King James earns himself another triple double - Mike Ehrmann
Another A+ effort against a team that has a lot more talent, which gave the Raptors a fighting chance, but as Kinnon Yee takes a look, this is all emblematic of a larger issue.
But it counts for little.
The Raptors were hopelessly outgunned, put up a really valiant effort, but just couldn't pull out a win in OT.
You've heard it it four more times this year, and two more in the past week.
What it came down to again, was that the Raptors simply didn't have somebody to close out the game.That's not something new. There simply isn't a person who can be clutch in the dying minutes of the game.
How bad is it?
The Raptors are 1-16 in game situations where they're behind by 5 pts or less with 3 minutes left in the game.
If the Raptors are within 5 points (ahead or behind) within that same period, they're 7-16.
Good news is that they seem to be able to close out the game if they have a slight margin, but forget getting a comeback. The Raptors don't have the right people to close out games.
That speaks to this team's composition. Simply paying DeMar DeRozan the money to be that guy isn't going to make a difference. He just doesn't have that ability right now. Kyle Lowry probably thinks he can be that guy, but he can barely make his own shot most nights since his hot streak to begin the season.
You could take a look at last night's game and say that at least the Raptors played with effort and made it interesting against a team they didn't have any business fighting against.
The Raptors made a game of it and should be commended. However, it was very much a mixed bag.
For example, you got some balanced scoring from most of your players, especially from Jose Calderon who scored a very efficient 17 points. Of course, he only finished with three assists and didn't take a single shot in overtime.
And while both Alan Anderson and Terrence Ross managed to get into double figures, they both took some ill advised shots over the course of the game. Alan Anderson in particular, cost us any overtime chance as he was a horrid 2-8 in OT, and took 6 3-pointers during that time.
I can't even start to look at the rebounding numbers. The Raptors only managed 28 rebounds to Miami's 53, which includes double figures from three of Miami's five starters. The Heat's Udonis Haslem, Chris Bosh, and LeBron James all managed to get their share, with King James finishing with a triple double for good measure.
In the end though, it's another loss and another wasted opportunity.
Which begs the question, "What now?"
Well first, there needs to be a change in thinking.
The most efficient scorers in this game were Jose Calderon, Amir Johnson, Ed Davis, and Landry Fields. Now granted, Amir Johnson fouled out of the game and most of the shots made by Ed Davis and Landry fields were created thanks to Jose Calderon.
However, for these four players to only take one shot between them in overtime is ridiculous.
Not only that, but for the month of January, the people who have had the highest True Shooting percentage have been Jose Calderon, Kyle Lowry, Quincy Acy, Amir Johnson, and Ed Davis.
It's something that Dwane Casey has to start enforcing more.
Raptors have improved slightly in their defense compared to earlier in the year, but they are still a team that dies on inefficiencies. When the team takes low percentage shots and stops going into the paint to score, they're in trouble.
Otherwise, the only other option is to increase that margin of error.
I can't wait for that trade deadline to come.