Hawks 93, Raptors 92 – Box

November 21, 2012 – the NBA apologizes to the Raptors for the mistake below, whereby an obvious shooting foul by Michael Kidd-Gilchrist on Andrea Bargnani is not called, resulting in a Raptor loss.

January 16, 2013 – the NBA apologizes to the Raptors for the mistake below, whereby Amir Johnson is somehow NOT in the act of shooting on this final play. Instead, the Raptors got the ball back with about a second left to inbounds and shoot…and lose.

January 30, 2013 – Somehow, despite getting hit with Sweet Chin Music, seven clotheslines, a chokeslam, a tombstone piledriver and the Hulk Hogan leg-drop on this shot attempt, DeMar DeRozan was NOT fouled.

The quote below is Dwane Casey’s reaction:

I’m tired of this. I’m tired of losing games because of missed calls at the end of the game. I know the league’s going to come down on me but I don’t care. These guys have fought their hearts out, played their hearts out, and at the end of the game we get cracked, [then and] apology, and we go home back to Canada. It’s happened too many times. I’ve been in this league 18 years and I’ve never seen as many missed calls at the end of the game to cost us the game. We have great officials in this game, we have good officials, and too good to miss calls and short-change these young men like that. It’s not right. It’s not right for these guys to play their hearts out and then come up on a missed call at the end of the game. I wouldn’t just say this, I watched it three or four times, hoping that they missed it but they didn’t.

My reaction, however, is a little more brief and pointed:

Between that ending and the Rudy Gay trade, does anybody remember ANYTHING about the rest of this game? Arse did a nice job here with his Quick Reaction, but really the story at the end of the day is the third awful no-call costing the Raptors a game this season.

Yes, the Raptors could have protected themselves from this fate by not being in those situations. They should have beaten the Bobcats more handily. They should have stopped Luol Deng (and his illegal push-off) on the possession prior to that call in Chicago. And last night, Alan Anderson shouldn’t have channelled Chris Childs and thrown up a wild attempt with no concept of the time remaining on the clock. All of these things are true, and the Raptors could have avoided such a fate.

But they didn’t, and those calls happened. Three atrocious end-of-game calls on the last possession of games that resulted in a Raptor loss. For a team that is 16-30 but also 6-12 in games decided by five points or less (or overtime), those wins add up quickly. In fact, since “close game winning percentage” is said to be subject to a lot of random variation and most teams will regress to roughly .500, if those three calls go the other way, the Raptors are suddenly a perfectly acceptable 9-9 in those situations. They’re also 19-27 and 3.5 games back of the eighth seed in the East instead of 6.5 games back, if that sort of thing matters to you.

As for the game, well, DeRozan played fairly well, as did John Lucas. Not great, but well. Lucas shoots the ball a lot…like, a lot, a lot (16 attempts in 24 minutes, which makes Kobe and Melo look passive), but last night they fell. He’s very hit or miss, and it’s my hope that when Lowry is fully healthy he can handle 36 minutes a night because I don’t want Lucas playing more than a quarter. DeRozan shot too many jumpers, as he’s wont to do, but he didn’t play all that bad overall. It’s possible he just wanted to get shots up now while he still can.

However, Amir Johnson and Alan Anderson decided to team up to try and shoot the Raptors out of the game, each shooting three-for-12. Amir missed five mid-range jumpers and hit none. Anderson missed six mid-range jumpers and hit none. At least Johnson crashed the boards (14) and played defense (four blocks) and Anderson got to the stripe (eight attempts), redeeming their games somewhat.

Kyle Lowry didn’t take over like I had hoped, but due to the back spasms and rebounding (10) I’m willing to give him a pass. Those passes aren’t going to last too much longer now that this is “his team,” though.

And finally, AIRon Gray is a monster. I apologize.

Sorry if I missed any key points, but between the trade, the no-call, this write-up and Arse’s quick react, I’m sure there’s nothing important that went uncovered. Check back Friday as three of us will break down the trade at length on the Rapcast.