|11-17-2008, 05:16 PM||#1 (permalink)|
is tired of all the Jose hating on this forum! sigh...
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: NorthWestern Ontario
Raptors Week 3 Review
as posted on my blog..
Week 3 for the Raptors started with a tough fourth quarter collapse in Boston as the Celtics rode the hot hand of Paul Pierce to a victory. We had a 16 point leads twice in the third quarter as Jermaine O'Neal recovered from an awful game in Charlotte. He ended the game with 23 points and 11 rebounds, but better than that, he has played 3 solid games this past week, which is a very good sign for this team. Anthony Parker had 15, while Jason Kapono had 14 while Kevin Garnett made Chris Bosh work for all of the 9 points he scored. The biggest thing we learned Monday was that this Raptors team is going to struggle containing SF's all season until someone can step up and consistently provide both solid offense and tough defense. This game could have been won if anyone would have stepped up and made a couple stops instead of watching Pierce drop 22 points on them in that last quarter. We ended up -5 in turnovers and -2 in steals. Ball control is a huge issue with this team as we saw against the 76ers.
Against the 76ers, the Raptors struggled the entire game as the quicker 76ers caused bad passes and put pressure on our back court all game. The biggest news from this game was the loss of Jose Calderon to a hamstring injury. We were able to get the game to 4 points a few times, but it seemed the next offensive set would result in a turnover, a quick bad shot and transition basket by the 76ers as we stood around wondering how it missed, then we were suddenly down 10 again. Maurice Cheeks had this team ready to put pressure on our back court, especially after Jose went down and Will Solomon and Roko Ukic had to find a way to step in and control the ball. The Raptors were out rebounded, had more turnovers and gave away more steals to this team as Elton Brand scored 25 and 8 rebounds. Andre Iguodala and Andre Miller added 18 points each and a total of 25 rebounds. Samuel Dalembert, who grabbed 17 boards in the season opener, was very quiet with 2 points and 2 rebounds before fouling out as Chris Bosh and Jermaine O'Neal pounded the ball inside all night, but just couldn't keep the ball going in to these guys consistently enough to take the lead back. CB, JO and Andrea Bargnani combined for 64 points and 28 rebounds as a trio.
With Jose Calderon in a lovely suit, Sam Mitchell started Andrea Bargnani at the SF against the Heat Sunday as they brought a good back court of Dwyane Wade and Mario Chalmers with Daequan Cook and Chris Quinn adding 27 points off the bench. The game provided us a look a the possibilities this Raptors team could bring to any game with our front court able to floor Chris Bosh, Jermaine O'Neal and Andrea Bargnani up front leaving Anthony Parker and Will Solomon in the back court until Jose returns. I was impressed with Will's game with 15 points and 11 assists in a game in which we were to be outplayed in the back court, he held his own as Anthony Parker added 10 points while trying to contain Dwyane. Perhaps the surprise of the game was how much life sitting seems to have put under the feet of Jamario Moon as he was attacking the hole again and was rewarded with 5 trips to the line. The other big part of this game was watching Kris Humphries add 14 points and 9 rebounds in the 16 minutes he played allowing us to keep a steady rotation of bigs on the floor. A couple notes on this game that I really enjoyed seeing. The Heat shot 40% as a team including 3 – 19 from outside the arc in the second half. Well done guys. Perimeter defense does actually pay off. Though Dwyane Wade had 29, he did so on 13 – 31 shooting with only 3 of 4 from the line. Keeping him shooting tough shots was key to containing this offense as Shawn Marion struggled to find his range and Udonis Haslem and Michael Beasley could only provide 23 points inside.
Overall, the week was tough with 2 losses, but I think what we learned about the guard situation will carry us a long way when Jose returns. When JO begins to hit the easy inside shots he seems to still struggle with, this team will be very hard to match up with in the front court night after night with 4 solid big men able to rotate through playing solid defensively and starting to understand how to rebound as a group. With games against the Magic and a return game in Miami then home to receive the Nets, this week could see us get to 8 – 4 with some good play. I would be very happy with that as the next week will bring us the Celtics, the Hawks and the Lakers.
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