Game Analysis

Second quarter sinks Raptors

Is the season already slipping away from the Toronto Raptors? Still too early to say, but there’s a sense that the fan base already grows restless. Sure they are already 1 – 5, but how much of that is due to not having already-the-best-Raptor-guard-since-you-know-who?

Damn, if Bryan Colangelo hadn’t been able to luck out on Kyle Lowry, what you saw tonight is what you were getting.

All year.

This team is already Lowry’s team. You can sense that they lack that resilience. The kind of fortitude that would have prevented a second quarter like they had today. Or you could just say that they lack that playmaker who can answer a run by the opponent.

Sure DeMar DeRozan has improved in some aspects this year, but you still can’t rely on him to handle the ball at the top of the key and make something happen other than a straight line drive or the baseline spin, can you? He actually pulled off a cute double spin today, but this isn’t 2K13, it’s kind of lame to keep trying it. He probably should try doing it over and over some day, that would be mildly amusing.

Serious question: If Nick Young gets drafted by BC, and is given the time and commitment that has been afforded to DeMar, who’s the better player?

Nick Young was better tonight, he just couldn’t miss. He was Kate Upton-hot in the second quarter, leading the 76ers to a 32-7 run that lasted that whole quarter. Unfortunately it coincided with the second unit coming in, including one Linas Kleiza who emerged from a deep freeze and continued to stay frozen as John Lucas shot bricks from the perimeter.

One question that springs to mind at this point would be: Why is the bench so lacking in talent when the one (remaining?) positive that the general manager had going for him was that he could always glean some gems from the corners of the NBDL, Europe and other parts unknown. Nothing much really to get excited about here.

Even with most of the starters back in, the situation got even worse. Jose Calderon, Andrea Bargnani, DeMar DeRozan. Three players deemed to be part of the core, now with the exception of the one guy not drafted by Colangelo (Calderon). All three on the floor and unable to stem the tide. Everyone has bad games, but these players are supposed to be entering their primes, as major pieces of a contender. Really?

Guess it could be an aberration, like the Lakers 1 – 4 start. Try telling that to Mike Brown.

The aforementioned did pick up their game in the third quarter, playing good team ball. Bargnani started to get going offensively. A zone anchored by Jonas Valunciunas seemed to confound Philadelphia.

A nice play by Jose Calderon to Amir Johnson to end the quarter pulled the Raptors to seven, but that’s the closest they would get. The newest $10 million dollar man made sure of that.

10:42 72-63 DeMar DeRozan misses 17-foot two point jumper
10:07 72-63 DeMar DeRozan misses 16-foot two point jumper
8:00 77-65 DeMar DeRozan misses 14-foot jumper
7:28 77-67 DeMar DeRozan makes 2-foot two point shot
6:50 79-67 DeMar DeRozan misses 19-foot jumper

The only player in the league who gets to shoot that many jumpers that late in a close game is Kobe Bryant. Even Erik Spoelstra would whisper in Lebron James’ ear at some point here to drive the ball in, or make a play. Just make a play. But he’s got to live up to that contract. Not necessarily a good thing.

3:46 83-69 DeMar DeRozan possession lost ball turnover
3:46 83-69 DeMar DeRozan technical foul(1st technical foul)

Another point. The refs don’t care how much you make. You won’t get a call every time you drive.

Sorry DeMar. This isn’t fair, nobody expects you to turn down a generous offer like that which was completely unnecessary given the fact that you still had a year left before you became a restricted free agent. Yeah that type, to give the general manager some control over you. Weak. That’s the only word to describe it.

If loyalty won championships, Bryan Colangelo would be a living legend.

The only hope for him, and for the fanbase’ sanity is that Lowry’s ankle heals up. It’s hard to say this, but the team is not half as fun to watch without the razzle dazzle that a starting-calibre NBA point guard like him provides.

One more bone to pick with Casey. Fine, don’t play Valunciunas if the 76ers want to play small ball, but you should know better than having Andrea as your 5. John Lucas was under the hoop when Thad Young scored on an all-too-easy layup. Unnatural things happen.

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