NBA 2020 Redux - The Seasonette

Holy crow! An improbable win by the Raptors with Anunoby’s 3-pointer from a sideout with 0.5 seconds on the clock. They needed it to save the season, and now things are looking a little better despite tough prevailing winds. Great Toronto defence, bench not really used at all. Celtics played well throughout and still the team to beat.

It seems very reminiscent of the Bucks series last year. Raptors down 2-0, and manage to pull out a complete toss-up of a game 3. Hopefully this series will have the same result! I wouldn’t bet on it, but I felt the same after that game 3 too.

I don’t know if Toronto can beat Boston, but I called them in 7 and stick to that. I do believe if they can, they can beat everyone else.

Well that was a hell of a finish, huh?

I am a little concerned that Toronto’s PEAK in this series was a game they won only with a miracle shot, but they came back from 2-1 twice last year.

Time will tell, but the difference in the second half was palpable - great third quarter defence and the eventual emergence of Siakam and Freddie. I think they’ll win game four.

The Bucks are melting down. I wonder if this will push Giannis out of town.

Miami is playing well and unable to stop Jimmy Buckets. Milwaukee has had trouble with Miami all season. I can’t see the Bucks coming back, though it surprises me no team has ever done so when down three, as the announcers say ad nauseum.

The Lakers have also failed to impress and will have to work harder to beat Houston.

Raptors with a consistent game. Some good defence holds back Boston’s three point game; and it’s even at 2-2, with Raptor momentum.

It’s not surprising at all. Basketball is the major sport in which the better team is most likely to win. It would be very rare for a superior team to lose three in a row or four in a row.

It seems it is very rare. But superior teams can still have an injured star, or many of them (viz. Golden State). I am surprised it hasn’t happened more - though three teams have forced a game seven when down three.

And, not for nothing, very few people thought the Heat were a better team than Milwaukee. I still don’t think they are. I can’t say what effects Kenosha or the bubble are having. But if the Bucks can win this game (playing even with an injured Giannis), I’d peg their odds of a comeback at 1 in 7.

If Toronto plays mediocre defence, they need to sink the ball to win the game. This can be done by having a good 3 point game. Sometimes the long shots don’t go down. So you need to get in the paint and get the rebounds. When Toronto plays their best, they do both of these things. Sometimes they don’t - so you have to give Boston the credit they deserve; they did both of these things. Toronto has to play like they want to win the last two games. This means Siakam and VanVleet need to play their average, or better.

The Raptors played good defence all game but were far from firing on all cylinders with slow starts by Siakam and Gasol.

Fortunately, Lowry and Powell played well and Anunoby got some important points to force a seventh. The Celtics are more consistent and Smart played excellent ball. Almost all the starters on both teams played 50 minutes. Looking forward to Game 7. I hope they can focus.

I really thought the Raptors had run out of gas a couple times, but they still had enough to pull it out. Obviously I want Toronto to win game 7, but both teams are deserving. It’s probably too much to hope for, but maybe we’ll get a classic like last year’s game 7.

The Celtics have been far more consistent. The Raptors played with heart tonight but have much more room to improve. (Good defence but an awful lot of almost dunks and field goals.). Although the Celtics have played better than Toronto it will come down to the last game. They’ll have to score 2s in the paint if their 3 point game is off. Go Raptors!

Ye gods Raptors…You people do not go gentle into that good night…keep raging friends…Beat Those Celtics!

A Laker Fan

Well, the Raptors lost because Pascal Siakam was left in the game for reasons I’ll never understand.

Sigh. The Celtics are too good a team for the Raptors to turn over the ball so much. I’m no Nick Nurse but he should have considered taking Siakam out a second time to regroup, just too tired after so many minutes. Thanks for a wonderful season, Toronto. Best of luck to Boston - I don’t see Miami beating them. I think Toronto could have taken LA and Miami but they have to win first - not go six minutes without a point. They weren’t consistent and so were outscored by more than thirty points over the series. But it was as entertaining as it could be. Some great moments.

I’m not a genius award winning basketball coach. But it always seemed to me Toronto’s strength was a deep lineup. When Lowry and Gasol and Siakam were hurt, guys like Chris Boucher and Hollis-Jefferson stepped up and made a lot of plays to beat very good teams. With so few people playing so many minutes, they just looked tired and made simple mistakes passing and dribbling. I assume Nurse wanted to emphasize defence - which guys like Siakam and Anunoby (of 4 points) played well. But giving your starters valuable rest while using the energy of well-rested guys who had stepped up seems like a win-win and spreads the fouls around too. I’m not sure Boston has the depth of Toronto but that doesn’t matter when both teams stick with seven. But I’m also sure Nurse knows this and feels it didn’t work earlier in the series. I just don’t get it. Toronto gave us a great season and I wish Boston well.

From what I can tell, literally no one in the world understands why Nick Nurse coached that game the way he did. I cannot find a single defense of his strategy. It was totally mystifying.