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Thoughts on the game…
We chalked that one up because of third quarter blunders. I asked the guys to tell me what it was or what it is in the last five games, what’s the reason for the way we come out the way we do in the second half and then I gave my opinion. It’s definitely something that we’ve got to fix because it’s not a good feeling to know that you played pretty well in the first half and then you come out the second half and play like that and you let a team come back and just kind of walk you down without much resistance.
Does it make it even more frustrating that you held them under 40 per cent shooting from the field?
Yeah, that’s the first thing I told the coaches. When’s the last time we held a team to under 40 per cent and lost the game. We did some good things defensively. Offensively in the second half, we just didn’t run anything with any pace like we did in the first half, we didn’t run anything without any sense of urgency until the game got a little closer in the fourth quarter. We can’t play that way and until we get some assembly of a killer instinct, which we don’t have one bit of, then we are going to keep struggling like this in the second half.
How does your shoulder feel?
It feels like crap. I have been hit that way a lot of times, but I have never had a feeling like this. It is what it is.
The x-rays were negative, do you find some solace in that?
It still doesn’t feel right, so no solace in that.
The team fought hard in the fourth quarter…
I saw it. Guys fought but we put ourselves in that position. To be outscored 33-19 in the third quarter, it has been consecutive games we have been outscored by double digits (in the third quarter). That is our Achilles heel right now.
Is it fixable?
I hope so, there are no more excuses. I don’t know what happened exactly, but I feel like everybody goes their separate ways and only a couple of us are still trying to execute out there and a couple guys do it their own way. It is part of growing together and getting used to each other.
Is there a little bit of soul searching after this one?
It is simple, we have to come out and play like men in the third quarter. The last five games teams have been kicking our butts, kicking our tail, outscoring us by double digits. It starts on the defensive end, we got to be men and get stops and play together. It is not soul searching, its basketball, It’s a man’s game, either you or going to do it every night or not going to do it. There is no soul searching here.
What did Coach Scott say after the game?
Simple, the same thing I am telling you right now, we have got to be men. No more excuses. Don’t look at the refs for more calls, don’t look at anything, just go out there and play and compete. Toronto deserved this win, they outplayed us, and they kicked our ass in the third quarter.
What happened in the third quarter?
You saw it, how we started. First of all for the bigs, me and Tyler (Zeller) let the team down with Amir Johnson having 17 (points) and 16 (rebounds). That is unacceptable. (Jonas) Valanciunas had like 11 (points) and 9 (rebounds). Unacceptable. It starts with the bigs, if we do our job and everyone else will do their job then it all starts from there.
Raptors HEAD COACH Dwane Casey
Your team started to defend in the second half and that really changed the game…
It’s like day and night and I expected it just because of the schedule. We had every excuse in the world, fly over night, a little bit different, guys groggy coming in, a time change, we had everyone to mail it in this game but I told them at half time that we can’t have that as an excuse, but everybody stepped up. I thought Amir (Johnson) started it, I thought Kyle (Lowry) getting on the floor was a huge play, diving on the floor getting that loose ball, it kind of got us ignited. I thought our rookies played well. Them going against other rookies was a good test for them, to go against two young players, was big for Terrence (Ross) as well for Jonas (Valanciunas)
On Amir Johnson’s leadership skills…
He’s just an old vet. He learned a lot in Detroit. He’s one of the old guys but young guys at the same time. He learned a lot of that from Ben Wallace and those older guys. He talks about that experience all the time and he is trying to relay that to our young players. Again, he is a warrior, I’ve said that all year. This team is about experience and he’s got experience. He’s seen everything. The one thing you are not going to beat Amir Johnson on is effort and fight and tonight it was contagious.
How did you think you managed the players minutes?
Again, guys earn the minutes. I told them that at halftime, you’ve got to earn minutes and everybody that stepped in earned their minutes. That’s what we are going to do these last few games, even though we want to find out what we have, guys have got to earn their minutes. Again, guys are still going to come in and out of the game and we are not going to just say we are going to play the rookies, it doesn’t work that way. We are cheating the program if we coach those guys that way. I applaud our guys the way they played the second half and wished we could have had a first half like that. But they were committed together and again you see the number of guys that scored in double figures at the end of the game.
Thoughts on last field goal…
We wanted to run the pick-and-roll with the big but they did a good job of putting a small on Amir (Johnson) which made it easier for them to switch. (Alonzo) Gee is a good defender so I went to the move that I knew I could get the shot off and the one I work on. I went to that move and I made it. We’re up one and my preference is to go down there and get a shot up. We still had time left on the shot clock, if we missed and they scored we still had time left.
Thoughts on game…
It was definitely an energy game. We came out sluggish in the first and second quarters. We picked it up later in the second and carried it on throughout the rest of the game. Coach said we had every excuse, coming in late, but we definitely pulled this game off with hustle and energy.
Thoughts on having some key players out…
It was another excuse as we had guys down. Terrence Ross started and he played well. Landry (Fields), JV (Jonas Valanciunas) and a bunch of other guys stepped up and played well.
Coach said the team finally got the late foul right at the end of the game…
Yes, we had messed that up a couple of times. During the timeout he (Dwane Casey) was stressing it and we all heard it this time.