Don’t get too high, nor too low. The NBA season is a long one. There will be many good nights, many poor ones and a lot more that fall somewhere in between.
Sunday’s Raptors performance firmly falls in the poor category.
Outplayed in pretty much every way. Out-hustled, out-competed against the Suns.
There was little defensive resistance and against a team as quick and deadly when shooting the ball as the Suns, even though Toronto hung around, this was always going to be a tough one to win.
Especially if the three-point line is guarded so poorly – if Eric Bledsoe is allowed to attack, rather than launch his suspect jumper.
- As everyone said after the game, you won’t face a team as fast and athletic as the Suns again, so no point getting too carried away over what went down.
- If Phoenix, expected to be a bottom three team, instead makes the playoffs in the super tough West, Jeff Hornacek is the NBA’s coach of the year. If not, he’s probably third, behind Gregg Popovich (the man needs to be recognized for doing it yet again) and Tom Thibodeau. With apologies to Dwane Casey and his good friend Terry Stotts. You could argue Thibs over Pop, but I wouldnt.
- Should Kyle Lowry have gone to the quiet room after getting kneed in the head a la Macho Man Randy Savage? The NBA rules say yes, only if he’s showing concussion symptoms, and, (1) Toronto’s medical staff is very good and knows what it’s doing and says it followed protocol and he didn’t show any (2) You’d need four people to drag Lowry off of the court. Obviously (1) is the guideline, and (2) would only come into play if he showed symptoms and was demanding to stay in the game.
The Raptors said Monday morning that Lowry had the flu before Sunday’s game and still has it today. He was tested twice by the medical staff during the game for concussion symptoms, had none. Decision by Dwane Casey to play him. He saw team doctor today, was fine other than the flu and cleared to play, if flu isn’t bothering him too much.
- Toronto can make a statement this week by beating Atlanta on U.S. Television and following that up with a win in New Orleans. As back-to-backs go, this is not an ultra tough test (though Atlanta is hanging on to a playoff spot for dear life and Anthony Davis just had a 40 point, 20 rebound game for the Pelicans).
- One thing that’s been puzzling me lately, why so few minutes for Tyler Hansbrough? When it’s a bad matchup, I fully understand, but he could have helped in recent games when the team was getting its hat handed to it on the boards. The John Salmons-Terrence Ross minutes strategy also might need some revisiting.
- Of course, if Patrick Patterson was in the lineup, the Hansbrough-Hayes point would be moot. Patterson’s agent is going to have a great argument for an expensive extension this summer. The Raptors look lost without him.