Honestly in some ways maybe the only thing that should be written about last night in Utah is if you missed the game you should consider yourself fortunate. It didn’t start out that way with the Raptors building a 10 point lead in the first quarter. After that something I am pretty sure I have never seen in my life watching basketball. It was a 42 point swing by the end of the night.
The Raptors in their history have had some shameful performances. There was the loss in Denver that got Sam Mitchell fired. I can recall some one sided beat-downs from the Atlanta Hawks over the years. Humiliating losses to struggling teams like the Charlotte Bobcats. Kobe Bryant’s 81 point game in which the Raptors actually led at halftime. However, in some ways last night’s game feels like one of the worst in franchise history.
NBA-TV said it was the most points the Raptors have given up to an opponent in regulation this season with Jazz scoring 131 points, the final 3 quarters producing 106 of those points with 38 in second and 68 in the second half. That falls short of a record for the points in a second half ironically held by the team the Raptors will face next in the Clippers who scored 78 points back in March of 1998. That also was the game Raptors surrendered most points all-time of 152.
Maybe that Clipper game was worse as at the time it was loss number 6 in a losing streak. However, hard to debate anything is worse right now as the Raptors road record expands to 1-12 on the season. The individual performances mean little in a loss like this. Andrea Bargnani deciding to show up to get 20 points and 8 rebounds is great for him but it really went unnoticed.
What was noticed is Raptors dropping like flies in this one adding to injury concerns. Ed Davis had to leave to have X-rays on a finger he bent back. What seemed like seconds later Kyle Lowry got up gimpy with a jammed right ankle or was it left…I forget. He did return though. Also Mickael Pietrus got banged up too.
It has been an epic disaster for this club and you get a feeling that SOMETHING has to happen.
What that is remains to be seen. Firing Casey seems like a move that doesn’t make much sense unless you can lure some candidate we would not think would consider taking the job would agree too it. Do I see Jerry Sloan, Stan or Jeff Van Gundy or any other marquee name coming here? Not really. As for the Raptors staff I am not convinced they are not part of the problem as well. Johnny Davis as Interim Head Coach is something I will pass on.
So fire B.C that seems the popular choice. Raptors would then put Ed Stefanski in as interim G.M. No, that doesn’t really appeal to me either. The only option left is to shake up this roster with a trade or trades. Which most NBA teams are not ready to do at this early stage of the season.
The Raptors feel like they are in quicksand and sinking fast with no real answers to save themselves or their season. The 131-99 loss to a Jazz team, that was missing Al Jefferson their star player, is only a flashpoint to a much larger problem that faces the Raptors.
This franchise has been in low places before but for a fan base some old enough to be around for the entire 18 years there is apathy in the air that should scare the people at MLSE far more than any of the issues with their struggling basketball team.