Nine hundred and eighty-six games. That’s how long the NBA’s most meaningless streak lasted until it ended last night at the Air Canada Centre. I’m referring, of course, to the Toronto Raptors’ consecutive game streak for making at least one three-pointer.
Every time I heard either Chuck Swirsky or Matt Devlin refer to this ridiculous streak either because a Raptor made the team’s first three-pointer of the game or because the Raptors had yet to make one and it was the fourth quarter, I felt a little embarrassed to be a Raptors fan. This is what we hang our hats on? The fact that this streak was incessantly brought up was only slightly less irritating than somebody telling me how many days in a row he’d had a bowel movement. I can’t come up with a form of measurement that would describe how little I cared about this “accomplishment”.
Considering the team, doesn’t it figure that the game the Raptors can’t make a single three-pointer (out of 13 attempts) is the one where they lose by two points? It would be funny if this wasn’t the team’s eighth loss in a row and if I was capable of finding anything humourous about the state of the franchise.
Last night’s loss gave the Raptors a 2-9 record this season in games decided by five points or fewer. Not that this team wins a lot of blowouts either, but crunch-time is clearly not a comfort zone for this squad. Rudy Gay, on the other hand, appears to have ice water in his veins. He beat the Heat with a last-second shot on Nov. 20 and he did it again with this dagger that left 0.8 seconds on the clock. Note: This is a hilarious and profane fan video of the winning shot, so make sure you put your headphones on if you’re attempting to watch this at work.
“NOOOO! NOT THIS GUY!” Yes, that guy. He’s pretty good.
You know who else was pretty good last night? Jerryd Bayless. He finished two rebounds short of a triple-double with a 15/11/8 line as he reminded us of the variety of things he can do that Jose Calderon can’t. Jose’s a better shooter and playmaker, of course — and those things are admittedly pretty important for a point guard. But Jerryd’s penetration skills, defence and rebounding make him a nice change of pace. Here are some of his highlights from last night.
Bayless does need to improve his shot, his court vision and his decision making if he’s ever going to be a starting-quality point guard in this league. But he’s only 22 years old and he has the raw talent to be very good, possibly even a top-15 point guard one day. For a rebuilding team like this one, he’s a keeper.
In closing, let’s commemorate the death of a crappy streak with this video of legendary Raptors scrub Darrick Martin extending the streak to 629 games in 2006 with a pointless three-pointer at the final buzzer of a Raptors 19-point loss. Je me souviendrai de toi, D-Mart.