The Raptors starting 5 such as it is only accounted for 38 points of the Raptors 82, led by Jack with 16 points. DeMar DeRozan had been showing signs of improvement this road trip starting it off tying his career high with 24 points. But the trip ends with a thud with just 2 points and shooting a brutal 1-10 from field. Linas Kleiza continues to disappoint with just 6 points a couple rebounds and 0-4 from 3 point land. I was taken back by how quickly expectations for him went through the roof in pre-season. This was a role player for the Nuggets and was in Europe for a season. He returns to the league as a starter? Other than Cleveland I can't think of another team in this league he would start for. Regardless of that he needs to be much better. After an explosive offensive start to the season Andrea Bargnani has come back to earth. He did get on the boards again yet again in a game the Raptors were never in. Told you that happens a lot. Maybe if I keep making mention of it people will notice it like I have.
Amir Johnson after a bounce back night vs L.A was back to questionable at best. 6 turnovers and 5 fouls are both not good numbers for Amir. The Raptors again were loose with the ball having 17 turnovers overall. But the stat the killed them was their shooting % of 36.8 percent. Just awful and this team can not afford to shoot that poorly if they expect to beat anyone. Bucking those trends was Jose Calderon who has been playing better. He committed none of those turnovers and he shot the ball well going 5-7 from the field and had 12 points 4 rebounds and 4 assists. On a night when the team as group defended so poorly it would be unfair to single out Jose so I won't.
I think the thing that bothered me the most was the fan reaction to the Raptors 3 point streak which almost died tonight until being saved by Jarrett Jack midway through the 4th. I seem to be in the vast minority at wanting to see the streak now at 948 games with a 3 to die. But as I tried to explain on Twitter what does it really mean? The Raptors if we went back and did the research have a losing record during this streak of alleged greatness. Is being 1 for 17 and shooting 5.6% from 3 point line great? Far from it. I don't like fans cheering for a silly slice of Pizza and I am not a fan of fans cheering for a streak that means nothing to anyone outside of Toronto. The team next on the list behind the Raptors I believe was the Dallas Mavericks. Not sure if they still are but for the sake of things let's assume they are. Do you think Mark Cuban would give a damn about this streak. He just wants to win games. All that this streak is to me is a representation that this Raptors team has been far to dependent on the 3 point for far to long.
People on Twitter a number of them responded to my dismay over the streak with the similar response of it is all we got. If the Raptors existence is going to be measured by a meaningless streak that represents nothing I would rather have just old fashion nothing. But the truth is that Raptors have a basketball team and are one of only 30 cities that can say that. Take pride in that not some streak that means nothing. After 16 years of few successes if this streak is all that people think we have that is pretty sad and depressing. This is going be a long season and I honestly hope that somewhere along the line this season the streak ends. There seems to be a real belief that this streak means a lot to this team. I am not as convinced of that. It sure doesn't to Jay Triano it would seem when he was asked about it.
At some point at around 0 for 11 or 12 the Raptors should have stopped taking 3's altogether. Some nights the shots are not falling. I am not saying the Raptors should abandon the 3 point shot altogether. However on some nights when it isn't there the smart thing to do is stop taking the shot. At the end of the day this team needs to be about only one thing. Winning and nothing else matters. Until that is the complete focus they are not going to achieve anything beyond this odd ball trivia question answer streak.
If you think I am grumpy and angry about this road trip. Well I am but my feelings about this streak I have made known before. I think it is as stupid as a bunch of people in seats that cost at the least that cost 10 X more then a stupid piece of pizza cheer for it like they have never had pizza in their lives. These are bush league attitudes that need to change. It isn't just this team that needs to change it is some of the attitudes in this fan base. The Toronto Raptor fans should not want and demand silly streaks continuing or Pizza for 100 points. You should demand better and demand winning. Chris Bosh has been made out to be a villain for leaving. But at the core of why he wanted to leave was to win. I am not suggesting to go find a new NBA team to support. More that you support the one you have been in a different way. 16 years a lot of people have been loyal to this franchise as fans and supporters. That is worth more than pizza and streaks. It deserves winning and holding people accountable for winning. If the Raptors are rebuilding again then let's get it right on all sides of things.
As for the ending the the Raptors road trip that had no winning to be found. It was the Blazers cruising to an easy win 97-82. The Raptors limp home with the tough task of facing the up tempo Warriors after this 0-4 trip. It will not be easy to snap this losing streak facing them. I will be there covering it win or lose.