Jay Triano’s post-game synopsis was an insult to the intelligence of a fan base that deserves better, and also to the truth.
“I thought we played hard,” Triano, the Raptors coach, said on Sunday night. And if you cared enough to have witnessed the basketball massacre that had just occurred at the Air Canada Centre — if you’d just watched the listless Raptors put in an inexcusably listless performance in their biggest game of the season — you could have been excused for choking on that uncomfortably huge chunk of baloney. The final score was Chicago 104, Toronto 88, but the reality was much worse. The Raptors played defence like ghosts, trailed by as many as 25 points in the fourth quarter and, with a revved-up, near-sellout crowd begging for a performance to celebrate, never bothered making the obligatory, futile run that even the worst NBA teams tend to muster.