Heat 93, Raptors 83 – Box

Kyle Lowry Injured
Let’s start here: Kyle Lowry injured his left knee in the second quarter of Monday night’s game against the Miami Heat.

Chasing an offensive rebound, Lowry collided with LeBron James, who is built like a brick shithouse. At first it looked as if Lowry may have hurt his head – he caught James’ right elbow to the chops – but on further inspection he also banged his left knee against James’ right knee.

Now, on the bright side, X-rays were negative, and he’ll be re-evaluated on Tuesday. Maybe it was a precaution, but the scary side of it is that Lowry was driven the 100 yards to the team bus, wouldn’t talk, and was said to be limping badly through TSA screening.

We’re going to break down the game, but really, little else matters here. Lowry is this team’s most valuable and most important player, full stop, and if he’s less than 100 percent heading into the playoffs, the team’s chances of pulling off a series win take a significant hit. The obvious concern now is missing Lowry over the next two games – at home against Houston and Indiana – games that are likely losses without him. From there, the schedule turns friendlier, but an extended Lowry absence makes Toronto’s grasp on the three-seed far more tenuous.

Standings Update
Related to that last point, the loss once again slides the Raptors into a tie with Chicago for the three-seed in the East. While Toronto owns any tiebreaker by way of being a division winner, they are not guaranteed the third seed as a division winner, as some seem to be confused about. All a division win guarantees you is a top-four seed – and not even home-court advantage in the first round – so that you aren’t stuck playing an Indiana or Miami in round one.

Anyway, the Raptors and Bulls are locked at 42-32 with eight games to go, while the Brooklyn Nets sit two games back. No other team is a threat to home-court advantage any longer, as it’s simply too late for Washington to make up four games. That also means, for the 70-80 percent of you who want Washington in the first round, that the third seed is really important, because it’s looking more and more certain the Wizards will own the six-seed.

Finally, a note to those of you looking ahead to a second round match-up: please stop. The Raptors have won a single playoff round in their entire existence. Focus on accomplishing that, and let the second round chips fall where they may. If you are still looking ahead, however, Miami and Indiana are now tied atop the East and the Pacers look like a far more promising opponent.

A strong opening 21 minutes
The Raptors came out looking strong, playing a really good first half until a few miscues in the final minutes turned a four-point lead into a three-point deficit. This, despite a pretty ridiculous foul discrepancy, one that led Dwane Casey to say at halftime, “It’s inconceivable that two physical teams are playing the way we’re playing and only have three free throws.” Credit the Heat for their…efforts?…I guess?

Despite some shaky refereeing and a bit of carelessness with the ball, the Raptors shot 57.9 percent in the half, led by an excellent start to the game from DeMar DeRozan.

Frustrations Mount
Here’s a minor issue I had with Dwane Casey last night, though it’s hard to tell if the blame is on him or the players: the Raptors ended the half clearly frustrated with the officiating, with poor body language and technical fouls looking assured soon enough. Coming out of the half? The same. Someone has to step up and calm the team down at the break and have them galvanize around the underdog treatment – the attitude they came out with made it seem like they had spent the break complaining about it to each other.

So they come out for the second half and their first four shots are jumpers from 19-feet or further. The calls didn’t come in the first half, but the proper response was to come out of the chute aggressive and force the referee’s hands, not be resigned to that fate and start shooting long mid-clock jumpers.

In any case, the referees played a major part throughout, unfortunately. The Raptors ended up with a +11 in personal fouls, just the fourth time all season they’ve had that large a gap (keep in mind that while the Raptors foul more than all but one other team, they’re also fifth in the NBA in drawing fouls).

With all of that said, you have no choice but to play through it. The Raptors attempted just 10 free throws, and DeMar DeRozan, in particular, followed up a strong first half with an extremely passive second half (the seven assists were appreciated, however, and he’s come a long way in that regard).

The Fourth Quarter
The Raptors could have been forgiven for lying down in the fourth. Entering the frame stuck 11 with Lowry ruled out for the remainder of the game, on the second night of a back-to-back, against LeBron James and the Heat, nobody would have blinked an eye if the subs played out the stretch. This isn’t that kind of team though, and, led by Greivis Vasquez doing his best Lowry impression, the team managed to trim the lead to three with 6:13 to play.

The Heat pulled away from there, however, mostly because they’re the Heat. Ignoring Jonas Valanciunas – to that point having one of his best offensive games – down the stretch seemed curious, as he got just a single touch in the final six minutes.

Nando De Colo, Landry Fields and Steve Novak all saw run over the next four minutes, and the result was the Heat pulling away on a 9-3 run. Each of those players has their utility, and the team needs to see what Fields can offer before the cost of experimenting skyrockets in the playoffs, but that’s simply too untalented a group to rely on for the key stretch of a tight game against an elite team (even with Novak going Novakaine and hitting 4-of-6 from long range).

Closing Thoughts
It wasn’t a bad loss, really. Frustrating because of the referees and the near-comeback, sure, but they were six-point dogs and lost their best player for the fourth quarter. Think having Lowry down the stretch instead of De Colo would have made a difference? Maybe not the difference, but certainly a difference.

Aside from Lowry, would you like to know the key difference in this game? In 39 minutes that James was on the floor, the Heat outscored the Raptors by 22. In the other nine minutes, the Raptors outscored the Heat by 12. Turns out he’s really good, and the Raptors don’t have an answer for him (for what it’s worth, Terrence Ross did as well as could have been hoped early, but Casey opted for MOAR JOHN SALMONS for big chunks).

Actually, let’s pull that out of the parenthetical:

James with Salmons on floor this season – 70.8 TS%, 36 Pts/36min
James with Ross on floor this season – 71 TS%, 33.3 Pts/36min
James overall this season – 63.9 TS%, 25.6 Pts/36min

If Salmons isn’t providing any additional defensive value – and that’s not necessarily the case, as this is a tiny sample subject to tons of confounding factors – there’s no point in him being out there. The time has long since come for Salmons’ minutes to be cut, as the team basically plays 4-on-5 on offense with him out there. Sure, “late-clock creation” and an absence of turnovers, but he’s shooting 35.7 percent and has, by far, the worst player efficiency rating of any regular on the team. When I watch the game, it sure doesn’t seem like his defense is any better than that of Ross or even Fields. He’s a “safe” veteran, and that’s a crutch that’s hurting this team for 20 minutes a night.

In Pictures
fivebench lebronpass1 lowrydown spacing spacing1

  • conman_15

    I know the refs were an issue but we still foul way too much. We bail guys out far too often by fouling when they are taking a low percentage shot. Guys are also jumping for the block when someone is driving the lane which usually results in a foul instead of keeping position and taking a charge. It seems only lowry is good at this.

    This will be an issue in the playoffs for sure.

    • BlakeMurphy

      My guess would be that it’s a strategic element – “no easy baskets” since the interior presence isn’t really that strong for the team. Also a Casey preference, probably. T-1st this year, 1st last year, 1st the year before. 05-06 T-Wolves were 14th but they had KG inside.

      • conman_15

        You are probably right. It just seems like being last in the NBA while Chicago is fourth best tells me you can play great defense without fouling as much. It does come down to personnel but seeing a veteran like Chuck Hayes jumping when someone is running down the lane right at him is frustrating.

        We cannot change our personnel going into the playoffs but this is the one thing that bothers me about this team. Too many good defensive stands end with us bailing the other team out with a foul.

    • truth be told

      Good observation and more realistic than “the refs jobbed us” narrative you hear whenever Raps lose and didn’t get their share of calls.

      Listening to that broadcast last night, yes the Heat got more calls than the Raps but they were at home and also more aggressive. Raps have been getting their whistle at home as well this season. Devlin and Armstrong are helping raise a generation of whiners through their bemoaning of the refs.

      • Ghotte

        As Blake stated, out of the half they should have taken it the Heat rather than settling for jumpers. This is where DD and Ross have to improve. It’s one of the toughest things to master but is what separates the merely good from the upper tier players.

        • Bensky

          easier said than done, heat is one of the best defensive team in the NBA and its from a back to back game so fatigue could have been a factor also that is why they are settling for jumpshots…. anyhow could have used fresh legs more..(Fields, Hansbrough, etc…)

      • FLUXLAND

        “Devlin and Armstrong are helping raise a generation of whiners through their bemoaning of the refs.”

        Gold.

      • sam

        Look how many times the raps complain after the wistle vs the number of times the heat complain… it fucking disguting. I’m almost done with pro ball

  • RNsteve

    Should of tried fields….

    • guest

      we played fields at the end to guard Lebron….and Lebron took a big poop on him every single posession. So then casey went back to Ross

  • The Red Fury

    I would really like to see Fields on the floor instead of Novak or Salmons over the next few games. His bball IQ is very high. Great cutter, passer, and rebounder. Big athletic body that can dunk easily as shown in his limited appearances. He’s a perfect guy to guard a Lebron with his bigger frame, similar to when Casey used him on Carmelo early in the season. We know he can’t shoot and as long as he sticks to the things mentioned above, he really could add a different look to the second unit. Granted we do not know what’s happening in practice that other players are ahead of him in the rotation.

    And Hansbrough is suppose to be our tough guy who sets the tone when these games get physical. He should not have been on the bench this game.

  • GetLicks

    The disparity in foul calls doesn’t really bother me. What is starting to make me hate the heat is the infectious flopping game their whole team seems to take part in… And seeing Lebron barely get touched on the way to the basket, gets the and-1, then fouls on the other end and bitches and bitches. He picked up 2 fouls in 39 mins and bitched about both of them as if it was the finals. I hope the pacers obliterate those whiney babies this year. The entire heat team just reek of self-entitlement.

    • GetLicks

      On the flip side, I remember watching Iverson play. Dude got beat up more than any other player I’ve ever seen. He didn’t whine or cry, he just kept attacking relentlessly. Lebron should take notes from AI on how to be a fkn man

    • DC

      “The entire heat team just reek of self-entitlement.”
      And they’re ugly besides!

    • jakdripr

      Same here, I can’t stand flopping(never mind the constant bitching every time a call actually goes against them). That and their fans(who also reek of self-entitlement) are the reasons I, like you, want the Pacers to destroy them in the playoffs.

  • Reed

    Horrible coaching by Casey cost us the game.
    No Tyler, Landry for most of the game.
    The use of Chuck Hayes, Salmons.
    No plays run for Jonas after the first half.
    Playing small ball with Novak against Bosh.
    Playing small ball against the best team suited for small ball.
    Not taking advantage of a poor rebounding team.
    Not using Amir and Tyler for offensive plays.

    How does he have still have a job? He got outcoached this game and sadly gets outcoached every game. Most casual fans just see the W/L column and will give praise to Casey. However, the fact that this team is struggling to close out games against under .500 teams should be a red flag.

    This isn’t going to bode well come playoff time when coaches adjust and we are left “Pound the Rock” Casey

    • Ghotte

      As opposed to being a lottery team with no talent and no prospects? Are you forgetting that NOTHING was expected of this team and it was Casey, yes, Casey who meshed everyone together and got them playing HIS system? You can troll all you want. Casey is a large reason the Raptors are in the playoffs and challenging for the division lead.

      Yes, he makes mistakes – and last game was a clear case of questionable decisions – but this whole “outcoached” how is he still in the league garbage is simply that: garbage.

      The reason they have trouble closing out teams is that they are young and inexperienced. Simple as that. By any other metric – 4th quarter margin, individual player development, etc. etc., – the coaching staff has met and exceeded expectations!

      • The Red Fury

        Both of these comments are extreme. The answer lies somewhere in the middle. He is not the greatest coach in the league but he is also not the worse. He is a top 10 defensive coach, but a bottom 10 offensive coach. I truly believe he is doing a great job with JV and overall development of the team. I believe I have seen 2-3 5 second inbound violations because of the defense he has taught his team.

        The one glaring flaw he has is match-ups and substitutions. And I’m sure Masai and others review every loss to discuss what they could have done better. We would be fools to think otherwise.

        • Ghotte

          I’m not waving pom-poms for Casey while disregarding his shortcomings. Like you said, and similar to the view from many members, his rotations need a lot of work. He needs to rely on players, like Fields, rather than just using currently ineffective vets like Salmons.

          I just can’t stand the “he sucks” “fire him” hyperbole when he’s clearly one of the reasons they’ve achieved what they have so far. And, like the player development, he needs polish. Which comes from knowing or trusting his players more.

          • Reed

            What has he achieved? IMO its all Lowry and Derozan and Masai bringing in good players from the Gay trade. Prior to the trade Casey was unable to adapt from last season. Don’t blame Rudy for the ISO’s. That’s on Casey for allowing it. We’ve seen how Memphis and Sacramento have used Rudy successfully.

            Time and again he has failed to adapt players until hes forced too. Knowing and trusting players more isn’t just his only drawback. How about running out of timeout plays, calling timeouts, running plays for the players other than Lowry and Derozan?

            He couldn’t use Rudy Gay efficiently, didn’t use Ed Davis until he was forced too, didn’t use TRoss until he was forced too, didn’t use Nando De Colo until he was forced too, didn’t understand how to use DJ Augustin.

            Remember earlier in the season when he was forced to use Tyler Hansborough due to Amir’s injuries. Tyler succeeded and was given the starting position. Now he sits on the bench thinking what he did wrong.

            Last season we were stuck with Alan Anderson, John Lucas every game cause Casey.

            Now we are stuck with Salmons, Novak and Chuck Hayes every game cause Casey.

            • Ghotte

              What has he achieved? A championship ring.

              What have any of us couch potatoes achieved? Yet, we seem to believe it’s our Right to dress down players, coaches, GMs. Unfortunately, there’s too many people on this board that seem to have a psychological imbalance which causes their life’s work to consist of being negative and criticizing.

            • truth be told

              They basically have the same players as they did last year. Lowry, Demar, Amir, JV and Ross were all here last year.

              I would actually give more credit to Casey than Masai for the teams record this season.

              • Ghotte

                The players know the offensive and defensive systems better while the youngin’s have a better overall grasp of the NBA game. This is why I’m part of the “leave well enough alone” camp. Bring in talent and then see where the team is at and what refinements are needed to get them over the hump.

      • FLUXLAND

        Garbage? Why is it garbage? Perhaps he’s capable of bringing a team from brutal to acceptable, but incapable of doing more. Why is that invalid criticism? All the points the poster brought up are valid, but you want to talk about becoming average being some amazing accomplishment.

        Do you really think anyone besides the Raptors would consider him for a HC position? Do you ever ask yourself why it took him so long to become a HC?

        Just because you disagree with something, it doesn’t mean someone is trolling. Maybe you just have a higher tolerance for being average.

      • morgan c

        Give credit to Casey for bringing this team together, getting good effort, and “meshing” the parts, as you said.
        However, there is another level this team can get to. And yes, maybe that wasn’t apparent or expected before the season. The price of success is raised expectations, and that’s a good thing. The next step for this franchise is to try to find a truly elite coach. DC is not that guy.

        • Ghotte

          And how do you know “he’s not the guy?” All of you Grand Prognosticators seem to know what the criteria is to be voted into the Pantheon of Great Coachdom based solely on commonly held generalisations; seem to know what makes a leader; seem to know all about effort or chemistry.

          I’m not sitting here saying not to criticize the coach. Some of his “warts” are clear for anyone to see – novice or Grand Prognosticator alike.

          But too many on this board sit in waiting for any hiccup to happen and like a shitfly pile on with high-minded talk about mediocrity.

          In answer to your last statement: The next step for this franchise is to find TALENT. They’ve got a system – a defense-focused one – that you build upon. Not blow up and start again once you’ve achieved a certain measure of success.

        • Ghotte

          In recent memory: Spoelstra was being criticized throughout his early days with the Heat – until he won with them. Doc Rivers was considered a mediocre (at best) coach – until he won with the Celtics.

          Conversly, Rick Carlisle was shit on in Detroit his 1st year, then won Coach of the Year before being unceremoniously tossed out in favour of Larry Brown – who went on to win a ring with the same squad. Carlisle subsequently won with Dallas, who had previously shipped out Coach of the Year Avery Bradley – who took Dallas to the Conference Finals.

          Just saying DC is not the guy doesn’t make it so.

          • FLUXLAND

            You sure you mean Avery Bradley? :) Btw, the coach you do mean was also ousted out in Brooklyn, so there’s that. Winning in the past, has little bearing on keeping your job today. And being “the guy” is largely dependent on the ownership and players.

            • Ghotte

              LOL My mistake: Avery Johnson!

  • A G

    Have to agree about Salmons, too many minutes, let’s give him some rest and give Fields some more burn. Until I see otherwise I don’t think Landry would do worse and at least he still has some potential instead of veteran whatever-it-is.

  • DJ

    Will somebody please tell T Ross to try going to the rim sometimes? He can’t be just a one-dimensional player, jacking up the 3-ball all the time. He’s shown he can go to the hoop…so JUST DO IT!

  • bandit

    I hate john salmons so much without any viable reason…. It’s at the point where I freak out as soon as I see him get off the bench.

    there is nothing he brings that I wouldn’t give up to have Fields on the floor. When Derozan needs rest, I’d rather have Fields and Ross over Salmons. I don’t care that my 13 year old sister has more range than him, not even a little bit.

  • Stephen

    “Think having Lowry down the stretch instead of De Colo would have made a difference? Maybe not the difference, but certainly a difference.”

    Probably not. I’ve gotten too used to the Heat, in the parlance of Milton Berle, pulling out just enough to win.

    (Bwahahaha that’s actually in Urban Dictionary with that definition.)

  • Roarque

    I’d like to see these players as the starting lineup against the Rockets in Toronto this week:

    Nano DeColo PG, Landry Fields SF, Demar DeRozan SG, Patrick Patterson PF, and Jonas Valanciunas C

    DeColo is a good defender; he can facilitate ball movement and has good chemistry with JV. Fields is also a good perimeter defender to deal with Harden and can provide a target for cuts to the rim. 2Pat needs to work on his “in game” tempo and his jumper. I think he can defend the paint with JV. Most importantly, this lineup would be unexpected and it would give Amir and Kyle a reduced work load while they deal with knees and ankles.

    TRoss would be the sixth man if Fields isn’t going well and Greivis can spell off Nano if he gets too hyper out there.

    What do you think?

  • FLUXLAND

    I hope the talk of 2nd round pipes down, as mentioned, but it would be nice if the “ref conspiracy” talk and “the fix is in” dies down too.

    Frankly, it’s embarrassing.

    The refs and their calls are realities of the NBA, whether people like it or not – good teams rise above and do not let the refs be the reason why they win or lose games.

    I think all the blaming and crying is just an admission that this team doesn’t have the skills or players that can overcome that adversity. It will be very disappointing to see anyone use the refs as an excuse behind what really ails this team.

    • ckh26

      Nah… I for one would like to see the drumbeat on how the NBA conducts its affairs gain a little more scrutiny. This league has had problems for a decade or more around the transparency of its affairs. From “curious” officiating to the preposterous notion that the draft is rigged. No matter how much effort is expended to quell the chatter, doubts still surface.

      Last nights game fell into the curious category. Where the raps are not in the same snack bracket as the Heat in terms of personnel they compete each and every night on defense and are ranked in the top 10 units on defense in the league. So at the 3/4 quarter pole the Heat had less than 10 PF’s and the Raps north of 20. Thats a pretty wide disparity in a league where its usually plus or minus 3 fouls at games end.

      This is in all likelihood a view on how its going to go in the playoffs and the Raps are going to have to cowboy up and amp up the energy at going to the basket. Thats what the raps do. Like to see the league be explicit in what is and what is not a foul at home or on the road and grade its officials on their performance against the bar.

      • Ghotte

        Agree with this POV. Except, no one (anywhere) is telling Joey Crawford how to ref. Joey does what Joey does!

        • FLUXLAND

          That’s just it, right? People are going to act as if the Raptors are the only team to have to deal with the officiating, and this has been a known reality of the NBA for decades, that plenty of other teams have had to deal with.

          Deal with it and play, leave the whining to the children and babies.

      • FLUXLAND

        I agree with all you’re saying, mostly. (My biggest transparency issue being the draft, and I don’t find the notion that it’s rigged preposterous at all…there’s plenty of “evidence” to suggest that something is not right.) My position is that this is simply the landscape of the NBA, the whining and crying about it will not help anything and only make the team/fans look petty.

        If you have been following the NBA for a long as you say you have, I assume you have seen examples and/or heard that is something any unproven team in the L has to deal with, and thereby “earn the respect” of the refs.

        I’m not trying to make it a right or wrong issue, simply saying it must be accepted as fact and dealt with accordingly by “playing through it”. If the Raps fall for the refs trap, the opposing team has already won – you cannot focus on playing the game if you’re concerned about refs making calls. Focus is precious in the NBA. And, again, if the storyline becomes the refs, it speaks more of the Raps and the quality/ability of its personnel, than the refs themselves.

        (I don’t want to take the discussion in another direction, but that defensive ranking is not indicative of anything really. There are few teams ranked lower then the Raps, but play far better defense.)

        • Abused Raptors Fan

          While I do not agree with the notion that players and fans alike should merely accept the inconsistencies and inequality of NBA officiating as the harsh realities of the game (after all, that’s exactly what the league’s accomplished with its autocratic penalization of any public criticism) I do think that the onlyway the rRaptors are going to truly succeed is if they win in spite of it. Ideally, they’d adopt a defensive attitude akin to the 08-2010 Celtics or the Pacers earlier this season. Playing aggressive, physical defense usually forces the refs to put their whistles away as they can’t call everything, and are thus forced to let the teams play.

    • WhiteVegas

      We can’t just sweep the reffing issue under the rug. The Raps would have had to shoot 75% FG to stay in that game the way the refs were officiating. In a 7 game series, there is literally no chance the raps could win with officiating like that. We average around 23 FT’s per game, but only got 10 last night.

      • FLUXLAND

        No one said sweep it under the rug. Maybe make it a footnote? I’ve said it was a reality – deal with it – play through it.

        OK. Those are the stats, yeah. Why do you think they only got 10?

        • WhiteVegas

          I think they only got 10 FT’s because the game was too close and they wanted Miami to win. The refs were giving Miami every single ticky tack call, and the Raps were getting no calls at all. There needs to be some consistency in the foul calls, but they were completely different for each team. I agree with you it is a reality, I just don’t think there is a way to deal with it and win, especially over a 7 game series. I’m fine losing to Miami based on merit, but when we aren’t given a fair shake by the refs from the opening tip, I find it painful to watch.

          • FLUXLAND

            in this particular instance, I cannot see exactly why they would have wanted MIA to win. Any ideas?

            Getting calls at home is not surprising; 23 FTA is what they average, so not like they shot a suspiciously high number, and half of them weere by LBJ (arguably the best player in the game).

            Besides, there’s other things the Raps had control over and didn’t take care of – those should be the focus, not the refs.

            The fair shake is what I hit on in the other comments: nothing that is happening is outside of how the NBA normally operates, Raps have to adjust and rise above. Growing pains?

            • jjdynomite

              It’s called confirmation bias, FUXLAND. Psych 101, I’ll wait while you look it up.

              To put it in context:
              – Heat are da champs
              – LeBron is da king
              – Heat & LBJ are playing at home in front adoring (bandwagon) fans.

              Hence the call disparity. The only real solution is to counteract the above, which needs help from much more than what the Raptors as an organization can provide:
              – Heat are no longer da champs
              – LeBron is deposed in favour of [insert KD, Pacers, etc.]
              – Majority of (playoff) games are not played in Miami.

              Because this is an institutional issue (or, since the NBA is a star or dynasty-driven league more than any other), Raps fans have a right to be pissed, but dem’s the breaks for them and 29 other teams.

      • Guest

        I don’t know how I’m agreeing with this Fluxland doofus…
        But yeah, adults take ownership of what happens, little children blame it on other people. If the reffing sucks you have to play harder and better than the other team. Its called adversity. Sports are full of it and it teaches character. As sad as it would be for players to complain, hearing fans talk about getting jobbed by the refs is pathetic. The Raps had all game to figure it out and get tough and they didn’t. Its on the players always.

        • WhiteVegas

          It’s not an adult child thing. You literally can’t win in any sport if the refs are against you, but especially in basketball. If you really think the refs didn’t heavily contribute to that loss then I can’t help you. The only way to overcome biased reffing is to shoot absolutely lights out, like 70% FG. That’s impossible, no matter how adult they are and how much they try to own the shitty reffing situation. The refs effectively took away the drive to the basket because the Raptors knew they would get hacked and get zero calls.

  • gizzly73

    Raps are having one of their best seasons ever and there is a lot of credit to go around. Very very few blowouts, a lot of close games with top teams, several career years. Entertaining team basketball. Cut all the talk about the Heat game. Whichever side has LBJ playing for them, they win. Simple as that. He is that good.

  • Mexiballer

    Blake could you please explain ….”All a division win guarantees you is a top-four seed – and not even
    home-court advantage in the first round – so that you aren’t stuck
    playing an Indiana or Miami in round one.” What are you saying? How can a top four seed not have home court advantage in the first round?

  • WhiteVegas

    I had to turn the game off because the officiating was driving me up the f*&%ikng wall. The Raps had no chance in this game because the Refs made sure they had no chance. Whenever we got on a run the refs would bail Miami out with foul call after foul call until they were back in the game. I felt like every Miami basket was an and-1 because someone was within a few feet of the guy who scored.

    The refs completely demoralized our team and made it clear early they weren’t going to let the Raps win. For an example of how ridiculous the officiating was, this was the first time all season where DD has gotten less than 2 FT’s. He played 40 damn minutes, and hasn’t shot less than 4 FT’s in a game in over a month and a half.

  • Fred or Something

    Maybe you’ll disagree, but following “full stop” with a comma is a little awkward. Don’t hate me.

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