This past weekend saw the release of Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire, a small movie with some recognizable faces set entirely in a derelict warehouse in Boston in the 1970s. It’s about an arms deal gone wrong, and spends most of its run time with this ramshackle rogues gallery as they turn on each other, guns blazing. Ultimately, the film involves a lot of gunshots that miss.
Heading into the playoffs, the Raptors had reason for optimism. They were one of three teams (along with the Spurs and Warriors) ranked in both the top 10 for offensive and defensive ratings. That’s usually an indication of future success, quality play, and competitive output. The numbers suggested the Raptors could hang with anyone in the league.
After four post-season games against the Bucks, those same numbers look a bit different now:
Increase/decrease in pace, OffRtg, DefRtg & NetRtg from regular season to playoffs. pic.twitter.com/nEMhgBPHCW— John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) April 24, 2017
(Shout out to Dr. John Schuhmann, who again finds himself in Toronto covering a hapless Raptors team trying its damnedest not to shoot themselves in the foot.)
So, the Raptors find themselves in a different space now. They were heavily favoured heading into the series, but then tumbled into a 2-1 hole after a disastrous Game 3 outing. Their offense has been routinely uneven, despite the continued effectiveness of their defense (Game 3 aside, obviously). They wanted to come into the first round with everything locked, loaded and ready to fire for a quick series — an outcome proving Toronto was a legit threat in the East. Instead, things have gotten almost comically ugly. I mean, I’m laughing (through the stress). Basketball is fun.
The hope here, unlike a film as darkly comic as Free Fire, is that someone — ideally the Raptors, hahahaha — will get out alive. We’ve already learned today that Kyle Lowry is experiencing some back stiffness, and that Cory Joseph has a cold of some sort. What else will this game have in store? How confident are you?
Let’s go to the poll. It’s Raptors vs. Bucks Game 5. And it’s a big deal.
Who wins Game 5?
This poll is closed
Raptors, guns blazing
Bucks, shoot me