Think of all the excruciating, gut-wrenching, frustrating, infuriating, painful losses we’ve watched in the first half of this season alone, usually involving a blown lead or two, and then believe me when I tell you that Friday’s blown lead and loss in Philadelphia was the worst one yet.

That pretty much says it all right there, but here are some thoughts on this absolute disaster of a game…

76ers 108, Raptors 101 (OT)

- The Raptors started the game on an 8-0 run, dominated and controlled the first half, then opened up a 19-point lead in the early stages of the third quarter. From that point on, the Raptors embarked on one of the ugliest and most frustrating 25 minutes of basketball I’ve ever been subject to. The 19-point lead was erased within nine minutes, but the Raptors then reclaimed control in the fourth quarter to open up a 10-point lead with less than five minutes remaining before that dwindled to a four-point lead with 8.8 seconds remaining, and then a two-point lead with five seconds remaining and possession of the ball. Unfortunately, for what seems like the hundredth time over the last two seasons, the Raptors couldn’t figure out how to inbound the ball in crunch time, and Jose Calderon’s pass went off of Alan Anderson and out of bounds, though replay clearly indicated that Anderson was pushed.

On the ensuing possession, Jrue Holiday tied the game on a drive to the basket for what would be the first pair of his 14 straight points for the Sixers, as Holiday scored all 12 Philly points in overtime.

- While a foul probably should have been called on the failed inbounds play (on the same day that the NBA admitted it blew an end of game call against the Raptors for the second time this season), it doesn’t change the fact that the Raptors actually seem incapable of figuring out how to inbound the ball when it matters most. Jose Calderon, especially, has had his fair share of troubles with inbounding the ball in clutch situations and is also one of the best free throw shooters on the team, so he should have been receiving the ball, not passing it. The decision to let Calderon inbound was a poor one, and that’s on Dwane Casey. The inability to execute an inbound under pressure is on Calderon. But the four other players on the court have to take a ton of blame for the debacle as well, as at some point, you just have to fight through exhaustion and your man to get open, and none of the Raptors on the court did that.

- Dwane Casey made the right call in giving Jose Calderon and Landry Fields the quick hook when the Sixers started making their run in the third quarter, and while I agreed with giving Lowry the bulk of minutes at the point, I thought there was a point in the fourth quarter where it was obvious that Kyle was gassed and Casey probably should have gone back to Calderon for even just a couple of minutes.

- There were some positives in this game. Ed Davis came within four assists of a triple-double, Terrence Ross found his shooting stroke again with four three-pointers in the first half and 18 total points on 50 per cent shooting (Ross is also starting to rebound the way he did at Washington), Quincy Acy gave the Raptors productive minutes in meaningful stages of the game, and up until the final five minutes or so, Lowry looked like a very capable true point guard, slicing through the Philly defence en route to a double-double of 11 points and 11 assists despite not firing with his usual accuracy from the field (Lowry looked out of gas down the stretch and committed some careless turnovers at crucial moments to go along with some poor shot selection).

Having said all of that, when a team blows multiple leads the way the Raptors did on Friday night and just looks so incapable of executing the most fundamental elements of a basketball game, I simply can’t bring myself to spending too many words on the positives, because the negatives far outweighed them on this night.

- By the way, with another disappearing act in this game (DeRozan hit his first three shots in the first quarter but went 1-of-7 the rest of the way and much like Wednesday night, spent more time on the perimeter than attacking the basket), DeMar DeRozan is now averaging less than 14 points on 36.4 per cent shooting over his last eight games. The Raptors are 2-6 in those eight games while DeRozan slowly reverts back to the player most of us said wasn’t worth the four-year extension. Considering how much development in his game DeMar has shown this season, I’m willing to dismiss this recent stretch as a simple slump for now, but it certainly hasn’t been encouraging with respect to said development.

- In case you weren’t already frustrated enough with the results of this game, then I have to remind you that with the loss, the Raptors lose the season series against division-rival Philadelphia 3-1. Just over a week ago, the Raptors had gotten within a half-game of Philly for ninth in the East and with a victory tonight, would have been back within a game of the Sixers while evening up the season series. Instead, the Raptors are three games back of the Sixers, and considering that a tie would go to Philly because of the head-to-head record, you can kind of think of it like 3.5 or four games back.

If you needed a harsh reminder that this team had no business being back in playoff race conversations (I was ready to jump in feet first if they could have held on against the Bucks), blown leads of 19+ points against the eighth place Bucks and ninth place Sixers within five days of each other should do it.

Oh, and the Lakers and Heat are up next…

Raptors Player Of the Game: Ed Davis – 18 Pts, 8/15 FG, 2/3 FT, 10 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk, 3 TO in 41:55

76ers Player Of the Game: Jrue Holiday – 33 Pts, 13/23 FG, 1/4 3PT, 6/8 FT, 5 Reb, 14 Ast, 3 Stl, 3 TO in 45:30

Comments (37)

  1. Cap Space! Young Core! Development!

    • Wiggins 2014. Can we just properly tank next season? Is it sad that I find that the closest way to build a championship contending team?

    • Frustrations aside, I don’t think disasters like this should result in trading away players like Davis, Ross, etc for short-term gain players. So yes, I’ll look beyond my anger and frustration right now and try to keep things in perspective, and young players with potential help me do that.

      • In the other thread when I said a game like this should result in a firing, or players moved, I was saying moving players that you don’t envision keeping past this season.
        At this point I want the Raps to just miss the post season, give up the worst (ie best) possible pick in this draft and get on with rebuilding. Collect assets please, there aren’t enough on this team.

      • Following along the same line of thinking, there should be no expectations from the coaches or management of making the playoffs this year. They should be giving the majority of the minutes to the young players with a potential future with this organization.

        Specifically, Acy, Ross, DeRozan, Val, Amir, Ed Davis and Lowry should all be given significant minutes game in, game out in order to see what you have in any potential future. Although Calderon is a very good point guard who seems to mesh well offensively with this team, given age and contract situation, he is not likely to factor into the future and the only reason he, Bargnani, Pietrus, Fields,etc. should be given minutes is to either showcase their value for potential trades or to give rest for the young’uns during the games.

        It’s time this organization sticks to a strategy and if Colangelo can’t do it now because he has no incentive to since he’s in the last year of his contract, he should be let go sooner than later.

  2. How anyone can equivocate gassed with stupid decisions amazes me. In the final minutes of the regular time Lowry didn’t know what to do with the ball. Because he got lucky on the 3 earlier I guess he thought dribbling around in circles and throwing a hail mary with seconds on the shot clock was the way to put the game away.. Blaming Calderon for the in-bounds was hilarious. Blaming the team for not being able stop the 6′ers from holding them was even more ridiculous. I think that’s what the refs are supposed to be doing.

    I guess the league will say the refs missed the Anderson no-call as he was pushed out of bounds. Brutal brutal reffing and if they are not inept then this league is rigged even when it comes to the bottom feeders. It was like at half time someone told the 6′ers play tight D the calls won’t be made because their defence was totally different from the first half. Continual grabbing on shots and drives and pushing around the basket. It was like open season.

    • Blaming the refs for Toronto’s bed-pooping is the most ridiculous of all.

      • Go back to sleep, nothing to see here, move along.

        • So you come on here, telling the poster he is “hilarious and ridiclous” yet the moment someone doesnt agree with you, you tell them to go away……

          Back to the things that actually matter the game shouldnt of got anywhere close enough for the refs to make a impact on the game, i totally agree with demar needed to drive, they have no bigman presence and i think that shows with Ed Daviss’ performance

          Quincy Acy is just awesome, he took some questionable shots i thought but still managed to drain them sometimes

          The one and only postitive i will take from this game is the hustle some of the raps showed, multiple times during the game Lowry and amir and i beleive acy and anyone else i missed were diving and hustling for loose balls constanly, sloppy play the rest of the game made the hustle obsecelete

        • @Hope Caper – see! that is just how Doug Smith would respond when someone doesn’t agree with him (if he doesn’t block them – he is famous for “dictating” opinions on his blog) – then if someone goes and prove him wrong – he immediately responds with thinned skinned, weak childish responses with no insight, depth or feedback! just like you just did!…Im’ma gonna start calling you D. Smith from now on!

      • Anyone who watched even the first 9 minutes, and the dozen or so wrong calls by that point, knew the refs were going to hand this game to the sixers. Even when they were up by 19 and the blown call count had climbed to 2 dozen or so, you still knew the refs were definitely going to hand this game to the sixers.

        Only when they were up 10 with 5 minutes to play would a rational person who had actually watched the officiating farce take place, actually start to hope that they could pull out a win.

        Worst officiated game of the season. The refs should be named in the next NBA apology to the Toronto Raptors, and be banned from ever working one of their games again. THAT is how shameful this performance was last night.

        And just to be clear, this is the first season I’ve EVER complained about the officials. It is just that blatant this season that I feel I just have to give the problem a voice. Even if it is just my tiny voice on this forum.

    • I don’t think equivocate is the word you want there. I’m not sure what your first sentence means.

      On your broader point, the Raps have plenty of legit claims against the refs this year, but there’s plenty of blame to go around. They’re not more than ten games under .500 because of the refs.

    • You’re right, the way that Kyle played the last possessions was awful. I can’t imagine if Calderon doing that selections…

      • @Manu – you don’t have to “imagine if Calderon doing that selections….”. He did those selections all through his playing time in the 3rd quarter – that’s why he was pulled!!!! It’s simple really!

        Coach Casey said in the after game interview – that Lowry was attacking the Philly defense and making more stops, that’s why he was in over Calder-bum.

    • Lowry is better than Deron Williams, there must be some other reason to justify his bad play. Get with the program. Lowry for 2015 MVP.

      • Didnt Deron Williams take lessons from Lowry about how to play basketball?
        Something about passing the ball at the shins of his teamates…

        MVP baby!

    • @Hope Caper
      Some simple science for you “common sense” if you will!

      Your comment ” Because he got lucky on the 3 earlier”…3 is a “common” a “pattern”….ONCE is lucky, 2 could be argued as coincidental, but 3, that’s considered a consistent…..Clear enough, Dougie boy!!??? Nice try but, NO!
      Lowry hit 3 because he has the skills too!…I also believe Calderon has the skills too do that as well. The joke here is you will agree that Calderon has those skills, but obviously by your comments you don’t think Lowry does.
      Tell me: why would anyone take you serious on a sophisticated basketball conversation if you believe Lowry is “lucky” to hit his shots!???! You ruin yourself, Doug-boy – I’m just pointing it out to the rest! Mostly for fun!!!!!!

  3. And with each loss the chances of a Colangelo extension become more and more remote. So there is some good as a result of the loss.

  4. You are such a Lowry appologist

    • I was wondering if I was the only one that noticed it. The amount of bias from the writer is shocking.

    • Personally – I can’t see where the author does that!… maybe its you reading into it – something that’s not there but you want it to be there!

  5. “The inability to execute an inbound under pressure is on Calderon”

    except he had no one to pass to and no timeout to use (because Toronto had been unable to inbound the ball directly before and needed to burn the last timeout). There is no blame to be placed on that play except for the other 4 for not getting open or Philly for excellent defense

    “made the right call in giving Jose Calderon and Landry Fields the quick hook when the Sixers started making their run in the third quarter”

    why? Jose and Ed (free throw) had been the only player to score for Toronto up to that point in the 3rd. On the flip side, Holiday had responded with 2 whole buckets. He did beat Jose twice in a row – and then Lowry came in and Holiday carved him up like a Thanksgiving turkey.

    • Not to mention the only way that pass is stopped is if someone is fouled or they tip the ball out of bounds. Under the rules it was a safe play. I believe Jose was on the floor for most of the 60 points they got in the first half. Casey’s lack of confidence in Jose came back to bight him.

      • @ Hope Caper – I can’t prove, but I swear you’re Doug Smith under a different name – the same things he writes (or how he responded to comments) is eerily similar to you! OR you just love the guy so much you model yourself after him….it has to be, one of the two!

        No sure if you watched the actual game but – (from my notes I scratched down) when Calderon left the floor for a rest, the Raps were up by 6…when he entered back into the game @ 2:49 in the 2nd, the Raps were up by 17, the team finished the half up by 19. So unless JC scored or helped score those 11 points of differential in under 3 minutes – then yea I agree with you, he was on the floor for most of those 60 points…..However, if you watched the game (or go watch the game), it was Lowry who was on the floor to build the lead and it was his “running the offense” that gathered most of those 60 first half points.

        You sure you’re not Doug Smith!?? C’mon, just admit it Dougie, be a man and join the conversation as you instead of hiding behind an alias so you can get your played out opinion out there but save your company image!

        • I’m glad someone beat me to posting this. Jose is the one who kept destroying the leads and Lowry kept building them back up.

          That said, Lowry and his unit are getting most of their minutes vs the opposition backups, so of course he is going to look better. He is a starter quality PG playing against the PG backups. He is torching them at will. Just like the opposition starter PGs are torching Jose at will.

          We REALLY need to see Lowry returned to being the starter and put Jose in as the PG going up against the opposition backup PGs.

          We all know this will happen the moment the trade deadline passes. Why the F are we waiting until then?

    • @Rapsfan

      Author’ wrote: “The inability to execute an inbound under pressure is on Calderon”

      Your response: “except he had no one to pass to and no timeout to use (because Toronto had been unable to inbound the ball directly before and needed to burn the last timeout). There is no blame to be placed on that play except for the other 4 for not getting open or Philly for excellent defense”

      Amir Johnson was open at the top of the court waving his hands frantically for the pass, Calderon looks at him, then looks him off. Holds the ball over his (like a soccer pass) looks directly in the direction of Anderson (showing the ‘D’ he was passing there), then tried to thread a light floater into double coverage.
      Was it a blown call on the push?…yes you can make a good case…BUT! the ball never should have been held that long (especially since – like you said – they had just ran an in-bounds play and got the practice of doing it) and it should NEVER have been thrown into double coverage – sports 101 there, Jack!
      Go look at the video on The Raps home page at 1:40 (in the video) – its all there, the truth! Not your “how YOU want to see it” version!

    • @Rapsfan

      Holliday has been carving up everyone in the league this year, not just Lowry – his numbers and play are at an all time high, he is even gaining huge momentum in All-star talk – why are you splitting hairs on Lowry against a guy no one can seem to stop this year?? Do you ever watch other NBA games, or just the Raps?

      If Jose and Lowry’s numbers for the night were reversed, you would be on here talking JC’s game and how he is the better player to run the offense based on those numbers – how was JC’s (the assist guru), how was his assist numbers last night? How was Lowry’s?? Like it or not Lowry was the better last night and has been for at least 3 games now. Oh by the way remember you and guys like Hope Caper bragging on about “5-0″ then “10-4″ with JC running the point!??….Don’t hear ya’s talkin’ ’bout the 2-6 in the last eight with JC running the point!

      Say good bye to JC folks – he is gone….soon!!! and so will this existing, exhausting, tiring, bullish “back and forth” bout Calderon debate. I imagine the authors of this site (and others too) are sick of talking that played out convo, anyways.
      Sometimes it’s just time to say goodbye and with Calderon – its time for the Raps to say goodbye, tired of seeing his face rapped around losing season(S), regardless of how good “you” think he is!

      • lol you are making the point I’m trying to.

        Jose ability to defend goes highly abused by fans because they fail to realize PGs get destroyed by other PGs in the this league.

        There was no difference betwen Jose’s ability to ‘stop’ Holiday as there was Lowry’s. Jose’s defense isn’t as bad as people make it out to be, and Lowry’s isnt’ as good.

        • Yeah I think JC defense is pretty bad; that’s why they didn’t put him on Jrue. He is a vet and knows how to play though so I wouldn’t say JC needs to go even though I have a personal distaste for his style of play. My hatred of JC comes from his contract; not because I think he is terrible. You may think I’m just contradicting myself but as a man being paid 10 mil I don’t see why fans shouldn’t be critical of him.

        • @Rapsfan

          “lol you are making the point I’m trying to.
          Jose ability to defend goes highly abused by fans because they fail to realize PGs get destroyed by other PGs in the this league.
          There was no difference betwen Jose’s ability to ‘stop’ Holiday as there was Lowry’s. Jose’s defense isn’t as bad as people make it out to be, and Lowry’s isnt’ as good”

          No-No, your missing the point!
          Of coarse there is no difference – Holiday is doing what he did last night to ALL PG’s in the league…Not all PG’s blow by Lowry…BUT, most if not all PG’s can blow by Calderon. Just because Holiday was scoring last night doesn’t earn Calderon the “not as bad on defense” label. He is beating up on EVERYONE at the PG spot most of this year!
          Calderon IS as bad as the people complain about – it’s not just fans…it’s coaches too! I guess Coach Casey is just complaining too – when he benches Calderon during important defensive periods.
          I guess the “fan” in you will never see the “reality” that is!

  6. I am so done with this team. 2 20-pt leads blown in a matter of days, no respect from the league or refs even when we’re not shitting the bed (that apology was bullshit. Heard it before and nothing’s gonna change), 18 years of mostly (except 1 or 2 years with Vince) irrelevance in this league, and 18 years with only 1 playoff series win to show for it. My patience has run out, much like the guy who used to run this blog…this franchise is a joke from top to bottom.

  7. hey, losing the 19 pt lead was one thing…it happens but the lame inbounds with about 5.6 seconds and losing the ball was another,
    They need to get it in, avoid a foul and even if fouled they would have two shots and win it from the line like Anderson done the previous play.
    He has one screen in back court and one screen in the front courts….defense switches and play straight denial and that’s exactly what happen…loss the ball. it should have not gotta to overtime
    man at a professional level using a lame inbounds play was the main reason they loss.
    he could have used a stack just pass mid court or any man inbounds and at least he would have they whole court for his players to run to receive a pass.
    congestion here on the inbounds and break out would have secured the pass safely inbounds
    I think he was a defensive coach in Dallas but surely the people he has around him could advise a better play….a coach at high school would have made a better decision here
    might be a good time to brush up on closing out games!

  8. What happend to the raps being a playoff team WITHOUT bargs? he was the reason they sucked right? Hope he gets traded and kills it with the next team so raps fans can be happy.

  9. Am I the only one who wonders WHY!!!!! Derozen gets the ball at crunch time?

    Cant’ beat his man off the dribble and bricks more shots then Dwight howard at the free throw line.

    Derozen needs to get benched. Start Ross!!

  10. This team is a joke

  11. Your story should have ended right after saying “though replay clearly indicated that Anderson was pushed”.

    Or you could have added one more line like this:

    The Raptors demand yet another apology from the League, and each of last nights refs individually, for the atrocious job they did in officiating last nights contest.

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