So I missed the first quarter of the game because the officials in Philly decided to move the game up because of the World Series. You figure after a 46 hour rain delay, they could wait another hour. Anyway onto the very first regular season edition of 6 things. Sorry for the late review, but my job got in the way. Without further ado, 3 things I liked, 3 things I don't:
3 things I liked:
1. 4th quarter Jason Kapono: What's this Kapono decided to just catch it and let'er rip? He also scored 10 pts in the 4th on 3/4 shooting from long distance? This is why the Raps are paying you $6 million dollars. Nice way to close out the game.
2. Defensive Energy: I loved that the Raps put the clamps on Philly whenever they decided to make any attempt at a run. Moon and Parker were extremely aggressive in their perimeter defense, and Bosh and O'Neal protected the rim with abandon. Now, the blocked shots total wasn't that high, but it was clear that Bosh and JO altered plenty of Sixer attempts (36%, damn Philly can't shoot!). Plus the Raptors forced the Sixers into a ton of turnovers, which I think is the key measure of a great defensive basketball team (rather than shooting %)
3. Chris Bosh: Wow, what a start to the year. He had the eye of the Tiger going on last night. Just attacking the rim on offense and he was a beast on the glass and in his own end. You couldn't have asked Bosh to do more, and yet it seemed like he had plenty more to give if the Raps weren't up by 10 with a couple mins left. People have been worried about the Raptors lack of a one on one, drive the lane type scorer. Well, I have a feeling Bosh is going to be that guy for us. His first step looks devastating, in fact, I don't think I can think of one big man in the entire NBA that will be able to take away Bosh's drive.
3 things that made my go hmmmmm:
1. Quarters 1 through 3 Jason Kapono: What the hell Kapono?? 2 travels and a blocked shot!!!! Way to take advantage of the new found space with JO and Bosh. Whenever I see Kapono dribble, I go into a blind rage. Why does JK insist on doing anything except shoot 3 pointers. Sam Mitchell needs to start using a cattle prod on him during practice. Everytime the ball is in his hands, and he takes a dribble and a step forward, he should get tasered. Period.
2. The rebounding disparity: First, I must say that watching quarters 2-4, it didn't seem like the Raptors were being out rebounded. However, after the game the Raps were a steller -14 (or something like that). What the hell? That big of a rebounding differential will get you killed most nights. Now, I have been told that the first quarter was an absolute shit show, but from what I saw, I think that number might be misleading.
3. Total offensive stagnation without Jose: I know, it was Roko's first NBA game, and I should expect too much out of him. I actually thought he did okay, he minimized his turnovers, and he wasn't playing total OLE defense. However, the Sixers felt confident enough to put a full court press on him, which just shows you that they don't think he can play. While he did break the press efficiently (thank God), in the Raps half court sets, there was a lot of aimless dribbling by Roko Ono. Keep your head, son! Hopefully, he keeps improving.