The Toronto Raptors Blog with an Arsenal touch

The Philly loss means we wasted the entire week, so much for the easy schedule

Posted by Arsenalist on January 19, 2008

Toronto Raptors 95, Philadelphia 76ers 99

As you finished watching this game the taste in your mouth was probably the Raptors’ fightback falling just short, but it shouldn’t be. It should be the miserable third quarter where we got outscored 34-16 and didn’t play a lick of defense or showed any intensity. Philly on the other end couldn’t do any wrong, maybe the prospect of getting swept by their division mates was motivation enough to step things up – I sure hope the Raptors feel the same way coming up in Boston. After the Hawks game I was relieved that the third quarter bug didn’t finish us off but last night it took us out in cold blood.

One of the problems with the Raptors is that if things come easy for them early, they turn their level of play down and almost feel that their early success will be extrapolated over the entire game. It didn’t matter that we played well in spurts in the first half and the fourth quarter, the game was decided in the third where we couldn’t buy a rebound or a stop, and I don’t remember anybody fighting through a screen or rotating properly which resulted in open lanes to the rim for Dalembert and Iguodala. This is the quarter where it felt like Philly got an offensive rebound every time they missed a shot and converted on their second chance. Kris Humphries or Andrea Bargnani couldn’t keep Philly of the boards and even the reliable Bosh fell asleep on box outs. We went ice cold from the field and made bad passes that were picked off, here’s the offensive stretch to finish off the third quarter. It was like we got hit by a train.

4:46 Jamario Moon misses layup
4:43 Jamario Moon makes tip shot
4:13 Jose Calderon misses layup
3:13 Chris Bosh misses 16-foot jumper
2:33 Rasho Nesterovic misses 13-foot jumper
2:06 Chris Bosh bad pass (Andre Iguodala steals)
1:50 Jason Smith blocks Juan Dixon's layup
1:28 Joey Graham misses 15-foot jumper
0:51 Jamario Moon misses 23-foot three point jumper

If you notice more than a 24 second difference between offensive possessions it’s probably because Philly was owning us on the offensive boards on the other end. When the third finally ended, we were down by 20 and the game was practically over. Juan Dixon and CB4 led a fourth quarter fight back which would’ve been almost complete had Anthony Parker drained a left-wing three but God was smiling on Philly and it rimmed out. Bosh explained why the comeback fell short:

“It was just way too big of a deficit. Being the team we are, we’re going to try to force the issue and come back until the end, but you can’t dig a hole that big and expect to climb out.”

Game over, week wasted. Let me tell you why.

This was supposed to be an easier week for us and good judgment told us that we should go 3-1 and go 2 more games over .500. Instead we finish 2-2 and completely waste the golder opportunity to climb in the standings, it’s like we took zero advantage of the schedule, something that we must do in order to secure a reasonable playoff seeding. The Sacramento and Atlanta wins went all for naught and the week as a whole was a disappointment because when it came down to it, we couldn’t take advantage of the schedule.

I saw this game on a stream (props to aRapsFan4Eva) on mute because I was at a party and the only one stuck to a computer, needless to say I looked like a loser. Anyway, point being that I probably missed a lot of stuff here and there that one absorbs when watching on a big TV so I’m not sure how to read things. But despite my limited viewing resources it did appear that Bargnani sucked ass yet again. The box score backs me up on this by reading 12 minutes, 3 points, 0 rebounds, 0 assists, 0 steals and 3 personal fouls. Fuckin ‘eh. You don’t have to be an analyst to realize that a line like that can only mean that you had zero impact on the game and judging by the personal fouls, likely had a negative one. Bargnani’s fondness of rebounding has never been that great but how can a 7 footer not grab a single rebound?!? From what I saw of him in the third quarter, Reggie Evans and Dalembert were going around him (and Bosh) to grab offensive boards with seeming ease. There’s nothing much to say about Bargnani except that I should probably expect zilch out of him and shouldn’t be pissed off, but something about him being the #1 pick tells me otherwise. Anybody see that foul he picked up bumping Miller, does this man even know the rules?? Imagine how solid we’d be if he gave us 18 and 8 every night like he was expected to coming into this year. I can even convince myself to look past the horrendous play but what frustrates me even more is that I don’t see the needed effort or intensity from him. Based on his demeanor and play, it almost looks like he’s not even bothered by his struggles.

On the bright side (and you really have to look hard) Jamario Moon had a great game on both ends, 17 points, 9 rebounds, 2 steals and a block from the D-League scrub (contrast this to Il Mago) drove the Raptors in the first half where they allowed a Philly team to hang around. Lapses in their defense allowed Philly way too many easy baskets and instead of probably being up by 8 or 9, we were down 2. If you watched the first half you’ll know that Philly was right there for the taking. They weren’t playing defense and were spotty on offense, unfortunately the Raptors matched them on both ends. I thought CB4 should’ve gotten Dalembert out of the game early by drawing some fouls but chose to stay passive. Dalembert didn’t pick up his third foul until 10 seconds left in the game. If you allow him to stay in the game, he will kill you. And he did.

On another note, Joey Graham and Juan Dixon had strong offensive games which is great news because they’re both probably being showcased for a trade. I have a question, how bad is Maceo Baston in practice? Let’s put this guy on the floor and see what he can do for us. Let’s match him up against Evans or even Dalembert and at least see what he can do, let’s see just exactly how bad he is or whether he’s actually deserving of one of the 450 best jobs in the world.

The Raptors should return home with a DVD of the third quarter and watch it over and over and over again until they get so angry at themselves that they’ll never dare to repeat that performance.


* Nobody talk about fatigue being an excuse, just like the Raptors, Philly’s starters played extended minutes last night in Boston.

* An inexcusable loss which falls entirely on lackadaisical play, lack of intensity and horrible defense. I don’t think there’s any reason to point the finger at the coach, this game was lost on the floor, in the third quarter.

* We lost by 4 and missed 5 FTs. I know it’s unfair to point to this as the reason we lost but we’ve been missing some FTs lately and today it came back to haunt us. Having 16 turnovers (4 by Calderon) didn’t help much either.

* Delfino + Kapono + Humphries = 2 points. Carlos needs to stop flopping and play some defense, this disease is carrying over to Joey Graham who instead of playing defense and challenging a shot opts to draw a charge. The NBA needs to fix this because a) it’s stopping potent offensive players and giving advantage to scrubs and b) it’s encouraging flopping.

* Check our Rasho’s statline. He literally didn’t do anything. Iguodala and Evans dominated us on the boards when it mattered (3rd quarter) and in that crucial stretch our bigs fell short.

* Calderon and Parker’s defense on Andre Miller and Willie Green was atrocious. Parker is the king of running back to put a hand up in vain while Calderon allowed Miller to blow by him simply too many times. Make the man shoot the J and see how far he gets before you start showing him respect. No?

* Yes, Anthony Parker struggled but let’s not start saying that his career is over and he’s a washed up flash-in-the-pan. He had a bad game but so did Calderon, Bargnani, Nesterovic, Delfino, Kapono and Humphries.

* I’ll be posting more often (not just on gamedays).

* If you missed the Podcast #3 where I touched on how easy the schedule is (shows what I know) check the podcast page.

Pissed off tonight.


14 Responses to “The Philly loss means we wasted the entire week, so much for the easy schedule”

  1. jrizzel said

    great post- got your link from realgm been reading it for a few days now.

    keep it up El Presidente!

  2. Crank said

    That 3rd Q was seriously fucked up. I just sat there with my jaw dropped and muttering ‘FUCK’ every 20 seconds. They did to us what we did to Sacramento. Bargnani is shit, no two ways about it. Arse can hold back but I don’t have to: The guy is a loser, he can’t dribble, shoot or drive. What else is there to do on a court? Hit wide open threes when nobody’s within 6 feet of you? Fuck, if that’s what I want I’ll sign Dell Curry out of retirement.

    I figured the Raps would step it up after Mitchell would lash at them for their 1st half performance but they regressed into the T’wolves. What is up with Calderon dribbling shit off his foot and Parker throwing passes straight to the other team?!?


    I stayed home for this tonight, bad idea. Don’t look now but the Knicks have won 4 straight.

  3. SAMisCOY said

    We lost this in the 1st half. We made sure that people knew that we really are the weak pansies everyone envisions us to be. There was a stretch in the 1st half where we were leading by about 7 points, our subs were in, and Philly started to put their starters in. Instead of matching them, our subs kept playing until–you guessed it–Philly came back, and of course, went for the lead.

    Instead of jumping on them, and going for the jugular, we let them back in the game.

    Judging from the 1st 1/2 alone, Bargs should not be starting (heck, judging from the last [insert number here] starts). We can all point fingers at the coach or GM, but bottom line is, it’s just not working.

    Rasho doesn’t do well against athletic bigs. So, of course, we stick Rasho after Bargs. Unless he’s (Rasho) being showcased, Hump should get the call 2nd.

    Calderon looked like a guy who got elbowed in the back of the head, and left out to dry.

    We’re at least a year or two away from being a good team.

  4. Shrugz said

    ahh too quick to judge

    just watch 2 quick fouls bargs get taken out and you’ll basically never see him again. he’ll be in the second half next foul you’ll never see him again for sam it’s a 3 foul rule with bargs and he’s out.

    GARBAGE TIME in the detroit game why the hell wasn’t he in for the down by 16 with last 2 minutes if you were even concerned with getting his confidence in his shot back you’d throw him out there and feed him the freaken ball, work on some ingame post moves. three point shooting

  5. arsenalist said

    @Shrugs: I’m not willing to buy the theory that Sam’s pulling of Bargnani after fouls is throwing him out of rhythm and that’s the reason he’s struggling because it’s not. But we’re desperate to find a remedy for him and if uninterrupted playing time is the answer, I say try it.

    It’s Bargnani’s fault that he’s not playing because of foul trouble. He should learn the basic rules of hand-checking and body contact and avoid picking up silly fouls. It’s his fault that he’s not in the game, not Sam’s. Mitchell has many faults but this is not one.

    Good point about garbage time.

  6. Shrugz said

    I actually think if he had like a 3 foul rule, he’d learn stay out of taking stupid fouls would be good so he’d avoid those ticky tack fouls he always gets. gawd that portland foul after 10 seconds into the game stuck in my mind right now AHHAHAHA

  7. RapsFan said

    Missed the 1st quarter, and missed a bit of the third quarter. What I have to say is, the better team won. Philly deserved this win,they played hard as always and just kept going, where as Raps played like pansy’s.

    We just were terrible in the 3rd, there was no heart and we were ABUSED down low giving them wide open lanes to drive, or to pass it low to Sammy for an easy dunk. Then when we started to clog the lanes they kicked it out to Willie Green for a lights-out performance on the outside who always seemed to be open.It was just TOO easy for them which resulted in a 20 point deficit for us going into the forth quarter. Did I mention about the number of turnovers that resulted in MANY of those points gathered too?

    Horrendous defense, by Calderon and DIXON. Yeah, Dixon. He was getting hot on our side in the end, but that was to make up for the shots he allowed on the defensive end. Calderon’s defense is really making me wonder, somehow running towards the person whom he was SUPPOSED to guard, waving and making hand claps against the shooter who already has an open look is Calderon’s way of defense. That’s pitiful.

    Not talking about Bargs.

    Sammy and Reggie did a fair job on Bosh. That Evans was a beast on the boards, he went after board after board which also contributed to that 20 point spurt that the Sixer’s had.

    That’s about it, I’m off. since Sixer’s didn’t get swept by the Raps, I’m hopping to see Raptors doing the same thing and not get swept by the Celts. Win @ Boston (IF Smitch is smart enough to change up his approach to take on the Celts). The Celts KNOW what we do.

  8. pugz said

    I’m just glad that it’s the last time this season I’m gonna hear chuck say Ig-“you”-dala!

  9. PsychicSpy said

    I’ve been doing Power Ratings since 1979.(Now I run a very profitable hedge fund, so sports is strictly for fun… no betting). Philly is not some hopeless expansion team. Toronto is only about 4 points better. The line was Toronto -2.0. And that was too high.

    Point is: this game was basically a tossup. Otherwise intelligent people somehow assume that the Raptors had, like, a 90% chance of crushing the 76ers. No… it was a freaking coin flip… so everyone relax. The Raps are not much more than a 0.500 team. And ONLY a big, multi-player trade gamble by Colangelo can change that.

    Also about this Bargs 18-8 urban legend that is going around. It has no basis in fact. Someone is projecting stats BEFORE the NBA caught up with this One Trick Pony. The 3 point shot has been largely taken away… and Bargs cannot do anything else on an NBA level. So that projects to 8.5/3.5 in a VERY generous 22 minutes/game that he has done nothing to deserve.

    The big difference between Moon and Bargs is BB IQ.

    Moon is a student of the game. He remade himself into a defensive specialist to finally make it to the NBA. He is totally involved in the game when on the bench. Sam loves having him around… because Jamario “gets it”.

    Bargs does not even appear to know the rules… much less the fine points of the game… or much care. He sits glassy-eyed on the bench… and pretends to follow the game. He is mostly ignored by his teammates. Sam does not have time to babysit this guy.

    What to do? Realistically, until we know IF Ford can return to form… Bryan has to stand pat with his 0.500 team and no lottery picks.

  10. arsenalist said

    @PsychicSpy: Awesome comment. I checked the line for the game and was initially surprised but then I took into account the odds for us sweeping a team (any team) 4-0 and the fact that 2 of our 3 games with Philly were fairly close and I thought that we might have a chance of losing this one.

    BUT, that doesn’t mean we should’ve lost it. Let’s leave the mathematics out for a second and look at the game. Give me one instance this season where we’ve played as bad as we did in the third quarter last night? Only the Seattle and Milwaukee games comes to mind. If we had even played an average third quarter we would’ve won the game or even if we had played a first half where we gave more than 60% effort, the result would’ve been different. So the inverse question to ask might be “What are the chances that the Raptors will stink up three quarters?”. And I’d say it’s not very high so it wasn’t unrealistic to expect a win last night.

    Now the point on Bargnani, again I don’t have the experience you have dealing with numbers, but I do watch basketball. I think this mini-debate between me and Boogie on RealGM covered the expectation angle:

    The other big difference between Moon and Bargnani is that Moon is experienced and motivated and Bargnani is not. Moon is desperate to stay in the NBA because he knows what lies beneath it, while Bargnani’s young pro career has been mostly roses. So aside from having a better basketball mind, Moon’s experience has taught him that work ethic needs to be maintained regardless of performance and it’s showing on the court.

  11. Raps Fan said

    i didn’t catch the game, thank God…you are right, we wasted an easy part of the schedule heading into boston this week. i am not surprised the raptors lost, but am disappointed…they played this team 3 times already this season, and know they play hard and with a lot of heart.

    a couple things about the box score that struck me:

    1. the raptors attempted only 69 shots (compared to 80 by philly)…i have never seen that few field goals in a boxscore in my life.

    2. philly had 5 more offensive rebounds, 7 more steals, and 3 less turnovers. that is 16 extra possessions. any wonder why the raptors lost?

    too many raptors had a bad game against a bad team. makes no sense…i have to watch game in an hour to see what went down. thanks for the link to…i was looking for a web streaming site…now if we can get an american feed, i wont ever have to listen to swirksy et all again. im seriously considering getting sirius sattelite or something..hopefully they use american commentators.

  12. Birdman said

    Some comic relief for all your Bargs haters out there… this is from ESPN’s Page 2 writer Bill Simmons:

    Andrea Bargnani
    Didn’t you expect him to be further along this season? What happened? We’re three more uninspiring months away from lowering his ceiling from “maybe the next Dirk Nowitzki” to “a fiestier and slightly more talented Memo Okur, only if Okur could make his own marinara sauce.”

    This was posted about a month ago. At this point I’d be ecstatic if Bargs turned out to be similar to Okur.

  13. PapiJulio said

    Didn’t find a rhythm all game. Really need Ford back, or another PG. Sam is not getting consistency OR team effort from the bench.

    I’m surprised Dixon played good, (Got Lucky!!) I’m not going to knock his game, he’s a good player. Just on the wrong team. He ALWAYS blows it for us. Raps are in a tough spot and have to use him as a PG. Dixon is a SG. Not a passer!! BC is obviously aware of that weakness. Dixon did almost bail us out. Not bad for a change.

    Arsenalist – “Nobody talk about fatigue being an excuse”

    I agree. This shows how bad we need that SECOND SCORING OPTION when Bosh just can’t get it done. At least when Calderon came off the bench he setup the 2nd unit and distributed the ball to spots his teammates could score from. The bench is being forced to find their own shots now. Delfino/Dixon are probably the only guys off the bench that can create their own shot. That’s why I think we need at least a SF now. Someone who can score and rebound with Bosh. Put Moon on the bench. Have him be the spark off the bench. Plus he can create his own shot, rebound and play defence. I just can’t see us ‘jumping the gun’ on a new PG,…… yet. Graham’s on the trading block anyway.

    We can win, but we struggle when trading big shots. The time in the NBA when games are decided. Trading the lead back & forth. They score, we answer. If they score we DON’T answer…. and then they score again…. you better believe that team is feeling it….. and they know you are not!!! Now they feel like they can hit anything. We feel like we can’t hit anything. So what do we do??? Go back to playing like the OLD RAPTORS. Run It & Gun It. Every Raptor tries to win it by themselves and stop trusting their teammates. We panic. We scramble. The other teams knows it. This is where Bosh needs support. Ford used to help. Now????

    SAMisCOY- “ Bargnani should not be starting”
    I’m surprised Bargnani is still starting. Our first unit looks like a bunch of fools on defense because of him. We have trouble hitting a rhythm because Bargnani so out of sync right now. If our starters don’t set the rhythm, then….. good luck! At least if the bench is out of sync, it’s OK. It’s our bench. The other team starters won’t feed of it because they are on the bench.

    If we can beat Boston, I promise I’ll forget this breakdown even happened!!!!

  14. cuzoogle said

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