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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Living in a van down by the river
Daily Raptor Dish - 13.01.11
Raps show fight in loss to Hawks
Raptors not getting the calls
There are no moral victories in the NBA, no reason to feel good about oneself in the wake of a loss, no matter how it was achieved, no matter how painful.
The Raptors will lament their latest setback for about one day, but for one night they didn’t look the part of a team that has struggled to play at a high level.
If not for a clutch Mike Bibby three-ball, if not for a questionable play sequence that featured a Jose Calderon drive to the basket with Al Horford draped all over the point guard, Wednesday night’s 104-101 loss to the Atlanta Hawks could have been much different.
Andrea Bargnani had a decent look at the buzzer, but his three-pointer hit front iron, a margin that pretty much summed up the night.
So close and yet so far away.
The Raptors were right there, but they couldn’t make the right plays down the stretch, which included a Bibby three when he came off a screen on an inbound play that ultimately proved to be the decisive bucket and the game’s defining moment.
As much as Calderon groused about his non-call, he did lose possession of the ball when Horford got his hands up.
After a review of the play, it was deemed, correctly, that the ball went off Calderon and possession was awarded to Atlanta.
Hawks snatch game from Raps in final seconds for 104-101 win
It is the vicious circle every non-contending team finds itself in.
You have to be good to get the calls, but in order to get good you need a few calls.
Right now the Raps aren’t getting any calls and hit a new low last night getting to the free throw line just 12 times.
Not that there weren’t plenty of opportunities.
DeMar DeRozan, a guy who with more time in the league will begin to get calls, had more than a handful of times he could have got a call but didn’t.
The Raptors also desperately wanted a call on Jose Calderon’s last second drive to the basket where Al Horford appeared to bump the Raptors point guard as he lost the ball out of bounds on the way to the basket.
Not only did they not get the call, the review to determine possession, which looked like it would go in Toronto’s favour, went against them as well.
Complaining about the referees in a public forum is a no-win situation for any player or team official, but if the references are veiled enough, you can get away with the odd dig without getting fined.
Triano made just such a reference when he was asked about the decision to put the ball in Calderon’s hands on the Raptors last legitimate chance to regain the lead.
“We knew they were going to switch and with a big (Horford) on him we might have had a call coming,” Triano said. “We knew there would be a big on him and you use your quickness to get by him. We shot 12 free throws to that point. We thought we might have a call coming.”
Turns out they didn’t. Nor have they for a good portion of this season, but that is the life for a team that is struggling just to get to eighth place.
Raptors Blog by Doug Smith
It was a game that had just about everything.
Explosive offences, some stretches of good defence, big shots down the stretch and questionable calls.
As entertainment went, the Raptors 104-101 loss to the Atlanta Hawks at the Air Canada Centre on Wednesday was great theatre; for a team needing to win every game it can to stay in touch with the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff race, it was a bitter one to swallow.
“They feel the same way the fans feel, they feel the same way I do,” coach Jay Triano said after the Raptors lost despite leading by two with 10.5 seconds left.
The Hawks won because they made one more big play down the stretch than the Raptors did, getting a big shot on a crucial possession right before Toronto failed in a last-gasp attempt to pull out a win.
After a botched Jose Calderon drive and a couple of Atlanta free throws by Joe Johnson, a desperation three by Andrea Bargnani bounced off the rim at the buzzer.
Hawks continue Toronto dominance
The best thing these guys run is high screen-roll and I don’t have any issue with them running with Jose and the game on the line.
Yes, Jay even opened himself to second-guessing by wondering if he needed to have the ball in Leandro’s hands with eight seconds left (you can read his quote about it in here) but hindsight’s hindsight and as the play unfolded, it seemed to me to be the right one.
Trouble is, they didn’t get the layup or the call and after watching the replay a handful of times, I don’t think there was a foul there. Horford defended it really well and it was one of those things that just didn’t work out.
What the Hawks did that was practically unnoticed, though, was defend everyone else quite well. They didn’t leave a shooter open, there were no obvious passes for Jose to make and it was just a good defensive play all around.
DeRozan continues upward trajectory
In the first half, two dueling bench players energized their teams and lit up the scoreboard. Hawks guard Crawford, the NBA’s reigning Sixth Man of the Year, drilled 25 points in 16.5 minutes, carrying his team to a 60-55 lead over Toronto by the half.
But Toronto had a catalyst of its own. In 14.5 minutes, Brazilian guard Leandro Barbosa added 13 points, two rebounds and four assists -- not to mention a rare dunk. He provided the boost that kept Toronto in the game, while Andrea Bargnani led Toronto in scoring with 15 points.
In the third quarter, Toronto led by as many as four, thanks to some tenacious defence and the fact that Crawford had cooled off. That set up a heartbreaking fourth quarter for Raptors fans. Crawford added 11 more points while the teams swapped leads five times. After a clutch three-pointer from Bargnani put Toronto ahead by two with one minute left, the Raptors appeared to have the win cinched, until sophomore guard DeMar DeRozan made an unfortunate foul on Crawford during a three-point play, which put the Hawks up by one.
And despite an aggressive three-point play in the paint by Amir Johnson that regained the lead for Toronto, it wasn’t enough to overcome a huge three-pointer from Mike Bibby with less than 10 seconds remaining.
“It’s going to be tough for all of us to sleep,” Triano said afterward.
Bargnani and Barbosa each contributed 26 points for Toronto.
“We’ve just got to feed off the energy that we had tonight and bring it out the next game,” Barbosa said.
Crawford, Bibby sink Raptors in wild finish
DeRozan is for the Raptors in many ways what Luke Schenn is to the Maple Leafs: the guy you’d like to think will really be something when the team can make it count.
What does it say that DeRozan’s sophomore season compares favourably with numbers put up by other athletic wing players in recent seasons? Just that it appears all the positive character traits that his coach and general manager and teammates say he possesses – Raptors television analyst Jack Armstrong calls him a gym rat – are translating into improvement. It’s nice that DeRozan hits the practice court at night to work on his shooting with assistant Eric Hughes; better yet that it’s making a difference.
“DeMar should continue to improve almost by default based on his extensive on-court experience,” said Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo, referring to DeRozan’s average of almost 33 minutes a game. “He is clearly getting more savvy about when and how to score.”
Of course DeRozan’s defence needs work. And there will still be nights such as Wednesday’s: a start in which he writes himself large all over the game – eight points in eight minutes, including a reverse jam and brazenly returning the favour of a Joe Johnson blow-by with one of his own on the ensuing possession – only to get lost after spending the first five minutes of the second quarter on the bench. Not much he could do about the phantom foul he was assessed on Jamal Crawford that sent the Atlanta Hawks player to the line for three: Crawford flops. He sold the play. Crawford is a big-time player and he put the Hawks on his back down the stretch.
DeRozan nodded in the affirmative when it was suggested there will come a time where he will demand the ball in games such as Wednesday's, won 104-101 by Atlanta.
Crawford scores season-high 36, Hawks edge Raptors
His team was down by four points, and the shot clock was winding down. With less than two minutes remaining on the game clock, Atlanta Hawks six man Jamal Crawford pulled up and took a jumpshot a good 30 feet away from the basket.
“He hit the same shot when I was in Phoenix, from the same spot,” Toronto Raptors guard Leandro Barbosa said. “And then after he hit it, he said, ‘Again, L.B.’ I said, ‘Man.’ ”
That sad-sack response could have served the Raptors as a whole on Wednesday night. Crawford and Barbosa conspired to make the game a gem, but the Hawks pulled out a 104-101 victory at the Air Canada Centre.
The Hawks have made a practice of thumping the Raptors, but not this time. Instead, the crowd of 14,186 was treated to one of the very best games of the season.
Crawford and Barbosa, two former sixth man of the year award winners, were both breathtaking. Crawford had 36 points, including 25 in the first half. In the fourth quarter, he had that bomb of a three-pointer, two controversial three-shot trips to the free-throw line, and a whole bunch of explosiveness.
Mike Bibby made a go-ahead 3-pointer with 8.2 seconds left, Jamal Crawford scored a season-high 36 points, and the Atlanta Hawks beat the Toronto Raptors 104-101 on Wednesday night for their fifth straight victory.
Joe Johnson scored 26 points and Al Horford had 10 points and 13 rebounds for the Hawks, who have won nine of their past 11 meetings with the Raptors.
Leandro Barbosa scored a season-high 26 points for the Raptors, who also got 26 from Andrea Bargnani. Toronto has lost five of seven and 14 of 19.
Jose Calderon had 11 points and nine assists for Toronto, but lost the ball out of bounds in the final 10 seconds and his team down by a point.
Toronto led 87-82 with 7:02 to go thanks to Barbosa's three-point play and a free throw by Calderon after a technical foul on Crawford. Atlanta fought back to tie it at 91 on a 3-pointer by Johnson with 4:38 remaining.
Bargnani made a pair of jumpers but Crawford's 3 and a layup from Horford gave Atlanta its first lead of the fourth quarter, 96-95, with 1:20 to go.
Bargnani answered with a 3-pointer for Toronto, but DeMar DeRozan fouled Crawford on a 3-pointer and the Hawks guard made all three at the line to put Atlanta back on top. At the other end, Toronto's Amir Johnson converted a three-point play after being fouled on a layup, and the Raptors led 101-99 with 45 seconds left.
Crawford missed a corner 3 but Amir Johnson was whistled for an offensive foul, giving Atlanta the ball with 10.5 seconds remaining. Bibby took the inbounds pass from Crawford and drilled a 3 from the top with 8.2 seconds to go, putting the Hawks up 102-101.