So many things that have become almost clichés to describing the Raptors lack of success over the years in this one. It starts with the news that Derrick Rose would not play in this one. This gives the Raptors in theory a better opportunity at winning. This is responded too with a flat and awful start from the team. The Raptors could not buy a basket in the first half of this game for the most part.
Down 45-31 at the half to one of the best defensive squads in the league is pretty much like being down 28 to someone else. As the Raptors hit rock bottom in this game DeMar DeRozan seemed to rise up and tried to refuse to allow this team to lose.
In a sense that is part of the problem with this team in a way. DeRozan was fantastic in his effort, tying his career high with 37 at the end of it all. It is people trying to do things as individuals and not as a group that is the major problem with this team. That may be a simple answer but a correct one and it applies to both sides of the ball. Rudy Gay was decent in a “Robin Role” to DeRozan’s “Batman” effort.
The frustration with this team was evident both on social media and in the building last night at the ACC. It was referenced by those in attendance the Raptors were booed coming off the floor on man occasions last night. Those same boos turned to cheers with DeRozan’s effort in the fourth. Even when it is logically impossible to comeback fans will rally behind effort.
I find myself watching this team make the same silly mistakes I have seen past versions of the Raptors make. I have grown very tired of these clichéd and predictable performances.
The Raptors are who I thought they were and even though a season of dismantling and waiting for the NBA Lottery is not fun it makes the most sense. This team is not even close to good enough to be and more importantly grow into a contender. The collection is a group that lacks the team skills it takes to be successful. Liking each other and getting along is one thing but playing like a team on the floor is another.
Bulls won this one 96-80 as they had it on cruise control from most of the fourth quarter. Up next is Portland on Sunday. I might miss this one with Ti-Cats playing at the same time. I really want to spend time with my mother and share that experience with her. Will I miss much with the Raptors against the Blazers? I would guess probably not if they perform anything close to how they did on this night.
Here is what DeRozan and Casey had to say after a very poor effort for the Raptors:
The Raptors 4-6 record is a lot better than 4-19 but this team is still significantly flawed and not heading in the right direction. Casey said that game "Wasn't us" well I respectfully disagree that is exactly what the Raptors are and have been.