Although I was unable to watch the Raptors-Hornets game last Friday, I did manage to take a look at the box score. The big obvious that stuck out, besides the fact the Raptors won, was the 90 points posted by the Hornets. 90 points? Impressive. Besides the 21 & 18 by Chris Paul, the Hornets were pretty much shut down. Toronto's field goal percentage a shade under 51, while the Hornets shot 48%.
The next night, the Raptors were in Dallas to face the Mavericks. Chris Bosh's homecoming.
Again, I was unable to watch the first half, but thanks to the invention of text messaging I noticed the Raptors were down by 7 at the half way point. Then I got home. Crap.
Right off the bat, the Mavericks started to separate themselves. Chris Bosh couldn't/didn't defend/care Dirk Nowitzki, as he lit it up from downtown. The Mavericks got ridiculously easy penetration points. The Mavericks made the pick and roll look like the most dominant play in basketball. The defense in itself looked like a high school team.
And this doesn't take an expert to figure out--the Raptors lost 129-101, and the Mavericks shot 62% from the field. You read that right. 62%. That's not one quarter. That's an entire game.
Where do you start? The Raptors have played 6 games, and 2 have resulted in the counterpart scoring at least 125 points (no overtime). It appears the pre-season issue is very much a reality. Will this poor defense-good offense scheme work for 76 more games? I know we're only 6 games into the season, but nonetheless--it wouldn't matter if it was game 1, or game 55. The defense is an obvious problem.
And it doesn't get any easier. The Raptors will face the Tony Parker-less Spurs tonight at 8:30. Hopefully some adjustments have been made, but I'm expecting it to be high scoring affair. How will Chris Bosh match up with Tim Duncan? Will CB actually give a rats ass this time?
Be sure to check it out. I know I will. And I'm sure the occasional couch pillow will be thrown at the TV. Oh, the stresses of being a Raptors fan...