cavsraps
Toronto Raptors 106, Philadelphia 76ers 97

Seriously, we do. A pretty nervous win over a pretty bad team who managed to stay in the game only because we don’t have a single guy on the squad who would have the balls to face Reggie Evans in a back-alley late at night. Samuel Dalembert’s impression of Wilt Chamberlain wasn’t entirely unexpected but the ownage he laid on Bosh for the better part of the game might be. There was rarely a rebound tonight which we got with ease, even the team rebounds were contested. The perimeter defense was shoddy and the interior with the exception of a few true stops, often lacking. If I hadn’t put the score at the top you might’ve thought we lost, but we didn’t and we got two men to thank for that: TJ Ford and Andrea Bargnani.

Here’s a fact: TJ Ford is the only real clear advantage we will have on most nights. Bosh’s size can be countered, Bargnani’s threes can be contested and Calderon might be contained by the zone but TJ, only TJ contains TJ. How’s a 12:1 assist turnover sound? If not that, try on a +24 for size (gotta love the new box score stat). The bench had a terrible game, all they really did was give up any advantage the starters had earned. Calderon had a good scoring game and Delfino grabbed some boards but other than that, nothing was working offensively or defensively after early in the second quarter. It was Ford and Bargnani that provided the timely scoring when it looked like a once comfortable 21 point lead had been Kyle Korvered down to a point.

If you ever wondered just how susceptible we were to athletic swingmen, look no further than Iggy because if it weren’t for his own undoings, he could’ve willed his team to a win and almost did. Complementing his outside shooting and inside game was Korver who we mysteriously let drift way too many times. Six threes between the two took me back to the last game of last season and question whether we have improved defensively AT ALL.

Parker’s shooting touch (vacationing during preseason) is back and smoother than ever, helped us build the big lead that Bosh almost singlehandedly gave away. You have to check out the play-by-play, he had about 7 straight possessions where he either a) turned the ball over b) got rejected or c) took a bad shot. Not a good game for CB4 – no, even though he had 16pts, it doesn’t mean a thing. Bad, bad game. But let’s get to Bargnani’s, his 4pt play late in the fourth turned this game around and halted the ridiculous 76ers onslaught that was about thiiissss close to costing us the game. Bargs at least showing a willingness to rebound and play close to the rim, a definite improvement from the preseason. His 20pts and 5 hard earned rebounds were paramount tonight.

47-35 was the rebounding differential but man, it looked much, much worse. Reggie Evans was looking like Dennis Rodman, he actually got his own rebound off a missed FT which led to a score. The man is a beast and we need someone like him here. According to Leo, we’re a “rebounding by committee” team which I can tell you is a crock of shit and never works. You can’t ask your guards to come and rebound for you when you rely so much on quick outlet passes, it’ll just kill your game. Neither Ford or Calderon are big guards and don’t have the strength and size to take on rebounding tasks on a daily basis. Whether we can get him or not is a different question but someone like Rasho needs to be replaced by a rebounding demon who can do the dirty work.

We got lucky tonight that Philly didn’t get a few more offensive rebounds. Raps win a close one, NJ is up next. grab the feed.