Foolish people disguising themselves as basketball experts will tell you that the Raptors lost tonight simply because the Warriors are a better basketball team, or blame the fact that the first home game after a West coast trip is always tough.
While the facts themselves are probably both true, neither is a valid reason for tonight’s debacle.
Simply not being good enough was the case in Utah, L.A. and Portland, not tonight.
The “tired after a West coast trip” excuse might hold water, but not when your opponent is a West coast team coming off of a game last night.
The truth is the Raptors lost to the Warriors because for too long a period of time tonight, they played like they didn’t give a crap.
Now, there were instances during those stretches that luck wasn’t on the Raptors side. The officiating was awful, the coaching was worse and some of the bounces that go against Toronto are really hard to believe unless you see them.
But when you have as little talent and experience as this Raptors team does, you can’t afford to take a possession off, a few minutes off, let alone play half the game as if Nike started making lead shoes.
A quick note about the Warriors: If Steph Curry and Monta Ellis continue to play the way they did tonight, the Warriors, as a team, continue to rebound the ball, and they pay even a little attention on the defensive end, they will be a surprisingly good team this season.
Speaking of Monta Ellis, there was a scary incident at the end of the ball game where Ellis ended up out cold on the floor (not sure how yet), his body in a sickening position. He walked off the court very slowly. Hopefully Monta will be alright.
A note about Jay Triano. I really didn’t want to get on him this season because he doesn’t have enough talent on the roster to do much with, but tonight was an ugly performance by the Canadian skipper. He continues to find ways to cool his own hot players off by sticking to stubborn rotations while rarely cooling off the opposing players. I think he has the 2k Sports automatic coach option selected, where the computer makes the same substitutions at the same time of every game, no matter how the game is unfolding. In addition, his play calling out of timeouts remains laughable.
Lastly, I leave you with this. I believed this team would surprise some critics and win over 30 games. But even I looked at the schedule and thought coming out of November 6-11 would be an accomplishment. Now, I think this team will be doomed by something like a 4-13 or 3-14 start.
Raptors Player of the Game: Jarret Jack – 38 Min, 24 Pts, 7-13 FG, 1-3 3Pt, 9-10 FT, 1 Reb, 8 Ast, 3 Stl (the only starter with a positive plus/minus)
Warriors Player of the Game: Stephen Curry – 36 Min, 34 Pts, 12-21 FG, 2-4 3Pt, 8-8 FT, 5 Reb, 4 Ast, 3 Stl
Goat of the Game: Jose Calderon – 10 Min, 0 Pts, 0-4 FG, 1 Ast, 2 TO