Game 16: Raps vs. Lakers - Post-game

Believe it or not, I actually saw a couple of things that I liked in tonight’s loss.  Sure, I saw a TON that I didn’t like, but there’s plenty of time for that later.  Good news first, good news first.

We saw another good night from Bargs, who is continuing to use headfakes to lure defenders out and then making his move to the basket.  When the opportunity is there, he is taking the shots that are given to him, but what I like even more is that he is hustling back down the court on transition plays, defensively and offensively.  Tonight, we saw him miss a shot, but then get all the way back down the court for a block on the defensive end.  We didn’t see that kind of hustle or even defensive thinking from Andrea in the past couple of years.

I also liked what I saw from Joey Graham again.  I think we are all waiting for the clock to strike twelve and have him running back home in rags while the chariot turns into a pumpkin, but I’ll definitely take what Joey is doing on the floor right now.  He is using his size to his advantage, protecting the ball when he is driving and going up strong.  There are some drives where I swear he has no real intention other than getting fouled, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.  He is making his presence felt and that creates opportunities for his teammates.

I had mentioned earlier that the Raptors were going to need some help, because we couldn’t expect Bosh to continue to put up those kind of numbers, especially against a team that plays as good defense as the Lakers.  It doesn’t even sound right to say that the Lakers are a defensively sound team, but they are and they showed it tonight with how uncomfortable they made Bosh.  Bosh was fading away from the basket, having to adjust shots because of the height he was consistently facing, sometimes shooting over Gasol and Odom at the same time.  You would wonder why when he had that matchup looming over him why he wasn’t passing out of that situation, but it really didn’t look like there was a whole lot of motion going on with his teammates, just a lot of standing around.

So that would be my segue into the negatives from tonight.  Okay, Jose cannot be at 100%.  I say this because when you’re down on the road in LA, with the game in reach, you don’t sit Jose for 4.5 minutes to start the quarter, put him in for a few and then have him sit to end the game.  That didn’t smell right.  Then again, for some reason, Bargnani sat the first 4.5 minutes of the 4th quarter and he was having a pretty solid game, so maybe we’ll just sum that up as another one of Sam’s strange personnel moves.  But for me, I have this strange feeling that either Jose’s hammy is still sore or there is something else wrong with him.  Something just doesn’t seem right.

Maybe it is because Roko doesn’t get that much playing time, but why so often when the Raptors need to bring the ball up the floor is Roko way the hell down by the opposition’s 3 point line?  Tonight, we saw HUMP start bringing the ball up, Kapono had to do it another time and we even saw Bosh dribble out a bit before Roko came back to get the ball.  This can’t be any sort of strategic move, because nobody would ever want Hump or Bosh bringing the ball up the court.  It’s a disaster waiting to happen.

Random thought:  Can somebody explain to me why coming out of the end of a quarter, you have to burn a timeout to inbound the ball to start the 4th quarter?  I mean, really?  Did you not just come out of an extended break?  Kapono looked like a kid who knew he was going to mess his pants and had to get out of class immediately before something bad for everyone happened.  Yikes.  That situation takes me back to one of those little sound bites they ran from Bosh’s interview tonight.  Bosh said that when playing for team USA in the summer, the big thing was how prepared they were.  How people were coming out to see them practice and how it was entertaining, but that it was also guys going hard at each other and making sure they were prepared to win.  When you can’t inbound the ball coming out of the 3rd quarter in a game where you have a chance and one would think that with a little momentum going your way that the other team might press, then you’re not prepared to play and you’re therefore not prepared to win.

Not having JO in the lineup tonight was a surprise, since there was a lot of rumour going around that he was going to play.  You could see the impact that had on the game as the Lakers were able to countlessly walk down the lane untouched for layins and dunks.  The Raptors have to realize that even though they don’t have JO in the lineup, that doesn’t mean that they can’t play tough down the middle.  There’s no reason for Farmar to be walking through your lane for a layup.  It’s embarrassing. 

You know how in those mob movies, some dude always gets driven out into the middle of nowhere and is then shot in the woods?  I’m not saying Sam is going to get fired on this road trip, because it really wouldn’t make any sense since he is without JO, has Jose running suspect, is facing some of the better (and best) teams the league, but damn, if I were heading out on a road trip right now and I was Sam, I’d be looking over my shoulder.

3 Comments

lang  on November 30th, 2008

I feel like I called my big brother to save me from the schoolyard bullies, and he got his ass kicked.

Doc  on December 1st, 2008

Not surprised by the outcome, but was hoping for a little better of an effort from CB4. :(

Bargnani continues to surprise me especially on defense. Four blocks last night. Are you kidding me? :)

Juan  on December 1st, 2008

Hi,
I think that Roko is not the adequate guard to subsitute Jose Calderon. Colangelo must work on it.
By the way, I wrote an analyze about the free agents 2009:
http://saqueneutral.blogspot.com/2008/11/nba-free-agents-2009-article-in-english_29.html

Regards,
http://saqueneutral.blogspot.com/
(a blog about sport in English and Español)

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