Hawks 111, Raptors 89 – Box

On a night where Kobe broke his finger; he manned up, chipped in 20/5/5 and paced the Lakers for their 11th win in a row, the Raptors showed little of anything while being thumped by the Hawks, again. I thought it was Groundhogs day. Except this time, no, it was groundhogs day.

I accept that the Hawks are a better team then us. I accept that the Raptors needed to play a perfect game to beat them. I accept the loss, but I don’t accept the manner in which they lost. As they are currently constructed, this isn’t a team, it is a collection of dudes who can play basketball (they can shoot and pass and such). It’s time for an intervention, we should sit the franchise down and read them the riot act. I’ll start…

Dear Raptors,

You have continually hurt me. From 1995, you have been an important part of my life. Those formative years after you were just born, you were so cute. You had a little mouse who wasn’t welcome at first, but earned a spot in our hearts. Scrappy those teams were. We were just happy to be in the NBA, but you didn’t disappoint, you kept getting better. Trades, drafts, signings. You became a team we were proud to cheer.

You eventually made the playoffs, even got to within one shot of beating the Sixers in game 7 to reach the Eastern Conference finals, but it went down hill. You let your franchise player go bad. You watched as this organization sank to new depths. There was a death rattle where you were Atlantic champions, but that didn’t last long at all.

Your addiction to money has made it hard to support you. Sure you put together enough talent to fool the casual fan. But many of us know better. I’m sick of you taking all my money, time, energy, and giving nothing in return. The style of play you should be worried about is winning, but you are clinging to a system that only worked in Phoenix.

Are you so stubborn that you can’t admit your mistakes, ask for help and forgiveness and go about making things right? Have we not earned that right after holding your head up over the bowl after so many nights of excess and shame? You need to do something, or risk losing me to the Blazers (who need a team blog).

- Sam (aka Raps Fan)

The Raptors started the 1st quarter strong, Turkoglu showed why he got that deal: he was all over the court, passing, shooting, pulling down boards 3pts 5rebs 4ast in 4 minutes of play. Bargnani was on, he was hitting his shots and getting to the line. Bosh was the Hawks focus again, but he contributed 6pts 3rebs. The Raptors built an 18-10 lead, and looked like they were really competing, and could pull this one out. Then the Hawks went on 19-9 run to end the 1st (3 of those 9 were a running hail mary by Antoine Wright as the quarter was running out). The Hawks started the 2nd on a 13-6 run before Triano thought it prudent to call a timeout (at the 8:44 mark), but it was little too late, it was all academic from there – the game had already been conceded. I spent the rest of the night answering questions about Bosh on ESPN.

Some thoughts:

Jay: Hey buddy :) Jose: Don’t talk to me puto!

Calderon
This is the second year in a row where the guy has been injured, and was rushed back prematurely, only to get further injured. We can all agree the Raptors are better with him in the lineup, but why risk him being out for more games then necessary if we only rested him to begin with? What’s worse is that the Raptors were going to lose with or without him against the Hawks, wtf was Triano thinking?

Bargnani
The guy is a great scorer, but he does nothing else. He grabbed ONE rebound in the first half, and grabbed 2 more during garbage time in the 4th. 9pts in the first quarter, but disappeared the rest of the game. He scored 3 more points then Bosh on 5 more shots.I mean, I like the guy, but even when he’s engaged and scoring, he does little else. What happened to the defense we’ve been hearing about all week? Bosh wasn’t much better, but at least he contributed in other ways (grabbed rebounds and

Triano
The Hawks did exactly the same thing to us as the last game, and you had no answers. You knew what was coming, and did nothing about it. What is it you exactly do when you watch the game video? What is it you exactly write down on that clipboard of yours? What do those assistant coaches do other then call, run and faciliate meetings you should have been on top of? Why the hell do you only play DeMar 3 minutes in the 4th quarter of a blowout game? What exactly is your plan for the rest of the season if Colangelo doesn’t shake stuff up? Also, can you do something about Antoine Wright. The guy is out of control. He is Jamario Moon incarnate. Takes horrible shots at horrible times with the same horrible results. FFS!

We have lost by a combined 57 points to the Hawks over the last two games. The best part: there are two more games against them this season to push that discrepancy to 100. We’re going to need another team meeting before tomorrow, with Houston, Miamia and Orlando all coming up in a row. This team has fully reverted to pre-team meeting effort levels, there may be no relief until Friday when we host the Nets (which has the potential to be a disaster of its own).

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