Welcome to the playoffs, Raptors.

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.


fho  on April 22nd, 2007

Yep, Bosh got himself into early foul trouble. Yep, Ford was driving a little too much making it longer for everyone to get into their groove, and missing some of his easy looks. Yep, the the other players weren’t draining the easy looks. And yep Calderon was great in getting the team to respond better against the Nets defence. First playoff-game jitters? Must be.

The Raps was trying to go for the easy daggers with a lot of perimeter and 3-pointers instead of working it inside or driving in for the layups, and possibly getting more fouls. The cutters or movement without the ball was MIA. The Raptor offense was shamelessly predictable and easy to defend.

But what was really lacking was the team defence and rebounding. The Raps allowed the Nets a lot of easy and/or open looks and easy points on transition. It looked like we weren’t playing in the ACC.

Bosh needs to drive and post up more – maybe get some fouls. Everyone needs to hit the boards. We need more points on transition. If it takes Calderon to get everyone in the groove sooner then lets have him get in the game early.

To win the playoffs the right adjustments need to be made. That’s how past teams that are down in the series get back in it to win. It’s a whole different ball game.

Team, remember what made you win games … the extra passes, the small, non-statistic intangible effort/plays. Those will be the difference in close games.

Go Raptors!

Renato  on April 23rd, 2007

Hi, I had the chance to watch the game on tv. Kudos to TJ for being the only one together with Bosh able, at the beginning to hold his own and make shoots. I could not judge too much the referees as they were not giving us any replay on most Raptors disputed calls but besides Bosh being called two faults in no time there were a few occasion when faults were not given to the raptors when they were attacking, I remember a few on AP and also on Bargnani it seemed.
I would point out anyway this game was little different from the latest Raptors performances where a poor start out of the gates was made right by a comeback on the last quarter. The raps had any opportunity to win the game but they always stop a little short. The Nets are a good team but not beyond reach but The Raps are the team they are counting on the true Andrea Bargnani, at the moment they do not have him full service. I saw on RealGM somebody was asking why he is wearing that white protection on his arm. I cannot answer on RealGM yet but in an interview in Italian he said he had “Trombosy” on his arm vein. I cannot translate “Trombosi” but that is when you have some small pieces of coagulated blood mooving around your veins and it was the doctor prescribing him to wear that while playing.

Jay  on April 23rd, 2007

That one game pretty much pointed out a lot of things we have talked about all season long. It was like they needed to get all of the errors out in one game.

Defence, rebounding, ball movement, taking it to the lane instead of staying on the perimeter…nothing new. Let’s hope that they just got everything out in one game and are now ready to move on.

We will see what Sam is made of right now, how he is able to get his team to wake up before it is too late.