Raps lose big in Atlanta

MIKE GANTER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:10 AM ET

ATLANTA -- Crushed.

There may not be a better word in the English vocabulary to describe what the Atlanta Hawks did to the Raptors Wednesday night.

The 146-115 beatdown Wednesday though at least managed to accomplish one thing that could help the Raptors going forward if they act upon it.

It stripped bare every excuse this team might want to use for it’s lacklustre defensive performance.

There was not one mention of fatigue or back-to-backs. It was all brutally honest self-appraisal of what went on.

Raptors head coach Jay Triano said his team was simply “outclassed.”

“Defensive effort hasn’t been there for a while,” Chris Bosh said. “We have to be honest with ourselves. (Wednesday night) was just a total embarrassment. We couldn’t stop anybody. We haven’t stopped anybody all year.

“The past few games we have been outworked in every aspect. We don’t get on the ground. We don’t consistently get rebounds. We give up a lot of points in the paint. No coverage is good for us. I mean it’s just not a good team.”

Jarrett Jack was no less honest in his appraisal.

“You can’t give up 75 points in a half and expect to be successful,” Jack said. “You can’t come with a mindset that we are going to outscore everyone. It’s not possible. I don’t know what we have to do whether it’s lineup changes, sitting people down earlier or what. We’re not playing D and we’re not rebounding so we’re like shooting ourselves int he foot twice.”

The question now though is what the Raptors are going to do about it.

To this point the answer has been nothing but talk and that too has to change if things are going to get any better.

It’s going to be hard for it to get much worse.

The 146 points put up by the Hawks Wednesday represent the second highest output by a Raptor opponent in franchise history. Six more and they would have tied the 152 put up by the Los Angeles Clippers on March 13, 1998.

Bosh was held to just two points Wednesday on two field goal attempts in 16 minutes. He had three fouls by halftime, started the third quarter and then sat down for the rest of the night after six minutes. Afterwards Triano referenced the foul trouble as the reason for his short night, but the fact the Raps were down by 28 with 18 minutes left to play and two more games in the next three nights probably had as much to do with it.

Jack wasn’t as fortunate and with things getting continually worse in the fourth quarter he got rather vocal as he came back to the bench during a timeout.

“Every time something happens it’s always ‘It’s OK, it’s all right.’ It’s not all right,” Jack said. “Problems go by without attacking them or challenging them or bringing them to the forefront and getting them solved. We can’t just keep putting them to the back of the bus and just saying that’s OK. It’s not all right.

"Everyone can’t walk on eggshells around here and pretend we’re playing good basketball. We’re not. We’re playing terrible.”


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