Rap­tors come up small in Bos­ton

24 Hours Toronto - - SPORTS - — MIKE GANTER

No one will ar­gue Demar Derozan tak­ing an open look at the top of the free throw line for the win. Not even Derozan fad­ing away to make that shot. He has prac­tised it count­less times, made it count­less more and this time it didn’t go in as the Rap­tors came up on the short end of a 95-94 loss to the Celtics in Bos­ton.

As Kyle Lowry pointed out af­ter the game, stretch­ing out the word “ev­ery” for full ef­fect he will “roll with that shot ev­ery time.”

Derozan was no less con­fi­dent in his own abil­i­ties.

“Man, great look,” he said. “I make that in my sleep. Felt good, I thought it was go­ing to roll in, but you know, it didn’t.”

The easy leap to make here is that once again with the game on the line, the Rap­tors went the pre­dictable route es­chew­ing all that talk about philo­soph­i­cal changes to the of­fence.

The point is though, this is not go­ing to change. The Rap­tors are go­ing to “ride or die” as the kids say these days with their best shoot­ers down the stretch. That was al­ways go­ing to be the case and it will be the case un­til some­one comes along who is a bet­ter scor­ing op­tion than Derozan or Lowry de­pend­ing on who is hold­ing the hot hand at the mo­ment.

Right now that hot hand be­longs to Derozan.

The share-the-ball edict is still very much in ef­fect. Just don’t ex­pect that egal­i­tar­ian ap­proach in crunch time.

“I thought it was a great look,” head coach Dwane Casey said. “He shook him, he was wide open, he vaulted up. I’ll take that look 999 times out of a thou­sand. He came up short.

Demar Derozan.

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