February 5, 2009

Closer than it should’ve been

by Dan Bilicki In: Basketball

I attended last night’s Lakers at Raptors game and after watching the clearly superior team come out on top, all I can say is that the Lakers weren’t even trying. On both ends of the floor, Los Angeles was out there without the same intensity that I’ve seen before on TV and even last year when they came to town. On offence, they were missing easily make-able shots – under the basket, open jumpers with no one in sight – Kobe even missed a few free throws. On defence, most of the shots the Raptors put up were uncontested and, for God’s sake, Joey Graham scored 24 points. Any team that’s playing their hardest wouldn’t let that happen. And, still, the Lakers beat the Raptors by eight points.

A few other quick things from the game…

-When you’re in the crowd, unless you’re paying a lot of attention to the bench, you never know when guys head to the locker room. I didn’t realize until the Raptors trotted out a crunch-time lineup minus Chris Bosh that he wasn’t even on the bench any more. Turns out it is a knee sprain.

-Whenever he wants, Kobe Bryant can score. Put a hand in his face and he’ll still drain it.

-Sasha Vujacic is probably the most enthusiastic defender I’ve ever seen. He just looks like he’s putting a lot of energy into locking down his man. That’s someone the Raptors need.

-It seemed that every time Anthony Parker came down the floor, he did a little spin move. Even sometimes when he didn’t need to. That’s a good for opposing players to know what’s coming AP. No wonder your sister’s a better player than you.

-If anything set the tone for the game, it was the Lakers’ first two attempts at the basket: Alley-oop plays. One worked, one didn’t. It showed that they really didn’t care too much about the game.

-In retrospect, it’s easy to under the Lakers not going all out against the pathetic Raptors. Why exert all your energy when you have to fly to Boston and face the defending Champs at home the next night?

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