I am tempted to write about the last 30 seconds of this game and vent then go to bed. I was live blogging this one for The Score. I even lost my feed of the game during this one somewhere around the 2nd quarter. It might have been an act of God warning me what was to come. At many times throughout the night I was convinced that both teams were playing for the tie. But seeing as that is impossible eventually someone had to win this one and they did. I don't think it is being bias towards the Raptors in saying they needed this one more. When you consider they are taking their limited talents South to Orlando and South Beach aka Miami.
So with that stage the Raptors were also with out Barbosa out with a shoulder injury and no clue to when he will be back. Andersen was suffering from the flu and was also a scratch. Jack was in but not at 100% and ditto for Linas Kleiza. All of that and you also throw into the mix that Demar DeRozan got into early foul trouble. But the Raptors were able to hang around with the Bobcats in the first quarter despite a lot of turnovers and mistakes. The starting unit giving up 12 of the Raptors 17 turnovers on the night overall. This game seemed like a battle for control of the pace throughout. The Raptors trying to make it more up tempo and the Bobcats trying to turn it into a slow paced street fight.
Gerald Wallace and Stephen Jackson were making a living at the line getting there a combined 16 times on the night. Jackson would lead the team in scoring with 20 points but it was a balanced effort with 6 players in double figures. That is the kind of night we need to be seeing for the Raptors. This game would go to halftime all squared at 48 points. The Raptors aside from the turnovers were getting a good game from Andrea Bargnani. He started 5-6 from the floor and he was actually able to get some boards. Jack had a gutsy effort but also was plagued with turnovers and it devalues his 14 points and 5 assists. Kleiza was also trying to gut it out but was far less successful. We touched on DeRozan who was derailed by fouls the whole night. One dunk for the highlight reel in the 4th and that was about all. Reggie was typical Reggie with 10 boards and only a couple of points
Really if there was a bright spot in this one was the bench where Amir, Sonny and playing the role of Demar DeRozan it was Julian Wright. It was Weems with 20 and Johnson had 16 and 9. As for Julian Wright he has looked decent each time he gets to see some floor time with 9 points. In part because of these guys the Raptors were able to grind out a 5 point lead after 3.
On the whole the Bobcats won the 4th Quarter by a score of 32-22 which would earn them the 101-96 win. But I mentioned off the top the last 30 seconds or so. Raptors were down I believe it was 3 and called a time out. Coming out of the time out the ball ended up with Bargnani. Which makes sense given the situation. Bargnani not only didn't get up a shot he had it stolen from him by Jackson. But worse yet he stood their like a statute and so did the entire Raptor squad. There was 20 seconds on the clock, it was an obvious situation in which the Raptors had to foul to keep the game alive. 8 seconds later in a game you almost have to win they finally foul. There would be a second situation where the Raptors would let more time slip away to 2.1 seconds and that was the ball game. I re-watched this and frustration clouded my memory. Bargnani scored on that first one then Raps had brain freeze didn't foul and then the steal and the same lack of fouling. Bottom line it was an awful finish and maybe I was attempting to mentally block it out.
That is about as basic as it gets. Like seriously wake the heck up. It leads into a debate that broke out on Twitter. Jay Triano and his future as the coach of the Raptors. Some people seem to be of the opinion that Jay Triano basically can do nothing that would impact on his job status. I am sorry but I have a problem with that. The reason that was commonly given is there is no point in doing it. Raptors are going no where anyway so what would be the point. Is this the attitude we are going to have all season. If this is a development year that means screw the wins and loses altogether? Who cares how this team plays defence. So they don't execute the most basic tasks in basketball, like you foul the other team when trailing with less than 24 seconds?
I honestly think Jay Triano is bullet proof some how. I mean he has a terrible win/loss record and his team crumbled down the stretch, not just because of Chris Bosh, but because of the effort of everyone else including Jay. The fact we have a guy sitting next to Jay that has head coaching experience, that could easily move one seat over should be ignored? Not to say P.J is the coach of the future for the Raptors long term. However, would he do any worse than Jay? Hard to imagine. God no, if he were to actually win games that would be terrible. If we are going to be bad we need to get as many of those ping pong balls as possible.
Stop the insanity. No on should be able to work with out consequences. The way people were talking if Jay Triano coached the Raptors to a sub 20 win season he would remain to the bitter end. This sends an excellent message to your young players. Play good or bad it really doesn't matter. I mean I get that having consistency at coaching position is good. But no one should be confusing Jay Triano with Jerry Sloan. He is not that. At the end of the day Jay Triano might just be a great assistant coach on the NBA level. There is no shame in that and it is a hell of a lot better then any other Canadian has done.
Another thing we are suddenly putting are faith the the NBA Lottery that some people will never be convinced that it is on the level. Ewing to New York, Lebron to Cleveland and all. But even if it is the stats don't lie about the lottery. The Raptors could be 1-81 and the they still can lose in the lottery. In fact the team with the worst record seldom does win it.
There has to be accountability regardless of the amount of talent this team has or doesn't have. Eric Spoelstra is more concerned about his job, then a guy that is 1-7, with a career losing record, in last place in the Eastern Conference. Does that not seem a little nuts? If he were to get fired or anyone else in the league that might make a good fit for the Raptors, do we just ignore that and blindly let Jay go forward regardless. Sorry if I find that totally insane. I am not suggesting a coaching change changes the fate of this season. It doesn't but does anyone believe Jay Triano is going to be the long term answer? The Raptors version of a Jerry Sloan? I know that I don't and am pretty confident that no one else does. So to suggest that Jay is totally safe is honestly totally crazy. About as crazy as saying there will be a statue of Andrea Bargnani outside the ACC one day.