Well, I guess you can say that I cursed Chris Bosh. Just as I started talking about him having great games against the Magic, he comes out and lays a stinker out there for us all to witness. He wasn’t the only reason for the Raptors loss today, but I just thought that if I have any sort of cosmic powers or the ability to put a hex on somebody, then I should at least step up and admit some of my responsibility for the loss.
But what killed the Raptors is what has been killing the Raptors all season. The third quarter. The third quarter keeps walking up and slapping the Raptors in the face, like they didn’t know it was coming. I thought that it was an issue when Sam was around, that he wasn’t able to make any sort of adjustments at halftime, but since the trend has continued with JT, you really have to wonder what the hell happens to the Raptors when they come out of the locker room after halftime. What is it? Is it a physical thing? Is there some sort of lethargy that sets in? I somebody spiking the Gatorade? Are they getting too much information and trying to make too many changes going into the third? Can it simply be just coincidence? Who knows?
But going back to Bosh for a second, he fell into his jump shooting trap, which sometimes rears its ugly head. Any RF reader will know how much I hate when Bosh starts games shooting jumpers, because it limits his game and takes away from what I think the best part of his game is, using his speed inside. I don’t mind him using his jumper, because it is a good one and it broadens his game, but when he just starts taking them at the start of a game, it doesn’t allow him to get into any sort of a flow and takes the pressure off the D. If the opposition doesn’t have to worry about Bosh getting any of their bigs in trouble, especially Howard, they are going to let him take that jumper. We’ve said that many times before, but to give it some credence, SVG said today, “The bottom line is it was going to be (Bosh’s) 2-point jump shots against Dwight down in the paint at point-blank range,” Van Gundy said. “That was a trade-off we were willing to make.” Of course. Anybody is going to take that trade-off.
In the pre-game, we also mentioned that the Raptors were going to have to try to live with avoiding the double team so much on Howard, because it was going to leave open looks for the Magic. Key to starting the second half on a downward slide was giving up some big 3’s. Once, again, SVG: “Most of the time we’ll hit that stretch where we drop a few 3’s and open the game up when people are collapsing inside and we did that again.” Raptors: Collapsed on Howard. Magic: Hit 3’s. Game over.
Well, a nice dose of reality for the Raptors on what was Super Sunday (as far as the actual Super Bowl went). The Raptors will have to pick up the pieces and figure out what to do about this third quarter business.