“If you want to second-guess me, go ahead,” Casey said after the Raptors lost 111-106 in double overtime to the San Antonio Spurs before an announced sellout crowd of 19,800 at the Air Canada Centre on Sunday afternoon. “That’s what I’m here for.”
Instead of riding the hot hand of Ed Davis, who had a season-high 15 points and 14 rebounds off the bench, Casey stuck with Andrea Bargnani through two overtimes Sunday, even as the Italian finished 2-for-19 in Toronto’s 111-106 loss to the San Antonio Spurs.
Had the Raptors won some of the other close games they’ve been in this season, it would be a lot easier to look at the positives from taking the Spurs to the wire. Instead, they sit at 3-11, and so there can be no so such thing as a moral victory.
In a game where almost all of Toronto’s key offensive contributers couldn’t find the bottom of the basket — Bargnani chief among them — the decision to go back to the team’s best shooter having his worst day came down to a trust that he would eventually shoot his way out of it. Unfortunately for the Raptors, Bargnani never did.
After 53 minutes of hard-fought basketball, the Raptors were clearly gassed entering the second overtime period. They stopped going hard to the bucket, settled for more jumpers, and were slow on switches leading to open threes for San Antonio. The Spurs won the second overtime 14-9, and just like that, the Raptors lost another close one.
Technically, San Antonio’s 111-106 win over Toronto on Sunday was the NBA’s most tightly contested win of all time.
Andrea Bargnani just gives off the impression on and off the floor that he could careless [sic]. I honestly think I could count on two hands the amount of times I have felt Andrea cared in now 7 years here and have fingers left over.
Andrea Bargnani was throwing up shots – shots that were generally in the flow of the offence – and they were rimming out. There are lots of things to hammer Barg-nani for, but the shots he was taking in the Toronto Raptors’ heartbreaking loss to the San Antonio Spurs do not make the list.
Gregg Popovich on the performance from the Raptors in the loss: “Lots of times at the end of games it’s you’re making shots or you’re not. They didn’t make shots. It’s as simple as that. They executed just as well as we did. They got just as many open shots. They just didn’t go in. They busted their ass, but they didn’t fall for them. That’s nobody’s fault. You just keep shooting them.”
Duncan did make an errand pass that led to Bargnani’s fast break chance. But superstars make mistakes, too. They then clean up after them.
While Bargnani can score, that’s all he’s shown in his career thus far, and at the age of 27 in his 6th year, his game has likely hit a peak. At this point, considering what he’s offered the Raptors thus far, it may be worth exploring the market and see if the Raptors can pick up a positional need a fill a hole.
As we’ve seen in recent performances, Parker is starting to become the dynamic scorer we remember from last season. Back are the successful jumpers from the free throw line extended and the nice touch around the rim. Parker even went so far as to show off the lightning quick spin move in transition to free himself for a layup.
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