Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Tags Posts tagged with "Raptors"


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Mar 14, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Chicago Bulls forward Doug McDermott (3) hits a three-point shot and is fouled on the play by Toronto Raptors forward James Johnson (3) at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

With the Toronto Raptors losing 109-107 last night to the Chicago Bulls at the Air Canada Centre, that makes nine straight Toronto losses to the Bulls. The last time the Raptors won was December 31, 2013 at the United Centre in Chicago by a score of 85-79. On paper, the Raptors are the clear cut favourites, but why can’t they beat the Bulls?

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Going back quite a few years, the scripts were actually flipped. Between the 1998 season and the 2002 season, the Raptors beat the Bulls 16 times in a row. The secret? Playing a tough style of defence that ripped rebounds down like it was no one’s business. Having Vince Carter at his prime also definitely contributed to their success.

But that was then. These days, what’s actually going right for the Bulls? More importantly what’s going wrong for the Raptors? Over their last nine meetings, the Raptors have lost by less than ten points seven times — losing by just two points on three different occasions.

Clearly, staying competitive is not the issue, but as of late, losing the lead late in the game has been troubling. It’s not the only time that we’ve seen this trend with the Raptors. In the 2013-2014 season, they won their division but then lost in seven games to a very experienced Brooklyn Nets team in the first round of the playoffs. Last season, they finished first again but then lost four straight games to the Washington Wizards in the first round.

Those performances have left some wondering if the Raptors can make up for their lack of experience.

“The Raptors could still be in their learning phases on how to be professional, how to hold down a lead, how to distribute their energy, and essentially how to win,” says Hindi Crawford of The Defeated Pod Podcast.

Mar 14, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Chicago Bulls forward Jimmy Butler (21) defends against Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) at Air Canada Centre. The Bulls beat the Raptors 109-107. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 14, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Chicago Bulls forward Jimmy Butler (21) defends against Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) at Air Canada Centre. The Bulls beat the Raptors 109-107. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

This may not bode well for the Raptors — there’s a great chance they could match up with the Bulls in the first round of this years playoffs.

“With confidence at an all time low for the Raptors against the Bulls, they need to change their tune fast, make some adjustments and they need to make them fast,” adds Crawford.

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Photo courtesy of Reuters

The Toronto Raptors rolled into Milwaukee on Monday to take on the inconsistent Bucks. Entering the game, the Raptors were 3-7 in their last ten and coming off a disappointing loss to the New Orleans Pelicans.

Raptors guard, Terrance Ross found his groove early in the game igniting the Toronto offense with a 360 dunk. Kyle Lowry contributed with 18-points, meanwhile forward Patrick Patterson and centre Jonas Valanciunus combined for 26 rebounds.

Milwaukee made things interesting in the third quarter after trailing by eight at halftime. Led by guard Brandon Knight (20 points), the Bucks scored 45-points in the second half to test the young Toronto squad.

Late in the fourth quarter, with the shot clock running down, Terrence Ross hit a baseline jumper to give Toronto a 90-87 lead with 26.4 seconds to go. It was a big shot for the Raptors, but an even bigger one for Ross after being benched the entire second half against the Pelicans; the night before.

Bucks forward, Ersan Illyasova made one last effort with 5.8 seconds left in the game; grabbing a rebound and springing guard O.J. Mayo down the floor. Raptors guard, Lou Williams reacted quickly to the fast break attempt forcing Mayo to lose control of the ball, and securing the twenty-seventh win of the year for the Raptors.

The Toronto Raptors travel Memphis on Wednesday to take on the Southwest Division leading Memphis Grizzlies. Tip off is at 8pm.

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Photo courtesy of Reuters


The Toronto Raptors welcomed the New Orleans Pelicans to town on Sunday afternoon with Raptors shooting guard Demar DeRozan playing in his second game after returning from a groin injury. Heading into the contest, the Raptors were losers in six of their previous eight games and were looking for more consistency.

The Raptors carried an 11-point lead into the third quarter after finding themselves in a 21-point deficit at halftime. The Toronto lead was erased when Tyreke Evans hit a hook shot with 1.6 seconds left, giving the Pelicans their first win of the season against the Raptors and improving their record to (20-20).

Evans scored 26-points in the contest, leading the way for the Pelicans, meanwhile, DeRozan scored 22 for the Raptors. Alexis Ajinca added 22 points for the Pelicans (20-10), who led by 16- points early in the second half, and trailed by 12 in the fourth quarter.

The Raptors finish their six-game home stand at 2-4, and face the Milwaukee Bucks tonight at 8pm.

With a report from Reuters

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