Any combination of a Raptors loss or Bulls win will end in Jerome Williams representing the Raptors at the draft lottery in a couple months. It’s sad, but things are on coming together like many of us said at the beginning of the season: that the 5th through 9th places in the East will be a dogfight, and the Raptors are not head and shoulders above the rest of the teams in the East.
In games that Bosh has been injured, the Raptors are 3-7 this season; with those three wins coming against the Nets, Wolves and Knicks. See a theme? They can beat the gawdawful teams without Bosh, but they can’t beat anyone else (they’ve also not been able to beat bad teams with Bosh in the lineup, but I digress). We actually have a good sample size of what life without Bosh is going to be like, and I’ll tell you, it’s not going to be good.
I actually have very little to say about the game. Contrary to the mood at the ACC, I didn’t boo the team, I wasn’t disgusted with the performance, and I’m not upset that we’re currently 9th in the East. I’m not saying I’m happy with the outcome, (that was as much basketball as rubbing up against a woman on the subway is sex) but I am sending bad vibes towards Colangelo and Triano. This team is where it is because of the personnel decisions Colangelo has made, and coaching decisions Triano insists on continually making.
Time has run out on the Raptors, and everything that should have been done yesterday to get the win…should have been done, and it wasn’t:
- Triano did the right thing by starting Weems on Rose and Calderon on Hinrich, what he didn’t do was take it a step further. We have a guy on the bench called Marcus Banks, who is easily our best defender at the point. He showed late in the 4th that he can keep up with Rose and was disruptive. Triano went to him in garbage time in order to rest the guys for tonights game against the Pistons. Rose is prone to turn the ball over if pressured. Weems, Calderon, Jack are all not capable of defensive pressure like that, Banks is.
- Noah and Gibson combined for 25 rebounds. Bargnani and Johnson combined for a pathetic 7. Now, Turkoglu was an animal and pulled down 19, but when your forwards aren’t crashing the offensive glass, well…forget it. All I’m saying is that Turkoglu had the same amount of offensive rebounds as Bargnani and Johnson combined and that can’t happen. Rasho would have been a nice choice to get a few more minutes early to stabilize the play in the paint. Especially with Amir picking up so many early fouls on stupid/lazy reach ins.
- Jack and Calderon again? AGAIN? SERIOUSLY? I feel like it’s groundhog day. With all the statistics against pairing the two, all of us moaning and complaining that they don’t play well together, wtf is Triano trying to prove? Is there something going on with that pairing that all of us are missing? I just don’t get it.
The most disappointing thing about the game was the booing. We need to be like the Thunder fans, who cheer their team, even when they are down and out, and will them back into the bloody game. Fans at the ACC need to be the 6th man, not the spoiled Torontonians the rest of Canada hates us for being. You want to show your displeasure with the team, don’t buy a ticket to the game. That sends the loudest message to MLSE in terms of lost revenue. Just wait till those fat cats don’t get that playoff cash, folks will get sodomized.
There is some good news: if the Raptors win tonight, then the Bulls MUST beat the Celtics (a team who is fighting for 3rd in the East and a chance to avoid the Cavs until the conference finals) AND beat the Bobcats on the road (Bobcats are 31-9 at home). The pressure is on Chicago, but only if the Raptors hold it down tonight. Yea, that’s about all I got.