Let’s see, positives, positives, focus on the positives. Hmm, nope nothing comes to mind. Wait, TJ Ford had 8 assists – but hold on, he also had 6 TO’s so that cancels that out. Mo Pete’s back in the starting lineup after grumbling about playing time, he must have made the most of his opportunity, right? Let’s check the box score: 2 points and 2 turnovers. Well that didn’t work out. Here are a couple positives though, Chris Bosh had 19 rebounds and New York lost.
In all fairness to the Raps, they were missing Anthony Parker and Jose Calderon for this one, both casualties of the New York win. But even then you’d expect a slightly better performance than the one they gave seeing motivation shouldn’t be a problem as the Rockettes returns means homecoming for Rafer Alston and Tracy McGrady. Both Alston and T-Mac did plenty damage, both are streak shooters and both were on tonight. Cousin Sean keeps telling me the Raptors can only beat the average teams, not the good ones. I would’ve liked to have given him this game as a counter-example but that’s not going to happen.
With the playoffs fast approaching, these games should serve as wake-up call for our troops who need to tighten up their defense, sharpen up their offensive sets and learn to take advantage of obvious mismatches. Chris Bosh was being guarded by a man called Chuck Hayes and still was a decided non-factor in this game, how that is even possible or plausible only he can explain. Practically speaking this game was over in the first quarter when T-Mac and Alston were at their best, building up a 17 point lead and avenging their earlier loss.
This was an expected loss, Houston is playing well and we had key players missing but what’s unexplainable is Sam Mitchell’s philosophy of outscoring the other team instead of focusing more on defense. In the post-game interview, he’s complaining that the Raptors didn’t get enough shots up.
“The only thing I can say is that it is a disappointment. We had guys in position to make some plays, but they shot the ball a little tentative. You’ve got to shoot the ball, you’ve got to drive to the basket. We got hesitant after we missed a couple of shots.”
Here’s the complete post-game interview, thanks to Chasin:
Sam, they scored 114 points on us while we scored 100, the problem isn’t the offense. I don’t care how many FG attempts you have, you’ll still have to guard T-Mac at the other end. You can’t play defense without coming out with some sort of intensity and the Rockets completely over-matched us in that department, once flustered we resorted to playing selfish and stupid basketball by committing turnovers, not challenging shots and lazily going through our sets.
This one was one to forget, on to the Knicks at MSG. One more note, Uros Slokar got in the game and scored 4 points on 2-2FG – he outplayed Mo Pete. Here’s the Game in a Flash, you can check out more of Chasin’s highlights here.