Friday March 19 2010 – 9:57pm Eastern - Toronto, ON 

Thunder @ Raptors

Final Score:
115-89, Thunder (Toronto now 33-34)

“Smith and Jones” Player of the Game:
25 points
7 rebounds
9/19 FG
“Alice Fazoolis” Player of the Game:
* We weren’t joined by a member of the Thunder but if we had our choice, it would have been:
31 points
6 rebounds
3 assists
7/16 FG
17/18 FT

Shout-out to the Raptors:
22 points
10 rebounds
2 assists
7/14 FG
8/8 FT

Stats that stood out:
- Points in the Paint: 44-36, Thunder
- 2nd Chance Points:  27-6, Thunder
- Fast Break Points:  34-10, Thunder
- Durant tied a Raptors record (for an opponent) with 15 FT attempts and makes in the first half
- OKC outrebounded the Raptors 53-37
- Toronto drops back below .500 but they’re still locked into 8th place (for now)

Thumbs Up:
- Can I use the line:  “The final buzzer” again?

Thumbs Down:
- TWENTY offensive rebounds for OKC leading to a 27-6 advantage in 2nd chance points

Smith Says:
- “A big game and a bigger letdown.  This team has become very frustrating to figure out.”

Jones Says:
- “Oklahoma City did the effort things tonight and Toronto didn’t match.”

Keep the 3-ball Streak Alive (927 games and counting):
- The Raptors were 3 of 9 from 3PT range

Next game:
- Raptors @ Nets – Saturday March 20 2010 – 7:30pm Eastern
- Tune in at 7:00pm for the pre game show and just after 7:30pm for the “Pizza Pizza” starting line ups


* Missed our post-game show, check it out here:

10 Responses to “Thunderstruck (Again)”
  1. 1.

    Don’t like getting used to the feeling.

    - Gary
  2. 2.

    “This team has become very frustrating to figure out” — Eric Smith.

    Huh? Have you been watching this team for the past three years???

    What is difficult to figure out.

    No rebounding. No hustle. No intensity. No inside game. No commitment to conditioning. No legit second scoring option.

    Eric…with all due respect, these traits have defined this team for several years. I’ve preached these failures so many times I’m turning blue!!

    I’m stumped as to how you’re so “frustrated” and can’t “figure this team out”. Are you just figuring it all out NOW????

    - brento.
  3. 3.

    That was tough to watch, both as a fan and former coach. I once coached a game where we went the entire first half witout a single foul called on the opposition, meanwhile we were getting hammered. In total only 3 fouls were called against them for the whole game and we got beat bad. There is no more demoralizing a feeling than that right there. To know that no matter what you said or did during practise means nothing when the refs can’t calla a game 50/50.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, whenever the Raptors are playing a more popular Amreican team they don’t get the benfit of the doubt, even though they are a talented as they are.

    Now….off the soap box.

    That was ugly. Hard to stop a team like OKC once they get rolling.

    Did anyone else think that OKC would score 39 *QUIET* first quarter points?

    - T.J.
  4. 4.

    I think I’ll start following the Bucks. They’ve got a mix of players from all over the world (+ Delfino), and they seem to like winning.
    Bogut seems to be pretty good too!

    - Mr.Curious
  5. 5.

    Overheard at the game last night:

    “You know, for a player in retirement, that Turkoglu guy actually looks pretty good”


    - brento.
  6. 6.

    I watched the highlights twice this morning and focussed only under the defensive basket, not following the basketball.

    It was totally unbelievable how many times the Raptors didn’t box out, had at least one OKC player INSIDE them for the offensive rebound or putback, how many times an OKC player crashed inside TWO OR THREE Raps defenders for the ball or had 3 or 4 rebounds in a row off the same miss.

    Bear in mind this was all at the Raps end where you have the assumed advantage. That’s how you’re outrebounded 53-37.

    And you can’t whine about the giant disparity in free throws when you refuse to go to the tin for large stretches of time, settling over and over for jump shots (BAN THEM FROM THE ARSENAL for an entire game until they get the message!)

    The next two are easy wins that better not become one. Unreal as it sounds, they are still only a game out of 7th and 1 1/2 out of 6th….

    - Gary
  7. 7.

    Gary…you wanna have a little chat with TJ? Teach him a little bit about ball?

    His referee comments are in stark contrast to yours about a team afraid to go inside and completely intimidated when it comes to rebounding the ball.

    He can’t be serious about the refs, can he?????

    - brento.
  8. 8.

    brento are you for real,,,,E works for the fan590 and was hired as the colour for the raptors on the fan590 which he works for. The fan does not have hockey thus they need to promote nba in the city thus give them air time during the day to talk “hoops” and promote “ball” ,,,, E would be bounced if he were to take the shades of and were to say stuff like 15 years have been a colossal failure on the court,,and he is “frustrated” cause he can’t figure out what’s happening. If you take a quick look at the history of the franchise,,,,its been a great year,,,,going to playoffs next month,,,, what’s the issue here ?,,,going to get bounced in round one,,,wow never saw that coming !,,, But for MLSE its a huge success as it puts something in the building 41 nights a year.
    give E a break,,,,, he works for the fan and broadcasts an nba team,,,, you don’t crap were you eat sort of speak,,,,keep it up E,, i believe in ya

    - lemongellofan
  9. 9.

    While I tend to think your comment was written with an undertone of sarcasm … you’re still partially right.

    If you’ve listened to the Raptors broadcast, my daily radio show with Jack or the Hoops show … or if you’ve read this blog with any kind of regularity … you’ll know that I am still critical of the team when it’s called for. I’m balanced. I’m objective. I’m not a ‘fan’. Fans should be more subjective and reactive. That’s what being a ‘fan’ is all about. Heck, I’m that way in football – when I’m rooting for the Buffalo Bills. I’m a fanatic. I’m unreasonable at times!

    But whether you want to believe it or not, I’ve never had a boss at the FAN tell me to “talk up the Raptors” or to “talk more basketball” ’cause we’re trying to protect the team or promote the team simply because they’re on our station.

    Again, I’ve called a spade a spade. And I will continue to do so. But I won’t be as reactive (or over-reactive) as some fans. I’ll try to be balanced and look at both sides; all sides. Watch the VLOG 34.0 – just posted – and tell me if there’s not criticism in there (and I know you commented on that blog/vlog as well — to which I also gave a lengthy response)

    And you are right … MLSE is happy to have at least 41 dates at the ACC. Heck, 45 if you count the 4 pre season games. And while the organization wants to win and would love to go to the 2nd round … 3rd round … and beyond … there’s no doubt that simply getting into the post-season is a positive as well … in that they’ll get at least 2 playoff dates (gates). You’re dead-wrong though if think that that’s simply “good enough” for the management and ownership.

    Finally, the reason I haven’t said the Raptors are a “colossal failure” is because they’re not. Have they underachieved? Have they not won as much as you or I or the owners wanted? Probably. But a “failure” …? That’s ridiculous

    A lot of what I wrote on the ‘comments’ section of VLOG 34.0 covers some of this stuff as well (as it pertains to the fans, ownership, money, etc)

    - Eric Smith
  10. 10.

    Thanks for the candid response, Eric.

    It looks as though we’ll have to disagree on the concept of failure. Unless our differences surround the definition of “failure”.

    Based on this franchise’s history, they have been a entirely woeful failure. One playoff series win in 14 years cements that as near fact.

    And this season? Based on Colangelo’s restructuring of this team, and adding the top free agent available on the market last year…and add to this the two month run that you and so many others glorified repeatedly…this season has been a failure, so far.

    Once again, it comes down to standards. As a fan, and season seat holder, having the Raptors make the playoffs and lose in the first round is not considered a successful season to me. Half of the league makes the playoffs. As such, teams should make the playoffs roughly every other year. And given the volume of 1st round picks we’ve had over the history of this franchise, it’s once again unacceptable to see this team floundering every season. Sorry, Eric…middling every season.

    The fact this team has the 4th worst alltime record among current NBA teams just about sums up my argument in favour of the organization being a failure.

    Feel free to rebut, if you feel you have the ability to do so. I don’t know where you would even begin.

    - brento.
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