I think it’s safe to say that I disagree with majority of folks about a great many things about this team and this series. What we can all agree on is the Raptors effort level and that almost won them a game they had no business winning in game 3 of this series. The Nets though they had it won and took their foot off the gas and the Raptors kept coming and almost made a comeback that in all honesty I feel would have led to them winning this series. It didn’t happen though and the Nets through some good fortune and just waking up managed to hang on for the win.
I will admit to be wrong about the environment for this game I was pretty shocked at how tame the Brooklyn crowd was given all of the stuff that went on back here in Toronto. Rihanna clearly was not chanting anything negative and was at the game to be seen. Drake may do the same up in Toronto but have to give him this much he gets involved in the game. I still would rather see Rihanna at game 5 instead of Drake for obvious reasons.
So why are the Raptors losing this series? Pretty basic and simple to me and one of the things I was saying as far back as January about this team. It is that they take far too many three point shots and have no idea when to give up on them and attack. More to the point their offensive attack was flawed based on this and would never translate well to the post-season. I rarely get into stats because I just don’t feel the need to have numbers to validate what we all clearly see. The Raptors have attempted 61 three pointer is this series making just 17 for a 27.8 percentage to long range.
It speaks to the Raptors lack of discipline and the Nets defensive abilities to defend the three point shot. The Raptors have had their best success in this series attacking the paint and using Jonas effectively. Seems pretty obvious from the outside looking in might not be in the heat of the battle. Raptors went away from Jonas after early success in Game 3.
The other elephant in the room is 59 turnovers through 3 games are just unacceptable above anything else. The Raptors have been sloppy and the Nets defensive effort has been targeted at certain players to make those turnovers occur. One of those being Jonas and that might explain the hesitation in using him in the post.
I am being honest in saying this series has gone much to the script that I had laid out in mind for this series when I picked the Nets to win in 6. I see the Nets holding serve at home on Sunday and giving the Raptors a do or die contest back home on Wednesday. Which I expect the Raptors to win and have the series end in Brooklyn in game 6.
The Raptors have not controlled this series in any way and they have been passengers along for the ride. Kyle Lowry got really banged up and regardless of if he goes in game 4 he is not going to be 100% and the Raptors desperately need him to be.
In the end the Raptors just haven’t been good enough and people wanting to find evil refs that are against the Raptors can do that all they like. I am here to tell you the Raptors have player 3 games in this series and have not been the better team in any of them. They got a win in Game 2 but were pretty fortunate to have been able to win that game. They have had poor starts in all three contests and have struggled to have consistence on both ends out the floor.