11/9/10

ACC Is Curry's House

As a kid his day was make shots for the Raptors while he was drop shots on the Raptors practice floor. Now it is the younger Curry on the big floor and looking just as good as Dad every did. In late April as the Raptors were trying to hang on to a playoff spot on of the key losses was to these same Golden State Warriors. Curry was a big reason why the Raptors were not successful in that one. He had 29 points 12 assists and 8 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks in a dominate performance. Speed ahead to last night and his second game as a pro at the ACC. Another impressive line for him with 34 points 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals. He combined with Monta Elllis who left the game late with an injury that looked pretty bad. But before his crash landing he has good too, with 28 points 3 rebounds and 3 assists. Ellis injured his back and is going to be checked out tomorrow spending the night in Toronto and getting an MRI on his back. He was motionless on the court and it was a pretty scary moment. I was live blogging football on the weekend and watched Austin Collie of the Colts get knocked out. He would need to be stretchered off. At least Ellis was able to get to his feet.

It all started so well for the Raptors with an 8-0 run to start the game. Warriors would call a time out and after that the game changed. The Warriors who were coming in off to a loss to Detroit did not want to drop their 3rd straight on the road this season. It was a 15 point turn around by the end of the quarter that saw the Warriors lead 26-19. They would never trail the rest of the night.

The one thing that has to be frustrating for fans and I would imagine the coaching staff and players as well, is the lack of consistency of the various players on this roster. Calderon was on the comeback trail and maybe becoming the starter? Nope, it was Jack that bounced back tonight and Jose barely saw the floor. Jack had 24 points 8 assists and 3 steals going all out to try and match his opposition on the other side. I wish you could have seen Jarrett Jack in the locker room prior to the cameras going on post game. He looked like a guy that had fought 15 rounds and had nothing left. If you could feel frustration in the air it was oozing out of the Raptors locker room.

The Raptors did try to fight back after digging a hole that was far to large for them to fight out of. The Raptors won the second half of this game 61-54. It would have been very easy to roll over and accept defeat. Like the Dallas Cowboys did on Sunday Night Football. It would cost their coach Wade Phillips his job today. A 1-6 start is far from a great one for Jay Triano, but at least for the moment his team is still fighting hard for him. The Raptors unlike the Cowboys are not a team blessed with a lot of star talent. The Cowboys have been massive under achievers this season. The Raptors are more like a team like the Buffalo Bills. The Bills are winless despite having 2 loses in overtime and a narrow loss in Toronto this past weekend. I guess the point to all this is that, effort is great but without the validation of wins, it is hard to keep coming back game after game. For now, the Raptors locker room is determined to find answers and make it work. But to remain focused and not let losses start to get to you is just not realistic.

The problem in a post Bosh world is that you need a number of players all to play well on a given night. Think of it like a Proline ticket. You can pick 5 winners but if the 6th doesn't win you don't get anything. In the Raptors case they need a number of guys to come through on a given night to stand a fighting chance. I can not honestly think of 1 player on this roster through 7 games that you can say has been consistent in terms of performance. That is really hard for a coaching staff and for a team to be successful.

Add in the fact that Barbosa left the game with a shoulder injury. Jack has a banged up knee but he did say that he will live. Weems was back in the line-up after some knee soreness. Judging by his aerial attack tonight he looks healthy. The Raptors talent is thin as it is, add on some injuries to the mix and you could have a really mess. The Raptors face dare I say a must win vs the Bobcats? After that they hit the road for Orlando and Miami and the Raptors will have little chance at finding a win in those. As the losses mount up, the harder it becomes to remain positive and find a way to win.

For those who were ready to declare Bargnani the new leader and ready to make that big jump. It looks like he has regressed and is now having trouble getting his offence going. Although in this one he only had 10 attempts from the field and made 5. His defence and rebounding remain major concerns and when he does not get the points that becomes even more glaring. But he does need more touches for a guy that "should be" the Raptors top scorer.

The Raptors despite the scrappy comeback attempt fall short 109-102 in what is becoming a far to familiar script for this team. I have always been saying, being entertaining and scrappy is not enough. That losing is not fun. A look around the Raptor locker room tells you that story very well. It is not a question of guys not caring or not trying. It is a case of guys maybe trying to do too much. That was Jay Triano's thought in the pre-game and it is a valid one. It is a tired, banged up and frustrated group of Raptors that desperately need a win, if for nothing more then team moral.

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