Blame this loss on the schedule, the Raptors’ lack of depth, or their difficulty with a suddenly dangerous Philly team, but the end result is the same. A loss that saw the Raptors’ consistent inconsistency lose to a sub .500 team, who seemed to man-handle them from all over the court after playing Boston the previous night.
Breaking down this game, there has to be some talk about the Raptors’ inability to play with interest for almost two quarters. Being out rebounded and pushed around for most of the second quarter saw the 76ers completely take the life and wind out of the Raptors’ sails. At this point, we really have to look at how the Raptors allowed the 76ers such a huge inside presence. By not playing Nesterovic or Humphries for much of the game, the Raptors relied on the athleticism of Jamario Moon to take them through to the end. Glancing at the numbers, it doesn’t look so bad, but when playing back-to-backs against a team known for having a strong inside presence, there has to be some questions why the Raptors refused to ride their big men against another big man like Dalembert.
Another problem was the strange scoring slump from both Delfino and Kapono. Delfino had yet another zero point night and three rebounds. Kapono, on the other hand, was a big plus player, but he only managed to get three shots up for the entire night. It’s nights like these that make me question the long-term capabilities of Delfino, and our own ability to sign him to a small and manageable contract. Luckily, Good Joey was in the house, along with Juan Dixon. Nevertheless, there should be some questions about the final lineup Sam Mitchell had within the dying minutes of the game. While Dixon was proving to be one of the few offensive threats for the evening, he made some critical lapses of judgment down the final stretch of the game. In fact, doing his best TJ Ford impersonation, Dixon consistently decided to dribble straight into traffic, but ended up often being completely cut off from his teammates as they could not find a good passing angle for him to reach them through.
However, that’s not to take away from both Chris Bosh and Jamario Moon, who have continued to attack the rim in the beginning of games. Jamario, in particular, has begun to look to get to the basket in a more consistent capacity. It’s either Jamario or Delfino though, and neither player does it on a day-to-day basis. No, the real surprise was watching Joey get fouled consistently and getting to the line 8 times. Always a consistent free throw threat, it’s always been a wonder why Joey doesn’t make a special effort to get to the line more. Then again, that’s Joey Graham in a nutshell.
Overall, it was a matter of doing things too late. Both teams came off of back-to-backs and both teams have had wildly good days and bad days. Unfortunately, the Raptors took two quarters off and though they were well within striking distance at the one minute mark, they really didn’t deserve to win a game like this.
Next Game: Toronto @ Boston