Conspiracy or incompetence? The refereeing of last night’s loss in Charlotte is under the microscope.
On the face of it, the Raps lost a tough game against a rebuilt Bobcats team. An exciting & frequently sloppy match was punctuated by runs from both teams which prevented leads from exceeding 10 points. That was the deficit when the Raps found their Q4 groove, punching back to take a 96-93 lead with under 2 minutes to play on a DeMar DeRozan jumper and1. Sadly, that was the Raps’ last bucket. Jonas Valanciunas’ 6th foul was committed on Kemba Walker. The speedy Point Guard’s layup was in, & so was his free throw. DeRozan finally got a foul called in his favour, but split the shots. Ramon Sessions tossed up a jumper which rattled around before getting the shooter’s bounce, shades of the Jazz’s Jefferson’s game-tying 3. The Raps missed a few shots, but Andrea Bargnani had a chance with 2 seconds to play from 15 feet. He was clearly fouled, but there was no whistle, & no basket. Dwane Casey was livid; the buzzer sounded.
DeRozan was getting assaulted all game, & at one point was pulled away by the refs after literally getting in the face of his chief adversary, rookie Jeff Taylor. DeMar managed 14 difficult points, but was at the free-throw line only twice; it should have been treble that. Andrea Bargnani haters need to take the night off, as AB poured in 25 on 50+% shooting. His attacks on the bucket were numerous & frequently successful, which established space for his jumpers.
JV fouled out, but not before he racked up another double-double with 16 points & 10 boards. His confidence appears to be increasing every game, & he’s scoring on putbacks & foul-line jumpers. His hustle has never been in doubt; JV gets up & down the court better than any big man I can recall.
Neither Dom McGuire nor Linas Kleiza advanced their case as the starting Small Forward; both of them were doughnut for the game on 4 shots. Terrence Ross enjoyed this game, scoring 11 on 5/9 shooting. Jose Calderon has had better nights, netting 7 points & missing an open 3 for the win.
The Raps now travel to Detroit for a Friday match against the misfiring Pistons.
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.