Monday, March 29, 2010
So, if you're a regular reader of this blog, then you should have learned a few things about this Raptors season. You know the yanking of DeMar DeRozan out of the starting lineup came about two months too late. You know the yanking of Jarrett Jack out of the starting lineup came about a month too late. And you also know Jack and Jose Calderon should never (!) be on the floor together.
Sadly, Jay Triano doesn't read this blog.
Sunday vs Miami, the Raptors are on the verge of a key win. Leading by as much as 17 points (with Jack and Calderon never seeing the floor together), Triano sends Jack into the game to replace Sonny Weems with just under 3 minutes to play.
My reaction (think dramatic movie slow motion): "Noooooooooo!"
I've talked about this before. Let's jump all the way back to December 4th, 2009: "Abandon the idea that Jack is a combo-guard - He is a +3 as a point guard, and a -48 as a shooting guard. It doesn't get any simpler than that. The Calderon-Jack backcourt has been about as successful as the Caldeford pairing of years past."
That was nearly four months ago!
Anyways, so what happened next in the Miami game, to me, was no surprise. The Heat went on a 7-0 run to close out the game. Another failure for the Raptors.
The frustrating part about the conclusion of the game (and of the previous one against Denver) was that the disappointing endings masked two impressive games for Toronto. There were many positives to take from the two-game stretch, but perhaps none moreso than the improved 3rd quarter play. Taking DeRozan out of the starting lineup has helped coming out of halftime - Toronto outscored their two opponents by a combined 17 points in the two 3rd quarters.
However, the one glaring shortcoming in each of the two games was the inability to get a good shot late in the game. This is where Hedo Turkoglu is usually counted upon, and his absence was very noticeable. Say what you want about his "stomach virus," but this team needs him late in close games.