Nets/Raptors Game 1 Reax – Stream of Consciousness

Lowry

You played your heart out, Kyle. Source: gettyimages.com

When I write a blog I tend to conceive, craft, then edit. Today I’m sparing myself all that and going with old-fashioned stream-of-consciousness style. Here are my thoughts on Nets/Raptors Game 1.

-The beginning of the game was so predictable – overwhelmed Raptors putting up wild shots, running around like chickens with their heads cut off on defence, while Brooklyn executes its half court offence to perfection. Terrence Ross going down with foul trouble was massive. He is more valuable than Demar Derozan.
-First half the Raptors had no answer for Deron Williams, since Ross was off. He was embarrassing Greivis Vasquez.
-Nando De Colo should not be playing a single minute this series. End of the first half, he receives a great pass off a drive for an open three, instead of shooting it, he upfakes, allows Brooklyn to get back in position, drives left, jumps, decides to pass at the last second, and throws it away. This play is Casey’s fault as much as it is De Colo’s, since Casey had him in the game for an end-of-quarter play.
-the referees were awful. (Note I am a basketball official who has a lot of empathy for refs of any sport and any level.) Paul Pierce travelled egregiously on two occasions and it just went uncalled. Another instance – scramble with Lowry under Toronto’s basket – the shot is missed, Kyle Lowry gives Andray Blatche a shove, which goes unseen. Blatche, in retaliation, shoves Lowry, which is seen. Ed Malloy blows the whistle. Jason Kidd loses his mind to the official closest to him, who T-s him up. Lowry shoots one technical free throw, and that’s it. Apparently Malloy blew his whistle because he likes the sound of it.
-Demar just killed me. His nonchalant attitude, brushing off the conception that playoff basketball is much different from the regular season was a problem going into the game. You can argue it had nothing to do with him sucking so much, which is fine, let’s just talk about his performance. He started by jacking horrible, horrible shots, aimlessly driving across the court, and mixed that with a few great drives to get to the free throw line. He took three shots where I wanted to throw my shoe at the TV. 1 – just dribbled behind his back twice then through his legs and chucked it with 20 left on the shot clock. 2 & 3 – two horrific contested threes in no rhythm. He has to be better if he’s going to be the go-to-guy.
-Raptors bench is a lot better than Brooklyn’s. Those 12 minutes where the bench is getting primary minutes is going to be criticial, since in my opinion Brooklyn’s starting lineup, if Plumlee is in for Garnett, is just better than Toronto’s.
-Playoffs is about half court execution, but the Raptors must force the issue in transition. The only easy-ish baskets they got were in transition, virtually nothing uncontested in the half court. If the fast break isn’t there, still push it so the Nets’ defence is a bit off-balance, perhaps forcing mismatches. Toronto will not win this series if it can’t get out on the break.
-Kyle Lowry is the only reason Toronto was within 20, let alone 8, at the half. He is a freaking warrior. Also of course Jonas Valanciunas deserves a lot of credit – slapping up 18 boards and helping his team tread water in the first quarter. But Ross has to be on the floor, Derozan has to think for one bloody second, and De Colo has to be Toronto’s best cheerleader, nothing more.

 

 

  1. Chris Ross says:

    I think I agree with everything here. One thing that I think you missed though was talking about Amir Johnson. He’s clearly not healthy. It wasn’t blatantly apparent but they did not run any pick and roll. The Raptors love running pick and roll with Amir, and Amir loves running the pick and roll. It just strikes me as odd that their best pick and roll player was barely used in the pick and roll when they were struggling so mightily on offence. I interpret that as him not even being close to 100%.

    Game 2, a must win in my opinion. Can’t get down 2-0. Bold statement. I know.

  2. Mikey B says:

    T. Ross is definitely more important than Demar. Demar is a guy who made a living this season making bad shots. So you have to live with it when he is on the floor. I think Casey has to find a way use him like Rip Hamilton. I am just not sure Demar is quick enough to beat his man consistently off curls.

    For every minute John Salmons plays we are in serious trouble. I don’t understand why Steve Novak didn’t get a look. Its not like John Salmons brought anything to the table defensively. His shooting threat would have created a few easier lanes for Demar and Lowry.

    As great as Jonas was today, his help defense was not good enough for my youth ball team. I would have loved to see Coach Casey at least try the lineup of Lowry, Vasquez, Demar, Novak, Patterson.

  1. There are no trackbacks for this post yet.

Leave a Reply