Just when you thought the Raptors’ road trip couldn’t get any worse, it does – Portland missed all 20 3-balls they tried, yet rolled to an easy victory. But wait, there’s more; Andrea Bargnani landed hard on his right elbow while committing an offensive foul (AB left his feet, Pavlovic stood his ground – AB went down, & out of the game); Amir Johnson got ejected for not giving the ball to the ref during foul shots…oh yeah, & the Raps made but 3 of their 21 attempts from distance. The fans should have gotten their money back.
From the tip, the game was a stinker. Neither team could make open shots, & defensive ineptitude was the sole reason the Q1 score ended 19-18 Blazers. The best player on the floor, LaMarcus Aldridge, showed his fine inside moves on his way to a game-high 30 points. Rookie of the Year candidate Damon Lillard played down to the level of his opponents, shooting 2/14.
Q2 wasn’t much better, although Ed Davis entered & impacted the game with some solid offensive rebounding leading to successful trips (8/8!) to the foul line. His mates were still in a funk, & the Raps were lucky to escape to the dressing room down 4. In Q3, the offensive misfirings continued, but the Blazers couldn’t pull away. The game was still in reach, but once again the fourth quarter was a nightmare for the Raps, & another loss was in the books. That’s not much of a recap, but it wasn’t much of a game.
Kyle Lowry, already playing hurt, was steamrolled on a drive to the basket. He tried to continue but had to leave with a triceps injury, after no baskets & 2 lonely assists. John Lucas got a chance, & fumbled it, again, going 0/4. His season has been a nightmare, but so have many others. Terrence Ross, drafted as a shooter, can’t hit from anywhere. Mikael Pietrus was 1/7 from beyond the arc. AB had 1 basket before his crash.
In a desperate attempt to offer something positive, I note Jonas Valanciunas’ 10 rebounds. DeMar DeRozan, with 20 points, kept the Raps’ offence from complete collapse. Ed had 14 points & 9 boards before fouling out.
The catastrophic road trip is history. The Raps limp home, with 2 starters (AB & Kyle) likely out for the next game, & Amir Johnson possibly facing a suspension for throwing his mouth guard at the official following ejection. Brooklyn comes to Toronto on Wednesday, & the Raps will have more players dressed in street clothes than uniforms. Can this season, already such a huge disappointment, actually get worse?
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.