Toronto Raptors does not meet expectations and gives up the throne

There will be a new champion in the NBA. The Raptors remain in the second round of the 2020 Playoffs in an agonizing series that the Celtics took.

Toronto-Raptors-does-not-meet-expectations-and-gives-up-the-throne

The Raptors end their path as NBA champions. They have set the bar high, playing all season like a real team (something that not so many can boast about) and warning that they were going to be a rival for the Bucks, but they have stayed in the same round as Giannis's boys Antetokounmpo. In the semifinals of the Eastern Conference, in a series that has become beautiful with the passage of games but in which they have not been dominant at almost no time, they have fallen. The rival, the Celtics, has played their weapons better, has had the necessary wisdom when needed and has won. It had to be in a life or death match, in the seventh, and with a somewhat stupid game by both teams and with an 87-92 final, but setting a performance of those that experts in the field say which are the ones that win titles.

Stevens once again demonstrated that he is a very good coach by introducing a variant that became decisive with the departure of Grant Williams to play the final minutes when German center Daniel Theis was eliminated for fouls. Two missed free throws gave way to a defense that bolted the Celtics' rim and gave them the pass to face the Heat. It is in these small details where the coach gives you a plus even though the Coach of the Year himself is on the other bench. The Raptors found themselves lacking in alternatives, playing too much one-on-one and abusing side-to-side passes with little judgment. Deserved victory for the most successful team in history, which reaches the final of its conference for the third time in the last four seasons and with very clear ideas.

The meeting was what was a seventh to use, without fuss and with a lot of tension in the environment. The good game we leave it to other moments, here there were contained breaths and two tickets: one for the next round and another to go home. Smart, very successful in this series, started out strong and even liking outdoor releases. Tatum took over and, despite going at a piggy trot, they had little advantage. The Raptors did not work the first arreon and they were already under. To tell the truth, the Celtics needed two pulls to win at halftime: a 0-10 in the first quarter and a 0-11 in the second.

Tatum (29 points, 12 rebounds and 7 assists) was doing everything, until he stood up in defense against a Pascal Siakam who had lost his nerve in recent days and who comes out of this match as the great one marked by defeat. The box and one raised by the Raptors coaching staff isolated Kemba Walker, yes, but it left other shortcomings in the air: in the unprotected area Marc Gasol did not get to stop either Theis or Williams and the other to whom the fingers point Inquisitors of the fans is the Spanish pivot, who finished the game with -19 (the worst of theirs) in the well-beaten +/- on the court that some use as a measurement.

The break outs were killers for the still reigning champions. None went well, in all they lost strength and the Celtics took advantage. After the break, it was Lowry (16) and VanVleet (20) who wanted to put one more point of effort and success. They did it. With Serge Ibaka (14) and Norman Powell (11) they made a good partnership and were even ahead before receiving the last heat. But they did not know how to see that the game was not going to be to hit but to not fail. The Celtics' outsides did it on shots of three, 4/24 between Walker, Brown and Smart, but they made up for it with a different attitude on the defensive lines.

In the losses, the Raptors lost a lot of power, not only because of how but also because of when. And in attitude. The Celtics had risen to the top again and someone had to appear on the Canadian side. Several wanted to do it and none hit the button. Overcooked, like a poorly made octopus, they wanted to do more than what should have been a chain job and the end was washed out and erratic. The greens even left a small loophole, but not like that.

With the elimination of Theis, Grant Williams had to leave, who was preferred over Kanter or Poirier, and Siakam went to '5', achieving a basket on the post and thank God. Lowry also hit a merit basket and had two good defenses, but he lost his hand on defense and committed the sixth foul when the game was on the wire. In the absence of half a minute and with the Celtics only two over, Grant Williams missed two free throws but Tatum, who came from outside the arc, hunted the offensive rebound against Powell's passivity and converted one more. A triple shot VanVleet wanted to be the hero with Lowry out, but the 45 minutes already played (the most) and a horrendous shot selection against the Williams defense, which could turn the story around from the other side of the court, they ended up certifying the death of the Raptors in these 2020 Playoffs.



Photos from as.com
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