Some game these Raptors are going to either lead start to finish or trail start to finish or play a game that doesn’t seem over at any point until the fourth quarter and we’re not going to know what to do with ourselves, right?
Instead, we’ve had two days of drama and comebacks and fun, compelling games and I guess that’s good in short bursts but some easy ones thrown in for good measure would be nice.
I felt bad for Young(ish) Laura, who had to do the game stuff and filed this, while I was watching from the couch knowing that my writing day for the paper was all over after this one.
But there were things and here are some of them and we’ll stop by tomorrow to say Merry Christmas before a hellacious few days arrive.
Did its job
I know that Nick’s got all kinds of defensive tricks up his sleeve what with his boxes-and-ones and triangles-and-twos and that swarming, fullcourt trapping 1-3-1 thing they threw at Dallas on Sunday afternoon and Philly a couple of weeks earlier.
He was at it again last night and while the third quarter zone defence got them back in the game, it was not without a cost.
He’s told us, and we know, that zones and traps and tricks are just tempo-changers, that they should be used in relatively short bursts to change the look and pace of a game.
That’s what happened last night when they got back from 15 down in the third but, eventually, the Pacers started making the threes you have to surrender sometime and that’s what got the Raptors in the end.
I love the trickery and it looks like the players enjoy it most of the time but the Raptors can’t live and die with out-of-the-norm defences.
Slow shooting start
I don’t know much but I do know this:
The Raptors aren’t going to survive too many nights when the sum total of their first half three-point shooing is one make from each of Pat McCaw and Serge Ibaka and they go 2-for-19 as a team in the half.
They finished 11-for-40 and that’s not particularly good or effective.
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As I was watching, it’s basically what I was thinking: They can’t win if they can’t shoot better. But that’s just the way the game goes, not really anything to get worked up about, the shots will go in sometime and they won’t get so far behind.
A bit lost in the comeback and the getting behind in the first place and the below average shooting was the fact OG Anunoby tied his career high 12 rebounds.
I didn’t know how he would handle moving full time to a frontcourt role with Gasol out after spending a lot of his season on the wing but he’s really looked good at times.
With, really, the only alternatives being the under-sized Rondae Hollis-Jefferson or the slight Chris Boucher, Anunoby has to play big land last night he did.
All right, folks.
Today’s going to be the last quiet day for a while and it’s going to include a shopping excursion so quiet’s all relative. But with a game tomorrow, a couple of year-enders to write Thursday, maybe a practice Friday and then game to worry about Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday before New Years Day, things are going to be hectic.
So if you wanted to help out and start the mailbag process by getting over to email@example.com and doing what you do, I’d appreciate it.