A much needed win delivered home by Chris Bosh’s 22 points and 19 rebounds along with a late Bargnani triple which gave the good guys a one point lead with 2:14 left. Carlos Delfino added another three late on to seal the win in a game which was there to be won all along, much like the Boston, Orlando and Utah games **shudder**. For once the Raptors worked inside-out the entire game with Chris Bosh enforcing himself and providing the inside presence on both ends. Jason Kapono’s outside shooting helped out early in the fourth and when Memphis made their run and opened up a five point lead, we played good collapsing defense on Gasol and forced outside shooting from Warrick, Lowry and Gay which played into our hands. A day after the Dallas debacle, the Raptors climb back to .500 and head into Cleveland to face the struggling Cavaliers, another game which on paper we should win.
As Leo alluded to in the game, Bosh picking up his fourth foul in the third quarter was a blessing in disguise as it allowed him to rest until the fourth quarter on the back end of a back-to-back, that might’ve been what enabled us to win this game. Bargnani started off this game missing everything prompting many of us to sing here-we-go-again but to his credit kept on shooting and played very good man-defense on Swift and Gasol. The jumper eventually started falling and that’s what people will see in the box score but we should really talk about his excellent one-on-one defense. He keeps his arms straight up, doesn’t bite on fakes and uses his length wisely in post-defense situations. There were a couple instances where he picked up fouls trying to beat his driving defender to the spot but besides that his defensive positioning was excellent today which allowed him to grab 11 rebounds. An excellent game by Bargnani who’s proven that he’s much more effective when starting, I don’t know if this is a psychological thing but benching him earlier in the season was obviously a mistake.
Jamario Moon is like our Scottie Pippen. Just hear me out on this, an excellent defender with great recoverability and a streaky jump shooter. Moon has shown that he can anticipate what’s going to happen on defense and react before the play actually happens, his block on Mike Miller was an ultimate example of that. The athletic swingman can do no wrong on defense and anything you get out of him on offense will always be considered a bonus. Moon’s keeping the game dead simple and not trying anything that he knows he can’t do, you don’t see ill-advised jumpers, far-fetched passes or low-percentage drives coming from him, any points he scores are coming completely through assists and broken plays. What a great addition by BC, props to him.
Jose Calderon got the start instead of the “stinged” TJ Ford and had a subpar game based on his own backup-PG standards – 10 points and 8 assists for Calderon who had to deal with the ultra-pesky Kyle Lowry and the crafty Damon Stoudamire all game long. Calderon wasn’t able to penetrate as well as TJ usually does but distributed the ball well on the perimeter allowing Parker and Bargnani to nail some of their threes. A low-key game from Calderon which made me wonder if that isn’t how a PG’s game is supposed to be. Zero offense to TJ Ford.
Rudy Gay’s Verticality: Leo Rautins was going off about how Gay stays too vertical which takes away from his athleticism. Hearing Leo talk I got the impression he wants Gay to play like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Couldn’t quite catch his drift.
Maco Baston Cameo: Maceo Baston needs to read the one-line scouting report on Stromile Swift – Make him shoot. Having Swift fake you out with his jumper deserves an automatic 5-game benching.
MDG Smooth Play of The Game: How come they show this play with 3 minutes to go in a tight game? Are they saying there can’t be a smoother play later than this?
Darrick Martin shot-jacking: On the first possession he’s in he takes two bad shots. Why again should Jose listen to him on the bench? Seriously though, besides his one good pass to Kapono on the break, I’d classify Martin’s performance as poor and I’m not even expecting much from him.
Carlos Delfino: This guy gels his hair for at least 20 minutes before each game, there’s no way it can stay in the same shape after 25 minutes of PT. I don’t really care as long as he keep hitting the glass like a demon and making those step-back jumpers.
Me Golfing: YouTube
New Blog: There weren’t enough already, here’s another one: Raptors Guy.
I shall sleep well tonight, latch on the feed.