Raptors Republic: Spots of great defense win games
Old 11-01-2008, 09:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Raptors Republic: Spots of great defense win games

Arsenalist's post game summary from last night's festivities.

Originally Posted by Arsenalist
The Raptors were a hairís breadth from losing this game in regulation and if they had the theme of this post wouldíve been completely different. Instead of focusing on Anthony Parkerís great defense on Maggette in overtime we wouldíve focused on the -10 rebounding, missed FTs, bad rotations, late close-outs and other such things. But a win puts an entirely different flavor on the game and sometimes makes us forget what actually went wrong. So before we start with what went right, I want to address a defensive problem that almost cost us this game.

The major problem for us defensively tonight was Jose Calderon. He was basically the main engine of Golden Stateís offense for almost three quarters. Golden Stateís all-swingmen lineup forced Calderon to check Stephen Jackson or Kelenna Azubuike who both showed no hesitation in going straight at Calderon. The Raptors were forced to help and Sam Mitchell sent the double from all areas of the court. He tried the weak side double, top of the key double, blind-side double, you name it, he tried it. But nothing worked. They kept effectively passing the ball out of the double team through cross-court passes, swing sequences and even clever dump-downs for scores for the final three quarters. The main beneficiary of all this turned out to be Al Harrington whose man was always late on the rotation (you canít really blame him either, thatís a lot of passes!). Don Nelsonís plan almost worked.

Anthony Parkerís fourth quarter and overtime defense on Corey Maggette and the Raptorsí clutch FT shooting eventually won us the game but it was the consistent offense that we were able to generate throughout that kept us in it. The Raptors kept this game close by making sure they never went in an offensive drought and for that we have Chris Bosh, Andrea Bargnani and Anthony Parker to thank. I thought we showed great resilience in playing from behind in the fourth quarter and did a tremendous job in sending the game to overtime. For a second it looked like the Raptors were going to throw this one away but Bosh came up with huge scores to keep us within +/- 1 possession - kudos for being clutch! Itís close games like these that build the character of a team and serve as a template of how to play in clutch circumstances. We need more games like these to test the mettle of this team.
It sounds as though "Raptor Fan Friday's" at Philthy McNasty's was somewhat of a success too. Good on ya guys.

Originally Posted by Arsenalist
Quick note. Thanks to everybody who showed up at Philthy McNastyís. I met Drizz there who I found out can drink anyone under the table. Challenge him next time.
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Old 11-01-2008, 09:50 AM   #2 (permalink)

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Nelson's plan to be honest was brilliant. We honestly had no answer for anything they did it seemed and we were just struggling to keep it with them.

We were able to neutralize alot of this by simply getting the stops we needed when they occurred.
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