Game Recap: Cavaliers 93, Raptors 90

Oh, where to start.

Three quarters of good, yet not quite great basketball, followed by an implosion on their home court. At this stage, how are people supposed to analyze this? The Raptors had ample opportunities to put the game well out of reach, except their execution on both ends of floor began to give. First, they started to lose their defensive intensity before finally falling apart due to shot selection in the fourth. Yes, it’s great to keep looking at the positives, but there’s a disturbing trend that wasn’t there last year, where the Raptors have had very hard times closing out quarters. No matter how well Jamario Moon played this game by going inside and doing some athletic moves, nor how well Anthony Parker played by nearly netting his first double double, it just doesn’t cut it to hold a lead for three quarters only to lose it in the fourth. That just never happened last year, and more importantly, it was often the Raptors who actually managed to upset teams.

I’ve talked about it a lot as well, but is it shocking to people that this team has managed to shoot over 50% in many games, but hasn’t cracked the 100 point barrier all that often this year? Again, the Raptors shot about 49% yet still could barely crack the 90 point barrier. Poor shooting from 3-point land, and horrible free throw shooting really did in the Raptors. It’s just inexcusable for Chris Humphries to go 0-4 from the line. He makes half, and the Raptors are looking at almost winning this game. Then, there’s the other statistic that’s just shocking to me. After managing to get the Cavs to turn the ball over a horrible nine times in the first half, the Raptors only managed to get three more turnovers for the second half.

In the end, this may very well be the turning point for these Raptors, and not in a good way. Bargnani caught a cold or flu like he did last year, the bench isn’t really producing because some people, like Kapono, aren’t getting enough touches, and TJ Ford still doesn’t have an ETA on his return. The terrible thing is, we’re still at .500, in a very compact and tight conference, and we’ve now gotten blown out by Detroit at home, and gave up this game against a Cavs team that we should be fighting for third or fourth place with. Sam might not want to let it out on his players, but it just might be time for some of that abrasiveness to get rubbed off on his players. This just cannot continue. Scoring only 90 points over the course of a game where you’re shooting .500 is going to insure that we lose even more games for the rest of this month that we’re supposed to use to build a cushion. Worse of all, no lead is safe and it makes sure that we will be playing tense and loose and without confidence no matter what the situation in future games. It’s just a recipe for disaster.

Next Game: Philadelphia @ Toronto

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7 thoughts on “Game Recap: Cavaliers 93, Raptors 90

  1. This is disaster coming. The bench is awfully quiet for the Raps and the lack of focus from the entire team is really frustrating me. After watching this game, I feel something on the bench has to be changed or just not make the playoffs at all. jose calderon can put up the numbers and wow the fantasy leagues but we need TJ to complete the games. Now we all know what TJ can bring and Jose cannot win our team to the playoffs aginst the big teams (that are non-injured) alone.As of now Bargnani is “coming” back, but if we want him to be a “superstar” we have to sacrifice this season because his learning progress will have someone not rebounding or defending like a center at the important stretches of games.

  2. Anthony – I agree mostly, except I believe that with a better bench, Calderon would do better as a starter as well. The other big difference is the type of defense that Calderon plays compared to Ford, in that Calderon is much more of a laid back defender who has size, and Ford is an aggressive, pesky presence. Having consistent play from starters to bench is what made the Raptors so scary last year, was that you just couldn’t take any time off because the bench or the starters would eventually overwhelm you.

  3. Kinnon, you were right in Detroit entry; we have problems. I was watching Cav’s match (I love 1 pm games from Europe) and I can believe why we couldn’t close the game. FT are a big problem; bench points are decreasing every game and we can be a contender with only one real PG.

  4. Another frustrating game to suffer through! All those misses at the charity stripe came back to haunt us big time. The following are just a few observations:
    1. Kapono was never given the chance to set up and get a good look.
    2. Bargs was tentative and seemed reluctant to shoot.
    and 3. We got way out-rebounded.
    With the Nets and Cavs getting better, we’re in tough to stay in the play-off race if we’re not careful.

  5. Manel – Yup. I mean, how many times are they going to shoot 50%? And yet, they’ve lost a ton of games shooting that percentage. It’s just shocking to me that they had a differential of 8%.

    Tfan – Oh yeah. Kapono didn’t get touches. Bargs didn’t really get touches either, but he had the flu. I’m just not sure what’s going to happen in the end. I feel like a trade probably has to happen, as the team makeup now just can’t produce in a consistent manner.

  6. Priority one is a back-up PG who can create and score for the bench, who appear to be suffering lack of Jose disease.

    Priority two is for Mitchell to go off on Bosh + others who seem to not be aware of the need to rebound every game.

    Priority three is a shooting coach as 44% FG for Bosh and team will not do it. Also nice if they remembered how to shoot free throws.

  7. Some numbers of interest.

    Raps #6 in scoring defense @ 95.3
    Raps 2nd in turnovers @ 11.3
    Raps 23rd in REBOUNDS
    Raps 18th in OFFENSE @ 96.4
    Raps 19th in FG% @ 44.47%
    Raps 1st in 3FG% @ 41.00%
    Raps 2nd in FT% @ 79.85%
    Raps LAST in FTA @ 19.3

    Raptors are and will remain a .500 team untill these numbers improve.

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