Today the Toronto Raptors opened the playoffs against the 7th seed, Indiana Pacers. The Raptors won the regular season matchup 3 games to 1. The Raptors were hosting the opening game. Everything seemed to be in their favor. But ... they lost. 100 - 90.
The disappointment is hard to swallow. The officiating was terrible. But that's no excuse. It was terrible both ways. Nonetheless, I really hope the league office reviews this game and fires the lot of referees. If the officiating hurt that Raptors in any particular way its that Jonas Valanciunas fouled out of the game. Two of those fouls were extremely questionable. It hurt the Raptors because JV was having a great game. He was posting a double - double (although his shooting percentage wasn't great). He fouled out with 12 points and 19 rebounds. That's 19 rebounds in only 21 minutes of play. He was being a monster on the glass. Other hi-lights were the play of Corey Joseph and Norman Powell. They both played extremely well.
The bitter pill to swallow was the play of Demar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry. Toronto's two all-stars. They couldn't have picked the worst time for both of them to have a horrible game. Between the two of them they were 8 for 32 from the field. Disastrous! And worse yet, 8 for 15 from the free throw line. OMG! I kept waiting for them to get their groove on. I figured there was no way they could play so bad the entire game. But they did.
The one bright spot was that regardless of how poorly DeRozan and Lowry played, the Raptors were in most of the game. In fact they led most of the game. And they only lost by 10. Didn't help that Paul George went off for 33 points. Other than that, the Raptors played well defensively, but fell flat offensively shooting just 38% from the field.
I know it's just the first game. But after last years dismal playoff performance a win would have been great. Let's hope they can get it together and the whole team shows up on Monday night. I'd hate to see them going to Indiana down 2.
Besides that, they are my pick to get to the NBA finals this year. I'll have to eat a lot of crow if they go out the first round.
My name is Gary Janssen, aka "Ricky". I'm a husband, father and first time blogger. I write about family & life, my favorite sports teams, TV shows and movies, my Apple Mac and my home town of Niagara Falls.