That was ugly. I'm seeing a torrent of tweets pouring out expressing hope that this was just "one of those games." Look, I don't know if that's true or not, but I feel like I aged 25 years watching that horrid basketball game. When your team makes you want to punch yourself in the face for being a fan, that's never a good sign. Full credit to the Celtics for banding together after their starting PG got traded earlier today.
For the first quarter and a half, the Raptors were rekindling memories of the Milwaukee game on Monday. They weren't asserting their authority and let themselves engage in a back and forth battle against an inferior team. The game lacked flow due to the high volume of fouls being called. The Celtics took full advantage and went into the break leading 45-41. Then the wheels absolutely came off. The Raptors reverted to the Rudy Gay days as they got outscored 28-15 in the 3rd quarter. The ball was sticking, the movement was lacking, and no one could get anything going offensively. Factor in some truly woeful rebounding (58-44 Celtics) and you start to see why we arrived at this result. We also got to witness the Jared Sullinger show. Someone forgot to tell me that the Raptor bigs turned into pylons overnight. Sullinger abused them all game to the tune of 25 points and 20 rebounds. The Raptors tried to show some fight in the final frame, but couldn't quite bridge the gap and took an L that absolutely sucks the wind out of their sails.
- The Bigs: Want some ugly numbers? Amir Johnson, JV, Patrick Patterson and Chuck Hayes COMBINED to go 5-17 shooting for 15 points and 23 rebounds. Jared Sullinger had 25 and 20 on his own. I don't want to overreact based on one game, but what's going to happen when the Raptors face the likes of Kevin Love, Pekovic, Z-Bo, etc.
- Free Throw Shooting: As a fan, I find it unbelievably frustrating to watch two things: 1) offensive rebounds and 2) missed free throws. The Raptors went a 12-25 from the free throw line today. That was bad in middle school. That was inexcusable in high school. I can't express how unacceptable it is at the NBA level. When you combine all the ugliness presented, it's astounding that the Raptors were even in this game with under 2 minutes left.