Yep, it was bound to happen. You can’t play comeback basketball for that long and not expect it to catch up with you. When you do it against bad teams, you can come back. When you do it against the Pacers, nope.
It wasn’t all bad. Leading at the half, the Raptors were playing a decent game. They weren’t clicking on all cylinders, but they were doing just enough. Thumbs up to Jose who was distributing the ball well (even if some people weren’t finishing properly…um Joey, that missed dunk was gross dude…I mean, while I loved Keon Clark, that dunk reminded me of when he’d miss and the bloody thing would fly out to mid-court).
There was one thing that became glaringly apparent tonight: Calderon isn’t going to be able to surprise many teams anymore. People have caught on that he’s legit, so while he had another good night tonight, he clearly has a serious problem dealing with a double team. When he was double-teamed tonight, errant passes were almost automatic (6 turnovers). He was panicking as soon as the double team came, which is going to happen when you’re still young and developing in the league, but it almost looked like he had never seen it before…anywhere. This is one point where TJ has the advantage on Jose, as whenever he sees a double-team coming, he’s quick enough to dribble out of it and dish on a mismatch.
Can anybody explain to me why Fred Jones got almost as much playing time as MoPete? What, just because he was back in Indy, he had to get floor time? He has been brutal. Remember, this is the guy who Sam originally knocked MoPete out of the starting lineup for. I know what you’ll say, that he had 7 points to Mo’s 2 and that he was 5-5 from the line, but he was getting burned on D and Mo has been solid lately (not so great tonight), he deserved better. than that.
I was talking with a guy at work the other day and we were saying how out of nowhere, all of a sudden AP has been faking the outside shot and then dunking on people. It’s like he just discovered he can do it. His two dunks tonight were big time, especially the second one over Murphy (Murph, you cut the hair and lost your power…what up Samson?). That’s the kind of power basketball you have to play. When he starts doing that, defenders have to give him respect on being able to shoot or totally posterize them.
In a game like this, when it’s clear down the stretch that you’re not coming back (throw those comebacks lately out the window), why not get Pape Sow some more PT? Sam threw him on at the end for about a minute and a half. Either get him some time in games like this or put him back in the D-League. Pape Sow has talent. Given, he’s raw, REALLY raw, but he has talent, he just needs playing time. It does him no good to sit at the end of the bench every night, getting the same amount of time as Hump.
A final note. How long has Leo had that ridiculous earring? I asked Lang and he said for a while. I can’t believe I didn’t notice that until tonight’s post game! That’s hilarious! Just when I thought he couldn’t get any lower in my opinion, he pulls out a shovel and digs. Oh yes, awesome post-game interview with Mike Dunleavy. Leo says, “I’m sure you’ve been asked a million times by now about the trade…” and then he asks him the million and first time ABOUT THE TRADE. Nice work Leo. Thanks.