Raptors catch breaks late, steal victory from Hawks

There are different schools of thought concerning how specific NBA teams perform in ”close games”, over the course of an 82-game regular season schedule, regarding the actual effects of such things as:

I. Superior skill level/ability;

II. Superior coaching;

III. Age/experience/maturity;

IV. Luck; and/or,

V. Some combination of the above.

Are close games really decided by luck?

Mythbusting: Experience and close games


The outcome of last night’s Raptors-Hawks game:

Atlanta Hawks [43-24] 105
Complete Game Info

is consistent with the perspective that views V., above, as the most appropriate interpretation of the available data …

Given that:

A. After struggling with the accuracy of his jump shot for the first 46 minutes of the contest, the best player on the home team made several key plays in the final 2 minutes to fuel an otherwise improbable come-from-behind victory against a solid opponent [i.e. +.650, Win%] that’s been playing fairly erratic basketball of late;


B. The home team was also the beneficiary of every questionable officiating call during this same segment of the game.


Heading into last night’s game:

Atlanta Hawks

- Lost 2 of 4 last away games [i.e. G2 at New York and G1 at Miami] 
- Played without best player [i.e. Joe Johnson] in the line-up
- Played 2nd game of a back-to-back situation
- Travelled from away game at New Jersey to Toronto

- 3 game Winning Streak, overall [i.e. G5 at New Jersey, G4 vs Detroit and G3 at Washington]


- 1st game at home after 4-game west coast road trip
- Lost 9 of last 10 games, overall

- Returning home from 4-game west coast road trip
- 3 point home favourite
- Antoine Wright/SF-OG out of the line-up


End of game Play-By-Play

Atlanta Hawks (43-24)

Toronto Raptors (33-33)

4th Quarter

Horford Turnaround Hook Shot: Made (18 PTS) Assist: Crawford (2 AST) 

- Horford made contested shot over Bosh

ATL 105-101]




Bosh Driving Layup Shot: Missed Block: Horford (2 BLK

- Bosh made good drive; Horford made terrific block

Horford Rebound (Off:2 Def:12) 



Crawford 3pt Shot: Missed 

- Solid team defense forced contested shot from left corner





Calderon Rebound (Off:0 Def:3) 



Team Timeout : Regular 


[TOR 103-105]

Bosh Driving Hook Shot: Made (12 PTS) 

- Bosh made contested shot over Horford

Smith Layup Shot: Missed 

- Smith missed contested shot against Bosh [5 PF] who managed not to foul





Team Rebound 



Team Timeout : Short 



Instant Replay – Support Ruling 

- Officials made wrong ruling [i.e.  ball last touched by Toronto/Turkoglu], #1



Weems Substitution replaced by Jack 

Bibby Substitution replaced by Evans 



Crawford Foul : Shooting (3 PF) 

- Official made bad call  [i.e. no foul committed by Crawford], #2




[TOR 104-105]

Turkoglu Free Throw 1 of 2 (16 PTS) 



Bosh Substitution replaced by Johnson 



Turkoglu Free Throw 2 of 2 Missed 



Team Rebound 

- Terrific hustle play made by A-Johnson to keep off rebound alive

- Official made bad call [i.e. M-Williams was not out-of-bounds when he touched the ball], #3



Team Timeout : Short 



Johnson Substitution replaced by Bosh 

Crawford Substitution replaced by West 




[TOR 106-105]

Bosh Fade Away Jumper Shot: Made (14 PTS) 

- Bosh made contested fade-away jump shot against Horford

- Official made bad no call [i.e. Bosh travelled by dragging his pivot foot prior to taking cross-over step], #4

Team Timeout : Regular 



Evans Substitution replaced by Crawford 



West Substitution replaced by Bibby 





Bosh Substitution replaced by Johnson 



Calderon Substitution replaced by Weems 

Crawford Jump Shot: Missed 

- Crawford dropped inbounds pass from Bibby, then took rushed shot



Team Rebound 



End of 4th Quarter


Although there are any number of factors which can influence the eventual outcome of a close NBA game, the overall quality of the work done by the officiating crew is undoubtably one of them, as evidenced by:

i. #1-4, above;


ii. The video highlights …

Full marks to Chris Bosh & Co. for having the intestinal fortitude required to battle through an overall poor performance and the ability to take advantage of the opportunity presented to them late in last night’s game.

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14 Responses to “Raptors catch breaks late, steal victory from Hawks”

  1. yertu damkule Says:

    cool. no bad calls that favoured the hawks? you sure about all the ‘bad’ calls in favour of TO, or is that simply your perspective? it’s not as though they were abhorrent calls. most, if not all, are fairly routine in the run of any game. but that’s cool. i guess it’s easier to put the W to luck (i.e. fortuitous calls) & such, and on a clutch shot, as opposed to giving any credit to Bosh’s running mates, who stepped up huuuuge & carried the team for 95% of the game.

  2. Scott G Says:

    That non-call on the Bosh iso to end the game is a call that NEVER gets made in the NBA, despite the fact that it happens many times every game.

    Agree about Marvin seeming to be in-bounds… though I presume the official on the baseline had a better angle on the play than you or I (the Hawks feed that I was watching didn’t show any replays, and the Hawks announcers didn’t seem to think that it should have been Hawks possession).

    In any event, a win is a win, these days in Raptorland.

    The fact that Bargs was “driving the bus” on the Raptors Republic post-game simply because he scored a few points and got some inconsequential rebounds is astounding to me. Our team defense is pathetic, and he’s the linch-pin.

    On another now, how impressive are Horford and Smith on the defensive end? Wow…

  3. Scott G Says:

    *note* not “now.”

  4. Tinman Says:

    Atlanta is a 500% road team. Odds should of been in Raptors favour.

  5. WW Says:

    “he scored a few points and got some inconsequential rebounds is astounding to me.”

    He was 22/11.

    You are a fool.


    Edit: Sorry, WW, but “real people” impersonators are not allowed on this blog. Thanks for your cooperation. :-)

  6. khandor Says:


    1. If you think tere was a bad call from an official which went against Atlanta during this sequence of the game then, please, go right ahead and point it out?

    If not …


    2. If you watch the replay closely … and without bias … you will see that there were 4 wrong calls made by the officials which each favoured the Raptors.

    #1. Hedo Turkoglu dislodged the ball from Josh Smith’s grasp on the rebound after Smith’s missed layup attempt.

    #2. According to Kenny Smith there should not have been a foul called on Jamal Crawford when he dislodged the ball from Turkoglu’s grasp, as Hedo drove to the basket.

    #3. Marvin Williams was still in-bounds when he touched the ball, just prior to stepping out of bounds, on the rebound of Turkoglu’s missed FTA.

    #4. Chris Bosh travelled on his game winning jump shot.

    [re: #4, I agree with Scott G.'s observation that this specific violation is almost never called at this juncture of a close game.]


    3. They weren’t abhorrent calls, at all … they were simply wrong.


    4. The easiest thing to do is give credit where no such credit is due.

    Conversely, the much more difficult thing to do is … give credit where credit is due:

    e.g. read above where it actually says, “Full marks to Chris Bosh & Co. …”

    while, simultaneously, identifying properly what was most responsible for the Raptors pulling one out of the fire, late, last night against a Hawks squad that:

    i. Was playing without JJ,
    ii. Was on the 2nd night of a back-to-back, and,
    iii. Had a W-L record of 41-4, prior to last night’s loss, when leading in the 4th quarter with under 5 minutes left in regulation time [i.e. according to Matt Devlin].


    re: the role played by Bosh’s teammates last night

    If you take the stat which I track from time to time … i.e. “kPER/MP”

    Evans, 0.83
    Bargnani, 0.63
    Calderon, 0.46
    Johnson, 0.42
    DeRozan, 0.37
    Weems, 0.35
    Jack, 0.35
    Turkoglu, 0.35
    Bosh, 0.30
    Belinelli, 0.0

    and, then, add in the NBA’s “+/-” stat

    Bosh, +21/5
    Jack, +10/5
    Weems, +5/5
    Turkoglu, +4/5
    Belinelli, +2/5
    Johnson, +1/5
    Calderon, -6/5
    Bargnani, -8/5
    DeRozan, -10/5
    Evans, -12/5

    Do you know who the Raptors’ best/worst players were in last night’s game?

    1. Bosh +4.50
    2. Jack +2.35
    3. Weems +1.35
    4. Johnson +0.62
    5. Turkoglu +0.43
    6. Belinelli +0.40
    7. Calderon -0.74
    8. Bargnanni -0.97
    9. DeRozan -2.37
    10. Evans -1.57

    As Scott G. astutely pointed out in his comment above … it’s a gross misperception that some Raptors fans might actually view the worst contributors in last night’s game as being the “driver’s of the Dinos’ bus.”

  7. khandor Says:

    Scott G.,


  8. khandor Says:


    re: Atlanta as a .500 road team

    The Raptors were 3 point favourites last night, despite losing 9 of their last 10 games.


    - Toronto playing their 1st game at home after returning from a 4-game road trip … i.e. traditionally a spot in which NBA teams struggle to get the win and/or the cover

    - Atlanta in the 2nd half of a road back-to-back

    - Atlanta having the 6th best record on the raod against +.500 teams


    - No JJ in the Hawks’ line-up …

    a wagering line of Toronto -3 was about the right number for last night’s game.

  9. Scott G Says:

    WW — I think your response proves my point. The game goes beyond the box score, my friend… ;)

    Khan — thanks for the quick numbers analysis of the individual performances. Seems consistent with what I saw on the court… Simply put, the raps were by far the better team when CB4 was in the game, and the far inferior team when he was not. (Notwithstanding his terrible shooting night!)

    Random thought — does any other NBA team have a crowd that boos them loudly with 7 1/2 mins to go in a relatively close game, and roars with approval within a few minutes? I don’t know whether I like it or not, but at least it shows the crows cares! (Not sure when I last heard boos at, eg, a Clips game)

  10. khandor Says:


    1. Welcome aboard! :-)

    2. re: Bargnani’s 22/11

    I’m in full agreement with Scott G.’s take on that matter.

  11. yertu damkule Says:

    khan – if the intent of your post was to make a statement that the raps were fortunate to be the beneficiaries of ‘wrong’ calls, then i’m sure you’ll e quick to point out games in which officials’ ‘wrong’ calls against the raps also impacted the game. i’m not necessarily disagreeing, mind you, but it seems awfully simplistic. were you of the same opinion say, following the LA game, in which LA/kobe were the recipients of numerous calls?

    that’s what i thought.

    as for specific ‘wrong’ calls against the raps, i tend not to play that game. it’s a no-win proposition. but for shits & giggles…how about the phantom call against DD where crawford (i believe) stumbled on his own feet after DD had poked the ball away? or the barely-any-contact,-but-he’s-a-rookie-so-he-gets-the-foul on a crawford jumper in the 4th (in which DD had good position, and crawford leaned into his space to draw what little contact there was).

    point is, if all you’re doing is looking for things like how the raps got lucky & stumbled into a win, i fear you may be missing the bigger picture. like, DD stepping up & being assertive on offense. or both bargs & hedo showing up IN THE SAME GAME! these are momentous occasions. yes, i agree with you & scott that stat lines are overstated in terms of importance, but little steps, please – especially with bargs. i don’t for a second think he’s capable of sustaining this kind of effort, but at the very least, when he does show (relatively) consistent effort, hustle & (for him) determination on the boards, we could maybe throw him a little bone every once in a while, no?

  12. Scott G Says:

    YD: re: “yes, i agree with you & scott that stat lines are overstated in terms of importance, but little steps, please – especially with bargs. i don’t for a second think he’s capable of sustaining this kind of effort, but at the very least, when he does show (relatively) consistent effort, hustle & (for him) determination on the boards, we could maybe throw him a little bone every once in a while, no?”

    no..No…NO!! throwing him a little bone?! The guy just got given a $50mm deal; I expect more than RELATIVELY consistent effort, hustle and determination on the glass.

    When will the kid gloves come off? He’s been in the league what, 4 years? IMO, we shoulda dealt him last summer after his RELATIVELY strong second half (khan may disagree with me there) when there was a chance to fool people into thinking he might develop into something that I fear he will never become. How about some tough love for this guy?

  13. khandor Says:


    1. I restricted my observations in this game to what happened in the last 2 minutes, given the nature of this specific contest.

    Here’s a quote of what I told a member of my family earlier in the day, when I was asked about the Raptors’ chances last night.


    Family Member: Isn’t this game against Atlanta the one you said the Raptors would be in good position to win?

    khandor: Yes. If all goes well, they should be able to get by the Hawks in final few minutes of what will probably finish as a 1 possession game.

    Family Member: Why only in the last few minutes?

    khandor: Because that’s how things tend to work in the NBA when you have a team that’s playing its 1st game at home after returning from a 4-game west coast road trip and an opponent that it is playing the 2nd half of a back-to-back set, on the road, without its best player in the line-up. Regardless what else might happen in the game, it will most likely come down to what goes on in those final 2 minutes.

    Therefore, any “bad calls” which were made earlier in the game, against either team, would be rendered largely irrelevant, at least, in my eyes, if the score was close in the final 2 minutes.


    re: the bad call in Toronto’s loss against the LA Lakers

    Unless you think Kobe Bryant actually travelled prior to taking his fallaway jump shot which buried the Raptors in LA, then, there’s no legitimate comparison with the travelling violation that happened on Chris Bosh’s game-winner last night.

    Do you think that Kobe travelled first on that particular shot?

    Personally, I don’t think you do.

    And, if you don’t, then it’s probably not a good idea to try and compare these two very different situations.


    In general:

    Instead of trying to be funny and leaving snide remarks on a blog like mine …

    e.g. Why waste time with language that reads like this?

    “If this _______________ [insert yertu's comment here] … is what you are really trying to say, then, …”

    which is actually an effort on your part to put “your” spin on “my” words, rather than simply taking what I have to say about what happened in the game at face value

    … you should try using a straight-forward and more constructive approach toward creating a sincere exchange of ideas.


    re: missing the big picture and DD stepping up, etc.

    Have you actually taken the time to read what I’ve written elsewhere on my blog about DeMar DeRozan? … and, When in games I think he should be playing? … and, For how many minutes I think he should be used, overall, in relation to Turkoglu, Weems, Wright and Belinelli?

    I don’t think you have.

    [i.e. because, if you had, then you wouldn't possibly have thought that I am someone who's not paying close attention to every move this young man makes ... both good and bad ... in games like last night's.]


    re: throwing bones to Bargnani [or anybody else, for that matter]

    Not the way I operate; you know that.

    I just calls ‘em as I sees ‘em. :-)

    And, last night, specifically … despite his 22 and 11 … Bargnani was, in fact, responsible for giving up more opponent points, more opponent rebounds, etc., than he generated for the Raptors.

  14. Toronto Raptors Morning Coffee – Mar 19 | Slam Dunking Says:

    [...] khandors sports blog >> Raptors catch breaks late, steal victory from Hawks Full marks to Chris Bosh & Co. for having the intestinal fortitude required to battle through an overall poor performance and the ability to take advantage of the opportunity presented to them late in last night’s game. [...]

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