After coming to the realization that I wasn’t going to be able to see this game (AAAAAHHHHH!!!!), I actually managed to hear almost the whole first half on the radio. Didn’t get to see any of the game or listen to the second half, so let me put that out there right off the start.
Just from listening to the first half, there are some things that sounded like they could have been glaring on television (and how I knew about 10 guys who went to today’s game…I’ll never know…hook a brother up!). The first is that when you have Bosh go for a sit down in the first quarter with foul trouble, you know things are not going to go well that day. It’s an omen. I mean, you give an All-Star a foul on a block out against Mikki Moore? Hey, I actually really dig Moore’s game, but that just can’t happen in the playoffs.
We all knew that the Nets were going to throw the zone at Toronto, which meant that TJ was going to slash to get through the zone and that pretty much summed up the first quarter. So they go through that in not too bad shape considering Bosh sat a good chunk. But here’s the problem. When you have that zone working and Bosh sitting, leading to TJ cutting, it gets the rest of the guys a little out of their groove. I can’t go against a guy for picking up 14 points out of the gate, but only because he was actually getting some guys good looks. Problem was, when the guys were getting looks, they weren’t draining shots (hello Gatorade Graham…good Lord, saw the replays, you looked rough today man, rough). So if TJ cutting is working that means that you have to stay in the game mentally so that when he dishes to you, you’re ready to shoot.
So having Jose come in was good, get guys back into it with more touches, increase the ball movement. Have to like the 8 assists, going along with the 13 points. But this is precisely what I was talking about the other day when I suggested that maybe it would be an idea to run both TJ and Jose for a while against the Nets. TJ is going to kill the zone and Jose could assist with ball movement. Might have been an idea for a little 1-2. I’m not saying to run that for the majority of the game or for even half of the game, but every once in a while, just to confuse the Nets and get them out of their rhythm, it could be an idea.
Okay, I’m not going to go into a lot of detail since I didn’t see it live, but here’s one last thing. I’m not one to get on the refs for losses and certainly it doesn’ t seem like the refs cost the Raptors this one, but all I want to say is that no team can go almost a whole quarter without fouling somebody. It just doesn’t happen. In the NBA, in the playoffs, especially in the first round, somebody, SOMEBODY is going to get fouled. The fact that the Nets went through almost the whole first quarter without having a foul called against them was bogus.
Well, the Raps need to get the next one. They HAVE to split at home, because is you split at home and then split on the road, you have that home court advantage at the end. They had better come out with more energy next game.