Some Game 2 mail
Very few over-the-top rants in here today, well done folks.
And lots of good questions with some meat to them.
Away we go:
Q: Hey Doug, just wondering what your opinion was about the last play the Raptors called. Lots of people I talked to thought they should have opted for a play run for Kapono or another shooter. From what Sam Mitchell said after the game, it sounded like a pretty good play call to me, Bosh did get the open jumper after all. What's your thought on it?
Sunny R, Woodbridge
A: I thought it was the only logical call and the by far the right one. Run your bread and butter play with your two best players on the night and give yourself a chance.
If Howard had hugged Bosh and the lane opened, Jose would have gone to the rim, like he did that night in Boston. If Howard backed off even a bit, it was the right move let Bosh make a play.
I’ll take a Chris Bosh 15-footer any day of the week.
Q: Hey Doug. Love your blog. What are your thoughts on the four teams that now have to go home down 2-0, Raps, Wiz, Suns, Mavs? I think they each have a chance to take 2 at home and tie their respective series.
Nitin V, Waterloo
A: Each? I don’t know about that. Washington seems to be unraveling (and Gilbert’s got a wonky wrist) and Chris Paul is just killing the Mavs. I can see both of those series being 3-1 for sure, and maybe over in four.
The other two? I’d say it’s 50-50 they get to 2-2. I still think there’s lots of legs left in both of those series.
Q: I'm sorry, I've been a big Sam Mitchell fan up until now, but the Raptors have seen too many mismatches at the start of games to compete. That lack of preparation is the coach's fault, and it puts us down too much to recover. Am I crazy to think Mitchell will be on the hot-seat right away next year if the Raps continue to get dominated in the first quarter, and ultimately lose, this series.
Mark I, Oakville
A: I disagree that it’s a lack of preparation, I think it’s a lack of execution.
And, judging by a conversation we had with Bryan before Game 2, I don’t think there’s any ‘hot seat’ getting prepared for the end of the season. I could be wrong, but that’s the way I’m reading the tea leaves now.
Q: I’m wondering on a scale of 1-10, how would rate that Orlando crowd? I was watching the game on TV, and it seems like they are kind of on the laissez faire side. I also noticed that the average age for the crowd is around 50 years, I’ve never seen so many old people at a sporting event! Could this be attributed to the quiet crowd in Orlando? I have a feeling the fans are going to have a larger effect in Toronto than they had in Orlando
Nilesh P, Ajax
A: I’d give the crowd a 5. It’s loud but not overly crazy and, yes, I think Toronto’s may have a greater impact on the momentum of the game. As for the average age, I never really noticed the old side that you did.
Q: A question on the foul on Jose with about 10 seconds left - shouldn't that have been 2 FTs and possession to the Raptors, since the foul occurred while the ball was not in play? Not sure if I'm mixing up my rules here, and hence seeking to learn from your wealth of knowledge.
Omri F, Toronto
A: Excellent question.
That’s exactly what should have happened if the ball had still be in the hands of the player inbounding it. But the pass was in the air when Dooling whacked Jose. The referees actually got together to confer on it to make sure they had it right.
Q: Some host on the Fan 590 (not Smith/Jones) was foaming at the mouth after the game about the Raptors laying two first-quarter eggs in the road. It made me think about something my brother said to me when I first started following the Raptors a few years ago (I wasn't game from day one, sorry Ford). We were watching a game and the Raps were down by significant double-digits. I said they were done for, but my brother shook his head. "Oh no, they'll come back in the second half. They always do this."
Is there any statistical evidence to support this very ancedotal story? It feels to me like what the Ratpors are lacking most as a group is a killer instinct. They can shoot, play defense and bring intensity, but they don't bring those things until their backs are to the wall and they have no other choice (either in games generally or in this series).
Ellie W, Toronto
A: I suppose I could go through all the boxscores from the season to find the empirical data but it’s late. I’m sure we’d find that statistical evidence to back up the – correct – anecdotal feeling you and I have. And it’s not just the Raptors, either. Basketball is truly a game of runs and a team with a big lead invariably relaxes just a little bit, which allows teams to carve big leads into little ones on almost every occasion.
Q: Why did Bosh throw the ball down the court like he did on that turnover in the last minute? Was he off-balance and worried about going out of bounds? If he held onto the ball there (up by 1 with 40 secs to go) it would have been a different outcome!
Michael K, London
A: I think it was a combination of instinct and wanting to preserve the one time out they had left. And, under the rules, if he had been falling out of bounds saving the ball, the refs couldn’t have given him a timeout and I think that was on his mind, too.
Q: Well, wasn't that an utterly frustrating game. Yes, lots of positives to take away, but they're still down 0-2. I have no problems with Bosh being the go-to guy, but surely their offence down the stretch should have more wrinkles to it than that. Yes, the ball should probably go through him, but that doesn't mean he has to force everything. That being said, that was a pretty brutal non-call on Howard when Bosh went to the hoop in their second-last possession. I couldn't give my full attention to the game, but was the officiating an issue? Or do you ever think it's an issue?
Guy M, Vancouver
A: I generally don’t think it’s an issue and, the non-call notwithstanding (and it’s arguable whether that was a call worth making in my opinion), I thought the three guys did a good job last night. It was a tough game to officiate, lots of drives, lots of contact, lots of play near the basket and I think they kept it flowing.