Raptors @ Magic … post mortem

Orlando vs Toronto (Tue Apr 22) – Game Summary

When the Raptors play this well, on the road, in the playoffs …

* Shooting a higher Field Goal % than their Opponent (45.7 to 42.7)
* With a higher 3pt Field Goal % than their Opponent (37.9 to 29.0)
* With more Made 3pt Shots than their Opponent (11 to 9) 
* With a higher Free Throw % than their Opponent (90.0 to 82.6)
* With more Assists than their Opponent (21 to 19)

and finish only 1 point shy on the Scoreboard …

Tor 103, ORL 104

after being down by as many as 18 pts, at one stage, and with a clean look on their final possession to win the game outright …

it can seem as though Toronto put forth a tremedous effort, battled hard and was just unfortunate to lose a game that could have very easily gone either way.

Yes, indeed, that can sometimes be exactly how it seems.

But … seeming isn’t the same thing as BEING the case when trying to understand the reason(s) one team lost and one team won a specific game in the NBA playoffs.

With 3:00 remaining in the 4th Quarter of yesterday’s Game 2, with these line-ups for each team:

PG – Jose Calderon v Jameer Nelson
OG – Anthony Parker v Keith Bogans
SF – Jason Kapono v Rashard Lewis
PF – Carlos Delfino v Hedo Turkoglu
C – Chris Bosh v Dwight Howard

the following sequence of possessions occurred:

3:00 … Tor/Calderon Made 3Pt Shot (over Bogans) … ORL 98, Tor 97
2:41 … ORL/Nelson Driving Layup Attempt Blocked by Bosh
2:30 … Tor/Kapono Missed Leaning Jump Shot; Kapono Turnover (stepped out-of-bounds)
FULL TIME-OUT
2:13 … ORL/Howard Fouled by Delfino
2:03 … ORL/Turkoglu Missed Jump Shot; Offensive Rebound by Lewis (vs Delfino)
2:01 … ORL/Lewis Made Layup (vs Delfino) … ORL 100, Tor 97
1:47 … Tor/Calderon Made 3Pt Shot … ORL 100, Tor 100
1:26 … ORL/Lewis Missed 3Pt Shot; Defensive Reound by Parker
1:04 … Tor/Delfino Driving Layup Attempt, Fouled by Turkoglu; Delfino Missed 1st Free Throw Attempt, Made 2nd FT … Tor 101, ORL 100
20 SECOND TIME-OUT (ORL)
1:02 … ORL/Turkoglu Missed 3Pt Shot, Tap-out by Lewis/Delfino; Offensive Rebound by Nelson (vs Calderon)
0:51.6 … ORL/Lewis Missed 3Pt Shot; Defensive Rebound by Bosh
0:47.0 … Tor/Turnover by Bosh (bad pass); Steal by Bogans
0:35.1 … ORL/Howard Fouled by Bosh
0:30.3 … ORL/Turkoglu Made tough Driving Layup … ORL 102, Tor 101
20 SECOND TIME-OUT (Tor)
0:26.5 … Tor/Bosh Missed Driving Layup Attempt (Blocked Shot by Howard, no foul called)
0:18.7 … ORL/Turkoglu Fouled by Kapono; Turkoglu Made 2 Free Throws … ORL 104, Tor 101
0:09.6 … Tor/Delfino Made Driving Layup … ORL 104, Tor 103
20 Second Time-out (Orlando), Dooling replaced Bogans
0:09.3 … ORL/Offensive Foul by Dooling
FULL TIME-OUT (Tor)
0:03.0 … Tor/Bosh Missed 18′ Jump Shot
GAME OVER

meaning that Chris Bosh, Carlos Delfino, Jason Kapono and Jose Calderon each committed the types of serious miscues which can derail an inexperienced team playing on the road in the post-season … e.g. Giving up an Important Offensive Rebound, Missing a Critical Free Throw, Committing a Turnover & Missing a Crucial Jump Shot. 

Until Toronto’s best players are put into these specific types of End-of-Game situations more times during their NBA careers, it is likely that they will continue to come up on the short end of intensely played playoff games that are usually decided by individual player execution during the final three minutes of the game.

Looking ahead to Games 3 & 4, in Toronto, it will be interesting to see:

(A) How Orlando’s best players … in most cases, equally inexperienced as Toronto’s … are able to handle the intensity of playoff competition during this specific phase of the game, where Winners & Losers are frequently determined in the NBA’s post-season; and,

(B) If Toronto decides to give increased playing time to the specific Small-Ball Unit (i.e. Calderon, Parker, Kapono, Delfino & Bosh) that finished Game 2 … with its strength (3Pt Shooting) and weakness (Offensive Rebounds Allowed).

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12 Responses to “Raptors @ Magic … post mortem”

  1. TimeIntact Says:

    Offensive rebounds KILLS us, especially in that one segment where the Magic grabbed 3 straight offensive boards around that final minute.

  2. khandor Says:

    Time,

    Thanks for your comment.

    In general, I agree with your perception.

    Allowing Offensive Rebounds, especially, in the final 3 minutes of a playoff game, is a recipe for disaster.

  3. KD Says:

    Do you actually know what “penultimate” means?

  4. khandor Says:

    KD,

    Ahem … ah, yes, I do … but, much like you, isn’t it sometimes much more fun to use it in an unusual context that makes others think about what you’re really saying just a touch more?

    methinks you be pretty good at doing that yourself once in a while.

    Thanks for your comment and Welcome! 🙂

  5. Sorrow Says:

    Any news on where Calderon will be playing next year?

  6. khandor Says:

    Sorrow,

    What makes you think he’ll be on the move rather than Ford?

  7. Sorrow Says:

    I don’t. I am just speculating. If, as you say, BC bungles this, or Jose pricest himself out, who would he likely go to?

    Also, a small part of me would like to see him play VS Ford. A nice way to settle the debate.

  8. khandor Says:

    Sorrow,

    BTW … welcome aboard.

    I try not to prognosticate too much about what BC is going to do in the future with this team … except perhaps when looking back on how he operated as the head honcho in Phoenix.

    When faced with the PG dilemma of Kevin Johnson, Jason Kidd & Steve Nash … Bryan Colangelo traded ‘the best’ of those 3 players, IMO, without realizing at the time what he REALLY had in his lap at the time with (Li’l) STEVIE (Wonder Bread).

    Which means that … if he does the same thing here, and therefore makes a similar error … your suggestion that it could well be Calderon that’s on the move … could very easily come to pass …

    which is not what a top notch GM would actually do in a situation with 3 point guards like KJ, J-Kidd & young Nash, or with Forderon.

    Yes, Calderon could fetch more on the open market in today’s NBA than Ford … but, No, Way Jose should be the one to go … and it’s clearly the case that ONE OF THEM MUST now go … since, IMO, JC is the type of good-sized PG – who can really shoot the 3-ball, and his FT’s, and hold his own in terms of D & R, with terrific Leadership Skills, etc. – an elite level team can eventually win an NBA championship with.

    A question for you (and others) to consider.

    What do you suppose a package deal of ‘Ford & Bargnani together’ would bring in return? … if the Raptors decided to bite the bullet on BOTH of BC’s primary acquisitions since he started as their GM (Feb/06).

  9. Sorrow Says:

    I don’t know if letting go of Bargnani just yet is wise. We may never see him become the stellar performer that the braintrust thought he would become, but I would still give him at least another year (sophomore jinx or wall).

    Then, there is the question of anyone wanting Bargnani at this point.

    TJ would still have suitors, despite the fact that he is injury prone, although, we might not have the advantage of that deal.

    Kapono might have bought himself a way out with his growing performances.

    Do you fancy a coaching change?

  10. khandor Says:

    It wouldn’t be ‘letting Bargnani go’.

    It would be exchanging Ford & Bargnani, as assets/commodities, for other players who would be a better fit with the Raptors organization, newly committed to bringing an NBA championship to Toronto.

    Not the same thing as just ‘letting go’ a player.

    ——————————————————

    In general, NBA teams that win the championship settle first their:

    1) Ownership model;
    2) GM;
    3) Head Coach (& staff); then,
    4) Player personnel.

    No, at this time, I do not think a coaching change is what will cure the ailments of this Raptors team.

  11. Sorrow Says:

    That leaves us with option 3 and 4. I do not think ownership will change anytime soon, and who knows if/when BC is willing to walk.

    On a different note, any guesstimations on the shrouded line-up of tonight?

    TJ
    XXX
    XXX
    Bosh
    XXX

    ???

  12. khandor Says:

    2, 3 & 4 are all viable options.

    Problem is … if 2 ain’t right, 3 & 4 are irrelevant.

    —————————————————-

    Try to avoid mind-reading as much as possible.

    Will say though who I would start tonight … given the results of Game 1 & 2, and the regular season.

    PG/Ford
    OG/Parker
    SF/Moon
    PF/Humphries
    C/Bosh

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