Magic vs. Raptors Bullets

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  • Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun: "Chris Bosh measured his words carefully yesterday, after the Raptors's opening playoff loss to the Orlando Magic at Amway Arena. But they were very telling, and a little cryptic. Bosh, obviously a very frustrated team captain, said that the reason why the Raptors started Game 1 so poorly -- falling behind by 20 points after the first quarter -- was because the players were 'confused' and 'shell-shocked' and the point guards 'didn't know what to run at times.' 'We were trying to implement too many things and we're not doing the things that got us here,' Bosh said. 'We have to go back to playing our style of basketball.' Not exactly a ringing endorsement for his teammates, or the Raptors coaching staff."

  • Michael Grange of the Globe and Mail: "Did Bosh throw Mitchell under the tricked-out Escalade? It kind of sounded that way. There was the Raptors all-star and captain blaming at least part of the Raptors troubles on the relatively last-minute changes they made in preparation for the series. He didn't say starting Bargnani, but I guess he could have. But he did talk about new sets and new plays and new wrinkles of plays that were added and suggested that Jose and T.J. were a bit flummoxed by the new stuff. ... It sort of sounded like Bosh realized how what he was saying was coming across and tried to put the cat back in the bag, but a little late. Let's face it, with his playoff record now at 2-5, it takes little to feed into the perception that Mitchell can be out-coached. And when his star player questions the strategy and approach for Game 1 of a playoff series, it adds a giant log on the fire; and some gasoline. Fires like that are hard to put out."

  • Bruce Arthur of the National Post: "How many ways can one team screw up one game? The short answer: Lots of ways. The long answer: Watch yesterday's playoff debut from the Toronto Raptors, and start counting. The star player didn't produce like a star player, and later complained about the game plan. The coach rolled out a starting lineup he had not used since this time last year, to no good effect. The point guards, who were supposed to dominate, flopped. The defence was a gift, not an impediment. The game was essentially lost in the first quarter. On the plus side, the team bus made it back to the hotel. So at least we know they can organize a one-car parade."

  • Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel: "Before the game, Dwight portrayed the matchup with Toronto big man and good friend Chris Bosh as 'Superman vs. Lex Luthor.' In reality, Game 1 was more like Superman vs. Lex the Librarian. Howard was dominant; Bosh was docile. Howard aggressively imposed his will; Bosh quietly succumbed to Rashard Lewis' in-your-grill defense. Bosh is a great player, but his style is completely different than Dwight's. Bosh is a big man who plays small; Dwight is a big man who plays mastodonic."

  • John Denton of Florida Today: "For weeks, Jameer Nelson had heard how he had been so badly outplayed by Toronto's T.J. Ford and Jose Calderon during the regular season. Then, a national analyst infuriated Nelson when he said that Toronto would beat Orlando because of such a decisive edge at point guard. Nelson responded to those critics Sunday with the game of his life. Orlando's point guard was a big reason the Magic rolled to a 114-100 rout of the Raptors on Sunday when he ran circles around Ford and Calderon. Nelson's play gave the Magic their first playoff victory since 2003 and helped them jump to a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series."

  • Ken Hornack of the Daytona Beach News-Journal: "Before the opening tip today against the Toronto Raptors, Dwight Howard went over to hug T.J. Ford but had his path impeded by Stuff, the Orlando Magic's mascot. Howard, a locker-room cut-up and Superman aficianado, shoved Stuff aside. Clearly, this was a time to get serious."