The Raps’ visit to Texas was not a success. Replaying a pattern that had commenced in pre-season, our team didn’t bother with defense in Q1. The home team poured in 36 points, & the Raps played catch-up thereafter, coming close but never quite overcoming the 12-point deficit. Kyle Lowry’s absence, due to a wonky ankle, was damaging, but should not have proven fatal, as the Mavs were without their perennial All-Star, Dirk Nowitzki.
As time ticked down, the Raps were within 6 points, & in need of a stop. However, on Darren Collison’s driving lay-up, Dominic McGuire clean block was called a foul by the Ref, Rodney Mott. While the Raps screamed in outrage, Collison drained the undeserved free throws, & we were toast. Vince Somebody-or-other had already been the beneficiary of an imaginary call on Jose Calderon, & completed the And1 as a result. Suffice it to say the refs have had better nights.
This game was an improvement over the previous night’s debacle in OKC, which admittedly isn’t saying much. Andrea Bargnani topped the scoresheet with 25, his highest total of the young season. However, 0/5 from distance was disappointing; our offense needs those baskets. The team managed 5/22 on 3-balls, which is a recipe for a losing night. DeMar DeRozan was able to rediscover his touch with 24, but also without benefit of 3s. Jonas Valanciunas is making a prophet out of Chris Sheridan, who predicated JV would have difficulty with fouls in the NBA. JV got 5 in less than 11 minutes of burn, which forced Coach Casey to juggle his rotation. He must be getting used to that, given how poorly Landry Fields is playing. 2 points in 19+ minutes of PT – he’s averaging a basket a game, & hasn’t hit a 3 yet. The word “dismal” isn’t strong enough. Amir Johnson certainly earned a shout-out, with 18 points (6/7) & 11 boards. Quincy Acy & Terrence Ross both received some PT, with minimal impact, & John Lucas’s shooting woes continued, as he made none of his 3 attempts & is below 10% for the season.
The Raps now have a few days to rest & heal, which is particularly needed for Kyle Lowry. With our record at 1-4, the team really needs to grab a win at home against the 76ers on Saturday.
Brian Boake is a staff writer for Raptors Rapture. “Like” Raptors Rapture on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RaptorsRapture for all the latest news and updates about the best damn NBA team from Canada.