Raptors lose to Suns in heartbreaker

4 mins read

Actually went to this affair which saw the return of Chris Bosh and the exit of TJ Ford and Jorge Garbajosa. It ended 100-98 for the Suns and more importantly, no pizza for me since the Raptors didn’t reach the 100 point plateau. The Suns jumped out to a 17 point second quarter lead at which point I apologized to my wife for bringing her to a blowout NBA game. Much to the surprise of everyone, the Raptors instead of folding up in the third quarter, rallied to cut the lead to 10 by the start of the fourth. They even took the lead after Chris Bosh converted the three point play which resulted in Amare Stoudemire fouling out. But then Chris bit hard on a Steve Nash fake and Nash drained all three FT’s. An Andrea Bargnani offensive foul later (questionable call) Nash drains one to ice it.

Seeing how they were missing TJ Ford, you’d expect this one to not even be close but it wasn’t the case as Darrick Martin subbed in for the ineffective and shot-happy Jose Calderon and did a commendable job offensively. The Raps just can’t seem to defend the pick ‘n roll at all, and Boris Diaw, Amare Stoudemire, Raja Bell and most importantly Mike D’Antoni seem to know this and it showed. What really killed the Raps is their inability to pick up their man on the semi-break of Phoenix and every time the Suns executed anything without a Raptors deflection, they seemed to get a score. They had six player in double figures and all of them were scoring on unforced shots created by Phoenix execution. The Raptors simply didn’t have an answer to their set offense.

Although Chris Bosh had a statistically nice game (26, 14, 4), he took some questionable shots and his run-killing six turnovers came when they were needed the least. For some reason, he’s trying to be a perimeter threat which is unnecessary and detrimental to the object. Overall, a strong game for Bosh but I wish he’d take it to the rim a little more. Maybe its the first game back from injury. Andrea Bargnani had a decent shooting game and was probably incorrectly called for the offensive foul at the end and should have had a three point play instead. One thing I noticed about Bargnani is that he is incredibly quick for that size, something he’s not taking advantage of so far this season. Sam Mitchell needs to run more plays for him. Speaking of Sam Mitchell, he used both Raptors plays this evening: the high pick ‘n roll and the Bosh post-up were in effect. I can’t help but think we got out-coached today with Steve Nash scoring in a very expected manner at the end. Amare Stoudemire’s out of the game, make Boris Diaw beat you, not the reigning league MVP.

On the last two Phoenix possessions, everyone in the gym knew the ball was going to Nash and despite this, the guy was able to score five HUGE points. Says a lot about his ability and our coaching staff.

Here are the NBA.com highlights.

I also uploaded a video of Raptors fans making some serious noise towards the end of the game:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CeVJJ6_C-V8]

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