And for all the chatter about not getting too frustrated and staying the course, there were more sideways glances at teammates and open and evident frustration than there’s been all season.
Coach Dwane Casey said before the game that he toyed with the idea of changing is starting lineup — replacing Jonas Valanciunas with Amir Johnson — but didn’t make a move after closer review of Wednesday’s game in Sacramento.
“I hinted at possible lineup changes, but again I think that would send the wrong message,” he said. “We want to be patient with our young kid (Valanciunas) and sometimes it’s frustrating. Sometimes he’s frustrated a little bit but he’s growing. As many mistakes as he’s making, he’s also growing.”
Besides, there was more than enough blame to spread around.
“That’s why you should always watch the film because he didn’t make as many mistakes as you thought he did,” Casey said. “Even though we gave up 56 points in the paint (against the Kings), everyone had a little of that. …
“We’re patient with Jonas and we’re going to keep the lineup the same. Again, if we get in trouble we still have Amir and Eddy (Davis) who are doing an excellent job of bringing energy, athleticism, speed and quickness to the table in case we get in trouble.”
The Raptors did get in trouble in the second quarter but it wasn’t because they were inept in the paint.
Davis, meanwhile, spent a fair chunk of the second quarter in the locker room after he hurt his left ring finger. The digit was bent at about a 90-degree angle when he left the court but the medical staff popped it back into place and he played in the second half.
“I feel great, because when I arrived here, you never know how long you’re going to be in the NBA. This is a great achievement,” said Calderon, a 30-year-old who is the longest serving player on the team.
“I’m very happy; it’s even more difficult to stay all the time with the same team, that doesn’t happen a lot.”
Only Morris Peterson (542 games) and Chris Bosh (509) have pulled on a Raptors jersey more often than Calderon.
“You have to go through some crazy stuff to make a name in this league. It’s been tough. There’s been highs and lows, you play good, and you play bad but at the end of the day, it’s been eight years and 500 games, it’s unbelievable.”