I feel like I have seen every bad movie the Raptors have produced a thousand times at this point. In the past I would have deeply regretted and likely never missed a Raptor game for almost anything. When I started doing this over five years ago watching games never felt like work or I was missing out on something I would rather be doing. These days I don’t feel all that emotionally invested in games anymore.
Yesterday I would peek in on the Raptors from time to time. It seemed like one of those typical Raptor games where they would dig into a huge hole, climb out of it and get thrown back in it as soon as they got out. What I was watching instead of the Raptors worked out much better in the end with Hamilton Tiger Cats winning an exciting CFL playoff game. Hamilton has not been to a CFL Grey Cup in 14 years so it was pretty exciting to see them make it.
Which is getting back to the Raptors makes me wonder what is that exciting moment for this team that makes it all worth it in the end? I just can’t be excited about this group or its future to any degree. I think the way they are going about playing basketball is flawed on more nights than it isn’t. They are 4-7 to start the season and it should surprise no one based on how they have played with such little consistency from moment to moment forget about game to game.
The lack of ball movement and team play is noticeable almost every night they hit the floor. Just 17 assists yesterday in a game that went past regulation. While Rudy Gay does have an ability to make that big shot to tie or win a game realistically his play for the other 47 minutes of a game makes those opportunities not all that frequent. Gay and DeRozan combined for 59 points yesterday but took 54 shots to achieve that total making only 23 which work out to a percentage of 42.5. This by their standards is actually not bad.
I read Phil Jackson’s book over the summer “Eleven Rings” which in it he talks about team building. The Raptors are a bunch of individuals hoping to winning and trying to do it as individuals. Jackson in his book talks about the idea of getting a team to understand that it is about the sum of the parts that makes a team great. Now Jackson had some of the best individual pieces you could hope to have. Still even with less level talent the principals in his book still apply.
It is about making the right play and having faith in someone else to do the same. The Raptors clearly lack this and it becomes evident when you see DeRozan trying to will a team that was lifeless against Chicago. Same as when you see Gay forcing up a shot rather than making a pass out of a tough situation.
The Raptors are like that stubborn kid that wants to do things his own way because clearly he knows what is best. What some older person says just doesn’t apply to them. One day that kid will wake up and say why didn’t he listen to that advice. In the case of the Raptors that realization will likely come far too late for this group to remain together going forward.
I am tired of expecting the worst and seldom being disappointed. Some would say well your jaded and negative but in reality I am just realistic about the history I have seen. I often find that I always look at the bigger picture rather than the individual event. While the Raptors often make the individual event interesting and exciting in the larger scheme of things they are not getting it done. A lot of teams would never have got that game to overtime yesterday but in the bigger picture it still winds up a loss for them at the end of the day.
We all finally have some time to take a breath with the Raptors off until Wednesday. I think after this start to the season we all could use it. This is not to say I am personally surprised by this start at all. I have expected it from pretty much the time the schedule was made public. It is more about the way the Raptors have been playing that has been frustrating to me than the actual win-loss record.