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The Morning After: Raps-Nets Post-Game Reactions

A few thoughts on the team's second consecutive loss at home.

Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The Raptors have lost back-to-back games to open this five game home stand. With the Clippers, Spurs and Wizards to come, they'll have to put in much better efforts before the All-Star break to avoid a longer losing streak. A few quotes and notes from last night's loss to Brooklyn:

  • Dwane Casey: "We had some schemes in place, we didn't get it locked in"...."For whatever reason, we've lost that work ethic, that fight, that grit, and we have to get it back"...."We all get frustrated, but again, if we don't make shots, we have to get back on the defensive end"...."We want to outscore people, and you're not going to win too many games in this league doing that"
  • DeMar DeRozan: "Tonight was frustrating. Last two games, we're not playing like ourselves"
  • on his flagrant foul and ejection: "It was just a hard foul. They got to rumbling like they were the number one team in the East. I was wasn't going to let them get anything easy."
  • Lou Williams is now 2-for-23 on the home stand. It's fun when he has it going, not so much when he's on the wrong side of his streaky shooting, especially when the rest of the team is struggling as well.
  • DeMar has been fine since his return from injury, but against the Nets, he only got to the free throw line three times. He had shot at least eight free throw attempts in five of his last six games.
  • Lowry looked great in the first quarter, but struggled to keep that up in the second half. After he fulfills his duties as All-Star starter in New York, the few days off after might be good for him.
  • Jonas played in the fourth. He did say earlier in the day during practice that he's not frustrated at his inconsistent fourth quarter minutes, and admits that he needs to work on being quicker.
  • At this point, wins are important, they always are. But a better effort against the next three quality opponents would be encouraging enough. As Casey said earlier this week, it's a shot making league. The Raptors aren't going to shore up their defense overnight, nor are they going to suddenly become a team that has Jonas as their focal point on offense in the fourth quarter. If guys get their shots to fall, the Raptors will win a few games. A lot of these problems we're focusing on now have been there all season. Of course, they were much less of a concern when the team was 24-7.
  • The Bulls and Cavs are now tied in the standings. If Cleveland takes the Central Division, they will guarantee themselves a top-four seed, which is a plus because it means Toronto (who will get a top four seed by virtue of winning the Atlantic Division) won't see LeBron in the first round. But the possibility exists that Toronto might face Chicago in a 4-5 matchup in round one.
  • With Atlanta now eight games up on Toronto (who, despite all the doom and gloom, are in second place!), Toronto will want to fend off the better of Chicago/ Cleveland or Washington to get either the second or third seed. It will guarantee them a much easier first round matchup.