It always feels like more fouls are called against the Toronto Raptors than their opponent, but then you look at the final stats and the numbers tell you it’s even, so you can’t really complain about the referees even though you really want to.
Last night, the Toronto Raptors lost Game 2 of the NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors by a score of 109-104.
To me, this felt like a missed opportunity for the Raptors. Durant was still out, Klay left with a hamstring injury, and you’re at home. You have to win this game.
But no, they start out the third quarter and don’t score for the first five minutes. That can’t happen against the team that is known for being really good in the third quarter.
It didn’t help that a bunch of key players were battling foul trouble all night.
My biggest problem with referees in the NBA is they love to hear the sound of their own whistle. So many fouls are plays that don’t impede or inhibit the player who was supposedly “fouled”.
It’s all in the player’s response to getting “fouled”. If their arms flail, or their head jerks so viciously backwards that it might fall off, it’s an easy whistle every time.
Or sometimes you’ll see big, 230 lb. guys fall down so easily when a little point guard runs into them. These are professional athletes. You mean to tell me their balance is so bad, that they’re falling down by the slightest of pushes?
There’s a gap between what my eyes see and what the referees deem a foul.
I still think the referees should sit in a chair, about 10 feet about the court, and roam up and down the sidelines on a rail system. I should tweet this.
That being said, if you’re in foul trouble, you need to be careful. Kyle Lowry is an important player on this team – you can’t foul out of an NBA Finals game!
Lowry also fouled out of Game 3 against Milwaukee, in only 32 minutes. That game went to double overtime. The Raptors won, but still.
Last night’s game was winnable and that’s what is so frustrating. Because now, the Raptors must win a game in Oakland. That sounds daunting to me.
Is it doable? Sure. Play defence and hit your shots.
Will it happen? We’ll see. That Oracle crowd gives the Warriors a boost and can make it a tough place to play. I guess we’re about to see what the Raptors are made of.
OG Anunoby was available last night for the Raptors, but didn’t play. I’m wondering if this is a case of, “He hasn’t played in over a month, it’s unfair to throw him into the NBA Finals” or if Nick Nurse was just happy with his rotation and didn’t want to disrupt it until has to.
Either way, if he’s healthy enough to play, I think you need to put him in there at some point. But I’m not a coach, so who knows.
One last thing – I saw a lot of “Raptors in Six” predictions before the series started. To me, that doesn’t make sense. Maybe I need to be more optimistic, but the Warriors have already lost an NBA Finals clinching game on home court once, I don’t think they’ll allow that to happen again.
If the Raptors win this series, it’ll be in seven games at home.
Game 3 will be the biggest challenge this Raptors team has ever faced. I’m scared, excited, worried, and hopeful. I’m just a mixing bowl of emotions.
At this point, I’m over-reacting to every game because that’s the only thing I can do.
Oh, and it still doesn’t feel real that we’re in the NBA Finals.