Game 30: Raps vs. Blazers – Post-game

Okay, I’ll preface this by saying that in no way did the refs cause a Raptors loss tonight, but man, what does JO have to do to get some calls?  Correction, what does JO have to do to get some calls against a rookie who has a tendency to swing his arms even though he’s an old-school big man?  True, the Raptors were on the road, so you know you aren’t going to get the same kind of calls that you can expect at home, but some of the touch fouls on JO, compounded by the lack of a whistle on what appeared to be clear fouls on JO was a little much.  Top it off with a technical on JT for asking for a timeout (although let’s be honest, JT was almost out at the key when he called it) and we can say that the refs didn’t have a strong night.

But as for what lost it for the Raptors, well, there were a couple of things.  First thing would be the third quarter.  One of the problems that we used to see a lot with the team under Sam in the past few years was their inability to come out with any sort of energy in the third quarter.  We saw some of that tonight.  I would hope that after having the Christmas break, the Raptors won’t use a back-to-back scenario as an excuse for a lacklustre third quarter and if they do, then it should be nothing but conditioning instead of actual practice time.   When you are a professional athlete, you should be able to play back to back games without that much of a problem, especially when you just had a bit of an extended rest.

The Raptors were also done in by Brandon Roy and their inability to secure rebounds (surprise!).  Roy was on fire in the fourth quarter, showing what we talked about in the pre-game where we said that we are witnessing the real emergence of a solid star.  He wasn’t having a huge game until the fourth quarter, but that’s what good players do.  They turn it on when they need to and find a way to pull things out when their team needs a shot in the arm.  The Raptors actually played him pretty well, but he just made shots.  He even got roughed up a little and had to pick himself up off the floor, but he just kept coming back.  You can’t really fault the Raptors for the game he had in the fourth.

Okay, somebody really needs to have a talk with Jose about leaving his feet.  It’s starting to get into Solomon territory.  I can’t count the number of times I see Jose try to gain the corner on somebody, only to end up on the baseline, under the basket and then in the air looking to throw a long two handed overhead pass to somebody.  We saw that today and it got picked off for an uncontested 2 the other way.  We’re also seeing him do it a lot when he wants to swing the motion in the opposite direction.  He’s good enough that he doesn’t have to do that stuff.

Speaking of Solomon.  Yikes.  I don’t think I have dreaded seeing a guy step on the court as much as this since the Mine James era.  The guy thinks he has this awesome game and even worse, he gets on the refs about not getting calls WHILE THE OTHER TEAM IS HEADING UP THE COURT.  Steve Javie was looking at him like, “I’m sorry, who the hell are you?” 

Ah well, one bad quarter sealed it for the Raptors tonight, but I think we saw the team that they can be in the first half.  Nice to see.

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