Game Recap: Raptors 77, Celtics 90

Fear. In the 90’s I had a T-shirt that told everyone behind me that it was just another four letter word. For this Raptors team, we’ve had three games in a row where they’ve stared into the intense eyes of Kevin Garnett and wilted together. The Raptors offense, anemic for the entire afternoon, left no doubt to the fact that the Raptors still have a long way to go before being able to really become the elite of the league.

The Celtics trounced our Raptors this snowy afternoon because they pounded the Raptors from all over the court. As the Raptors struggled to find their defensive intensity on one end by allowing Rajon Rondo to penetrate past Calderon, Bosh and Bargnani had their hands full as Garnett consistently demanded a double team. Of couse, Paul Pierce also caused lots of havoc by driving into the paint and drawing fouls on all the Raptors guards and forwards. It’s not hard to see why the Raptors began to get out-muscled in the 2nd quarter before the whole team came unglued with the second unit coming in. It’s just truly disappointing to see the Raptors struggle so mightily.

On the offensive side of things, the Raptors managed to get Bosh the ball and have him draw fouls, but when your team scores less than 30% of your buckets for the majority of the game, you have to wonder how can the Raptors overcome this obvious lack of ability. The answer is of course to get to the free throw line, but with only Bosh consistently drawing fouls, it seemed like a losing cause. All the Raptors continued to try to jack up shots from the outside and the rhythm and smooth pacing of “Raptors’ Ball” completely disappeared. How many times did we see the ball come out of Calderon’s hand, go to Moon, who tried to shimmy and shake before noticing there were no good opportunities, then he passes to Parker who is now trapped in the corner without a shot. Then the ball gets dumped into the post for Bosh who is promptly double teamed after he takes two dribbles. He passes out again before Jose has to try to make an off balance shot before the shot clock expires. Some would say this was just good Celtics defense, but to me, it shows a distinct lack of decision making on the part of many players. When it comes down to it, are you passing the ball because you’re getting the ball to the best man, or are you passing the ball because you got yourself into trouble and need to get rid of the ball? For too long, the Raptors found themselves looking at the latter situations for the most of this Sunday afternoon.

So at the end of the day, what can we draw from all of this? The first is that I was pretty wrong about the Celtics at the beginning of the year. I believed that Ray Allen going down with an injury would begin the slide of the Celtics team. To much my chagrin, he goes down and the Raptors got to play them today, only to get decimated by the Celtics as a whole. Another thing is that this continued play by Andrea Bargnani is just completely unacceptable. Yes, he’s got a lot going through his mind, but this kind of regression at this stage of his career is just simply ridiculous. Get back to what you can do well, big guy, and then build from there. Bargnani’s continued insistence that he try to make that pull up jumper makes me cringe. There’s only two guys on the team that can do that consistently, and their names are Kapono and Calderon. And yet, we’ve seen Bargnani be somehow afraid to try to take it hard to the cup when there are some defenders around the basket. Why?


Next Game: Toronto @ LA (Clippers) 
Note: Due to the time difference, recaps from the game may come in late


5 thoughts on “Game Recap: Raptors 77, Celtics 90

  1. Luckily I was able to switch back and forth between the Raptors and the Packers. It was a joy to see Favre broke Dan Marino’s record. I’m rooting for Green Bay to go all the way to the Super Bowl. As for the Raptors, I think they were psyched out by KG and the Celts and did not play their game. I agree 100% with the passing (dumping is more like it) and Bargs. Maybe we should send him down to the D-league. Joey looked good thought for what its worth. Well, there’s always the next game.

  2. Tfan – I think he just needs to get back to his basics. If that means hanging on the perimeter a bit, that’s fine. If it means driving hard to the basket at times for a finger roll, that’s fine too. He’s too young to be displaying shades of Fred Jones, and has had some pretty big scoring games earlier this year. I mean, if he can’t even score, what good is he to the team? I was switching to Flight of the Conchords Season 1 on my DVD player. I just couldn’t stand to watch anymore.

  3. Boston is now 20 and 2 for the season, NBA best.
    Their defense is No 1 in the NBA in pts allowed 86.6 FG%41.3 and 3FG% 30.5 allowed in the NBA. The experience of their big 3 avgs 11 yrs each.

    Raptors are not in the same league yet, nor any Eastern team. Will be interesting how they do against the west.

    Considering the Raptor’s injury jinx 11 & 4 is not bad so far.
    Hope they can do .500 on the road for the bal of Dec.

  4. This isn’t game related but wanted to throw it out there – Bill Simmons recently created a trade rumour which would have Pau Gasol and Juan Carlos Navarro head to toronto in exchange for Andrea Bargnani, Rasho Nesterovic’s expiring deal, an unprotected 2008 No. 1 and $3 million.

    What does everyone think of that deal? I’m hesitent to give up on Bargs because of what he showed in the playoffs but Gasol is a stud and paired alongside Bosh would be an amazing tandem. Plus, it could help entice Jose to stick around…

  5. Johnn – But I don’t think the Raptors played their style. Not to mention, Boston’s played a LOT of shitty teams and injured teams. In none of the 3 games have the Raptors played “properly”.

    Dread – That would be something, but losing both Bargs and Rasho for a wing that shoots on the perimeter and a big that is often injured is not a good deal for the Raptors. It’s a very losing situation when you think about it. I mean, you wouldn’t have anyone in the middle strong enough to guard a lot of centers, and not to mention, no suitable backup on the horizon anywhere. Besides, I think Bargs is having his “Dirk” moment, where he’s having a hard time. I remember Dirk’s Rookie year, where he underperformed. I think Bargs will get it and everyone just need to be patient.

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