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News » Raps look confused and worn out as they go on road


Raps look confused and worn out as they go on road


Raps look confused and worn out as they go on road
The Oklahoma City Thunder, which is 2-24, come up next for the Raptors, who are going so badly now even that game figures to be a tough one.

The Raptors finished off a pathetic three-game homestand with another collapse last night, falling 96-86 to the Dallas Mavericks. For the third game in a row after a sharp start and large early lead - 13 points, twice - they simply looked confused and worn out, both physically and mentally, as they continued their slide into NBA irrelevance.

"I don't think our guys stopped competing," coach Jay Triano said after the game. "I can't fault our effort. We just can't sustain what we start."

If the coach is satisfied with the effort, that means however it can get here, these guys need help. They've already used up the coaching change, so forget anything there. They can't get any rest or stretch of extended practice time, so perhaps Bryan Colangelo will be forced to pull the trigger on a trade to change the atmosphere - with all due respect to the impending debut of Jake Voskuhl.

The Raps now set out on a six-game Western trip - three on each side of Christmas - and don't play at home again until New Year's Eve. If that one is anything like this one, at least some early celebrators in the stands won't feel any pain.

Going west is never a recipe for success and, while it's still early in the season, at 10-15 with at least four losses looking possible if not likely on this trip, they can dig themselves a hole that will take a long time to escape. So time is becoming critical.

It wasn't difficult to see this one coming; the Mavericks, according to the stats, are the second-best rebounding team in the league and the Raps, as a team, rebound as if Tara Lipinski was playing heavy minutes. Plus, Toronto hadn't beaten a good team all season and the Mavs, now 14-10, are at least a decent side. Not what they used to be and getting older by the minute, but still better than average.

The most disturbing part of this one might be that Chris Bosh has gone south, along with most of the rest of them. Bosh, who looked furious in the late going, was 2-for-13 shooting through the first three quarters and ended up 6-for-20 overall. He did a passable job early defending Dirk Nowitzki, but Nowitzki shook loose eventually for 27 points, as many as Jason Terry coming off the bench.

Andrea (Doria) Bargnani had another brutal game and was lightly to moderately booed when he entered, which also broke new ground on the fan frustration scale.

At least the game wasn't available on most local cable TV packages, which, like Monday's collapse against New Jersey, isn't entirely a bad thing. Can't watch against the Thunder, either, and who knows if that will end up being a good thing or a bad thing?

ON THE CORNER: The Jim Proudfoot Corner starts today with $100 "in memory of an old friend," who sent in a magical letter about the man he called "Gentleman Jim." Cara Worthington of North York added $100, as did Colette Ellis of Toronto, Irene and Wally Tarling of Grimsby, Norman Herchak of Elmvale, Tom Perta of Markham and Ernie Dubkowski of Aurora, in memory of his dad John and brother Jack. Michael Hermelink sends a C-note to honour his soccer playing daughter, Tayler Kleine-Hermelink, and Hamilton's Stephen McArthur sends two, one in honour of his father Neil, a long-ago amateur boxer, and one on behalf of daughters Anne, Kate and Emma.


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 18, 2008

 

 
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