Despite the awesome weather, this was quite the depressing weekend for Raptor fan. The Raps' first time to the playoffs in 5 years, and the first time we've owned home court. 2 and a half hours later, and home court was gone.
What happened? I chalk it up to first time playoff jitters. The Raps are late bloomers -- look at their performance in November. Then, look at their performance in the months leading up to the playoffs. The team that won 47 games during the regular season was not the same team that took the floor yesterday.
The Raps' success comes from sharing the basketball, taking quality shots, and not turning the ball over. Yesterday, TJ Ford had 21 points, but only 2 assists. The Raptors only shot 41% from the field (coupled with 72% from the free throw line). They also turned the ball over 14 times.
A lot of credit needs to go to Lawrence Frank (aka "the twelve-year old boy"), and the Net's stifling 2-3 zone. Other teams have employed this tactic, and it has been known to work. I also blame Joey Graham for his horrible defensive effort.
But know this: The Raps won the fourth quarter, 26-18. They erased a 15-point lead. They dropped the Net's shooting percentage from 49% at the end of the first half down to 42%. First-time jitters. Late bloomers. We'll be back.
And next time, don't bring Shaun. His "I told you so" talk is fucking depressing. See y'all on Tuesday.