Today was almost a textbook dismantling of a hapless team. If you eliminate the fact that the Raptors fell behind early in this one (by 8…which led me to wonder why I was hiding in a board room only to witness disaster), this game, even moreso than the Mavs game, showed how the Raptors are progressing.
After falling behind early, the Raptors could have fallen into that whole “emotional loss” mode, where after losing a big game the night before, you come out and play with your head down, still thinking about it. It certainly looked like that was going to happen.
The key was the third quarter. The Raptors came out like a team that actually had a game plan and stepped on the Sixers necks, outscoring them 32-14 in the 3rd. Once Bosh and Ford started attacking and Joey started showing that he might just like this “mixing it up on the inside” stuff, the Raptors started pulling away. It’s nice to see Joey going to the line four times in a row in the 3rd quarter. It shows he has some endurance and can play with the big boys. Now if he could only do it consistently…
So as we’ve mentioned here before, when you face a team like the Sixers, a team that no longer has AI, released Webber and has a coach who nobody listens to anymore (Cheeks), you have to make it an easy win. Eric Smith was right today, the Sixers don’t have that bad of a lineup and shouldn’t be where their record indicates, but here’s the thing. It’s starting to get psychological there. Everybody knows about Philly fans and they can’t be helping. Just over 12,000 at today’s game…ON A HOLIDAY!
See, the bonus about putting away teams like the Sixers is that you can rest a guy like Bosh for the entire fourth quarter, which is fantastic, especially since Sam has been driving him into the ground. It always helps to have a little extra time off.