||04-28-2014 12:03 PM
Raptors Daily Dish | Playoff Edition | Game 4 Post-Game
I miss these Daily Dish Posts. So I figured after last nights victory I think its only appropriate that I bring it back for the playoffs
Passion the difference between Nets, Raptors fans
Raptors: Three things we learned from Toronto's win over Brooklyn Nets in Game 4 of NBA playoffs
Clumps of empty seats were scattered around the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Sunday night, where a rather subdued crowd watched Game 4 of the Raptors-Nets playoff series.
While Toronto’s deafening crowds have unanimously donned white at the Air Canada Centre this series, many Brooklyn fans declined to wear their team’s colours Sunday, while the dozens of Toronto fans in attendance were proudly clad in Raptors red.
Back home, thousands more wore the team’s colours in Maple Leaf Square, where hordes of fans have gathered to watch every game of the series on the giant video screen. Hundreds of people who couldn’t get into the square lined Bremner Blvd.
Raptors fans say it’s commitment and passion that distinguish them from their Brooklyn counterparts.
“You’re not going to see Nets fans here. We make the effort to go out there and show them that we’re supporting them. And I think that’s the big difference — everyone’s behind them and they really do appreciate it,” said Brittany Tougher, a Raptors fan since the first days of the franchise.
A six-year gap between playoff runs has also help build fans’ enthusiasm, she said.
“We’ve been waiting. They haven’t had sold-out seats. No one really cares. (New York) has the Knicks, too. We’re the only Canadian team and we’ve really been waiting for this.”
This season has been a chance for Toronto to show the NBA that the city takes basketball seriously, said Casey Bannerman, a season ticket holder this year.
“The main thing is that we’re trying to build something new here,” Bannerman said. “We’re known so well for hockey. And for us, it’s showing the NBA, the rest of the world, that we’re the lone Canadian franchise. So I think, for us, it brings in patriotism, it brings in pride of city. And that’s why we’re so passionate.”
Some famous faces have appeared courtside at Raptors-Nets games in both Toronto and Brooklyn.
Raptors global ambassador Drake caused a ruckus on the Internet last week when he was spotted lint-rolling his pants during Game 2. A flurry of GIFs, memes and comment threads ensued, but the ever-cool rapper has taken the jabs in stride, even posting a “no lint” picture on his Instagram.
Drake’s rumoured girlfriend Rhianna has been causing a stir of her own in Brooklyn, where she wore a revealing top to Game 3. Her outfit was more demure when she sat courtside at Sunday night’s game.
Kevin Garnett says the Brooklyn Nets fans need to step up their game for the playoffs
Where’s it rank?
As a fella with a fair bit of experience in this Raptors-in-the-playoffs thing , a couple of folks asked where that one would rank on the all-time list.
Now, the list isn’t particularly long, as we all know, but given the circumstances, the context and everything, that has to be a close second to Game 5 in New York in 2001 as the biggest win ever.
Hobbled point guard, playing on the road against a team with boatloads of experience, what they did was pretty amazing.
Lowry was something else -- as the game story might indicate -- and Amir Johnson found his game. They were looking horrid for the middle two quarters, really, and I don’t imagine there was any sense of optimism with about 18 minutes to go, was there?
But with the season on the line, they ran away and hid in the final five minutes – to hold a team scoreless for that long a stretch requires some help from the losing but it’s a damn impressive feat.
“That’s us man, we’re definitely resilient and we’re not going to give up until the game is over,” said DeRozan.
And if that’s this team’s epitaph whenever this ends, it’s a damn fine one to have.
Speaking of …
It was kind of joke when a smart-ass reporter asked DeRozan if taking two charges in the final two minutes of a game represented a single-game career high.
“Nah,” he laughed. “I don’t think so. I hope it’s not.”
It probably was – not that that’s a big thing or anything – but it did go to what Dwane Casey has been asking of his best players all year: To do something to have an impact on the game if the offence isn’t working out.
And it sure wasn’t for DeRozan in the second half. After he had 20 in the first, a combination of some forced shots, better defence and bad shooting luck limited him to four in the second but he still had an impact on the game.
Those two charges were it.
He manned up and defended Joe Johnson well – as a team holding Johnson to just seven field goal attempts was significant – and did what good players do, have an impact on the game when he wasn’t scoring.
Who were those guys?
Did you check out that lineup to start the fourth quarter?
Greivis Vasquez, DeMar DeRozan, John Salmons, Steve Novak and Chuck Hayes? I looked up and thought it was some January Tuesday night in Detroit, not the most important 12 minutes of the season.
But Dwane was like a gambler, he had to take a shot against the odds and the group, odd though it was.
“You get questioned because you expand your rotation, (because) because you don’t have enough,” Dwane said when the topic was discussed post-game. “But I have to use every tool in the tool box. I had Steve (Novak) out there, too, don’t forget. We’re 15-man deep, we had to use every tool”
And none of them let him down.
Got a little bit, yeah.
Kevin Garnett wasn’t impressed with the crowd in Game 1 of his first playoff experience in Barclays Center, an understandable evaluation given the tame atmosphere for the majority of the first half: there seemed to be more selfies and photos of Rihanna than loud cheers.
“Could do better. I was expecting Brooklyn to be real hostile, New York-style,” Garnett said Saturday, echoing the sentiments of teammate Paul Pierce concerning Friday’s 102-98 victory in Game 3 over the Raptors. “Knowing what it’s like to come here as the opposition, so our crowd could do better. But they were there when they needed us, and we fed off of them.”
The late-arriving fans weren’t roused until late in the second quarter, when Paul Pierce finished a dunk and Garnett grabbed a loose ball off the court and started screaming at it.
“I don’t really know (what I was doing),” said Garnett, who is used to the raucous crowd in Boston. “I blacked out at that point. I have a kid at the games, being an example, a role model. All that goes out the door. I’m playing with heart at that point, my passion, I’m playing off the crowd – my friends are there, my teammates, I’m just going. I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m going.”
"Yeah (the crowd) was a little slow to start," Deron Williams said. "Seven o'clock game on a Friday night in New York, that's tough. So hopefully it will be better come Sunday."