Raptors have bent over to the Cavs for the 2nd year in a row and exit the playoffs via sweep for the 2nd time in 3 years. Here are my 5 Final Thoughts From The John on the lackluster showing from the Raptors this playoffs.
1. They were lucky to get out of the 1st round. The Bucks should’ve went back to MIL up 2-0 and to be honest and they should’ve won game 6 as well. The Raptors collapsed and the Bucks missed key free throws and Giannis had a brain cramp in the final seconds that sealed the series for the Raps. The Raps did everything they could to lose game 6. And if they fully collapsed in game 6 of that series, I don’t think they would’ve had the mental toughness to bounce back, not with what we saw this leadership group when they faced adversity. If we didn’t have Ibaka & Tucker that series, it would’ve been all Bucks.
2. Carroll and Patterson were a waste of space this playoffs. I had tweeted that Patterson could be an X-Factor in this Cavs series: Big man off the bench that can drain the 3 and stretch the floor (like he used to do) but he completely disappeared this series and was non-existent.
Patterson looked to have zero confidence any time he got the ball and had no intentions to shoot most of the time. Carroll, who was brought in to be a gritty defender and rebounder has turned out to be none of those, and sometimes thinks he’s a deadly 3-point shooter and is more like a deadly rally killer for the Raps. We have 2 more years of his contract, so I’m sure we’ll lose more hair over this in due time.
3. Corey Joseph really showed us something against the Cavs. When he was forced into the starter role for an injured Kyle Lowry, he really filled in nicely. He excelled on offence and was a pest on D, really containing Kyrie Irving. It was impressive and was a bit of silver lining in that atrocious Cleveland series.
4. A guy who constantly brings his game down a notch in the playoffs in a not a Max Contract Player. I recently wrote an article ripping DeMar DeRozan took some heat on social media, but I don’t give a fuck. A Max Contract guy should elevate his game in the playoffs, not bring down a notch. And this isn’t an opinion, this is proven in his stats. The fact that there is a stat for how many points he scores after having a sub-10 point playoff game is enough to tell you he isn’t the guy. His lack of leadership and body language since game 1 of the Cavs series was enough to tell you he isn’t the guy. Then his comment about giving someone $100 to find a way to stop Lebron was pure bullshit. He gets paid $27M to figure that out. A Max Contract guy should be able to do more than hit a J. He can’t shoot a 3 and is atrocious on D. I’m sorry but a one dimensional player, who can’t get a clean shot off in short clock situations and goes to iso jumpers when he should be passing off/running plays is not a Max Contract guy. DeMar only did better than his regular season ppg avg once in the Cavs series. That’s not good enough. How would this series have looked if he put up his regular season numbers? I don’t care how much he likes the city or the city likes him, emotional attachment should not determine value. The only thing he is consistent at in the playoffs is being inconsistent.
5. This should be Casey’s final ride. This was the best roster he has ever had and they stumbled out of the 1st round and fell flat on their face in the 2nd round. Casey has plateaued with this organization and it’ll be better to cut ties sooner rather than later, especially doing so before guys like Stackhouse or Kalamian get purged by other teams. Casey has been brutal at calling plays in key situations, horrible at use of players (JV in particular) and was scrambling with starting lineups the entire playoffs (Tucker was brought in to stop Lebron and started once). This team needs a new voice and some new flavour.
This will be an interesting, probably depressing summer for the Raps. With Lowry, Ibaka, Tucker & Patterson all free agents, it will be a different team starting the 2017/2018 season in Toronto. There is no way they go into the Luxury Tax if they don’t believe they can legitimately take a run at the Cavs. The lack of ability for Casey to get the most out of his players this playoffs and the failure for their stars to execute in the playoffs (again) will seriously challenge the direction of this team in the off season. As a fan, I don’t see a point to spending money on a team who I know will hit a brick wall in the playoffs and won’t even put up a fight. I’m a realist and this will be the same result every year, sooner or later fans will stop to care and I think we saw that evidently with the reduced crowds in Jurassic Park this Spring.
Oh…and what the actual fuck was Atlanta thinking when they gifted Korver to the Cavs?