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Stomach problems and the Raptors' D couldn't stop Tyreke Evans from doing what he wanted do

New look, new youth, new team, but boy, do they still know how to blow it?

If you’ve watched any Raptors basketball over the last few years, you have become way too used to this. The Raptors come out flying on the road, probably the West coast, build up a sizable lead, slowly watch it fade in the third quarter, then totally kick the bucket in the fourth.

Tonight in Sacramento, Toronto found itself up 17 after one quarter and up 11 heading into the half. After allowing just 16 points in the first, the Raptors allowed at least 27 in each of the last three quarters.

The Raptors looked like they were going to hang in there in the third. Sacramento would cut into the lead, and the Raps would respond with a couple of big buckets to stretch it out to 15 or 16 again. However, as soon as Tyreke Evans re-entered the game (he sat out the first portion of the third with stomach problems), the tempo changed, and you could feel loss no. 2 coming. Don’t act like you weren’t thinking it.

There were some bright spots. DeMar DeRozan tied a career-high with 24 points and got to the line for 14 free throws, Andrea Bargnani continued to light it up offensively with 28 points, and Reggie Evans continued to pull down every rebound in sight, finishing with 19.

Having said that, there were negatives to match all of those. DeRozan missed some key free throws down the stretch, Bargnani grabbed two stinking rebounds, and let’s be honest, if Reggie Evans is your MVP through three games, your in rough, I mean nasty rough, shape.

I understand that this was a road game in a tough environment and it was the opposing team’s home opener, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that the Raptors simply wilted, offensively and defensively. It’s not like they lost a tough road game that was close throughout; they lost a game that they had in their back pocket. And with all due respect to the young Kings, they’re still not good enough to justify that Raptors collapse.

To finish tonight, here’s a helpful tip for Jay Triano. Never, ever finish a close game with both Jose Calderon and Andrea Bargnani on the floor. It’s a suicidal duo. I counted five times between the two of them that they simply held back from a loose ball in the final five minutes or so. All five of those balls ended up in the Kings’ hands.

Raptors Player of the Game: Reggie Evans – 32 Min, 6 Pts, 2-6 FG, 2-5 FT, 19 Reb, 2 Ast (Guys like Bargnani, DeRozan and Kleiza wouldn’t have been able to score the way they did tonight had it not been for Reggie creating second and sometimes third-chance opportunities)

Kings Player of the Game: Tyreke Evans – 37 Min, 23 Pts, 9-6 FG, 5-7 FT, 7 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

Goat of the Game: Leandro Barbosa – 12 Min, 2 Pts, 1-6 FG, 0-2 3Pt, 3 Reb, 3 TO

Comments (8)

  1. So who do you leave on the bench? Bargnani, who was the Raptors best player tonight even with his inability to rebound? Or Jose, replaced by Jack who was awful?

  2. I know Reggie i that dude but I wouldnt have minded seeing more Amir tonight, Hes gotta find a way to stay on the floor. J arret Jack didnt have a lot of time in the 4th so I completely agree with the Jose and Andrea together assessment. There were way better combos out there than that one n the 4th. Demar and Andrea forming a cute duo though no?

  3. If the best player on the floor for tonight was a 7 footer who grabbed 2 rebounds (following a 1 rebound special) while doing nothing to help secure vital possessions late in the game, or shore up the interior D, this is going to be a bottom 3 team in the league. Oh, wait.

    How BC has such a hard on for a player that soft continues to amaze me.

  4. he is clearly a disaapointment year after year.

  5. There is no point ripping bargnani about his rebounding. He JUST isn’t going to do it no matter how much you guys complain about it.

  6. Look at it this way – the starting frontcourt grabbed 21 rebounds. If you get 21 rebounds from your starting 4 and 5, you take that and run.

  7. The idea of your starting front court grabbing 21 rebounds isn’t as compelling as your making it. Look at it this way, if Bargnani just grabbed an average amount of rebounds that a 7 footer should be able to get, then the starting front court could nightly be in the 25 rebound range. That is more compelling to Raptor fans because it is essential that a 7 footer rebound. Reggie is going to get his but its up to Andrea to at least make the attempt to grab 7-9 boards a game. There is no excuse for not grabbing rebounds this year. Everyone that loved Andrea said last year that if Bosh was gone he would not only score more points but rebound more. So what happened to that idea? I give you he scores more but what about that second part? Andrea is basically the European Eddy Curry, he can score but doesn’t offer much else. He doesn’t jump and doesn’t play D.

    Oh and loved Demar last night. If he can keep attacking the basket like that, he’s going to cause trouble for a lot of team. Just needs to keep developing handles and work on his shot some more and he can be a legit 20 point threat nightly.

  8. “If you get 21 rebounds from your starting 4 and 5, you take that and run.”

    No, no you don’t. In close games, and most NBA games are not blowouts in the 4th Q, giving up offensive rebounds can be lethal. Over the years, the Raps have been killed time and time again because they couldn’t secure rebounds/possessions down the stretch. If Bargs is on the floor and he’s not doing his job, the team suffers. This team doesn’t have a Gerald Wallace type SF to help him clean up the glass, and Reggie can’t do everything/box everyone out.

    If Bargs became a lethal offensive player in the 4th Q where he was consistently putting the team on his back, that might offset his consistently shitty rebounding and help D. But he isn’t that player.

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