I have covered this team for going on five years; have been a fan since day one and I still can’t understand this team. That sums up what happened tonight in Indiana. You expect the Raptors to come out slow right? After losing in triple overtime that makes sense. That did sort of happen. Pacers got out to a 7-0 lead. Raptors would get a dunk from Jonas to get the ball rolling and before you knew it back to back buckets for DeMar DeRozan and Raptors had a 14-13 lead.
If there is one constant you can count on this season it is that Andrea Bargnani will find new ways to miss and new ways to show the effort of a lazy dog that wants his belly scratched. Just 8 points and 3-13 shooting and Toronto would like to see him included in the Jays trade. Jose Calderon on the other hand may have every reason in the world not to try, but as much as I may not be a fan he has stepped up with Lowry out. Tonight he was Lowry like in some respects recording his first ever triple double. He finished with 13 points 10 assists and 10 rebounds. Ben Uzoh became the first Raptor in forever to get a triple double in the last game of last season. That was under suspect circumstances this was not.
DeMar DeRozan after 60 minutes last night went 40 tonight and he managed to get 15 points on the board and if the referees would give the kid a break it likely could have been more. Kleiza was half as good as last night with 10 and missed some time in the game with a banged up ankle. Speaking of ankles Lowry is in NYC getting a 2nd opinion on his.
This was far from a pretty contest. However, like last night the Raptors were winning and holding the lead throughout. As if it was a de-ja-vu experience along came the fourth quarter from opening night or last night... take your pick. The Raptors had a similar situation against this Pacers team on opening night and last night vs. the Jazz. Here we go again as the lead keeps fading away. By the end Pacers had the ball and a chance to tie and just like last night in Toronto the Raptors failed to get an offensive rebound. The Pacers would have several chances to tie it but would miss them all. Merry Christmas Raptors even if it is a little early for that.
The Raptors were bad in the fourth quarter. How bad were they James? Well, historically bad with least points scored in a fourth quarter with 5 and just one field goal made in the quarter. It is just too brutal for words. The Raptors did win the game but this did absolutely nothing for your confidence level in this team. In terms of the Raptors themselves they needed a win badly. They basically steal one away from a Pacers team that were willing to let them take it 74-72.
Burn all tape or digital footage of this game and never show it to anyone ever. That is best thing that can happen to this game despite the history making night for Calderon. Raptors do not play again till Saturday and that may give us some indication on the status of Kyle Lowry. He still is needed badly for this team despite the play of Calderon.