 18 Toronto turnovers into 29 Charlotte points. Those are the easy baskets the Bobcats so seldom got earlier this season.
I feel like I've learned something from every coach I've covered, and here's what I learned from Bernie Bickerstaff: An efficient NBA team averages a point for every opponent turnover it creates. If you turn 18 turnovers into 29 points, you must be (a.) stealing the ball at the optimum spot to get an uncontested layup, and (b.) attacking on defense in the way most teams aspire to attack on offense.
The Bobcats had 13 blocked shots to Toronto's four. The Raptors aren't going to block a lot of shots — they're softer than a Ritz-Carlton towel — but Tyson Chandler showed what he can do. The intimidation factor — the Raptors skewed all kinds of shots to avoid Chandler's grasp — was apparent.
Toronto Raptors forward Hedo Turkoglu was born and raised in Turkey, so he did not grow up celebrating Thanksgiving. Former NBA big man Scot Pollard aimed to change that by taking Turkoglu shopping for a Thanksgiving feast. Watch as they load up on turkey, cranberry sauce, potatoes and pumpkin pie.
Toronto point guard Jose Calderon dished 8 assists, but the four other Raptors started combine for just three.
Hedo Turkoglu, the big Raptors off-season addition, brought nothing. In 22 minutes he shot just 2-of-7 for five points, two assists and almost nothing else.
The lone bright spot for Toronto off the bench today was Amir Johnson, who shot 6-of-9.
So Wallace finished 10-of-20 from the field and 11-of-12 from the foul line. It helped that the Raptors (7-9) might have the NBA's worst interior defense.
"Their only big man at the rim is Chris Bosh," Wallace said. "They don't have any shot-blockers."
The Raptors might not know where to look for answers. But it wouldn’t hurt to lend an ear to forward Amir Johnson.
Johnson’s 13 points and 8 boards—5 of them offensive—in 23 minutes Wednesday was typical of his play this season. He takes full advantage of his opportunities. It’s certainly not something you can say about the Raptors team as a whole.
Johnson was picked up from Milwaukee after changing addresses a couple times in the offseason. He’s a fifth year veteran at 22 years old—the NBA player drafted out of high school.
Johnson has never been the picture of consistency in his career. And his play can often be frustrating.
From the opening tip, the Bobcats showed no signs of intimidation from Bosh and Co. Tyson Chandler set the tone for the Bobcats’ approach within the first minute of play. Chandler followed a Wallace miss with an easy tap-in for the team’s first two points and then ran the floor to block Chris Bosh’s first shot attempt. Those two plays forced the Raptors to do two things – hesitate around the rim and keep a man on Tyson. Chandler’s offensive stats don’t show his true presence and impact. Every other Bobcat on the floor benefitted from Toronto’s efforts to stay with both centers, Chandler and Mohammed. Tyson’s six blocks sparked easy transition points and the Raptors seemed comfortable turning the ball over from start to finish.
To put it in perspective, the Charlotte Bobcats average 85 points per game. The Toronto Raptors let them score 116 points tonight and the 35-point win was the largest win in Bobcats history. Defense anyone?
Gerald Wallace had his way with the Raps, smacking up, flipping and rubbing down the Raptors with 31 points and 13 rebounds. Newly-acquired Charlotte Bobcat, Stephen Jackson chipped in with 23 points in front of #23 himself, Michael Jordan in attendance.
The key word is might. If power forward Chris Bosh, who can opt out of his contract next summer and become a free agent, remains with the Toronto Raptors, he could form with center Andrea Bargnani one of the NBA's truly elite low-post duos.
If Bosh bolts after this season, perhaps it will end up being B&E in Toronto. But don't think Bargnani and Reggie Evans would cause a tremendous amount of fear in the low post.
Right now, the top combinations of four and five men in the NBA are Orlando's Dwight Howard and Rashard Lewis and the Lakers' Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol. Considering the importance of big guys, it's not surprising those pairs battled it out last June in the NBA Finals.
Back-to-backs, plane rides, whatever. Bench warmer Patrick O’Bryant was singing the praises of the Charlotte Ritz Carlton on Twitter for what it’s worth, so don’t blame the hotel. Forget defence completely – it’s a mythical creature here, like the Yeti, or his North American cousin, the Sasquatch.* It’s clear now that this is how Toronto will live and die, so enjoy the orgasmic highs and heroin-withdrawal lows.
THE FAN presents the highlights and lowlights (with calls by Paul Jones) as well as the recap (by Eric Smith) of a shocking 116-81 Bobcats' victory over the Toronto Raptors.
The former Raptor and current Bobcats' radio analyst partakes in a rare three-man weave with Paul Jones and Eric Smith. Curry talks about the progression of his son Stephen as a rookie in the NBA, his younger son Seth's transfer to Duke from Liberty, and his favourite Raptor memories.
Tonight they were tired. They did just have a crazy stretch of road games and it was the second night of a back to back…but we needed this one. We really did. Fight through it and Man up! Hopefully they got the message loud and clear and will bring it next game. It’s either that or Jay is going to lose it on awhole lot more clipboards.
“That was ugly. Toronto looked flat from the opening tip. In spite of the fact that the Raps led after 1 and were down by only 6 at the half, you could see early on that the energy wasn’t there and things got out of hand in a hurry as the game rolled on.”
Disgusting, embarrassing, listless, humiliating…
Losing 35 points to Denver Nuggets is one thing but losing 35 points to the Bobcats? Look, I am not disrespecting the Cats here, but they are the Charlotte Bobcats. They shouldn’t be scoring 116 points. There is little to no effort here tonight; I don’t care it’s a back to back game, they just didn’t show up.
Every player should be blamed for this, the coaching staff as well, for whatever reason, they can’t get the players to go out and play with effort in the 2nd half. Just disgusting.
Check out the Raptors-Bobcats Game In Six Minutes.
Chris Bosh speaks with the media following the Raptors' loss to the Bobcats.
The Raptors head coach speaks with the media following a loss to the Bobcats in Charlotte.
Hedo Tukoglu speaks with the media following the Raptors' loss to the Bobcats.
The Raptors guard speaks with the media after a loss in Charlotte.
- Raptors torn asunder
- Video: Bargnani’s effort and a question for Turk