Arsenalist

The Toronto Raptors Blog with an Arsenal touch

Raptors crushed in San Antonio; Bruce Bowen is a thug

Posted by Arsenalist on February 27, 2007

A game like this is hard to stomach under any circumstances but when the pain is compounded by those stupid Oh Henry commercials, things quickly deteriorate to unbearable and eventually into unwatchable. The Law of Averages had already scheduled this game as one for the loss column but even I was surprised when the result was decided in the second quarter. The money was on the Raptors fading away in the third or possibly even the fourth quarter, so the early demise was a little startling.

What’s not surprising is what happens when you play into the hands of the Spurs by wasting possessions through lamentable shot-selection, being late on your rotational defense and playing transitional defense by jogging back. It’s no secret that the Raptors aren’t a great defensive team but seeing how easily we can be broken down by two swing passes is cause for concern. But hey, we play in the East where you can get away with not having a lot of things, the last of which is perimeter defense. The Spurs didn’t pull any surprises. The Raptors game plan was to stop the big three of Duncan, Ginobili and Parker and they went 0-3 on that assignment, at the end of the half, they had 14, 13 and 16 points respectively. Official NBA thug Bruce Bowen took Anthony Parker out of the game early and later Jorge Garbajosa limped off after colliding his knee with Ginobili’s, both playing under 15 minutes. Anybody want to take a guess how Bowen injured Parker? Yup, he planted his feet under Parker’s as he was coming down. The NBA needs to crackdown on Bruce Bowen and his no-talent sorry ass trying to injure players.

TJ Ford getting sucked into a one-on-one competition on the road against Tony Parker didn’t help the Raptors much either since more than a few possessions ended up with The TJ jacking it up “off the bounce” as Chuck Swirsky would call it. What “off the bounce” really means is he was dribbling the ball up the court and after a hard bounce, he jacked it up. The “off the bounce” usually implies nobody else saw the jumper coming so there was nobody to rebound the ill-advised shot. This is exactly where the Raptors’ modest 5 point advantage started to turn into a 10 point hole, eventually resulting in such a deficit that even the home fans were hoping they had picked a better game to come to.

I don’t really know how Duncan really does it, a spin move followed by a hard bank-shot? Those aren’t supposed to go in, but somehow he’s been doing it for years. His moves aren’t “spectacular” as per the definition of the NBA; they’re just fundamentally solid and impossible to block. If only he didn’t have a personality of a door knob and the charisma of dry paint, he’d actually be featured as the NBA’s premier player instead of Kobe or Lebron. Chris Bosh got an up-close view of where he needs to be in a couple years; Bosh never really got going in this game, the Spurs were collapsing on him every time he put the ball on the floor and the ensuing passes never came close to threatening the stingy Spurs defense.

It’s really games like these that my respect for Chasin at RealGM grows. He’s actually got to pretty much re-watch the game to put the highlights up, here’s the Game in a Flash, there’s more here:

Check the boxscore if you really care about who did what in this game, but know this, the second half was a mere formality. I don’t really understand why Bosh played 38 minutes in a blowout on the first of four games in six nights. Raptors are at Houston on Wednesday and if you ask Tracy McGrady who he’d rather beat in a game, the Toronto Raptors or the Orlando Magic, I have no doubt he’ll say Toronto.

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