The Raps bottomed out in Salt Lake City, in an embarrassing 32-point defeat. The Jazz were without their best player, Al Jefferson, who leads their inside attack. So what do they do? Toss in 3-balls from all over, & leave the Raps in the dust.
I don’t know how much there is to write about a game in which the Raps allowed 68 second-half points. The Jazz played way over their heads, shooting 56% from distance. DeMarre Carroll, who was barely over 21% for the season, hit all 3 long balls he tried. Marvin Williams, who’s on my “Why is this guy wearing an NBA uniform?” list, was 3/6. Gordon Hayward, who’s not on that list, came off the bench to contribute 17 points. Point Guard Mo Williams had a double-double.
For the Raps, Andrea Bargnani led (well, in scoring at least) with 20 points. I suppose it’s to his credit that he grabbed 8 defensive boards & blocked 2 shots, but his overall demeanour suggests a guy who’s been dragged to a rom-com by his girlfriend. Mikael Pietrus had another solid game – 4/5 from beyond the arc, & 3 blocked shots. Other guys should have stayed in the dressing room. Ed Davis’ name is being bandied about as a potential starter, but his performance last night won’t help his case. Nary a point nor a board in 10 minutes – but he did commit 2 fouls. Ugh. Jonas Valanciunas had more fouls (5) than points (4). More ugh. Linas Kleiza & Jose Calderon each had a basket. That’s enough pain for one post.
It’s long past time for something drastic. The Raps are punching the clock; there’s no fight in them. If I were Kyle Lowry, I’d be calling for a players-only meeting to clear the air. Pietrus is an NBA veteran who’s played on tough, winning teams like the Celtics – will the players accept some harsh criticism from their newest team mate?
The Raptors travel to Los Angeles to battle (we hope) the Clippers, who at the moment anyway, are the best team in the city.
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.