[Editor's Note: From the diaries. Thanks to mistersean for (pardon the cliche) stepping up and posting this. -Pradamaster
In the beginning of the game, all of Toronto's shooters started getting hot. Anthony Parker, Joey Graham, Chris Bosh, José Calderón (with his only move, a cross-over and a lay-up) were all feasting on our inexistent covering of perimeter shooters. We were slow on defense, and that led to innumerable open jumpers for Toronto's mass of shooters. On offense, we had a hard time getting into a rhythm, as happens frequently whenever the other team hits shots and doesn't turn it over. I'm of the opinion that we need a couple steals or long rebounds to get our attacking offense in gear. Without it, we often settle for jump shots and the offense gets stagnant, which is what happened in the first quarter yesterday.
For the rest of the game, Toronto continued to hold us off at around a 10-point deficit. We were pushing and trying to gain momentum, but whenever we got it to 8 or 6, someone from the Raps, often Bosh or Calderón, who were both superb, would drain an energy-sapping jumper and soon enough we would be back down 14 again, trying to claw back into it. It was much like the first game at Toronto--the game was always in our reach, but we could never get enough stops to sustain a real run.
(Details after the jump.)
As for individual performances, Jarvis shot well from the field, settling into a pull-up jump shooter role, shooting on-balance J's after being fed by one of his teammates. Jarvis didn't force much off the dribble on his own, and instead helped move the ball around, which I liked. Cal Booth was fairly effective as a starting PF, playing decent defense, rebounding well, and even hitting jumpers at the start, though he started missing open shots after that. Gil got to the line very well, but had another sub-par shooting night. Caron had an good shooting night, but often had irritating fumble turnovers.
Brendan had a good game offensively and on the boards, but as a whole the Wiz bigs had no luck guarding Chris Bosh, who hit his last 15 FGs to end the game, mostly swished turn-around jump shots, eerily reminiscent of Sheed the night before. A highlight reel play capped off his spectacular night--he spun and faked the [stuff] out of Andray during our garbage time and slammed it down, with an emphatic "Wooo!" ensuing in the aftermath. That discouraging play sums up the night well--we were tired from the game and traveling the night before, and just couldn't overcome the surging Raps, who have now won 8 of their last 11.