If the Houston game is considered one of the worst outings of the season, then sign me up for this supposed torture. Chris Paul was limited to 1-of-10 shooting. The Rockets were held to their third lowest 3-point attempts total of the season. Toronto turned a 22-point deficit at the 5:00-mark in the 2nd quarter, into a 1-point lead at the 4:46-mark of the 3rd.
Yes, the Raptors lost. Yes, the bench hit a new low of ineptitude. Yes, the Rockets may have provided a blueprint on how to beat Toronto in the playoffs. Wait, this is not the direction I wanted to take this. Have a listen — I swear it’s a lot less negative!
On This Week’s Episode:
Houston, you are a problem! Jeremy Lin hasn’t exactly been fitting in. He’s like a guard-version of Greg Monroe, filler before the incumbent returns from injury. Fred VanVleet’s presence is missed with the bench unit.
The game could have easily been sliced into 3 parts. Raptors started slow. Raptors come back behind some tenacious D. Raptors run out of gas when the bench starts the 4th.
Nick Nurse may be the cause AND solution of a lot of Toronto’s problems. We still haven’t seen Siakam at centre, Lowry + bench, and Gasol pick-n-rolls. His end-of-regulation play call against Detroit that led to a wide-open 3-point attempt for Gasol, provided a glimpse of hope that Nurse has some tricks up his sleeves.
Toronto has a grand total of four games remaining (out of 17) against teams with records over .500 — although, the Nets and Pistons are only one game over. The league’s easiest remaining schedule should do wonders for the Raptors. Whether it be managing minutes, integrating Gasol and Lin, or ironing out any chemistry issues, Toronto has a great opportunity to enter the playoffs fully healthy and with enough reps to have an actual identity! (knocks on wood)
Does the easy schedule open the door for Toronto to swipe the one-seed and home-court throughout the playoffs? Is that even worth trying to achieve? Dre and I debate the pros and cons of finishing in the top spot.
As Toronto witnessed last season, Milwaukee will have some high expectations, should they finish in 1st. That’s a lot to as for a team that hasn’t made it out of the first round in their last eight playoff appearances.
Pistons head coach Dwane Casey had some choice words about his former team, “It’s not like in Toronto, where they’ve never tasted it. The fans in Detroit, they know what a championship is all about.” This level of pettiness was probably very satisfying for Casey, especially after improving his record to 2-0 against the Raptors since being fired. Let us know how you felt about his comments because we all had some choice words of our own.
While Casey was an agitator through the media, another former Raptor, PJ Tucker, was an agitator on the floor. With the help of some Stone Cold music, we dove into the best (worst?) sh*t disturbers in the NBA. Which player(s) do you hate to see as an opponent, but would absolutely cherish as a Raptor? Basically, the Draymond Green All-Stars.
1:15 - Houston is a problem!
3:30 - 3 games in 1
8:09 - Tricks up the sleeves
10:17 - The Final 17
12:49 - Jay vs. Dre: Importance of the 1-seed
18:33 - High expectations
19:56 - Salty Case
22:00 - Sh*t Disturbers
31:57 - Upcoming Schedule