No Timeout Decision

Dwane Casey’s decision (or the team’s, for that matter) to not call a timeout down by a point and 39 seconds left can be debated to no end.

On one hand, you call the timeout and organize offensively to get a good shot. On the other, you catch the defense off-guard. I was comfortable with winging it, as Lowry did, and if Salmons had swung the ball one more time, Ross would’ve had a three to take.  In a similarly adhoc play the Raptors ended up winning the game last time in Brooklyn, so it reasons that using a similar strategy wasn’t exactly a bad idea.

Of course, the ensuing play where Lowry took a deep, contested, three with no ball movement or screens to speak of is another matter. And that was coming out of a timeout.  My issue with that play was that there was a clear chance to get a quick two after the Johnson switch since Lowry had a fairly easy pass (lob, maybe?) to Johnson as seen in the below frame:

amir-lowry-nets

Playoff Experience

In case you wanted to know what playoff experience the current Raptors team has, here’s a helpful table:

Player Games
Hansbrough 35
Hayes 26
Salmons 22
Novak 18
Lowry 13
Vasquez 13
Johnson 11
Fields 9
De Colo 5
Total 152

That’s 10 players with a total of 152 playoff game experience. In comparison, Paul Pierce has 126 and Kevin Garnett has 115.

The Raptors Matter Again

A Raptor loss used to be nothing more than part of the routine. Another day, another setback. You didn’t get upset nor lose much sleep over it because that’s what what was supposed to happen. The Raptors were supposed to lose and they played their part dutifully. That feeling is a far cry from what we’re seeing these days. Last night’s loss to the Nets hurt. When Ross turned that ball over, or when Lowry launched that ill-advised three, it hurt to the point where I turned the TV off and took a walk.

It was a sign that I still care and have expectations for this team. That is a 180 degree turnaround from yesteryear when the games simply blended into one another and the season was just one long blur mired in disappointment. Some wounds heal only when they’re deepened. And last night’s loss deepened the wound left by years of neglect and corrosion, but on the bright side it’s good to know there’s blood to bleed.

  • noname

    wait…they didnt even have a timeout in the last seconds of the game… the game reset said so it said that neither team had a foul to give, brooklyn had 2 20 second time-outs and the raptors had none.

    • Kyron John

      They had a 20 sec. timeout at the moment Zarar is referring to above. They took it after the Nets hit the two free throws that came after the intentional foul

      • noname

        nevermind then.

  • robertparish00

    No time out, no problem. I am always more comfortable with Casey not designing an inbounds play. Mostly because it is aways an iso for DD, with no ball movement, clearing the side or screens.

  • RickE

    Your last paragraph was a priceless read because I felt the exact same way too. Out of all the teams to lose against, I sooo didn’t want them to lose against an overrated Net’s team without KG even playing. Now Brooklyn is probably thinking we are pushovers because they won a close game and that really hits a nerve. Tough loss but I hope it proves to the league that the Raptors are no longer an easy out.

    • jakdripr

      I’m actually kinda happy they lost. I think in terms of talent and coaching we are a better team than the nets, I feel the only way the nets would beat is was if the raps took them lightly, and after last nights loss you’d best believe they won’t. Very young team and nothing teaches better than the pain of a loss. A series between these two teams would be something I think.

      • redrap

        I like this post. I won’t say I’m ‘happy’ they lost that game but I know what you’re talking about. It feels like maybe they needed to take one in the chops so to speak to remind them of the war that the playoffs will be and how tough they’ll have to be to survive even a round. That said, the Nets with their experienced and savvy vets — with a couple who’ve gotten through each of the rounds right to a championship — would be a seriously tough match-up for a seven game series. But if that happens I sure won’t bet against our guys. Like you said, it’d be something.

  • ItsAboutFun

    Not calling a timeout with 39 seconds left seems like a no-brainer to me. Only 1 timeout left, defense far from set as Lowry pushes down the floor, with a good chance at a 2 for 1 in possessions. Don’t think there should be a debate at all.

    What ensued had two aspects that killed it. First was DeMar driving very close to the basket, and should have gone hard to the hoop, but feared the length defending him, so kicked it back out to Kyle. Then when the ball got worked around to Ross, he was clearly fouled by Livingston on that TO while driving for what likely was going to be a dunk. Killer sequence, but hopefully they learn from it.

    Lowry’s decision to chuck up that 28 ft 3 with 10 seconds to go was just silly, but I’m not sure a lob to Amir was as easy as it looks with Amir wide open. Kyle had Blatche in his face.

    At the end of the day, not such a bad thing they lost this game. Should be some lessons about playoff style bball driven home deeper because of the loss.

    • Adriiian

      I agree with you. DeMar should have went in right there, try to draw the foul, that would have left us with a 2 for 1 with about 35 seconds on the clock. TRoss should have never had the ball there after he was basically ice cold after the 1st.

  • Icarus Descending

    Watching Salmons hold onto the ball there instead of swinging to Ross just pushed me over the edge.

    That possession just hurt. First Demar passes up an opportunity to drive to the basket, then Salmons just stands there thinking, then Ross gets stripped driving to the basket.

    Right now we have no closer. Demar is great off the catch and shoot but the defence knows to key on him so he’s never open. Lowry’s only dependable move is the step back three which is a tough shot after 38 min of unbelievably intense basketball on his part. Ross could be that guy in the future if he can improve his handles but right now he just doesn’t have the experience and skills for the clutch 1 on 1 last seconds plays. Realistically in my opinion is the best option would be to swing to Derozan, have him wait for the double and then swing it out to your most efficient shooter Ross who can either take the quick jumper or drive to the basket with the advantage of his defender being out of position.

  • asifyouknow

    Mr. Zarar Siddiqi “Winging it” they did for sure. That works well down in the play ground but this is the NBA and in this business coaches lose their job for winging with the owners money.
    This is the second lost in a row that Casey (appeared) to have nothing set up for the winning play or maybe he did but the guys could not get it done. In both cases they looked lost in the end.

  • Mexiballer

    Ross got fouled by Livingston in lane when he lost the ball. I watched the rear angle replay six times and its clear that Livingston gives him some good contact with the forearm as hes reaching in. As always you can pick the game apart but it was a good effort. I dont think you can call time out in that situation at all. The Raps were racing down the floor and Brooklyn was totally off balance trying to get back. We just didnt finish and then the no call on Ross. As much as I would like to get a favorable match up in the first round, part of me would like to see Brooklyn, just so we can have a chance to stick it to them.

  • Reed

    Casey needs to go for this team to take the next step. I can write an essay highlighting every loss this year back to Casey’s ineptitude. The fact that Jason Kidd outcoached you is embarrassing. You can’t expect Derozan to be ON every game. Same goes for Lowry. He never took advantage of Val’s size over the Nets and doesn’t seem to run any plays in close games down the stretch. Instead allowing guys like Derozan, Lowry and others to Hero Ball. We’ve seen it when Bargnani and Gay had the ball during late game situations and now the same for Lowry and Derozan.

    Hes best suited as an assistant defense coach like he was under Rick Carilse.

    • Reed

      Might I add using John Salmons on a back to back was another mistake. We’ve all seen how Pop’s handles the big 3. We have Landry sitting on the bench more than capable for stepping in. Also, the use of Steve Novak is infuriating. Hes a 3 not a PF.

      Ujiri needs to do replace him with a better coach this offseason.

    • asifyouknow

      Amen Reed amen….Ineptitude is a very kind description of this coach.

  • Bhii

    Well also, the raptors only had 1 Timeout left..I believe if we had 2, there would have been a timeout called no doubt!

  • some random guy

    It will be a good first round match-up