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chris bosh weak
Chris Bosh gave a weak performance which
cost his team

F*****g garbage. That’s the best way to describe the Raptors performance on Friday night. We didn’t deserve to win nor did we want to win and rightfully lost to a team who knew exactly what they wanted to do and how they were going to do it. We responded to Jersey’s aggressiveness by being passive on defense, turning the ball over and taking horrible shots. We barely attacked their defensive frontline which somebody should remind Bosh, at last check, sucked. There’s plenty of blame to go around, but one particular player should step forward, assume responsibility, raise his hand up and say, “We lost this game because of me”. And that player is Chris Bosh. For a guy who talked about understanding how playoff basketball is meant to be played, Bosh appeared unsure, weak, unready and most significantly, not up to the task of stealing back home-court advantage.

Toronto’s basketball superstar allowed himself to be shut down by the likes of Mikki Moore, Jason Collins, Josh Boone and the archaic Clifford Robinson who all had success guarding the young all-star. Bailing out defenses by taking 20 footers will never do you any good but if you take 15 seconds of the shot-clock trying to “make your move” and allow the defense all the time in the word to setup, it’s offensive suicide. That’s exactly what Bosh did on Friday night. When the Raptors did make any significant runs, he never touched the ball and when he did, it was no doubt a run-killer. The best example of this was when he stepped out of bounds after holding the ball for about 10 seconds in the middle of a run where NJ was under pressure. NJ scored on the ensuing possession effectively gaining back the control/tempo of the game.

Prior to Game 2 Bosh talked about how he understood playoff basketball and how he understood that every possession counts and how even though you’re not going to score, you still have to play a role on each possession. Well, he did play a role and it was anything but positive. I don’t know how much of the blame should go to Mitchell for not using Bosh properly and not ensuring that the talent on his team actually has an effect on the outcome of the game, but it was evident that Chris Bosh was not ready to play the game and was not prepared to handle New Jersey. Chris Bosh should have brutally attacked the rim and either scored or given himself a chance to be fouled early on when the Nets went up 9-0. It would’ve set the tone for the game and maybe he himself would’ve been motivated to show up. It never happened and Bosh’s night sunk into meaninglessness soon after through horrid shot-selection, poor spacing and a lack of desire to assert himself. Bosh a franchise player? I think not.

jason kidd raptors nets
Jason Kidd faked a knee injury to give the Raptors false hope

Jason Kidd has a bad knee? My ass he does. That was a total play on the parts of the Nets; giving the Raptors false hope that Kidd might not play – the guy had 16 points, 19 rebounds and 16 assists and wasn’t even trying. In a lot of aspects this game was too similar to Game 1 where the Raptors defense was non-existent and the Nets scored at will on the break. I just realized that Richard Jefferson is the type of player Raptors fans want Joey Graham or Mo Pete to be like, but it’ll never happen. I thought Morris Peterson played well, he didn’t score many points but he played hard on both ends and did his part, it’s just that none of his teammates had a good enough defensive game to compete for the game.

sam mitchell
Sam Mitchell doesn’t fool me
How many plays do you need to have to win Coach of The Year? None. Sam Mitchell offense looks eerily similar to the one I play when I pick up four random guys at the local gym. We had a sizzling third quarter start where we cut the lead down to nine and immediately you might’ve thought that Sam Mitchell had made some adjustments at halftime. Don’t be fooled, we just made some shots and the Nets missed some looks. That’s all. There were literally no changes made at halftime. Bosh still wasn’t into the offense, NJ still beat us down the floor, there was no help on VC, no effort being made to stop Kidd and there weren’t any plays run for Parker. The halftime may as well have been a 20-second timeout. After watching them play tonight, it’s hard to believe this team won 47 games with a coach whose offense relies on hoping that his players make the right decisions rather than teaching them what they are. We’ve gotten by without having any offensive sets or plays all season but this is the playoffs where defense counts for something. Our lack of defensive philosophy combined with having no plan for playing the Nets is killing us the most, even more than Chris Bosh. We have not even attempted to stop their transition game in two games, how can a coach explain this?

Vince Carter had an unbelievable game but that was to be expected after two sub-par performances. He took over in the first and fourth quarter to thwart any hopes of a Toronto comeback. He was great, let’s just leave it at that. Jose Calderon and TJ Ford played well in spells and played horrible in spells. I don’t really blame TJ for jacking up shots midway through the shot-clock since he probably knows that nobody else is seriously considering taking the shot anyways. Bosh was shying away from the ball so TJ was like, “somebody’s got to do something”. Same for Calderon who had an unusual six turnovers in the game but did make all six of the shots he took. Those two kept this game from being a complete blowout.

Andrea Bargnani. How the might have fallen? Forget about deer in the headlights look, he’s got the look of a man who’s about to face the firing squad right after the judge turned down the appeal. Did they take out his appendix or his heart? He’s playing like absolute shit, his jumper his flat, his lateral quickness is gone, he’s not hustling and he’s not defending. When the game was in question he didn’t do anything but allow himself to get caught in screens, accidentally set picks on his own teammates and generally speaking f**k up any offensive and defensive possession he was involved in. Bostjan Nachbar is stepping up for the Nets, Andrea Bargnani is not. That is one of the major reasons we are down 2-1 in this series.So now we need Game 4 as bad as Mitchell needs a playbook. So we’ve had one bad game from which we managed to claw out a win and two exactly similar horrible games. Obviously we need to improve defensively if we have any chance of beating NJ in NJ. GET BACK ON DEFENSE should be the cry in practice followed by TAKE ADVANTAGE OF BOSH BEING GUARDED BY SCRUBS. We need to find a solution for Jason Kidd. Kidd can score in the post on TJ Ford, we know that. Put Calderon on him and if TJ Ford does defend Kidd, do not double. Kidd will score on Ford once, twice maybe three times but he is far more dangerous when he’s passing out of the double team and racking up 16 assists so DO NOT DOUBLE KIDD BUT PLAY HIM TOUGH is another banner that should be hanging in practice. As I said a few posts ago, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to stick someone like Graham or Mo Pete on Kidd to make his life a little more difficult.

I’m driving down to Game 4. I hope I’m not doing this for nothing.