I went to this game and had some pretty good seats courtesy of some friends. Memphis had beaten NJ last night at the swamp and had apparently spent most of their energy and motivation because today they had nothing. It’s a normal mindset really, on the back end of a back-to-back when you’ve won the first game a sense of complacency is almost natural. If you offer any NBA team a .500 roadtrip, they’ll gladly take it and Memphis was in that kind of mood.
Bosh went down early with a groin injury after playing well which triggered a Raptor run which opened up a lead that Memphis wouldn’t dare challenge. This lead caused a friend of mine to state his long-standing argument that the Raptors can be a better team without Bosh. I’ve always opposed this viewpoint because although Bosh might not be a franchise player, he’s still a damn good NBA player that can carry a team through stretches. The argument that I’m presented with is that that Bosh demands the ball too much and his teammates and fans expect too much out of him than what he can deliver. Again, I’m in agreement here. Where I differ is the argument that the Raptors play as more of a team without him. An NBA team without a low-post presence isn’t an NBA team at all and Bosh gives us that. Last year the Raps gathered themselves and went on a tear without Bosh but that does not mean we can actually be more successful without him. Let’s just hope he’s back for Cleveland on Friday.
Kapono and Parker’s sweet strokes led the Raptors today; when a jump shot shooting team’s jump shot is falling, they’re unstoppable. So it follows that the Raptors were unstoppable today. Kapono is the best shooter we’ve had since Dell Curry and Jamario Moon is the best perimeter defender the Raptors have ever had. Yes, ever. Joey Graham and Rasho came back with Graham eager to prove that he still deserves a roster spot, Joey was eager to launch quick jumpers after doing his only perimeter juke move, I think one fell and one missed. Check the box score for the details. I don’t really see a use for Joey Graham anymore, not with Jamario Moon doing everything Joey does and doing it better. Same goes for Garbo, love the heart but let’s not waste a roster spot.
I’ve been impressed by the play of Kyle Lowry over the last few weeks, I think he’s a pretty underrated PG who could potentially be a starter in this league. No, I’m not crazy. Overall it was pretty hard to evaluate the Memphis Grizzlies tonight because there were clearly exhausted and content after beating NJ last night (thanks for that) and just showed up tonight as a formality. It was Spanish night tonight and Calderon didn’t disappoint racking up at least 10 assists (that’s the last time I glanced at the scoreboard) but Gasol and Navarro didn’t. Navarro’s a great perimeter shooter and the Raps did an awesome job of closing him out, you could tell that there was a special effort being made to ensure that he doesn’t get any open looks. Give Mitchell some credit here.
I didn’t get a Garbo or Calderon bobblehead doll although I could’ve easily stolen one from the person sitting next to me. Too tired to write but I’d like to say that the Dance Pak looked much better in the red Spanish type dresses than what they had on for most of the game: track suits. Goodbye.