Okay, so it was a win, but it was definitely an ugly win. Back in school, that used to be what we would call “Fugly”. You can guess what the F stood for.
But in every ugly game, there are always a few gems you can take away and here are a couple from last night. The first is that the Raptors were 20-23 from the line, which is what you have to do to put games away. Driving and getting to the line is one thing, but being able to sink your free throws and get those easy points is another.
I don’t know how many people realized it (there wasn’t much comment on it last night), but TJ and Jose were on the floor at the same time for quite a while before the end of the first half and I loved it. Charlotte couldn’t keep up with the pace the Raptors were setting and the ball movement was great. TJ was getting the ball up court quickly, dishing out to Jose, who would roll out to AP, then you’d see it come back around. In the end, TJ and Jose both had good nights and I really liked having them on the court at the same time. Maybe something to think about in the future if you just need to shake things up during a game. Nice work by Sam.
Bosh was almost invisible in the first half, but then took over in the second, capping off a nice night. I’m still not a fan of him settling for outside jumpers, I’d rather see him going hard or using his athleticism in the low post, which he did as the game went along. Because of his size and agility, he is tough to defend, as some of the big guys in the league are too bulky and some of the quicker guys are too short. He needs to keep exploiting that fact down the stretch.
Anyway, for a lot of last night the Raptors looked lost and they are going to be exposed if they play like that tomorrow. You can’t play down to the level of your competition. I’m not completely sold on the Raptors D being big last night either, I think the Cats just weren’t hitting shots.