“My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains/My sense as though of hemlock I had drunk” John Keats – Ode to a Nightingale, 1819
Overtime games, which have never been kind to Raptor teams, produced a cruel result once again. Andrea Bargnani, so brilliant in Detroit, had a disastrous shooting afternoon, & the Raps couldn’t find enough offense elsewhere to mitigate. The Raps dropped another heartbreaker, this time in 2OT (just in case the regulation-time defeats weren’t providing sufficient pain).
I’ll deal with AB off the top, as he was the anti-story of the game. 2 field goals on 19 shots, including 0/7 from distance – I suspect he’ll have considerable difficulty sleeping tonight. What adds to the misery is that fine games from Ed Davis, Jonas Valanciunas & DeMar DeRozan were wasted. San Antonio, a superb team, should have been on the short end of this hard-fought tussle.
Jose Calderon, suffering through his own shooting slump after missing a bunch in Detroit, was 3/14, & is another candidate to be punching his pillow after midnight. Not JV though, as he battled Hall-of-Fame lock Tim Duncan to a standstill. Jonas poured in a career-high 22 points & added 7 boards, & was as tough & determined as anyone, including his coach, could ask for. His free throws pushed the contest into overtime, after another ghastly Q4 shooting display allowed the Spurs back in the game. Ed Davis looked like a player today, with 15 points & 14 boards in 21+ minutes. He still is tentative with the ball in his hands, but when everyone is covered, he will create a shot for himself. DeMar DeRozan shook off 2 sub-par games, returning to his aggressive self on the way to 29 points. He took 8 free throws, but was hacked enough for twice that.
San Antonio’s veterans led the way, as always. Parker, Duncan & Ginobili combined for 73 points. A frenetic Ginobili coast to coast drive began when he intercepted a pass, then dribbled the ball through DeRozan’s legs at half-court while stepping out of bounds. He regained possession, then threw up a crazy shot that kissed off the glass and in while crashing into Lowry. Nothing short of astonishing.
The Raptors are the best bad team in the NBA. We fans are left to contemplate their uncanny ability to find new ways to throw away winnable games.
Toronto is off to Houston for a game against Jeremy Lin & the Rockets on Tuesday night.
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.