How is this in any way a Rudy thread? Lol C'mon guys.
Some more impressive 4th Quarter stats, as shown on tonight's game:
-1st in Points Allowed
-4th in Turnovers
-1st in Opp. FG%
-1st in second chance points
-3rd in FTA
Just wanted to bump this thread, because I really do think this has been the defining trait of the team this season, and it's a trait that not only wins you a lot of games but it's also a trait that demonstrates character. For a group of young players, it's a great sign for the future, and hopefully something that they can carry over to next year, however this season ends and whoever is here next year.
All the narrative in the media right now is about how surprising it was to see the Raptors look like the more poised team down the stretch than the Nets, while nobody acknowledges that this is exactly who the Raptors have been all season. (After reading probably two dozen post-game recaps, I think RR's own Garrett Hinchey was the only writer who mentioned the Raptors' regular season 4th quarter prowess.) Granted, doing it in the playoffs, on the road, with injuries and foul trouble against a veteran team is particularly impressive, but it didn't exactly come out-of-the-blue. This reminded me a lot of the Indiana New Years game: get the early lead, give it away quickly, grind it out through the third and early fourth, and then pick up the defensive intensity midway through the fourth and make the other guys struggle to score a field goal through the last six minutes.
I said at the beginning of the year that clutch play was the main thing I was going to be looking for to evaluate the Raptors this year, after they were the worst clutch team in the league last year. Based on that criteria, this season is already a tremendous success, more than I ever could have expected. Yeah, there are still problems with their frequent lapses in focus, a talent level that's not on par with the elite teams, and general inconsistency throughout the roster. Not everything was going to get fixed this year, and it won't all get fixed next year. But it's a big first step.