Posts Tagged ‘Rapception’

It was your standard Raptors game; solid first half, up ten after three quarters, questionable coaching, late-game implosion, another close loss. Rapception. The highlights, in case you need them:

 

This has happened so many times, that it’s becoming difficult for me to find new ways to post my thoughts on the Raptors’ 2012-2013 bumblings. So in the interest of keeping things fresh around here, I offer you a series of haikus inspired by tonight’s game.

Bargnani is back.
It seems coming off the bench
Suits him much better.

I think that Garnett
And the rapper DMX
Are long-lost brothers.

Nothing in the world
Will wreck your offensive flow
Quite like John Lucas.

Dear coach Dwayne Casey:
Why is Alan Anderson
Playing in the fourth?

Did we really think
That acquiring Rudy Gay
Would mean the 8th seed?

You’re welcome, Boston.

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Double-digit lead. Lost it in the final minutes. Yes, you have seen this happen before.

And it seems that other people are catching on to the phenomenon of “Rapception”. Take a listen to the commentators in the video below. “What quarter is it? Okay, holler at me when we get to the fourth.”

 

This time, it was the defence (or lack thereof) that let the Raptors down. Coach Casey expressed his frustration beautifully, describing the Raptors getting back on defence as more of a “home-run trot” than a hustle.

You’re welcome, Philadelphia.

You can almost see it on Jose's face: are you REALLY going to make me wear this in public?

In honour of Canada’s Armed Forces, this evening the Raptors wore uniforms that resembled a spinach smoothie army fatigues. Which is appropriate, because I’m sure that by the end of this one, all those poor members of the army were pretty fatigued by the home team’s performance. Honestly, you’d think that a more fitting tribute to our brave military men and women would be to shoot better.

As they often do, things started out pretty well; Derrick Rose wasn’t playing, the Raps built a lead at halftime…aaaaaand then the Bulls outscored the Raptors 32-13 in the fourth. Good old RAPCEPTION. It never fails.

Oh well, I guess it was a good test for the Bulls. After all, if Rose goes down in the playoffs, they need to be confident that they can win without him. And now, thanks to us, they know they can.

You’re welcome, Chicago.

Frustrated by his team's inability to beat the Bobcats, Raptors guard Jerryd Bayless resorts to aggressive breakdancing.

The Charlotte Bobcats are widely acknowledged as the weakest team in the NBA. They have managed, as of today, only seven wins all season. And yet two of those wins have come against the Raptors. In fact, they have now beaten the Raptors six straight times. Ignoring for a moment the unpleasant thought of what it means when you can’t beat the league’s worst team, Saturday’s loss made me pause and forced me to try and analyze the bigger picture.

How is it that Charlotte manages to keep getting the best of us? How is it that 1983 dunk contest participant and compulsive traveller Corey Maggette is able to light us up for 21 points? How is it that name-of-the-year nominee Bismack Biyombo piles up 7 blocks against us? I’m tempted to say that it’s a simple case of “Rapception“, the phenomenon discussed previously on this blog. But I think there’s a simpler answer.

Why can’t the Raptors beat the Bobcats? Simple: karma.

To explain, we’ve got to travel back in time to March 24th, 1996, exactly 16 years ago this week, when this happened:

(Skip to 7:21 for the dramatic ending, when Michael Jordan hits a game-winning shot that gets waved off.)

That’s right: the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls, aka the greatest team of all-time, winners of 72 games in a single season, were beaten by the expansion Toronto Raptors. Michael Jordan hit the game-winner, but it didn’t count.

16 years later, guess who’s the majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats?

That’s right: Michael Jordan.

It’s almost like a “Final Destination” thing. The Raptors had no business winning the game. Destiny wanted the Bulls to go 73-9 that season. Destiny wanted Jordan’s shot to count, but it was judged to have left his hands a split-second too late. And now, like all those poor saps who cheat death in the “Final Destination” movies, the Raptors continue to pay for that split-second all these years later.

So let’s take this as a good thing: it’s not Dwane Casey’s fault that Charlotte beat us again. It’s not Bargnani’s fault for shooting poorly, or James Johnson’s fault for playing like a zombie. The Raptors are powerless to beat Charlotte this season, until we find some way to break the MJ curse.

Stay tuned: the final installment in the Raptors-Bobcats 2012 trilogy is set for April 3rd, when the Bobcats bring their magical voodoo powers to the ACC.

I would like to coin a new term:

“Rapception”.

Rapception is the eerie feeling you get while watching a Raptors game, when you suddently know exactly how the game is going to play out. Halfway between deja-vu and premonition, Rapception makes you feel simultaneously like a genius of basketball and a victim of fate.

Some signs you may be experiencing Rapception:

  • You notice that the opponent’s best player is injured, but for some reason you think, “uh-oh.”
  • You see DeMar Derozan hit a couple of shots early, and you get the uneasy feeling that he’s done for the night.
  • The Raptors are up at the half, but you get a chill down your spine just moments before the third quarter begins.

If any or all of the above happened to you while watching last night’s game against New Jersey, don’t worry; you’re not alone. We all saw it coming. We knew Derozan was going to pile up 12 points on 15 shots. We knew that even without Deron Williams, the Nets would pull out the win. We knew that, despite leading at the end of the first and second quarters, the third would go the way it did. And we knew that a certain former Raptor would capitalize on 38% shooting to put up a career-high 21 rebounds. For a full post-mortem, go here.

You’re welcome, New Jersey.