After the game started out 17-2 for the Raptors, and the Nets couldn’t even get a shot up in the first two minutes, the writing was on the wall. The Raptors tried to tank, holding both DeMar DeRozan and Aaron Gray out of the game. Both teams started 2 former D-Leaguers, and you could seriously see most of these guys in the summer league, but the Nets upped the ante by starting a late first round pick and a second round pick. The Raptors looked like the Thunder in comparison, for most of the game. D-Leager, Ben Uzoh, even racked up a triple double, the first for the Raptors since Alvin Williams in 2001. The last time a Raptor got a triple double, Vince Carter was putting the Raptors on the NBA map by doing his best Michael Jordan impersonation, John Stockton and Karl Malone were still playing in Utah, and most of the world had never heard of Osama Bin Laden.
In all honesty, this was the first game all year I didn’t watch in it’s entirety (on purpose). After the start of the 3rd quarter, it was pretty apparent the Nets had even less talent on the floor than the Raptors and were not going to try and make a game of it. No, it really wasn’t even a game, so I decided to turn it off and join the living.
In the first half, though, I saw a Nets team that had more turnovers than made field goals in the first half. James Johnson and Ed Davis, on the other hand, looked like real NBA players. Davis finished with 24 points and 12 rebounds, which is about what he would average if he played in the D-League, so it’s kind of fitting.
Unfortunately, the win mean the Raptors drop to 3.5% chance of winning the lottery rather than the 7.5% chance they would have if they lost. For those keeping track, a loss would have DOUBLED their chances of hitting the jackpot. There was a ridiculous article on RaptorsHQ.com that argued a win would have gone a long way to changing the culture of the franchise. Really? More than drafting a guy like Anthony Davis? In reality, the only person who will remember this win a month from now is Uzoh.
Speaking of RaptorsHQ, I want to thank Adam Francis, co-creator of RaptorsHQ. for dedicating a whole article to my idea about starting a fan for the game against the Nets. Maybe if they had then they would have lost.
Check back Saturday when I’ll post my Raptors Final Report card.