4/22/14

Raptors Survive Game 2

Toronto Raptors survived game two is the best way to describe it for me. They shot 2/16 from three point line and had 21 turnovers on the night. The reality is Paul Pierce had to open looks for a three that he missed and if he makes them this is likely a much different story. Toronto gets their first win 100-95 and was the first playoff win since Game 3 against Orlando in 2008 at the ACC.

The Raptors started out really flat for the second time in this series. This happens in Brooklyn in game 3 they are likely dead. I fully expect this to be the most hostile environment the Raptors have ever played a basketball game and it is of their own making.

Terrence Ross long before F-Bombs were flying and Nets were tanking to play the Raptors said that the Raptors wanted to play the Nets. Maybe he meant the rest of the team and not himself personally as he has been invisible for the most part. Let’s see just 2 points to match his 2 turnovers shooting 1-8 from the field in game 2.  He got in foul trouble in game 1 early and only had 3 points shooting 1-4.

Jonas Valanciunas has been the Raptors best or most consistent player through two games. This is despite him and DeRozan combining for 11 of those 21 Raptors turnovers. Still Jonas had 15 points and 14 rebounds in Game 2 and 17 points and 18 rebounds in game 1. DeRozan was a different story 3-13 with just 14 points in game 1. He would will himself to 30 points in Game 2 and player down the stretch with 5 fouls. Making key free throws as well going 12-14 from the line was vital to the victory. 

Maybe the Raptors themselves got confidence as a team but as an observer I do not have such confidence. The Raptors have not looked very good at all and to me are somewhat fortunate to be heading to Brooklyn tied at one in the series.

Shockingly one of the reasons why was Landry Fields who was inserted into the game to guard the Nets weapons on the wings that have been abusing the Raptors. He did a solid job considering I can’t remember the last time he played meaningful minutes for this team.

Amir Johnson also had a redeeming performance with 16 points shooting 8 for 10 from the field finishing things off with a big slam to close this game out.

The Raptors still are being very stubborn or stupid depending on your point of view in taking the three point shot.  I said long before the Raptors ever made the post-season this was going to be an issue and two games in I feel confident in saying I wasn’t wrong. 10-39 in the series and 2-16 in game two this team is not getting it done from beyond the arc simple as that.

Brooklyn is going to be all fired up by the events that took place prior to game one and in this series since. I expect a hostile and bad environment for the Raptors to deal with. Which did I mention how poorly the Raptors have started the first two games? That could be a death blow on the road in hostile enemy territory.

This series is technically even but doesn’t feel like it is at all based on the first two games. Raptors should still be very concerned. They are about to experience a ton of adversity and it is going to be even harder than it has been.

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