I came out for a Raptor game in which they probably had little to no chance to win and got the Toronto Rock. TSN was up to their old tricks and as they had the end of a Toronto Rock game on instead of the Raptors. It was about a year ago I was covering the NBA All-Star Game when I still worked for The Score. TSN decided that it was more important to get Sportscentre on the air then let the country know who won the MVP of the ALL-Star Game. It motivated me to head to twitter and begin a hashtag #TSNHATESBBALL which ended up trending in Toronto on that night. Ever since you will see some people still using the hashtag when TSN screws something up in their basketball coverage. So when the lacrosse game was finally over the Raptors had already fallen in a deep hole 10-2 and would never lead for the rest of the night.
Once again it was a horrible first quarter with the Raptors shooting 1-12 before the camera's started rolling in Denver. Linas Kleiza would get the start at the 4 for the injured Andrea Bargnani. Raptors were down 28-12 and to add insult to injury Andre Miller made the last 3 of those 28 on a buzzer beater heave. The second quarter the Nuggets would just add to the massive advantage and led 54-32 at the half.
The Raptor would stage a comeback as they often do. They would get as close as 6 points. Casey would take out some of the guys that were leading the charge. When Calderon, Butler and DeRozan were put in, all who were not having great nights, the Nuggets took over to close it out for the 96-81 win. If you got depressed and tuned out before the final buzzer you might have missed a little bit of excitement.
Al Harrington thought he was fouled by Linas Kleiza. He would be jaw jacking with Kleiza the entire way up the floor. The Raptors while this was going on had got the rebound off the miss and called a time out. But Harrington continued to flap his gums and stay in the face of Kleiza. Finally Kleiza shoved Harrington and it caused a little scrum of pushing and shoving. No fists would fly but it did cause a little excitement.
The same old story for the Raptors with a slow start and digging a huge hole that they are unable to dig out of. Three players had some decent stat lines for the Raptors and that was bout all. James Johnson was the only starter in double figures with 16 points and was 7-10 from the field. Barbosa lead the Raptors off the bench with 19 points. He continues to be the most attractive trade chip the Raptors hold. Jerryd Bayless has started to look good since returning with 18 points and he was 7-10 from the field and was 4-5 from 3 point range.
Raptors end this strange road trip in New Jersey on Sunday. The Nets were winners on this night and are a game in front of the The Raptors in the Atlantic. Not that either team is looking like a playoff team or anything. The Atlantic Division basement bowl this will be on Sunday.