Raptors Must Refocus as They Commence a New Week
After a torrid run, the Toronto Raptors sidetracked this past week.
While overall the Raptors went 2-2, it was the third quarter that cost them two big wins. A 28-0 New York Knicks run contributed to one loss while being outscored 31-20 in the third quarter of another loss to the Indiana Pacers proved to be the Raptors’ downfall. The inability to come out ready out of the gates and keeping the foot on the gas pedal proved costly to the often inconsistent Raptors. But as the Raptors are set to start a new week on the heels of a blowout victory over the Atlanta Hawks, they must continue to take the good and build on it, while learning from the bad.
“At the end of the day, we have lineups that we’re going to play with and we have to figure it out on the fly. Coach makes decisions and we have to go with them. That’s basketball,” Kyle Lowry said. “Sometimes (Dwane Casey) makes the right decisions, and most times — even if it’s not — we make it work. Because he’s our coach and we have to ride or die with him.”
After a heavy schedule to begin the season, taking on some of the game’s best teams, the next few weeks will provide favourable competition for the Raptors as they start a string of games against teams either clawing for playoff spots or favourable spots in next year’s draft lottery.
Despite having teams like the Charlotte Hornets, Phoenix Suns, and Dallas Mavericks coming up on the schedule, the Raptors must focus on learning good habits and not to ease up and play at the level of their competition.
“We’ve had this issue now, if you look at the numbers, for the last three or four years,” Casey said. “We’re slow in the first (quarter), one of the tops in the second, slow in the third and one of the tops in the fourth. It’s a phenomenon . . . Believe me, it’s not for lack of trying. But we haven’t found the answer and that’s on us.”
New week, same mindset. With the Charlotte Hornets coming into town, its up to the Raptors to refocus on the games at hand!