Gettin to know you....getting to know all about youSomewhere near the 5 minute mark of the second quarter it became clear a heavy diagnosis of this game was not going to be required. The Raps are down heavy and showing no life of bringing it back. If you can't hit open shots or stop the other team, overcoming a 20 pt deficit is going to be an uphill battle.
A quick summary of what happened tonight before i get too distracted....out rebounded, not boxing guys out, Mike Bibby is living the Brent Barry dream, we can't get our own misses, TO's, we love jump shots but sadly we can't hit three's. More on this later. We can't hit three's. This is disturbing trend #3.
So where are we? Getting to know our team is about where. TJ, despite some awful turnovers got his shot selection under control tonight. Lots of kicking out to Fred Jones, who has decided he's a three point shooter. I think Fred needs to take a step or two closer in order to get the D up in the air. He's sitting out there in Mo's office hucking up bricks. Pass it, pump it and drive it. He pumps it but he's so open there's nobody to jump at him. A career 35% shooter from downtown has got to play smarter.
At least he's not John Salmons. This guy 'screwd us over' by accepting and then rejecting our 5 year $25 million dollar offer. It's old news but let's all take another joyously deep sigh of relief. Ahhh. Down 20+ all game you have to look forward to something. I look forward to 5 more years of not having John Salmons on our team.
What we do have is Garbajio who's supposed to be able to shoot. In pre-season I was over excited about not only his look, but his casual way of droping bombs and not looking back even when he started slow. Now? Well now he's quickly losing PT to Chris Humphries and his confidence is sinking fast. I think I have to stop talking about him and he'll bounce back. It's just a slump. A big long early slump.
Mo Pete is the benefactor of the Garbajio early season jitters, as he's throwing up more three's than I even predicted (I've got him down for 8/game). Tonight he's 4-11 and the team is 6-24. If we can't shoot three's we are in big trouble. Bargnani can hit three's (maybe) but it doesn't matter if he's not on the floor. Bosh can shoot three's but that's just a nice to have. Parker and Garbage man have to knock it down. This is going to get real ugly real fast if nobody can hit wide open 3's.
The last nugget to note from the early season is Chris Bosh's FT shooting. Bosh went from
03-04 -> 70%
04-05 -> 76%
05-06 -> 82%
06-07 -> 66%
I know it's early but how did Bosh get better every year? One would assume by spending a lot of time on the line. And now we hear he spends a lot of time working on his 3's. I can't help but wonder if we are sacrificing FT% for 3Pt%. If so, we're in trouble. Hopefully it's a 'blip'. Nobody is talking about it because we all know it's early and he'll be back up to 82%.
The last piece of Raptor insight that we can only hope starts to become obvious is that the Hump doesn't pass. The Hump is out there working hard, taking charges, going for blocks, leaving his feet when he shouldn't, and just working hard with limited thought. But you have to know your team. When Hump gets an offensive rebound (or a pass) his mind immediately starts cycling through his three plays. None of those plays involve passing. Everybody knows this, so why stand around? Why set a screen? GO TO THE HOOP! GET A REBOUND! If you are going to accept who he is, take advantage of this nugget and head to the boards. It will just make everyone happier all around.
So the road trip is off to a rough start, but as always it's early and these guys are still geting to know all about each other.