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Coming into the game I thought the Toronto Raptors might have an advantage over the Denver Nuggets because the Nuggets played last night but it was Denver who looked more energetic. By the end of the first quarter I realized that the Raptors would have no such luck as the heavy minutes that Chris Bosh, Mike James and Morris Peterson have been playing recently finally started to show. Peterson in particular looked tired as he started the game going 2 for 13 from the field. Another sign of fatigue was that the team as a whole shot a putrid 18-27 from the charity stripe - if we had hit 80%of those free throws we would have had a chance to make a late run.
Once again the Raptors became infatuated with the long ball as Toronto attempted 28 shots from behind the arc while they only attempted 84 shots all game. Yes Raptors fans you read that correctly, 30% of their field goals were bombs from long distance. I know that we have a lot of young players but not shooting so many three’s is something that I teach my elementary school team. We can’t blame our love for the three ball on our inexperience. Instead of hoisting up so many bombs Sam Mitchell needs to get his players to feed the rock into the post and take advantage of their size and quickness. Tonight we were playing against a Denver squad that was without Kenyon Martin and Marcus Camby yet we still stayed away from the paint.
A Denver player that impressed me tonight was Reggie Evans. I’ve been a fan of his hustle and defensive intensity for awhile but tonight he took things to a whole other level by corralling 20 boards and only attempting three field goals. It’s rare to see a professional athlete willing to dedicate himself to doing the dirty work to help his team win.
Sat 03/11/06, 11:58 am EST