Typically, when the Raptors lose, there are some common factors. They usually come out and stink it up in the third quarter; their D disappears for long stretches, they don’t have a complete team performance; they aren’t able to string together any runs…the list goes on. So it was kind of funny (there I go with that whole Schadenfreude thing again) to see the Raptors get lit up in the second quarter, but then come back with their own strong third quarter (offensively), only to have it checked by an abysmal defensive third quarter. I mean, that’s just…well, awesome. Things are so bad right now that even when they are good, they’re still bad.
One of the big things with me when it comes to sports is having pride. You have to have a bit of an ego. Some swagger. So when you have a guy fighting the flu (Bargs) come out and lead your team in scoring against a team who doesn’t like to play D, then you have to take a look in the mirror and ask yourself if you really did all you could to win on that given night. I mean, Bargs is out there ready to upchuck on the court at any minute, he’s probably feeling pretty weak and yet he is able to lead the Raptors and did it coming out strong from the opening tip. A lot of guys should be ashamed of themselves tonight.
How does Chris Bosh get blocked so often? I mean, seriously, how does it happen to him as often as it does? Is it because he brings the ball back down after a rebound? Is he telegraphing his moves? Does he have a slow release? Is it all of the above? I’m a Bosh fan, so the fact that I’m finding something like this to criticize him on is kind of strange, but it just seems to me that for a guy his size with his kind of athleticism, he shouldn’t be getting blocked as often as he does.
Oh, can I talk about Pops again? THE Role Player? 17 minutes, another 8 boards, made use of 5 fouls and picked up a few points as a bonus. I love a guy who knows what his role is on a team and executes on it. Here’s a guy who is just looking for a solid paycheque and knows that if he focuses on one thing, he might be able to find a home in Toronto. Yes, it’s still early, but I really like what I see from him. Focused effort. The Raptors could use some more of that.