In perhaps one of the most anticipated games of the season, the Raptors couldn't pull out a win in London, England vs. the New Jersey Nets in the only two games nationally broadcasted for the Raptors.
This certainly won't help the American stereotype of the Raptors as a crappy, bottom feeding team who is in the same boat as the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Another point I will bring up is Andrea Bargnani's rebounding issues. Bargnani was recently interviewed by an Italian television station and was asked about his rebounding woes. Guess what he said.
"I play basketball, not rebound-ball."
Wow. Great attitude, Andrea. That's certainly the way to improve your rebounding. Bargnani also went on about how he's sometimes lazy and focuses more on offense.
This isn't news to us as Raptor fans, but it's of even more significance now that the matter is coming from the horse's mouth.
If Bargnani really wants to reach stardom and be considered a viable piece to build around, he will have to work at both ends of the court.
Onto the report:
Performance on a scale of 1-10: 7
Here is a recap of the three games:
Raptors vs Hornets, W 96-90
Jose, Jose, Jose! Really, Jose Calderon was terrific. He outplayed Chris Paul and was four rebounds shy of a triple-double with the statline of 22-16-6. His defense also was solid this game. DeMar DeRozan and James Johnson both put up a decent performance, and the defense unit was also pretty good.
Andrea Bargnani was relatively quiet, which is often the case when he doesn't get his touches for a given period of time in the game.
Raptors @ Nets, O2 Arena, L 103-116
Both teams seemed excited coming into the game, given the O2 arena and all, and it was a fairly close game until the fourth quarter. DeMar DeRozan was fantastic, finishing with 30 points, and he played with great determination in comparison to the rest of the team.
The defense was atrocious, especially in the fourth quarter. For a team with only two games on national TV the whole season, it didn't seem like the Raps really wanted to give the NBA a great impression.
Raptors @ Nets, O2 Arena, L 136-137, 3 OT
Wow, both teams put on a show in London. Going into triple overtime, both teams played extremely hard and this was heartbreaking for the Raps. Andrea Bargnani were both incredible, with 35 and 30 points respectively.
In the clutch, the Raps just weren't good enough. The Raps had many chances to win the game, and they couldn't capitalize. Deron Williams roasted the Raps and finish with 21 points and 18 assists.
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