Raptors Stink…errr…Sink Themselves in the Third

8 mins read
Toronto Raptors

I’m not mad/upset/disgusted/disappointed/etc at the loss tonight. Sure Vegas had the Raptors as 8 point underdogs, but anyone with any sense wouldn’t bet on the Raptors unless they are playing the bottom of the barrel teams in the league. The fact of the matter is that the Blazers are a top echelon team, and the Raptors can’t beat anyone when only Chris Bosh and Jermaine O’Neal (and VL to a lesser extent) show up.

Am I the only person who hates watching Blazer games? “What could have been” seems to be a recurring theme with the Raptors:

  • Pass on Iguodala
  • Pass on Bynum
  • Pass on Granger, twice
  • Pass on Roy
  • Pass on Alrdidge
  • Pass on Gay

Portland is especially upsetting for me, since they have TWO of the young studs the Raptors passed on when they took VL with the # 1 pick. Sorry to tangent, but that was the only thing I could think about during the game. It wasn’t so much Aldridge being a handful on the glass and on the offensive end, but what Roy was doing in the 3rd and 4th quarter, wow. How many clutch shots did the guy hit inside 18ft? 5? 6? How many of the same looks are you gonna give the guy? Can’t really blame the players on this one, there really isn’t anyone who can give Roy, or any solid 2/3 in the league, any problems on the defensive end.

“Obviously, a player like Brandon Roy, when he gets going, he’s pretty hard to stop”

Yea, you are right Kapono, but it is hard to stop the dude when you keep doing the same thing over and over and over; when he takes the same shot, off the same looks over and over and over.

“We tried different guys, we tried double-teaming him, and he threw it out,” Triano said. “We ran and we blitzed him. We had two different guys on him any time there was a screen.”

I personally didn’t see any of that. Maybe they talked about doing it, but it never materialized. Sure Roy has the ball in his hands a lot, but how about trying to DENY him the ball, just one time, force him baseline, make him pass the ball, clothesline him, trash talk him, a mama joke;  see how it works out. We know we can’t stop the guy when he has the ball, try not letting have the ball. The result can’t be any worse.

True to form, the Raptors come out of the corner swining, taking an 8 point lead into the half. Would have been 11, but Outlaw willed a 70 footer at the buzzer. It sucked the life out of the Raptors. Whatever fatigue they were feeling from being on the second game of a back-to-back, it was amplified with that hail-mary. A play like that shouldn’t determine the outcome of a game, but it did, and the writing was on the wall at the point.

“Nope, no, no, I don’t think so…maybe it did something to them, but it didn’t hurt us.”

Was Triano’s response when asked about  Outlaw’s miracle heave. I totally disagree, that hail-mary WAS the game changer. The Raptors should have finished the 2nd quarter on an run to push the lead to 11, but divine intervention cut it to a single digit lead. The Raptors shot 20% from the field and managed only 10 points int he 3rd quarter in what was possibly the worse quarter in the franchise history.The frail Raptors psyche can’t take hits like that.

On a positive note, Bosh (29pts 9rebs) and O’Neal (17pts 4rebs) had good showings on the same night. I’m still concerned that good offensive nights from O’Neal come at Bosh’s expense, but on nights when they are the only two to bother showing up, there are lots of shots for both. O’Neal carried the load in the 1st quarter, and Bosh for the second half. But how innefective is the Raptors interior/dribble penetration game? Let’s just say against a team that isn’t known as a defensive force, the Raptors managed 12 foul shots the entire game, 11 were taken by Bosh. Jumper after jumper after jumper…you get the picture. Macmillan said:

“Great shooting team, you know, they can put the ball in the basket, they have an inside presence and they can shoot the ball on the perimeter”

I’m convinced the league just ignores the Raptors on a daily basis. Why is this all they say about the Raptors? ‘Great shooting team’, to me, means that every game, you see high-quality shots being taken and made. Every game. What we see every game, is a high-number of shots being taken, some get made, the others just clanked off the back of the rim.

Shots by Quarter:

1st Quarter – 10-19
2nd Quarter – 9-18
3rd Quarter – 2-13
4th Quarter – 4-7

6 made field goals in the second half? 11 shots in the 4th quarter when you are trying to compete and steal one on the road? Are you seriously kidding me? Roy made more field goals on his own in the last 6 minutes of the game then the Raptors mustered in entire second half. It wasn’t like the Blazers were playing suffocating defense either, Raptors just couldn’t step up and do anything. I sound like a broken record, but aren’t moments like this when Bosh should  take over? Isn’t he the franchise? Can’t he make a couple shots in the 2nd half, do something? Anything? Is he tired? Checked-out? Misses Smitch? What? What is wrong with him? Sure he had a statistically solid game, but how is that everytime when push comes-to-shove, the ‘other’ teams franchise almost always steps up and makes things happen that puts his team in a position to win, and Bosh does that far too regularly for a guy to be mentioned in the same breath as Lebron, Wade and Kobe (even Carmelo, dude is clutch).

Again, I’m not mad/upset/disgusted/disappointed/etc at the loss tonight. Sure Vegas had the Raptors as 8 point underdogs, but anyone with any sense wouldn’t bet on the Raptors unless they are playing the bottom of the barrel teams in the league.

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