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Old 11-27-2012, 02:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Grantland: Raptors late game awfulness

1. Toronto's Late-Game Awfulness

Toronto is 1-7 in games in which the scoring margin has been at three or fewer points anytime in the last three minutes of regulation or overtime, per NBA.com. They are a league-worst -41 in those games, with the latest indignity coming in Sunday's double-overtime loss to the Spurs, which featured a five-second violation and Dwane Casey's puzzling decision to sit an active Ed Davis in favor of an ice-cold Andrea Bargnani.

Bad luck has played a role here; remember George Hill's buzzer-beating floater, Charlotte's uncalled foul on a potential Bargnani buzzer-beater, and Al Jefferson's game-tying 3-pointer the second triple of his career? Injuries to Landry Fields and Alan Anderson have also limited Casey's ability to match up with small lineups in specific late-game situations.

But some of his substitution patterns have been puzzling, including over-playing Bargnani and showing little trust in Jonas Valanciunas and Terrence Ross even when those guys are going well. A lack of faith in rookies is understandable, but some of Toronto's weaker off-ball defenders Bargnani, Jose Calderon, and DeMar DeRozan have really hurt the Raps in crunch-time possessions.

What if the Sixers didn't trade for Andrew Bynum? - Grantland
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