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News » Toronto Raptors Getting Inside 2008-04-30

Toronto Raptors Getting Inside 2008-04-30

Toronto Raptors Getting Inside 2008-04-30
Everyone connected with the Raptors will now begin the painful process of self-evaluation, secure in the knowledge that no matter what they said or thought, it was proved quite conclusively they are not now as good as the Orlando Magic, let alone the top echelon of NBA teams.

Losing the best-of-seven series in five games will be a bitter pill for management, coach Sam Mitchell and the players to swallow. Losing in the manner they did will be even more difficult to accept.

It is the failing of the Raptors' roster that they lack that player for crunch time -- or that none emerged over the course of the season.

After clawing back from down seven to within 84-82, the Raptors went four straight possessions without scoring a point, and Orlando's 8-0 run with about four minutes left effectively ended the season.

"If we have somebody that is aggressive on the offensive end, creating plays, making shots and getting to the basket ... I think we have some shooters, but if our shooters develop a talent where they can take guys off the dribble, that'll make us a lot better," said Chris Bosh.

MAGIC 102, RAPTORS 92: Once again, it came down to late game execution, and, once again, the Raptors came up short, another illustration of the shortcomings of a roster that muddled through a 41-41 regular season. The roster will have to be remade in at least some aspects before next season.

After clawing back from an eight-point deficit to cut an Orlando lead to 84-82, the Raptors came away empty on four straight possessions with Carlos Delfino missing two shots and Chris Bosh each missing one.

And as they did for almost the entire series, the Magic answered Raptors failings with their own big plays as Keith Bogans and Jameer Nelson hit critical 3-pointers to put the game out of reach.

With the sellout crowd of 17,519 on its feet for most of the final two minutes, the Magic rolled to a victory that moves it into the second round of the playoffs for the first time in 12 seasons.

Chris Bosh didn't have a brilliant game -- 16 points and nine rebounds -- and it's proven virtually impossible for this team to win if he doesn't explode. T.J. Ford, who finished the game on the bench while Jose Calderon played, had 14 points, as did Carlos Delfino. But that wasn't nearly enough to hold off the Magic.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: April 30, 2008


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