1/24/13

Raptors Offer Good Effort and More Frustration

If you are not frustrated about something after last night I would question if you are human. It is all too familiar a script for the Raptors. They would shock everyone and actual lead by 14 points over the Miami Heat only to see it melt away and head to overtime in which the Raptors would get finally dominated.

Dwane Casey’s rotations were puzzling especially in relation to Ed Davis who early on was playing like a stud. In some ways if the Heat had won by 20 it might have been easier to deal with. The Raptors made a great effort against the arguable best team in the league and defending NBA Champion.

That said moral victories count for as much as overtime losses do in the NBA. Raptors had a real team effort with 7 players in double figures led by Alan Anderson with 20 off the bench. That said Anderson late in this game and into overtime was a major reason the Raptors lost. He became a black hole firing up shots that had stopped falling for him.

Lebron James meanwhile had a triple double with 31 point 10 rebounds and 11 assists. Dwyane Wade had a game high 35 and Chris Bosh had a double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds. In the end it is yet another night where the Raptors gave you an entertaining game but the result was all too predictable. Miami for the record takes it 123-116 in overtime.

What should be more interesting is how the Raptors respond to this with an extremely rare Thursday match-up with the Orlando Magic. The Raptors have not lost to Magic all season. Some of those wins have come without Glen “Big Baby” Davis in the line-up. He will be back for this one.

You wonder how much of a South Beach hangover the Raptors will have from the result of last night.

In the end in the bigger picture this Raptors season has gone completely off course from where it was suppose to go. The danger is that it impacts on what the future plans of this franchise should be. Especially as relates to Jose Calderon who has once again had a great season with his job and a new contract on the line.

That said in the bottom line of winning and losing he has not had enough impact to change that. He played well in the loss to Miami but as in many performances in his career it was in a loss. The Raptors should still look to move him but I highly doubt that they will. Frustration of another kind has been the up and down career of Jose Calderon.

Than there is that whole Andrea Bargnani mess to figure out. If the Raptors approach trade deadline with the glass is half full outlook they will not make the moves they truly need to make to move forward. What makes this more difficult are the struggles of guys like DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry at times of late. They were two pieces heading into the season that were expected to be a big part of the Raptors future.

While many are concerned with if Terrence Ross gets into a dunk contest, I would suggest there are far bigger things to be concerned with.

For the record on the Magic match-up the Raptors are 12-18 in the hometown of Micky Mouse and Disney World. If the Raptors were successful it would be only the second time they have swept the Magic in a season series the only other time came back in the 2006-07 season.

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