A Bad Week for the Raptors

In N.B.A. Basketball by Brock Bourgase

The Raptors demonstrated some horrible execution this week. On Tuesday, they lost to Washington in overtime. To give credit where it is due, they ran a very cute side out for Charlie Villanueva to create a baseline jumper before the halftime buzzer. Usually, I find that Sam Mitchell’s quick hitters are dry and predictable, especially compared to what Kevin O’Neill would diagram. Occasionally, Mitchell comes up with a well-conceived, effective play.

In overtime, I appreciated how the Wizards ran Gilbert Arenas off repeated dribble picks. Given that Arenas had dropped over thirty points, I don’t know why the Raptors did not hedge the screen more aggressively in order to contest the shot.

At the other end, Chris Bosh was setting a high rub for the ballhandler. I didn’t think the guard did a good enough job of taking his check into Bosh’s screen. The high screen and roll is really an opportunity to nail someone and the Raptors missed that chance. Consequently, Jose Calderon, Mike James, and Morris Peterson were unable to turn the corner successfully and Bosh did not get good possessions on the block after rolling to the basket.

Is there any doubt that Peterson should only shoot baseline three point shots? It baffles me that he shoots from other spots around the arc and it aggravates me when Jalen Rose jacks a three from the line of 45º on the ball reversal or kick out when he could swing the ball to MoPete in the corner.

I missed Wednesday’s game against the Lakers entirely but I gather there wasn’t much to see. When I turned on the TV, I saw Von Wafer stroll into a key during a Los Angeles free throw while four Raptors did nothing as they watched him gather the rebound and score. Then I turned the TV off. In high school basketball, play the rebound of the second free throw after the shot hits the rim. In the CIS, NCAA, or NBA, play the rebound after the shooter releases the shot.

I am still waiting for Rob Babcock’s call telling me that he understands my frustration and will be personally refunding my remaining season tickets.