At a basic level basketball, like most sports, is a simple game.
The objective is simply to score more points than the other team in a given time period, and to score those points, your team needs to put the ball in the um…peach basket.
Of course if your team isn’t doing a very good job of the "peach-basketing," your other goal then is to stop the other team from scoring as much as possible.
Sounds pretty simple right?
Forget Tim Floyd’s junk defenses for a second (although they were pretty effective yesterday against Michigan State), box and ones, Princeton offenses, and all other manner of offensive and defensive sets; if you want to win in the game of basketball, you need to score more than the other guys.
I wanted to start this recap off this way because for the 10 of you who watched the Raptors destroy the Clippers yesterday, this game was a PERFECT living example of the above.
Toronto won because their opponent could neither score more than the Raptors, nor could they stop the Raptors FROM scoring.
The biggest walk-in-the-park game for the Raps in months, and a 100 to 76 win.
Now let’s not get carried away, it’s the Clippers we’re talking about here. To get a really good idea of how this team has operated this season, see this article by Mr. Bill Simmons.
If this isn’t the biggest mess of a franchise in the league, wait, in league HISTORY, than call me a Vancouver Grizzly. I mean, on paper, Zach Randolph, Baron Davis, Marcus Camby, Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman and Al Thornton looks ok; it should at least mean a good jump in most categories in your fantasy league!
But of course the game ain’t played on paper, as experts are so prone to say, and both clubs that took to battle yesterday at the ACC are perfect examples of this.
Here we had a Toronto Raptors squad that was supposed to make major noise in the East, playing for its 25th win. And the Clippers, well they were shooting for win number 18. It wasn’t pretty, but for Raps fans, the end result was at least a W. (Oh, and pizza for the 7,000 or so in attendance.)
So did win number 25 really mean anything, or tell us fans anything we didn’t already know? The one thing that has stood out from my perspective is the second combo of Pops, Graham, Marion and Roko, who when played together, always seem to give the Raps an edge. This group is more athletic than most, and tend to cause mismatches at their various spots on the floor. Can Bryan Colangelo keep most of this group around next season? That’s part of this off-season’s million-dollar question of course, but I’ve found that they, along with Andrea Bargnani, have been the lone bright spot for the team of late.
In fact, I’d love to say that there were lots of positives to take away from the game (point guard play from Toronto, Bosh’s all-around game, Marion getting out on the break, even O’Bryant) but we’ve seen this movie so many times now. Until the Dinos go on a five-game winning streak, I’m keeping my mouth closed.
Besides, with yesterday’s win, Toronto is now back in a tie for the seventh worst record in the league with Golden State. And as I’ll be discussing in our weekly draft stock watch tomorrow, seventh might not cut it anymore.
No, I’m going to see if the team comes out and lays the proverbial egg on Wednesday against the Bucks, and then we’ll go from there. Four of Toronto’s next five games are against clubs with a combined 111 and 169 record, so there’s ample opportunity to show and prove.
At some point fans need to see some consistency, and this season has been anything but that.