Well, the guy who we said the Raptors
couldnít have hurt them, seriously hurt them. Well, he more than hurt them, he killed them. Vince did everything that a team leader was supposed to do last night, making the shot to send his team into overtime and then finding a way to get loose in overtime to throw down a dunk to win it. But realistically, this is another game that the Raptors
let get away and while we have been defending Sam here, this could be the game that essentially sealed his fate.
I bring up Samís job security here because there really isnít any excuse for a) Vince being able to even get a 3-point shot off at the end of the game; b) Vince being able to get loose at the end of the game for a dunk. You have to know that when the game is on the line, there is only one guy the Nets are going to look for. If the ball isnít going to Vince with the game on the line, then something is seriously wrong. So you have to wonder why the Raptors
didnít foul Vince as soon as he touched the ball before taking the 3. Sure, you donít want to foul him in the act and send him to the line for 3 easy ones, but at the same time, weíve all seen him make clutch shots before (and also miss themÖif we go back to the infamous final shot against Philly). Apparently the word from Sam is that the players were instructed to foul Vince if his back was to the basket, but why the hell would his back be to the basket that far out with hardly any time left on the clock? That should have been a slap right away.
As far as the dunk in OT, thatís inexcusable. Again, you know that with that little time left on the clock, the Nets are going to look for Vince. Lawrence Frank is a smart enough coach that he is going to draw something up for Vince, get the ball in his hands and let the fate rest there. So the fact that he essentially just walks around two Raptors
on his wayk for an easy ally-oop just makes you wonder what is going on defensively for the Raptors.
We have brought up a million times here that the worst part about Sam is that coming out of timeouts or on inbound plays, the Raptors
canít run an effective play. Roaches when the lights come on. Everyone just running in circles with their hands up. Itís embarrassing. The fact that AP had to take a timeout when he couldnít get the ball in and then the ABSOLUTELY INEXCUSABLE gaffe of Bargs
not inbounding the ball at all comes down to coaching. At worst, if the 5 seconds that SHOULD be internally counting down in your head is about to expire, toss the ball off a defenderís leg or try to force a pass. You canít just stand there with the ball and turn it over. I mean, really.
Once again, the Raptors
showed their inability to step on a teamís neck. There were plenty of opportunities for the Raptors
to close this one out, but they kept letting the Nets back into the game. Thatís the difference between good teams and .500 teams. If you canít close teams out when you have the lead in the 4th quarter, you donít deserve to win. You have to have that killerís instinct that the Raptors
clearly do not possess. I am not sure what it will take for the Raptors
to gain that instinct, maybe itís another coach, but if they want to move forward, if they want to become a better team, things are going to have to change.