The preseason has ended for the Toronto Raptors and it ended the way it started...with a L. With the regular season right around the corner let's hope the preseason performance has no bearing on what lies ahead.
Well I am happy that's over.
Now the games count.
The Raps played their last preseason game in Sioux Falls, SD and by the looks of things it wasn't pretty. The Raps, whose starters (save for Hedo Turkoglu who twisted his right ankle) played heavy minutes, lost to an undermanned and less talented Minnesota Timberwolves squad missing K Love and Al Jeff.
So what went down? Hard to say....given that the game was no-where to be found on TV or online. As a result, and for the last time this season we are left trying to break down a box score.
If the stats tell the story it looks to have been a bit of a nightmare for the Raps.
Try some of this on for size:
- The Raps shot 40% from the floor and 10% from beyond the arc;
- The Raps had 12 assists to their whopping 22 turnovers; and
- Andrea Bargnani had more personal fouls(6) than rebounds (5) which is quite the accomplishment when he was matched-up against the likes of Olek Pecherov and Ryan Hollins.
All that aside however, the most telling stat from last night is each player's PT. It looks like Jay Triano was trying to distribute minutes like he would during a regular season match-up.
- Bosh - 36 mins
- Calderon - 39 mins
- Bargnani - 28 (fouled out)
- Jack - 26 mins
- Wright - 27 mins
It looks like this was a true test of what the Raps have and where they are as a team...and the results were not good. Having your big players get beat by the likes of Corey Brewer, Jonny Flynn and the aforementioned Hollins can't be good for the confidence going into the regular season.
Of course you don't have to look too far for an excuse for last nights loss. One could point to Hedo turning his ankle which limited him as a result. One could easily point to poor performance by Antonie Wright who is just getting back and trying to catch the feeling. Or, one could just chalk it up to a bad team effort which the stats indicate that it was. I would love to hear from someone who was at the game and get their impressions.
Whatever the reason this loss has got to be a little disappointing. The team definitely doesn't have any momentum built up heading into game 1 and there have been very few indications that they are going to be ready from the opening tip.
Actually when I reflect on the preseason as a whole I have a hard time not believing that this team isn't going to struggle in a big way to kick things off. There has been little to hang one's hopes on thus far. The offense has struggled at times, the defense looks only marginally better and the turnover numbers have been very high. Other than the fact that this team has solid depth is there anything else that has been impressive in your eyes?
Right now I see a mediocre team. I am not trying to be a downer on the situation, I just think that is the reality and a good summary of what has been shown thus far.
Perhaps the best approach is to move on to the regular season and leave the past three weeks or so behind us. Let's focus on the fact that the Raps are at the top of the Atlantic Division standings right now and hope that they put up a fight to stay there.
Everything resets as of now.
Based on what happened in Sioux Falls.....good thing.