Raptors claw their way to victory on Drake night.

Just as a heads up, today’s recap will be a bit light on game analysis as I’m unexpectedly filling in for a fellow RR writer. I’ll give a brief recap of the game before gripping about the terrible refereeing in last night’s game.

[Individual player grades and analysis can be found in Andrew’s Quick Reaction]

GAME RECAP

Coming into last night’s game, the Nets were on a five game winning streak. They beat OKC on the road, they beat Atlanta, they beat Golden State and they even beat the Miami Heat. Needless to say, the Nets were on a roll, and they were getting contribution from up and down the roster. Deron Williams was huge in the win against OKC, but when he re-aggravated his ankle injury, Shaun of the Livingston took his place and dropped 11 assists on the Heat. In Deron’s absence, Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce stepped up. Kevin Garnett looked somewhat spry and even Mirza Teletovic (who?), the sharpshooting big-man out of Bosnia stepped up and contributed.

On the other hand, the Raptors were well-rested after beating a hapless Pistons team two nights prior, and it was Drake Night, which really was as hilarious and as entertaining as one would expect. Drake wore one of his OVOxRaptors shirts (they were free, did anyone cop one for their favorite RR writer? No? Yeah I figured), a backwards ballcap, and he introduced the Raptors starting lineup. I highly suggest you watch the video below — spoiler alert: he calls Dwane Casey dashingly handsome:

On to the game. Both sides started slow as it was a grind-it-out type of match for the first quarter. Valanciunas and Johnson looked invisible on the front-lines so the backcourt did most of the damage via the usual ways. Ross spotted up in the corner for a three, Lowry hit a wing three and Derozan did his damage by driving to the hoop and shooting from midrange. Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce had it going early, but it was apparent that their legs were tired on the second night of a back to back. Mason Plumlee was very active in the early going and held the fort down in the interior.

The Sacramento Kings bench unit came on at the start of the second and they were surprisingly effective. They extended the lead to as much as 13 points, thanks most in part to John Salmons who had a dunk and a three en route to a 5/5 night from the field (including 3 three’s).

However, the lead began to slip when the starters came back in. Valanciunas got blocked and Johnson didn’t look so hot either. The referees also called some pretty bogus fouls on the Raptors (more on this later) which allowed the Nets to get back into this one, but the Raptors still went into halftime with a 5 point lead.

It all went to poops in the third. The Raptors were completely flat coming out of the half and the Nets outscored the Raptors by a 18-3 margin before Casey yanked the starting frontcourt — who were conceding all kinds of offensive rebounds to the Nets — and subbed in Patterson and Hayes. The lineup of Lowry-Derozan-Salmons-Patterson-Hayes went on a major run to end the third and they miraculously turned a 10 point deficit into a 4 point lead going into the final frame. Demar Derozan was huge as he single-highhandedly scored 9 straight points for the Raptors, including this ice cold dagger at the buzzer. Patterson chipped in with some sorely needed rebounding.

The Raptors sprinted through the final frame while the Nets were clearly exhausted. The Raptors played up-tempo on offense and stymied the Nets on defense. Without Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce, the Nets struggled to generate any good looks, which is completely shocking because they had Alan Anderson running the point for a while (remember him?). The Nets got it to as close as 7 points, but Lowry hit a pull-up three (from the wing, because of course) and it was game, set and match from thereon. The ACC was as loud as I can remember and Drake did his best Dwane Casey impersonation beside the man himself. All in all, Drake Night was a pretty big success, both on the court and off it.

Ball Don’t Lie!

I alluded to this earlier, but the referees — led by unwrapped mummy veteran official Dick Bavetta — did a horrible job officiating last night’s game. The whistles were noticeably screwing over the Raptors in the first half (some examples below), but then the refs doubled-down on their mistakes and gave the Raptors a bunch of make-up calls in the third quarter (the Nets got whistled for 9 fouls in the 3rd).

Hey referees? Look, I don’t really care for “make-up calls”, because I personally believe it mostly evens out over the course of a game, but above all else, just try your best to make the right call. That’s all any fan could ask for. If it is a foul, call it. If it isn’t, swallow that whistle. If you made a mistake on a call, don’t double-down and keep repeating that mistake. If you accidentally called a tick-tack foul on a guy in the first, you don’t have to uphold that standard for the rest of the game. Just try your best to make the right call, because the three clips below were most certainly not the right calls:

Apparently this wasn’t a foul on Plumlee, so the refs must be calling it tough tonight, right?

Dammit Lowry! How could you foul Paul Pierce’s elbow with your face like that? Ugh.

Yep, it was that kind of night

All in all, not a great day at the office for the refs. To the Raptors’ credit, they fought through the malaise and revved up the engine after sputtering in the third. Major daps goes out to Derozan and Patterson, who contributed with scoring and rebounding respectively. Derozan’s playmaking is also to be commended, and his development on the offensive end this season has been a pleasant revelation. He repeatedly drove the the hoop in the third and without his 26 points, the Raptors would have likely lost the game, so kudos to Demar.

Oh, and the Raptors now hold the championship belt. That’s kinda cool, right?

  • Ds

    Now 15 games since the new players joined the team, here are the Raptors’ offensive and defensive numbers:

    DRTG 95.34 (average opponent ORTG: 104.51)
    ORTG 103.94 (average opponent DRTG: 103.53)

    Basically, they have a top 2 defence and a below average offence. However, the offensive numbers are in line with the defences they’ve faced, i.e. 103.9 vs 103.5 (some tough defensive teams: Indiana twice, Chicago twice, Charlotte, OKC, etc.). However, if those defensive numbers hold true for the rest of the season, we have a true contender on our hand. We’ll see.

    • moe

      lol no, we don’t have a contender. a great team but no experience right now. we would be lucky to make it to the second round. (that hasn’t happened since ever tho so it’s a huge success)

      • SR

        To be fair his statement was conditional – “if those defensive numbers hold.” Those numbers = a top 2 defensive rating. At that point, the 2nd round should be your floor, not your ceiling.

        We’ll see how it plays out.

  • j bean

    Drake paid off the refs but Bavetta is so old he kept forgetting who he was supposed to whistle.

    • arsenalist

      Bavetta is such a drama queen. He’ll do a little ass-shake for a simple out-of-bounds call. He’ll be like bending his knees and doing a twist before calling a charge. This one time he did a Marilyn Monroe skirt-airing type thing before blowing for a three-second call. In the second half he made a soft “suck it” overture just after calling Lowry for a hand-check. The man needs to get a grip.

  • HogyG

    I couldn’t agree more about the refs in last night’s game. I like your choices for video evidence to prove it. There were many more to choose from, but those certainly get the point across. Well done. At halftime the Raptors looked befuddled and dejected walking into the locker room from the way the whistles were blowing against them and not for them on the other end. In previous years that was the sign that they were broken by the refs and would allow it to negatively effect their game and manifest itself into a loss. After coming out in the third and looking disoriented they finally managed to refocus and finish up strong as we’ve seen since the trade. Good for DeMar getting the technical and not taking that bullshit from the refs without going on the record. It’s a shame he had to do it at all, but I’m glad he did.

    • GetLicks

      Very true. Any other year this would have been a loss. Frustration would set in and the other team would end up blowing us out. Was good to see Lowry & Derozan both get pissed and go off. Those 2 had balls of steel last night..made some huge shots.

  • George

    Honestly, Bavatta is usually nice to the raptors. So I dunno what got into him this game. That pierce elbow to Lowry face foul was straight up embarrassing. But the referee that hates the raptors the most is the black female one. (Think she’s the only black female). Like it feels as if she has some deep personal problems with Toronto. Perhaps she gets harassed when she crosses the border.

    • Zimdim

      There is huge money gambled on NBA games and throughout NBA games.

      Why are most of us still naive to the amount of toying around the league does via its refs. They’d squeeze the juice out of each gold coin.

      • JayTeam

        My tinfoil hat agrees with you. It;s a conspiracy from the highest levels,

        • lewro

          donaghy never happened too right? naismith runs the league and the hoops are still peach baskets.
          no corruption in sports? that tinfoil hat is reflecting off your glass bubble world and blinding you to a truth that you refuse to accept. corruption is everywhere: politicians, businessmen, clergymen, etc. but the nba is sacrosanct? get real. you’re being sold a product that is entertainment – not the pure integrity of competitive sport. the nba is not a playground for children, it’s a business, run by business.

          • JayTeam

            Yes there has been a corrupt ref, and there may have been more. But to say the league is involved in gambling corruption through its refs to me sounds paranoid and ridiculous.

            • blackjitsu

              I could care less. But, you can’t look at old footage from the Kings/Lakers playoff series and think that was one corrupt official. That whole series was a hot mess.

              Many think the Ewing draft was funny… Now taking incidents from back when the NBA was more about big markets, and less about false parity, and National TV ratings is one thing, but you can’t blindly dismiss the tin foil wearers…conspiracies sadly exist for reasons — usually logical reasons gone haywire.

            • Louvens Remy

              Just look back a couple draft lotteries. Cleveland LeBron, new Orleans Davis…if the Lakers win this one then the gig is up.

              • JayTeam

                Also, have you ever seen a player miss a shot and you wonder “how the hell did he miss that?”. He missed it because HE WAS PAID TO MISS IT!!!!!

                Am I starting to “get it”?

                • Louvens Remy

                  hahahaa. It doesn’t work like that. players play and they try hard. if they are on the take maybe. The sports world is driven by gambling, people with a lot of money on the line, aren’t above a little foul play to even the score. I think that all sports are not above refute when it comes to the bottom line, which is making sure ratings are high, sponsors and investors are getting a return…I’m not saying its rampant or a conspiracy. I’m just saying it exist in little pockets from time to time. The product is entertainment for us schlubs, the real business is behind the scenes where lots of money is exchanging hands. I am not gonna sit back and not believe that the NBA didn’t rig the lottery for the guy who just saved the NO Hornets. It’s a nice little payback for doing business. Shit like that happens all the time in the corporate world.

                • Louvens Remy

                  Look, the Lakers make A LOT of money for the NBA. It does them no good to not have a marquee name over there to take over for Kobe. They are the leagues most popular team. It makes a lot of sense in my eyes, business wise, for them to get in the top 3 picks. Or maybe get the first pick. I really don’t give a shit because I have no say in the lottery. The people in the NBA care about the product and its a business to them. They need the Lakers to be relevant pretty much all the time and have marquee names play there. It’s just business, and what more better year to have the Lakers in the lottery with a 2% chance of winning the first pick and winning it? Pfffft. I aint gonna be surprised.

            • lewro

              as far as i’ve read, donaghy was in it for himself – not league sponsored. but it does demonstrate that the refs can control the game and that the refs are subject to the will of the league. ipso facto, the league can control a game. that doesn’t necessarily mean that the league uses this measure of control to determine the outcome for the purpose of gambling but it doesn’t rule it out either (as a possibility, in isolated incidents).
              my point has more to due with entertainment value, as that is the nba product, and how this relates to competition between big vs small market teams. to make a long story short, it is often the case that a big market team has an unfair talent advantage and blows out the less talented, small market team. once the game is out of reach (up by 20pts in the 4th) the small market teams tend to get gimme calls to keep things competitive. this seems to be league directed to keep small market teams viable by giving the underdog a chance to comeback and their fans by extension. odds are always stacked in favour of the house though. it’s just business, it’s not a conspiracy. the product has to be consumed widely but there are target markets for sure.
              draft is a whole another scam for another discussion.

          • Zimdim

            I don’t usually discuss this but the topic here is refs.

            We watch the evidence every night. No conspiracy, truth.

          • raptorstand

            Ever wonder why MJ took a three year hiatus in his prime, and Magic got the aids virus but has never looked sick?? A lot of gambling back in the day by refs and players……… got my tinfoil hat on tight.

            • Suspicious Mind

              Whoa…mind blown…not even kidding

      • Greg Ast

        Zimdim – really? I gottta believe things are happening at such a high rate of speed that we’re just watching their honest reaction to the play. It’s more a matter of their individual competence which no doubt will vary game to game depending on their sleep the night before and what they had for their pregame meal etc etc

        • Zimdim

          Funny.

      • ItsAboutFun

        lmao,,, conspiracy theories. They’ll never end. Have any of you conspiracy theorists ever officiated a basketball game at any level, never mind at the NBA level? Yes, there was the Donaghy thing, but it’s as silly to think such stuff is common, as it is to suggest Italians are all tied to the Mafia. Yes, I totally buy into the “star treatment” thing that happens, as it sadly does in all sports, but most of the bad calls or missed calls are because it’s simply the most difficult sport to officiate, and these guys aren’t computers. They’re human and with the speed at which lots of big bodies are moving, in a small space, they are going to miss stuff, and even going to guess what happened sometimes. It’s the nature of the beast. No need for tinfoil hats.

        • lew_ro

          there are checks and balances. raps got some bad calls, nets got some bad calls. broadcasters routinely acknowledge this, as armstrong did last night. baseball pitchers throw at 100mph but umps can still call balls/strikes – not all about speed/reaction. when you do it for a living then you hone that response. it’s human to make a mistake and that’s why video replay has been adopted in crucial situations.
          i think the “conspiracy” camp can be rapid but the “denial” camp can be dismissive. there is a middle ground and both camps have a point.

          • ItsAboutFun

            Yes, mistakes are human, which was part of my comment. But equating balls/strikes calls to seeing every touch of bodies, and instantly judging whether it’s a foul call, with generally from 2 bodies, with 8 limps, to 6 bodies with 24 limps involved, is not having the slightest comprehension of what officiating basketball is like. Yup, just like pro umps, they’ve spent a lot of time practicing their craft, but these two activities are as different as night and day. Get out on a court and try it, then tell me it’s like calling balls/strikes. I guarantee you change that tune within 5 minutes. It’s really difficult.

  • tdotgooner

    Last night and the game against the pacers made me “kinda” believe in this team and their spirit. The NBA is a player’s league that means, lebron and kobe and the stars will get 90% of the calls. If you respect from the refs and learn to win, you have to be able to play through these sort of game when the calls are going against you. I’m not saying they’re a contender but if the teams keeps playing like this, they’ll be a tough matchup for any team in the playoffs. We may have a talent deficit when you you’re up against the pacers, heat and the other top teams but those teams won’t be looking forward to playing us if these guys keep playing with the effort and energy that they’re playing with lately.

  • Zimdim

    It’s either that Mr $tern and his wealthy NBA family can’t possibly find more reliable refs, or that they can’t possibly find more RELIABLY CONTROLLABLE REFS.

    Those whistled puppets in gray have more contol of each minute of game flow than any other pig money sport.

  • rapierraptor

    Perfect choices for the video clips, my friend. Hilariously bad calls. Demar had the look of a hungry beast in his eyes during that run to close out the 3rd and it was gloorriouss!

    • Shifty

      I noticed it too, ever since Indiana win there are times in game where he looks really hungry. Sometimes it ends in chucking poor shots, sometimes in incredible rebounds and steals and drives to the basket.

    • Tweed8

      Ya. That’s a lot I’ve been seeing ever increasingly over the years! Needs to wear that mask more often.

      • tweed8

        *look not “lot”.

  • http://www.probballreport.com/ Stephen Brotherston

    “The Sacramento Kings bench unit came on at the start of the second and they were surprisingly effective.”
    Seriously – where have you been over the past month? On vacation or something?

    “Chunky Hayes played some huge minutes, I mean he came up big, I mean he had a major presence, I mean he was actually relatively effective so he doesn’t deserve these fat jokes.”

    Stand beside the man in the dressing room and call Chuck fat – go ahead – I’ll watch from around the corner. Really? You ever see the guy in person?

    Expecting more………

    • DDayLewis

      Alright the Chuck Hayes comment was uncalled for and I took it out. I apologize.

      • Paul

        Welcome to 2014, where it’s not about what actually offends people, but what could theoretically offend someone.
        Hayes looks out of shape. Your job is to comment on such things in a colorful light.
        Don’t apologize to the self righteous internet thought police.

        • Greg Ast

          Mr Hayes looks out of shape? Really? Could you show us a full body of you in a set of boxers and a wife beater? On second thought, forget I interrupted your blog.

          • Paul

            How relevant and thought provoking.
            I am not an NBA player or coach. None of us are, yet we comment on the game.
            I don’t play guitar, but I know Nickelback sucks.
            Landry Fields is a better 3 pt shooter than me, yet I still feel comfortable commenting on his wonky stroke.
            Every player in the NBA is in better shape than me, but I am commenting on their conditioning relative to one another. Kind of the point..

        • ItsAboutFun

          Basketball talk is about the game, how a player plays and contributes, not your thoughts on how he looks. There are sites out there where men talk about their feelings about the looks of other men, if that’s what you’re into, but it has no business on a basketball site. The man, who has looked just like he does for years, and competes in the best league in the world, with that body you’re so interested in commenting on. As far as the game goes, he played well and contributed to another win, despite your apparent desire to focus on his body type.

          • rapierraptor

            If it seems like the guy isn’t as in good of shape as he could be (while being millions to play the game), then his conditioning is very much a part of the conversation about his on-court performance. Not even saying that I agree necessarily- just saying it is relevant.

            • ItsAboutFun

              His on court performance was what last night? It was good. It was valuable. So, what the hell is your point?

              • rapierraptor

                Haha, damn. Take a look at your nickname and chill.

          • ac1011990

            It’s kind of a harmless comment, I don’t know if you remember but when rumours about the possible trade for Felton came up all the comments were about how fat he was. I don’t think many of us would say half of the things we say on here to any of their faces. We come here to have fun and speak our mind.

            • CJT

              Maybe you should consider that a guy who is 6’6″ is playing center in the best league in the world and show him a bit more respect. There is nothing wrong with discussing a subpar performance etc. that seems to be the point of a forum like this, to discuss the team and how they perform. Not necessary to resort to anonymous name calling.

              • ac1011990

                Chuck is getting his respect in the form of 5.7 million. I don’t think some writer on RR calling him Chunk Hayes is hurting his feelings. Wow people now a days are so sensitive, everything has to be politically correct or it hurts someone’s feelings these days. It’s not like he called him something derogatory or really bad, it was a harmless comment. Go play neopets or read Barney forums if everything hurts your feelings.

                • raptorstand

                  What you extankers, now whiners fail to realize is that we as fans like our team, and we like our players, and when a player goes out there and does yoman work and contributes to a win we don’t need to read about how fing fat theu guy is . What you whiners are failing to realize is negativity needs to hit the door with your ass with it.

                • ac1011990

                  Jeez you take this site way to personally, sorry if everything hurts your feelings. I’m not a whiner nor an ex tanker, i still support my stand and think this team needs an elite talent. I realize that tanking wont happen, that ship sailed long ago. Dont reply back, your pretty annoying with your cheerleader ways and blind faith. You think my opinions make me a whiner, so be it. I love this team, and i personally think all of the players seem to be great guys, hence the great off and on court chemistry between them. Take pride in your ability to be a great follower, you don’t need to think, just follow, it works for most people.

                  I don’t know how much MLSE pays you to put on a skirt and dance around shouting the Raptors name but they seem to be getting their moneys worth. If i remember correctly it was you who kept calling Felton a fatty, obviously you don’t have a problem with hurting peoples feelings. Just because your a fan of a team does not mean you have to agree with every single thing in regards to them. I dont think William said anything mean to Hayes, it wasn’t really a necessary comment but by no means was it racist, derogatory etc.

                • ItsAboutFun

                  It has nothing to do with your straw man argument of hurting anybody’s feelings. The subject was about a writer making an issue of the guy’s body type (he isn’t a fatty, doh) when commenting on a good performance. The writer recognized it was uncalled for,,,,, some might use stronger words, but let’s leave it at that,,,,,,, so what’s your problem in doing the same? You need to feel like a big boy telling people how annoyingly PC, and overly sensitive they are, over this silly thing? Why? I’ll take PC over pompous internet punk any time, but that’s just me.

                • ac1011990

                  I’m not going to recognize it as anything other then a useless comment. People sit on here and call each other morons and idiots and then get offended when someone says Chunk Hayes. I’m pretty sure William doesn’t really feel bad about the comment, he only said sorry to appease you cry babies. There is a difference between saying something actually harmful to people and saying something like Chunk. Obviously there are times when people go overboard and say something that isn’t respectful or just plain rude, this was not one of those times. Like I said if things like that hurt your feelings there are child appropriate forums calling your name.

                • truth be told

                  Disgruntled Leaf fan

              • Louvens Remy

                REEEEEEEEEEELAX! jokes and jokes and jokes.

          • Louvens Remy

            It’s like calling chuck the round mound of rebound. who gives a shit. or calling Tyler hansborough Psycho T…..lets relax out there. Its(All)AboutFun aint it?

          • FLUXLAND

            Sheriff p00ka – patrolling the blogs trying to catch’em typing dirty!

            Again, here to advise us how to discuss basketball… sigh.

            • ItsAboutFun

              Into chatting about men’s body types too? Not surprising, but there are better places for it, I’m sure you know. In the meantime, Chuck played well and contributed to a win, using the same body he has always had, but I guess that’s news to some of you expert body analyzers. Shit, like little girls in a school yard, lol. No policing, kid. Expressing my opinion of posts, just like you’re doing.

      • Louvens Remy

        Why? That’s unnecessary PC right there.

    • j bean

      Chunky played Huge minutes. He came up Big. He had a Major presence.
      I thought you were making light of him.

      • Greg Ast

        When are you getting the stitches out?

    • 2damkule

      you must be a treat at parties.

  • Tanks-a-lot

    “Ball don’t lie”

    Can someone get a tradition going at the end court zones for fans to scream in unison BRICK when the opposing team’s player is just about to release the ball on a FT?

    That would be a great psych-out

    • Louvens Remy

      We need to get at the DrakeOVOlord with these ideas. I always think that the fans should be really quiet and then just as they release just fucking yell BRICK or whatever else we decide for each player…

  • robertparrish00

    Any team that features nickname jerseys is going to get the calls. Problem with having young players and being in the basement for too long.

  • Greg Ast

    I’m pretty sure the Nets have a deal where Dick referees the majority of their games. Not because he’s a superior talent – it’s more that with him around the Net’s players look soooo much younger.

  • Robert Wright

    The Pierce elbow just wasn’t a foul – you gotta give the guy space as he’s catching the ball – sorry Pierce had the right to swing his arms around.

    • DDayLewis

      That’s fine, so let it be a play on, rather than calling a foul on Lowry.

      • Robert Wright

        but the rules say it’s a foul.

        • Louvens Remy

          On who?

          • 2damkule

            PP…to me, lowry had established his position & was vertical (i.e. his shoulders/head are in line with his feet). he doesn’t ‘owe’ pierce any more space than he’s already given, and pierce actually goes into lowry’s space with his elbow. it’s pretty clear-cut, i’m not really even sure what the debate it. if lowry was leaning into pierce’s space, then the call would have been correct…but since he wasn’t, it wasn’t.

    • ItsAboutFun

      1. he wasn’t catching the ball
      2. yes Lowry has to give him space. He did give him all the space he has a right to
      3. the first (left) elbow swung through with no contact, and was evidence of space being there.
      4. the second (right) elbow was not about space, but a calculated, deliberate elbow to the head.

      Get that? Elbow to the head, and very deliberate. Do you have any idea how frowned upon that move is in the NBA? If someone did that to one of the darlings of the league, there might even be talk of a game suspension,,,,, to the guy who shot free throws.

      • Robert Wright

        I actually commend Pierce for throwing that elbow. Kinda like a brush-back pitch from Pedro Mrtinez when a batter is crowding the plate.
        Sorry it happened to one of ours, but that’s the way the game should be played………..and called.

        • ItsAboutFun

          I played me some caveman basketball too, but the NBA has rules. According to those rules, the play was called wrong, no matter what you think is commendable or not.

    • Shadow Of Christ

      Robert Wright, you’re an idiot if you think the refs made the right call on the Pierce-Lowry play. Paul, known as a dirty player in recent years, dipped his shoulder as he swung his elbow… Clearly an offensive foul

      • Greg Ast

        Stop it with the personal attacks you jerk off!!

        • Louvens Remy

          LOL for calling him Jerk Off and telling him to stop. hahahaha. I’m dying here.

        • Shadow Of Christ

          So isn’t calling me a Jerk Off a personal attack? Double standards anyone?

          • Greg Ast

            Oh my! There are so many ways I could go with this but I think I’ll just pass.

      • Robert Wright

        That’s not very Christian.

  • Quest

    i miss hansborough…

  • Louvens Remy

    Dick Bavetta is 74. The game is 2x as fast and more intricate then 20 years ago. There’s no way his reflexes and his eyes are on par for today’s game. And no i don’t want to see the analytics on this…

    • FLUXLAND

      The game was 2 X slower and less intricate in 1994? What on Earth are you talking about, guy? Were you even born in 1994?

      • Louvens Remy

        It’s a little faster now and more athletic. Like who gives a shit. the point is he’s 74. Don’t need to nitpick on that point. It’s a young man’s game and the players are faster and more athletic, that’s just common sense evolution. and the game is a bit more intricate…yes. I’ve probably been watching ball longer than the time you’ve been on earth. Just kidding.

      • Louvens Remy

        Not to beleaguer the point but its a perimeter oriented league now. Not much of an interior game. 20 years ago you had a lot more slow plodding big men then you do now. Now its all athletic wings and PG’s and “small ball”. I’ve been a card carrying basketball watcher unofficially since 1986. Unofficially, because that’s the year, I remember. Could have been earlier but I don’t think I was conscious of it.

        • Tanks-a-lot

          When the NBA allowed zone defence, the league became glorified college ball.

  • Louvens Remy

    I think everyone has gotten use to winning and is bored. We are arguing about refs and whether or not its PC to call Chunk Hayes, Chuck….errrrrrrrrr…..the good times are here. I love it! Go Rapz

  • Gman

    Some of you were talking about Bavetta and conspiracy stuff…this is what Donaghy wrote about him in his book.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/11341/tim-donaghys-tale-of-dick-bavetta

    Does this sound like a game we all might have seen recently?

  • Doesn’t matter

    The last 2 were fouls. You have to allow the player to square up, Lowry was in his personal space. Second one is pretty basic all body. you can’t run beside a player and bump him. Gotta be in front. They weren’t the worst calls really. Last one should have been on the floor.

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