This loss is going to hurt.
Tomorrow night I need to record the latest Killer Crossover Podcast with Justin and I just know that he’s going to rip on me for my Raptors inability to win a second straight game against his Celtics.
The worst part about this loss to his Celtics is that I can’t really provide too much of an argument to support my Raptors tonight. Chris Bosh came within two dimes of his first career triple double as he finished with 24 points, 11 boards and a career high 8 dimes but the rest of the team look exhausted from taking care of the Knicks last night.
Mike James didn’t show any ill effects after scoring 37 points last night as he pumped in 31 points for Toronto. James was slowed in the fourth quarter and was limited to just two points.
Following the game Celtics coach Doc Rivers told the Boston media that the Celtics were able to contain James in the fourth quarter because, “we just trapped him. Our though guarding Mike James is to try and make him a decision maker instead of a scorer. He got a lot of easy buckets early but I thought they did a great job in the fourth quarter with great traps. They stayed with him. Early on we were trapping and then releasing. Mike holds onto the balls and when you release he attacks again. At halftime we talked about staying with him and not releasing the trap. Make him move the ball. By doing that someone else had to get involved.”
Morris Peterson looks exhausted. Peterson played 43 minutes last night and his fatigue showed through his three turnovers in the fourth quarter and his abysmal shooting (he went 4 for 17 from the field). Despite dragging in the second half Peterson still logged 41 minutes. Is Coach Mitchell trying to kill Peterson? Peterson is being relied upon as the team’s third option on offense while also being responsible for locking down opposing team’s top scorers. How’s he supposed to handle all of these responsibilities while averaging 43.7 minutes per game?
Despite playing with bursitis in his elbow Paul Pierce was able to handle an exhausted Peterson as he scorched the Raptors for 32 points and grabbed 8 boards.
Following the game an agitated Sam Mitchell told reporters, “I’m trying to figure it out. I know I watch Sports Center. I know Paul Pierce has set some record for scoring 30 plus points. I know that much and I know our guys watch this themselves on Sports Center. We’re telling him that this guy is scoring about 30 a game. If this guy is good enough to break a record held by Larry Bird I think he’s pretty good. We talked about giving Mo’ some help but we were late for whatever reason. We were just late getting there every time.”
On the flip side, Celtics head coach Doc Rivers glowed while talking about his team during his post game media scrum. Rivers rambled on about his team while saying, “I thought we won the game because of great ball movement. That’s how you play at the end of the age. If they trap just swing it. The ball kept moving and moving until it found the open guy. It’s so nice to see and it’s so fun to play that way. You can see our guys towards the end were really getting into the ball movement. The old question is, why not every night? Well, we wish. We work on it. The human brain comes into it at some point and takes you away from it I guess. I think twice they trapped Paul because they were trying to get the ball out of his hands but because we moved the ball all the way around the horn the ball actually ended up back in Paul’s hands and I was happy with that. I thought our second unit gave us a lift. They gave us some great energy. In the second quarter they came out and actually stretched the lead. Then they went back to give me the ball and let me try and score mode and they allowed them to get back into the game. In the second half they didn’t do that, they just continued to execute.”
On a side note, the game ended with some mild controversy due to a spectacular dunk by Gerald Green that may go down as the dunk of the year. Raptors commentator Chuck Swirsky went off on a tangent and complained about this showing a “lack of respect” but this is one of the few times that I’ve disagree with Chuck. Green is a young kid who rarely gets any playing time so why shouldn’t he take advantage of a chance to entertain the hometown fans? Throw in the fact that this will get him some “face time”on ESPN tonight and it’s clear that the kid threw down this dunk because it will get him some air time on ESPN and Boston television, not because he wanted to showboat a Celtics victory.
Wed 03/22/06, 7:55 pm EST