“It’s deja vu all over again” – Yogi Berra
While the Toronto Raptors must be given some credit for storming back from an early-Q4 10-point deficit to win, Friday night’s victory over the New York Knicks was a disappointment nevertheless. So many of the early problems which have been glaringly obvious were once again in full view of a small crowd at the Air Canada Centre. I feel like I could reprint much of my last post.
Item: Kyle Lowry’s assist to turnover count, which was already bad, cratered. He had one assist, against six turnovers. In 3 games, he has 10 assists and 11 turnovers. That redefines dreadful. Dwight Buycks, who’s competing for the backup point guard spot, didn’t do himself any favours by committing 4 turnovers. D.J. Augustin, who’s also a PG candidate, had neither a point nor an assist to show for his 8+ minutes of playing time. HELP!!
Item: The Raps’ 3-point shooting continued to be atrocious. After a grim 5 for 24 night, the team is 13 for 57 (22.8%) from distance.
Item: Why any defender stays “tight” on DeMar DeRozan is beyond me. While DD has shown he can blow by almost anyone who’s in his face to get to, and finish at, the rim, his jump shooting has not improved.
Item: Landry Fields may be failing his way to a contract buy-out. He missed all 6 shot attempts, turned the ball over 3 times, and recorded no assists. In a game the Raps won, he was minus-7, bringing his discreditable total to minus-30. He did hit all 6 free-throws he tried, which will undoubtedly create some heat in the Knicks film room today(“Why in the H-E double toothpicks would you foul such a crummy shooter?”).
Item: In 2 games we had 14 shots blocked, against 7 blocks. Last night, the numbers were 6 to 3, which means the 2:1 ratio already in place, remains. Kinda spooky.
Item: 23 turnovers. Can we trade for Jose Calderon, please???
I’m giving myself a headache. What worked for the Raps? Hmmm….well, Quincy Acy was released from the (presumed) doghouse, and didn’t miss a shot, scoring 9 points (including a triple) in just over 6 minutes. Buycks showed some scoring flair. Andrea Bargnani didn’t torch his old team, scoring a quiet 10 points. Rudy Gay grabbed 6 defensive rebounds, and got to the free throw line 12 time (though he only made 7). Winning the fourth quarter by 13 points was good for the soul.
After last night, nothing’s changed, except the season is one game closer. The Raptors have a ton of work to do, and not a lot of time to do it in. I’m reacquainting myself with the location of the button marked “PANIC”.
Brian Boake is Senior Editor 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.
Remember, for the best deals on Toronto Raptors tickets for any game on the 2013-14 NBA schedule, visit our friends at TiqIQ.com.