That was the longest subway ride ever. From Eglinton to Union. It seemed like 4 hours but it was only 20 minutes. Just like that last play. I’m just sad, not even upset, just extremely sad over what just happened. It’s too painful to go over the details, let alone the final play. It flat-out hurts and depresses to even think about what the possibilities were if Calderon’s poss to Bosh would’ve been an inch or two higher. Not even a bad play coming out of a timeout, pick ‘n roll and Bosh seals off his man, which he did, but the service was a little too low. That pass is made and the Raptors visit Cleveland in round 2. It really is that painfully simple and straightforward. I don’t even have the energy to break for a paragraph. Here, I’ll do it.
We played well, so well that I wonder how we were so bad in the previous two games in this building. I guess it has to do with having the perennial backs against the perennial wall, something about survival that brings about the primal fear and fights to stave of extinction. Fights so hard that you actually believe that they might come through, that we can pull off a win so big that it can define a franchise. So big that it can forever bury the betrayal of Vince Carter, so big that it was too good to be true. I had no doubt in my mind that we would score in the final eight seconds, I was sure, sure as there is snow in Canada, sure as RJ is gay, sure as Calderon has balls, sure as rice is white, sure as Kidd is a great player, sure as Parker is a keeper, sure as Bargnani is a future star, sure as….well, you get the point, I was pretty sure. But the man I least expected to make a fundamental mistake actually made one as Calderon gifted the Nets a turnover. Season over.
I don’t even feel like going over how we were schooled after every timeout or stoppage of play, how Anthony Parker missed two crucial FTs after getting fouled on a 3 pointer, how VC almost cost the Nets the game with an ill-advised shot, how we left Nachbar wide open so many times, these are all moot points. The season is over and there is nothing we can do, no chant or cheer that will bring that back. It’s all over. There’s no point breaking down this game except to say that we played hard, we played competitive and even outplayed the Nets, a few lucky bounces, a couple missed FTs, a few bad calls, it all worked against us today, but I can say that I’m proud of the way we came out, we went down fighting and it was just a few funny bounces of the ball that saw the Nets through.
Is Sam Mitchell going to be back?. Probably not. Colangelo wants a coach of his choosing and I think he’s seen enough mistakes by Mitchell to have the motivation to find one. Mitchell being in demand also helps to justify looking for a new coach. I want Mitchell out because his offensive sets are a joke (even though those curls were effective today) and I don’t think players are being utilized to the best of their ability. It doesn’t matter, too early in the off-season, which I don’t believe just started.
Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Let’s Go Raptors.