Shootaround (April 18) — Paul George calls out teammates after Game 2 loss

DeMar DeRozan was articulate about cars.

“You ever had an aged Regal?,” he asked, rhetorically, to a room full of reporters.

A Buick Regal, he meant. An aged clunker. A beater. The kind of automobile that has to cough and belch for a bit before a engine comes to life.

The Raptors ensure continued a analogy about a aged Regal, after it has had some time to get from a clap to something imitative a purr: “Once we get going, afterwards it can feel like a 2016 Lexus?,” he said. “That’s usually us.”

The Toronto Raptors have coughed and belched off a start, as they tend to do. They cannot, for a life of them, win a initial diversion of a playoff series, carrying now forsaken a opener in 9 uninterrupted first-round array with Saturday’s detriment to a Milwaukee Bucks. They generally do not start games well, either, carrying trailed after a initial half-dozen mins of a diversion distant some-more mostly than they are forward over a final dual seasons.

It is a problem that has tormented this group when it is during full strength, and when DeMar DeRozan was harm final year and when Kyle Lowry was out this year. It was an emanate when a starting lineup enclosed Luis Scola, and afterwards when it enclosed Patrick Patterson and now that it has Serge Ibaka.

It is, as manager Dwane Casey pronounced on Monday, “our biggest mystery.”

Not that he hasn’t attempted to solve it.

“We’ve finished everything,” he said. “We’ve looked during a numbers, statistics, matchups, rotations, groups that were in there …,” and a manager trailed off a little, in that approach that we arrange of chuck adult your hands when you’ve looked and looked during a justification and haven’t found any kind of useful revelation.

Like, if they could brand a tangible problem, they would have bound it by now.

“It’s in a DNA,” he said. “Slow starts and tough finishes.”

For Serge Ibaka, who has been here for usually dual months, it’s usually as most of a mystery.

“I don’t know why,” he pronounced of Toronto’s bad early play.

“For whatever reason, we are improved with a backs opposite a wall,” Casey pronounced Monday. Toronto came behind to win some-more games in that they were trailing by double digits than any other group in a NBA this season, a statistic that DeRozan cited on Monday when he wasn’t holding onward on aged clunkers. This is, admittedly, a fact about that a Raptors can usually be rather proud. The best teams in a joining — Golden State, San Antonio — don’t have as many large quip wins as Toronto simply since they do not tumble behind by many points really often.

But Casey was scold when he remarkable that, during a least, a Raptors’ ability to come behind says something about rising to a challenge. It’s loyal within games, and it’s loyal in series, where a Raptors had each event to overlay after losing a opener final year to Indiana and afterwards to Miami, and after removing blown out in a opening dual games in Cleveland. Then managed to make good fights out of all of them, winning a integrate of array along a way. If anything, it has been success that has been Toronto’s biggest enemy in a playoffs: Any time they started reporting themselves final year, they gave a corner right behind with another obscure loss.

So, maybe it is for a best that a group has no corner left to concede. They had their possibility to make this array easy, though that event is past. It’s a quarrel now. Which is kind of their thing.

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