Game No. 10: Wizards 93, Raptors 78
Realistic Raptors fans knew there would be games like this. Naturally, the ugliest game of the Raptors’ season so far took place when I had to fill in for Joseph Casciaro to write the recap. Let’s just get through this and then never speak of this atrocity again.
This game was pretty much what I expected: two bad basketball teams playing sloppy basketball. I’m not shocked that the Raptors lost to the only remaining winless team since I predicted it in the game thread. The Raptors are going to have more downs than ups this season, and we just need to look for pearls of encouragement and entertainment to sustain us through another losing season.
1. I think the refs were so disgusted by the quality of this game that they could barely be bothered to blow the whistle at either end unless somebody drew blood. I think they just wanted to end this ugly display as quickly as possible and I can’t say I blame them.
2. DeMar DeRozan is struggling badly on offense right now, although he did save some face with a decent second-half performance. We’re really going to get a sense of his mental makeup based on how he works through this. To his credit, he’s still working hard on defense and diving for loose balls.
3. Rasual Butler continuing to start for the Raptors is an unfunny joke. It’s getting to the point where I wouldn’t blame David Stern if he fined the Raptors for blatant tanking. No team that is legitimately trying to win games can justify starting Butler and playing him 20 minutes per game.
4. Jan Vesely is fun to watch since he’s not on a team I’m rooting for. I feel like he’ll be good for some enjoyable highlights and little else his rookie season.
5. Jack Armstong’s distaste for Andray Blatche was my favorite part of watching this game on TV. Jack has every right to be disgusted by Blatche. He’s a horrible combination of wasted talent, selfishness and stupidity. You know how you can get frozen concentrated orange juice in a can? Well, Andray Blatche is like Drew Gooden, concentrated. I look forward to Blatche playing for seven or eight different teams and making about $50 million in his NBA career before he runs out of GMs dumb enough to employ him.
6. Serious question: You can have your choice between John Wall and Ricky Rubio. Who would you take? I can’t give a definitive answer to this question right now, and I would never have imagined this would be a dilemma EVER, much less this early in Rubio’s NBA career. For all the upside Wall has, his decision-making seems to have declined from his rookie season.
Raptors Player of the Game: Andrea Bargnani — 29 MP, 22 Pts, 9-16 FG, 4-4 FT, 2 Reb, 2 Ast
Wizards Player of the Game: Rashard Lewis — 27 MP, 15 Pts, 6-10 FG, 1-1 3Pt, 2-3 FT, 1 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl