Amit Mann and Asad Alvi analyze how mental mistakes are leading to losses in crunch time for the Raptors. Listen to the full episode on the 'Raptors Over Everything' podcast feed.
AMIT MANN: I want to see them be better in crunch time. This season, they're 12-16 in crunch time. That's 19th. Obviously, for any good team, you need to be better in that area. And we've seen them lose games in a variety of ways in crunch time. And it's not just one thing, it's everything.
And there are just some things that are non-negotiable when it comes to your crunch time execution, and they're just making a lot of mistakes. Why that's happening, I mean, it's anyone's guess. It could just be a lack of court awareness. It could be a lack of hey, what are we doing on offense? What are we trying to do? Who is going to have the ball?
Defensively, you've mentioned it, too. They have not been great. But with Precious back, with them just knowing that this is your last stand, this is it, or otherwise things are going to go really bad for this team in terms of players saying sayonara.
Or that could happen anyways, but maybe then more happens. Who knows? But yeah, I want to see them be better and just get back to having better, decisive decisions and doing the little things.
ASAD ALVI: And a lot of that is going to come down to, I think, defensive execution. We saw at the end of the Boston game, yeah, they had turnovers on the offensive end because they didn't have somebody to calmly get them organized. Fred VanVleet would have really helped in that situation. He is a very low turnover guard.
But also we saw Payton Pritchard get two offensive rebounds in the final minute of the game.
AMIT MANN: He was in that fourth quarter.
ASAD ALVI: And then Celtics get three, the Raptors get two stops, and the Celtics still end up scoring. Those are things in clutch time where it's like you're getting stops or you're not getting the board.
Again, those are things where it's just like sometimes you get bad bounces. It is what it is. But that's where-- again, the Raptors succeeded last season in their defensive execution and taking care of the ball on offense.
Can they do that again on this road trip? They'll be successful. If they can't, then we'll probably be singing a different tune, and we'll have a fun second half of the season talking about the future.
But for now, we still got the team that we got, and there's still the slight hope that they have to save the season. So I'm sure the players on the team very, very much want to keep winning beyond anything else.
AMIT MANN: Hopefully.
ASAD ALVI: So it should be fun to see what they can put together
AMIT MANN: Hey, man, whatever happens, you looking good on the court is good for you, the team, everyone. Whatever happens in a couple of weeks, you want to look good on the court.
So how about you give it your all? Not saying that they don't, but let's see if the Raptors can make something happen and save their season effectively, at least to be in the contention for play-in, playoffs. Right now they're 11th after this road trip.
Maybe they're more in the play-in because obviously-- you've talked about, I'm sure. I've talked about it. They're still not that far away from the six spot because there's a lot of murky teams. Probably whoever gets in that six spot is going to be around .500 or a little bit north of it. We're going back to the old days of the Eastern Conference, funny enough.