Toronto Raptors 104, Indiana Pacers 93

I’ll say little about the game because if you saw it you know it was a gutsy effort on the road that speaks volumes about the potential for this club. If you didn’t see it, maybe NBA.com can help you out. Down 17 in the third quarter this had all the ingredients of a loss that might make you wonder if we can ever shed the .500 mark: bad defense, stagnant offense, confined to the perimeter, you know, the usual. That’s when the defense picked up after the injection of Carlos Delfino and that’s when Jason Kapono and Jose Calderon led the charge that brought us back into the game. After that it was just riding Kapono’s hot outside shooting for a big road win.

Let’s dedicate this post to Jason Kapono. Not since Dell Curry have I seen a trigger man with a release like Kapono’s. And even then I might argue that Kapono’s is better because he’s shot-ready faster than Curry was. A debate for another day. Just take a look at the sweet stroke:

[youtube=http://youtube.com/watch?v=o_s2XVWXGPA]

Indiana dominated this game for the better part of the evening and if it weren’t for Kapono getting hot from the outside and Kris Humphries escalating his interior defense on Jermaine O’Neal while also scoring in the paint, this was going to be a loss. CB4 kept us in this game early by playing smart interior basketball and was our primary rebounding force all the way until the end. Enough can’t be said about Kris Humphries and his contribution on both ends of the floor, you expect the defense but when you get the offense it just gets sweeter.

Contrast Hump’s plays with that of Bargnani’s (two very bad looking offensive fouls) and you notice a man playing with confidence and a man who is unsure of what he wants to do on the floor. It’s getting a little embarrassing watching Bargnani out there and although I STILL think he’ll get out of his funk and end up contributing to this team, he looks very, very confused out there. Hopefully him and the coaching staff can sort things out and get him game-ready but as Jack Armstrong said, “a lot of this game is played between the ears” and I’m not sure of Bargnani’s mental makeup. This stretch is the first test of his NBA career and so far he’s not handling it well, we’ll see how he does in the big Boston game coming up.

Good to be a Raps fan, solid fight-back win in Indiana where it looked like we’d get blown out at one point. I didn’t even talk about Calderon because we’re all so used to him being brilliant that it doesn’t even get mentioned anymore.

One-Liners:

* Example of Chuck Swirsky’s hypocrisy: Chuck questions Jim O’Brien decision for not taking out O’Neal with three fouls. Jack Armstrong mentions Sam Mitchell’s done the same with Bosh. Chuck changes topic.

* Jamaal Tinsley is a very good player who Jose Calderon had issues guarding. Lucky for us whatever damage Tinsley did, Jose countered.

* Chris Bosh took too many jumpers to start the fourth quarter. I know it’s overly critical but Bosh should be driving to the rim 90% of the time.

* I’ll bet money on Jose Calderon draining a wide open three over Anthony Parker.

* If Kris Humphries starts draining that 15 footer, he’ll average 15pts a game this year.

* Juan Dixon played well in limited minutes, his spell in the second quarter kept the Raps in the game.

* I don’t want to see Jamario Moon shooting after he hesitates, those never go in.

* Carlos Delfino, Carlos Delfino, Carlos Delfino, Carlos Delfino, Carlos Delfino…..

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