Raptors HQ: A Toothless D
That was flat out fugly last night. :(
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It would be pretty easy after last night's loss to write a scathing review of the Toronto Raptors.
Even Jay Triano would probably say they deserved it.
I mean, how else can you explain a team shooting essentially SIXTY per cent from the field, and SIXTY-FIVE per cent from beyond the arc, and yet still losing?
It's almost unfathomable!
It is the Toronto Raptors we're talking about here, a team that hasn't played a lick of sound defence in nearly three seasons.
And folks, I'm not holding my breath for this season to be a break-through in that regard.
If Toronto's loss to Dallas on Saturday night was a warning of what could happen on nights when Toronto's outside shooting went cold for stretches, last night was further proof that all the offense in the world isn't necessarily going to compensate for defensive letdowns.
Make that a complete and total absence of defence.
Because make no mistake about it, had San Antonio suited up Tim Duncan and Tony Parker, or even had the Raptors' own gunners on their side, the end result would have been a lot worse than a 131 to 124 loss. I mean for all their open looks, the Spurs "only" hit about 48% of their shots from the field. They had 28 3-point attempts for crying out loud!
However I'm not going to rant and rave here.
I did that last night during the game's final quarter, on the site's live-chat and via Twitter, and believe me I was livid. Performances such as that of last night infuriate the "analytical" Raptors' fans, myself being one, who cringed at the idea of letting Shawn Marion go and signing Hedo Turkoglu for more money; fans who to this day can't understand Bryan Colangelo's fascination with the Bosh/Bargnani combination, and fans who readily point to various statistical measures that seem to indicate why this current Raptor squad, while an upgrade over last year, is still miles away from being a contending team. As a fan of this squad, I often hope that these notions of mine and others are incorrect, but then games like last night's come along and it's tough not to want to scream "I told you so" to no one in particular.
And of course seeing statistical draft darling DeJuan Blair, an HQ favourite all of last season at PITT, single-handily match both Toronto's center and power forward in terms of total rebounds, while playing a quarter of their combined time on the court...well...that's just rubbing salt in the wound.
But I digress.
The bottom line here is that last night's game probably shouldn't have told you anything new about this Raptors' team.