So the Raptors managed to turn what should have been an easy win over a depleted team into an ugly win that almost turned into a disaster. This turned into a game where Chris Bosh had to play over 41 minutes (and AP played almost 44…yeah, 44!).
In the post game interview, when asked about how the Raptors didn’t look that good throughout the game, Sam essentially said, “Yeah, but we got the win.” Well, I would certainly hope you would get the win against what was hardly more than a college team on the floor. You see, it’s not just about winning games. If you’re a top tier team and you’re winning all the time and you have the occasional ugly win, then you can say something like, “Yeah, but we got the win” because you know that your next game, most likely things will be back to normal. When you’re a young team that is learning with each game, you can’t be so cavalier about things when they look like that. You have to say, “Well, we got the win, but there were a variety of lessons to be learned from tonight’s game. We have to learn how to exploit weaknesses when they are presented; we have to learn how to close out leads early in the game so we can provide some of our starters with some more rest, we essentially have to learn how to be a more opportunistic team if we are going to continue to get better.” THAT’S how you’re supposed to answer an ugly win. THAT’s how you’re supposed to learn from an ugly win.
One of the sequences in the game that could have been a learning point was when Jose hit his three to break things open for the Raptors. You know, the shot where after he hit it, he ran down the court with 3’s on both hands (lame). Even though he nailed it and had a semi-open look, it’s probably not the shot the Raps want to look for in that situation. Not only should they have been going inside, but that shot also got Jose thinking about how he could be hot from 3 (he never is) and sure enough, his next three clanked all over the arena and threated to break the rim.
I don’t want to pick on Jose, because there were tons of errors in the game. The point is, you can play like that against a lineup like that and win, but you had better learn from it, because the next team won’t be so generous.