Monday, January 24, 2011

Raptors Report Week 12: Lack of Talent, Injuries, Biased Refs Catching Up To Raptors

The Raptors had another brutal week, losing all four of their games this past road trip. 
Well, there was one positive from the past week:
DeMar DeRozan will replace Brandon Jennings
in the All-Star Weekend Dunk Contest
While the Raps faced some tough teams, they were able to hang in there most games, but the lack of talent and inexperience on the roster led to them blowing their chances and failing to close out games.
In their defense, they faced four playoff teams on the road. Also, the refs have been extremely tough on the inexperienced team and have been giving the benefit of the doubt to the better teams.
It's been a tough year for Raptors fans, but there have been positive signs shown by DeMar DeRozan, Ed Davis, and Andrea Bargnani.
Record: 0-4
Performance on a scale of 1-10: Five
Here is a recap of the four games:

Raptors @ Hornets, L 81-85
The Raptors really did play well enough to win. The refs didn't seem to think so. I know you should never make excuses, but down the stretch the officiating was just pathetic. DeRozan continued his tear, scoring 23, and the Raptors played very solid defense.
Offensively, this team was awful. Andrea Bargnani was just bad, and the whole team seemed out of sync. Also, the Raptors only really have five healthy players, and many players were playing hurt.

Raptors @ Spurs, L 95-104
The Raps led most of this game and played pretty well overall. It just wasn't good enough to beat the best team in the West on the road. Once again, DeRozan was amazing with 28, and offensively, the team was much better.
Defensively the team wasn't too good; on the boards they weren't great either, and Bargnani was bad once again.

Raptors @ Magic, L 72-112
Y'know, I tried to find a positive from this game, but I really couldn't. When you lose by 40 points, there's  just not much to say. Everyone on the team was awful. Julian Wright led the Raps with 10 rebounds, there.
Hoo boy. Where do I start? Dwight Howard out-rebounded the whole Raps starting lineup, and offensively, the team was just terrible. Nobody shot the ball well, nobody moved it around, and after the first half, Dwight Howard just took over.
Defensively, the team was also awful. I could go on, but it hurts.

Raptors @ Heat, L 103-120
Once again the team was down by nearly 30 points, but the Raps fought back and cut it to seven late in the game. DeRozan was great and Bargnani finally regained his scoring touch. The Raps had a good overall effort; they just couldn't contain LeBron.
The Heat didn't have Bosh or Wade, but they still killed the Raps. The Raps weren't healthy and also were very tired, but this was a winnable game.When you give up 32 points to the struggling Mike Miller, something is wrong on defense.
Overall, this was another tough week. The Raps play seven teams below .500 in their next eight games so these games should be more competitive.

Ask Sachin
"Why did the Raptors release Peja Stojakovic?" - George Stone
Peja was clearly not a part of the future plans, and the Raps just acquired him for cap relief this offseason. By buying him out, the Raps save some luxury tax money, and have to pay less of his contract (however much the Mavs pay him) but still get his full expiring contract. To read more about the deal, click here.
If you want to have your question answered in the next Raptors Report, leave a comment below. Thanks.

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