Rapid Recap: Raptors Capture Atlantic Division Title Despite 108 - 100 Loss to Knicks

The Toronto Raptors nab their second Atlantic Division title in franchise history, but not in the fashion they likely wanted...

Tonight, the 2013-14 Atlantic Division Champions were crowned.

But it wasn't because of any dominant performance that sealed the deal.

The Toronto Raptors lost a 108 to 100 decision to a desperate New York Knicks team but due to a Brooklyn Nets loss to the Atlanta Hawks this evening as well, the Raptors capture the division title.

Not quite how fans imagined things going down.

Unfortunately, the Raptors put on a pretty sad display of basketball this evening and fans were left with no choice but to wait and see what the outcome of the Nets/Hawks game was.

Luckily, the Hawks prevailed and Toronto nabs only its second division title in franchise history.

However overshadowing the division title clinching was tonight's game, another showcase of some suddenly porous Raptors' defense.  The New York Knicks shot 56 per cent in the first quarter and jumped out to a decent lead, and turned up the juice again to start the third quarter, dropping 33 points on Toronto and never really looking back.

The Raptors got within five points with about 30 seconds to play but it was too little too late.  The Knicks hit all eight of their free throws after that and walked off the Air Canada Centre floor with the W.  Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 30 points and Raymond Felton, JR Smith and Iman Shumpert all had double figure nights.

But the X factor for New York in this one was Amar'e Stoudemire, who dropped a cool 24 and 11 on the Dinos.  Perhaps Doc and Marty hooked him up to a Flux Capacitor prior to the game but Stoudemire showed off some of the repertoire that made him so dominant in Phoenix, bullying Toronto inside and making life miserable for the Raptors' bigs. Toronto had no answer for Amar'e and his play carried New York anytime Carmelo seemed to cool down.

Toronto was led scoring-wise by DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry, who combined for 51 points, but they didn't get much help.

Jonas Valanciunas had a career-high 21 rebounds and was instrumental in providing the team with second-chance opportunities, but he couldn't hit a shot around the rim to save his life, going 5 of 14 on the night.

The other Raptors weren't much better, either on O or D and as noted, the Toronto big men unit of Amir Johnson, Patrick Patterson and Tyler Hansbrough was particularly non-existent this evening.

Which is indeed a problem.

This marks a couple of weeks worth of games now where Toronto has not been up to the task defensively and tonight, they couldn't generate enough offence to make up for it, something they had been able to do versus clubs like the Bucks and 76ers.  Toronto 15 of its 33 long-range bombs but was awful in the mid-range, finishing under 40 per cent from the field when all was said and done.

And while the club nabs that vaunted Atlantic Division title (sarcasm alert), it drops into fourth in the Conference thanks to Chicago's comeback win over the Detroit Pistons tonight.  Toronto can still jump back into third but a fourth place finish would mean a likely Nets/Heat 1-2 combo in the first two rounds of the playoffs, instead of a Wizards or Bobcats/Pacers combo.

Not good.

What was good?

The tweet of the night, or tweets in this case, all about a certain Mr. Ramsay.

Gordon Ramsay is going up against the only restaurant that KO'd him on Kitchen Nightmares tonight. It's going to be EPIC!. I TVO'd it!

I am in an 'Ed Davis State of Mind'...

youve never met an opponent like them.... delivered a straight up KO to Ramsay!

I am in an 'Ed Davis State of Mind'...

by Jenge on Apr 11, 2014 | 7:44 PM

Hey, we needed something to distract us from what was a pretty awful display of basketball tonight at one of the worst possible times...

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