Monday, January 2, 2012
The Raptors need a closer.
Last night, it was Andrea Bargnani.
For those that have actually tuned into every game so far, you know that this year's version of the Raptors play differently. The obvious stats don't show it, but there's something pleasantly refreshing about this team on both sides of the court. Ask the opposing coaches and they'll tell you, the Raptors are not a team you can sleep on.
The Raps have been in every game up until the home stretch. Suddenly, we're unable to get easy baskets, things slow down, and the other team goes to their closers to make buckets.
In Orlando, their unique perimeter approach had players like Reddick, Anderson, and Turkoglu finish the game out, while New York went to Melo down the stretch.
We were unable to overcome it against Orlando, but thankfully Bargs was able to come through at Madison Square Garden.
I'm now convinced the Raps will keep this up, and be in a lot of close games this year, and if the playoffs are a goal - then Andrea will have to get used to this.
Tidbit N Tweet of the Night: Raptors are now 1-0 on the second game of a back-to-back. We'll keep track of this all year, especially in a shortened season.
This is the first time #Raptors have held NY under 90 points since January 19, 2005 (W, 99-81) - @RaptorsPR
What caught my eye? I'm one of DeMar's biggest fans, but even his loyalists can't help but notice certain trends that are occurring with him in regards to the defensive end. Both in the last possession of the first half against Dallas and the end of the game against New York, Anthony Carter was subbed in for DeMar. On top of that, New York felt like it was more important to place Fields on Jose instead of DeRozan down the stretch, meaning they were totally cool with hiding Douglas on him too.