The Toronto Raptors lose their fourth road game of the season with a ho-hum effort against the now 6-4 Boston Celtics. The HQ's Chris Walder has more on yesterdays poor overall performance.
Where do I even start?
Boston shot 56% from the field and 40% from behind the arc, compared to Toronto's 42% and 36%.
The Raptors bench trio of Linas Kleiza, Terrence Ross and John Lucas III scored just as many points as the team's top three offensive weapons at the present time in Andrea Bargnani, DeMar DeRozan and Jose Calderon (35 points).
When you add all of those ingredients together, what you end up with is another Toronto blowout which sees the team lose it's seventh of the year in a 107-89 thrashing courtesy of the Boston Celtics.
Guard Jason Terry hit four three-pointers to finish with 20 points. Paul Pierce added 19 of his own and rookie Jared Sullinger came up huge off the bench with a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Toronto came out of the gates so flat, they were making walls jealous (my attempt at comedy, I'm here all week).
They allowed Boston to jump out to a 30-17 lead on 74% shooting from the floor. The Raptors rallied in the second quarter on the backs of their bench, as the team's second-unit outscored Boston's 20-0, with 11 of those points coming from John Lucas III and his three-point shooting (3 for 5).
The Raptors got to within two points at 63-61 with 3:31 left in the third, but an 11-1 run by Boston to end the quarter and start the fourth put the game out of reach.
Rajon Rondo's 20 assist performance was his second on the year. He also had 20 assists against the Philadelphia 76ers on November 7th.
He's just four games away from tying John Stockton for the second-longest streak in NBA history of games with 10 or more assists. Magic Johnson currently holds the record at 46.
I'm sure he would love to have Jose Calderon guard him on a nightly basis, don't you think?
Not to sound like a broken record on the subject, but O where art thou, Andrea Bargnani? "Il Mago" finished with a team-high 15 points, but he turned over the ball four times and grabbed just two rebounds.
In comparison, seldom-used Quincy Acy grabbed four boards in just 12 minutes of playing time.
We all know Andrea isn't a solid rebounder, but effort can play a major role in the amount of rebounds one gets in a game.
The effort wasn't there on this day, to say the least.
With Kyle Lowry out, Bargnani needs to step up big time to help keep this Raptors team afloat. Time will tell.
Toronto won't have much time to regroup, as the Orlando Magic await at the Air Canada Centre later today.
Tip-off is at 1:00 pm and I'm not sure we need three keys. The team needs a better overall effort from its starters right from the get go so let's start there. However that's not going to be easy considering we haven't seen it consistently yet this season, and yep, they just played.
You've got to love back-to-back afternoon outings.
"Raises the roof".