The Raptors could have been the first team this season to take down the Warriors, but they fumbled away multiple chances down the stretch, and the Warriors now sit at 12-0 tying the 96-97 Bulls for the best start by a defending champ.
For those of us that watch each and every game, it couldn't get more stereotypical Raps down the stretch. A complete breakdown of the offence. Wacky rotations from Dwane Casey. Hero ball from DeMar DeRozan. And of course, it wouldn't be a Raptors game that swings away from the team late due to infuriatingly questionable calls from the officials.
Surely the refs will apologize for the blown calls down the stretch for the astonishing third time this season. But will that really change anything? Of course not. And while those missed calls may have had an impact late, there were plenty of other mistakes that did the Raptors in and are less mundane to talk about.
After a second quarter in which the wheels came off, the Raps fought back in the third and made it a game in the fourth, due in large part to the aggressiveness on both ends from Cory Joseph who was the Raps MVP tonight.
But then #4thQuarterCasey took over and ruined any semblance of flow the offence had going by handing the reins over to DeMar DeRozan.
It really does feel like Groundhog Day talking about DeRozan in the fourth quarter of close games, as seemingly everyone but him knows exactly what's coming. Prolonged dribbling and probing on the wing, followed by either a) a fall-away jumper on the baseline, b) a double team that results in a steal, or c) an unforced error dribbling it off his foot. In many cases it's a combination of those things that lead to a turnover and fast break going the other way.
As no changes seem to be coming in the near future, this will continue to be our viewing experience, even as excruciatingly painful as it is.
Wednesday night the Raps travel to Utah, and will be looking to keep their heads above water against a talented Jazz team.