Get Free Shots from Toronto Raptors Ramblings: RapFest 2007 - Boo them all

Sunday, April 22, 2007

RapFest 2007 - Boo them all

10:30 a.m. and our crew is in an up right position. Given last night this is definitely an early win. A coffee avec Baileys and/or Ceasar is our best answer to last nights adventures interfering with our morning. We've got Sven, CJ, Balfy and Hector (Johnny's cousin) on the scene and are busy finishing off last nights Arts and Crafts (see t-shirts above) and cheffing up a large dirty breakfast (beans mandatory for Balf).

12:00 and we're out the door.

We arrive at the ACC on this gorgeous day and the scalpers are on fire. Walking into the ACC they are handing out Red shirts (good concept, probably should have gone white though!). The highlight pre-game is the arena cam zooming in on people without the shirts and the crowd booing until they put them on. Yup, this crowd is ready.

From the "O" of Canada the place is wild. The crowd is going to do their part. And we did. Throughout the game the crowd mustered all kinds of energy both for Booing Vince but and for supporting the troops. Of course you already know it wasn't enough. Throughout most of the game New Jersey managed to keep us playing catchup, anytime we'd get tight, they'd separate.

Of course the home stretch was our chance and we blew it. It simply wasn't Raptors basketball. Our ball movement was brutal and our defense was suspect. Firstly the ball movement. Guys are playing D for 48 minutes which means they are living in those passing lanes. We simply couldn't figure out how to deal with this. So instead of our normal quick flow there was indecisive passing, guys catching the ball in places they don't want it etc.

Richard Jefferson rocked us, i.e. our defense. We had Joey on Vince for lots of the game and he actually did a good job "nobody wants Joey Graham covering them". Unfortunately it was RJ who was killing us regardless of who we had on him. Parker, Joey it didn't matter.

Joey was okay, but didn't do much. Nani was nervous and didn't do much. Calzone was great but couldn't hit his shot. This post is wildly disjointed because i'm still annoyed (and no Caesar's this morning). But let's be clear, we played Vince as well as we could. He shut himself down. He heard the crowd and he missed from everywhere. Some contested shots, but mostly open shots. We can't ask for more out of Vince than that. Kidd ruined us on the boards, nobody boxed him out anywhere we didn't know how to fight for loose balls. He was 2 points shy of a triple double and we need to do much better.

Defence wise we were running out too aggressively on guys who can't shoot and taking bad fouls on guys who can, jumping when we shouldn't. It was a classic 'eager beaver' mentality and showed our relative 'newness' to how to turn up the energy while still playing our game. It will be critical to learn how to harness that energy and put it into our game. If we do that, we'll beat this Jersey team. If not it's not long till golf season.

Go Raps!


At 9:43 AM, Blogger paulc said...

A sad start to the series - Bosh's early 2 fouls really sucked our early momentum. Inside and outside we just weren't hitting - the good news being that we were still close. See you at game 2.


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