But the Raptors were game on this night and took the Suns to the brink of defeat when Hedo Turkoglu’s last-second shot failed to fall as time expired. Suns 101, Raptors 100.
However, the game should never have gotten to a last-second shot for the win.
The Raptors had played the Suns even and ahead for the entire game, ending each quarter with a slight lead Even when the Suns finally managed to tie the game early in the fourth quarter, the Raptors looked like they were not going to let this game get away.
But for some strange and illogical reason, Jay Triano decided to go back to the worst defensive guard lineup the Raptors have put on the floor this season.
At the 8:28 mark of the fourth quarter with the score tied at 84, Jay Triano substituted in Jose Calderon for Hedo Turkoglu to reunite him with Jarrett Jack. Let the bloodshed begin!
As has been discussed on numerous occasions this lineup simply doesn’t work.
“As recently identified in the True Hoop Article: What’s Working For The Raptors , when Jose Calderon and Jarrett Jack are on the floor together, the Raptors are surrendering 136.8 points per 100 possessions. Now that’s unbelievably bad! It’s historically bad! Toronto Raptors: Evidence of Defense"
With Calderon and Jack on the floor together, in just two minutes and 16 seconds, the Suns, who had not led since the first quarter, outscored the Raptors 7-2 to take a 91-86 lead. Jack went 0-1 with a turnover.
With Turkoglu returning to the game in place of Jack at the 6:12 mark, the Raptors fought back to take the lead 100-98 with 51 seconds left, arguably losing the game to some suspicious calls from the referees.
But it should never have come to this. The Raptors, for the third game in a row, played outstanding defense. This time against one of the best offensive teams the NBA has to throw at them.
Hopefully Jay Triano will finally admit that his two point guard line-up is a disaster that has been the direct cause of two Raptors road losses.
One would hate to see the first Canadian NBA head coach lose his luster and his job over some meaningless attempt to prove a concept he believes in should work.
Jose Calderon played some of the best defense of his career. Regularly switching on to Amar’e Stoudemire and playing him more effectively than the Raptors big men.
Jarrett Jack is looking more frustrated and less part of this team every time is forced to play with Jose Calderon and his team goes down because of it. During the Raptors comeback in the last six minutes of the fourth quarter while Raptors players were cheering, Jarrett Jack sat with his face in his hands and couldn't watch. Jay Triano is killing this young man's confidence!