Even though Toronto secured a 131-113 victory tonight I have to admit the end of the season left a bad taste in my mouth. It’s not just because the team won’t make the playoffs, instead it’s the time I spent in the Raptors locker room tonight and what I saw and heard.
Jarrett Jack talked about not making the playoffs being rough and needing some time to get over the way the season ended.
Sonny Weems claimed he didn’t know what went wrong towards the end of the season.
Andrea Bargnani told the media he was disappointed his season was over.
Amir Johnson confided to the media that hearing Chicago won took the air out of him.
While this kind of stuff sounds good, the bottom line is the players threw out a bunch of meaningless cliches to sound good in front of the media while the cameras and microphones were rolling.
The truth is Weems was singing at his locker while getting dressed.
Jack was focused on looking all GQ for members of the media.
DeMar DeRozan wanted Weems to hurry up so they could start their plans for the rest of the evening.
Reggie Evans, a guy who barely saw the court this season, left the locker room with his red sunglasses on – at 11pm at night – while letting out a whoop that would make Ric Flair proud.
What’s left a bitter taste in my mouth is the fact I’ve spent countless hours covering this team and I seem more broken up about this loss than any of the players. It’s a shame the players weren’t nearly as broken up about this loss as they let on while the cameras and microphones were rolling.
- Sonny Weems informed the media after the game that he has a “vibe” Chris Bosh will be back in a Toronto Raptors jersey next season.
- After the game I asked Weems if his strong end to the season will result in him getting a good contract this smile and he flashed a huge smile.
- Beep! Beep! Call Andrea Bargnani the bus driver because he took Earl Barron to school tonight. On his first touch he got the ball on the perimeter, pump-faked, got Barron in the air and earned two free throw attempts. Things didn’t get much better for Barron as Bargnani went 6-6 to start the game on his way to scoring 16 points in his first 12 minutes of burn. Bargnani would finish with 28 points while going 9-15 from the field.
- As impressive as Bargnani was shooting the ball, what really caught my attention were the five assists and four rebounds he contributed. One of the highlights for me this season was seeing his overall growth.
- Mike D’Antoni got a ton of questions about the Knicks upcoming summer and I posted the audio clip of his pre-game media scrum. Click here to give it a listen.
- After the game Amir Johnson admitted to the media he’s at a loss for how he’ll spend the next few weeks. He’s used to playing in the playoffs and he’s not sure what he’ll do over the next few weeks.
- Danilo Gallinari started an abysmal 3-11 from the field but he didn’t stop chucking. He finished with 22 points while going 6-18 from the field. You’ve got to appreciate his swagger and confidence to keep shooting even when he has a tough start to the night.
- Before the game Jay Triano informed the media that Sonny Weems would suit up tonight while joking “I don’t think he knows how to swell.” Triano’s words were prophetic as Weems had 14 points in the first half while going an impressive 7-9 from the field. Weems finished with 18 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals.
- Speaking of Weems, he couldn’t have scripted a better end to his season. After the game he was disappointed about not making the playoffs but his strong play to end the season means he’ll be able to ink a nice deal this summer as a free agent.
By The Numbers:
6 – Number of field goals Andrea Bargnani made before he had his first miss of the night
15 – Made three-pointers by New York
61 – Number of points New York scored in the first half
62 – Points in the paint for Toronto
69.8 – Toronto’s field goal percentage in first half
73 – Number of points Toronto scored in the first half
131 – Number of points Toronto finished the game with (a season high)