If you are not embarrassed by last night's loss to the Wizards you should be. I felt embarrassed and was just watching the game. It is one thing to lose to a team searching for it's first win. It is another to come out and get destroyed. Raptors blamed themselves in the post game comments last night and they were right to do so. It is not that the Wizards played exceptionally that is not what happened. Raptors played flatter than a pancake and made so many silly errors you lost count fairly early on in the night.
In to the ACC roles another team in terrible shape. The Kings have already fired there coach and have a unhappy young star in DeMarcus Cousins. Kings come in 3-7 off a 112-85 loss to Sixers last night. It is all there on the table for a quick bounce back for the Raptors if they choose to take it. That said, it is also there on the table for another epic failure. As inconsistent as the Raptors have been it is hard to know which is more likely. But just from a personal pride standpoint you hope the Raptors can find a way to get a win. You also look ahead to Friday and Saturday and see it very unlikely to get a win vs the Bulls and Pacers.
3 Keys To Victory:
Value Possessions: The Raptors did not value the ball last night at all. They gave it away far to many times and had lazy and stupid passes that you can go to a local high school game and not see. It is also important to get quality shots and try making a few of them. We saw ugly jumpers, missed lay ups and air balls last night.
Drive More, Shoot Less: These are not your dad's Raptors. The days of the Raptors being able to save themselves with three point shots is over. They can make some three's on occasion but by and large this team is better severed to take mid range shots and get into the paint. The only guys on this Raptor team that should have a green light to shoot the three are Andrea Bargnani and if he is hitting it Jose Calderon. The rest of them need to leave there three pointers in the locker room unless the shot clock is at :01.
Don't Sing It, Bring It: There were a lot of interesting things said after last night's game. Bargnani said the team was mentally soft. Demar said he has to step up and play better. That is wonderful that people understand there is problems. But you can talk about it all you like, till you do something about it nothing will change. Let your actions reflect your words.
I understand that not a lot was expected from this team. I also understand that lots of people would love to see the Raptors lose as much as possible to cash in come May in the draft lottery. But what also has to be understood is at this point this young core that Colangelo claims we have to go into the future with is not good enough at this point. If they are to ever be good enough they need to play much better than what we saw last night. You can take Jonas and whatever player you want in the upcoming draft, that alone will not fix this. Dwane Casey was brought in to change the culture of the Raptors. Pounding a rock is all well and good. However if you slap a rock a million times it will never break. The Raptors have had four games this year where they didn't pound a damn thing. They did however make many pound their heads.
If there is one thing I have come to respect about Casey it is nothing is candy coated. He tells it like it is. After sitting listening to Jay Triano say his team's effort was good time after time when it clearly wasn't this is refreshing. So I am pulling for Casey to get the job done. But he is starting to realize how tough a job it will be.