Jay: Back for Seconds, Thirds and Fourths
Old 04-12-2008, 10:41 AM   #1 (permalink)
convinced that Raptors fans are only happy when they're unhappy.

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Jay: Back for Seconds, Thirds and Fourths

Some things donít happen very often. Total eclipses, Haleyís comet, a Knicks win. So thatís why when something extraordinary happens, you have to take notice. Tonight, the Raptors stepped up and played a solid game, playing like a team that just wanted it more than the other team they were playing. But thatís not the part that was so abnormal. No, that came as the Raptors got their asses served to them in the first quarter, but then MADE DEFENSIVE ADJUSTMENTS that actually worked, resulting in a complete shut down of the Nets.

The Nets were simply being more aggressive than the Raptors in the first quarter, attacking the basket and using their athleticism to create scoring opportunities. It didnít look like the Raptors were going to have any sort of plan to stop the Nets and to be honest, it didnít look like they were completely into the game. As much as we often wonder what was said at halftime that leads to the Raptors coming out and stinking up the joint in the third quarter, tonight was the complete opposite. After the first quarter, you could see the Raptors staying back a step and a half, tempting the Nets to take the outside jumper, in essence, playing themselves out of the game. Once those outside shots started missing, you could see the frustration setting in and sure enough, Richard Jefferson disappeared like he typically does when he misses a few or doesnít take off right at the start of the game.

Was it just me or were there a lot of touch fouls tonight? Wow. Some of them were almost Jordanesque.

Good to see the TJ/Jose combo working well again and it was also good to see that while Devin Harris burned TJ a couple of times by putting the ball on the floor, TJ didnít come right back trying to prove a point. He just came back down the court and found a way to create a shot for his teammates. Thatís a good sign of maturity, which is something TJ has lacked at points during this season.

It was good to see Carlos Delfino making some shots again, but you have to wonder what is going on with Jason Kapono. In one of the threads on our message board, I was talking about how Kapono hasnít really been doing any work to create shots for himself, meaning that he hasnít been moving in order to get good looks. Nobody thinks he is a Rip Hamilton out there, running a marathon every time down the court in order to get a shot off, but when you are a shooter, play 17 minutes and get off 1 shot, you have to wonder what the hell is going on. If plays are not being run specifically for him out there (and if plays were actually being run by the Raptors, Kapono would probably be a bit down the list), but if they arenít, then he has to create some openings so the Raps can actually get a pass to him where he can square up and letíer rip.

So speaking of Rip Hamilton, the Raptors head into Detroit on Sunday for a mid-day affair that will not be easy. Hopefully some of the lessons learned tonight carry over to their next game.
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