Live blog tells the whole story…
They started it…
Bosh: 8 Took him a while to figure out that Okafor can be had for cheap. Took care of the “robot” in the third by owning him on the boards and the block. The three in the face was nice but the part about hustling for boards and inspiring his teammates with his effort was better. I get a feeling Chandler would’ve done a better job, never understood that trade. 8-11 FT again, he’s not just getting calls, he’s earning them.
Bargnani: 7 Huge third quarter with three threes. Was invisible before that passing up good shots for bad ones. Went inside early but when he didn’t find success, drifted to the perimeter, good thing it paid off in the third. I suppose when a shooter’s misfiring, he should keep on shooting and he followed that rule tonight. Sometimes it blows in your face, sometimes you get a 7 in the RRR. 14/9 overall, his defense suffered early but picked it up as the game went long. Chased a few rebounds, so not everything fell in his lap, helped others as best he could.
Calderon: 8 And you thought Paul was going to burn him? He did, in the second Paul was unstoppable but after that Jose asserted himself, took some ballsy shots and made them. Demanded it for a deep three and knocked it down. Ran the pick ‘n roll with Bosh and made the right pass at the right time. Snuck to the wing when Hedo had the ball and made the clean look. Paul got the better of him early but Jose stuck it to him in the third, causing a key turnover which made the NO fans be like WTF. Easily his best game this season. My favorite was the drive to find Jack in the corner and then another fourth quarter drive to find Wright at the wing – both for threes. 16/8 with zero turnovers and 6-11FG. Questions have been answered.
DeRozan: 6 Started off strong with two made hoops but then got mysteriously benched for no good reason. We saw him again in the third where he made good passes when trapped, one of them leading to a Calderon three. Good, expected game by the rook. He’s predictably decent.
Turkoglu: 7 A shooter shoots, doesn’t matter how much he’s been missing which is what he was doing early. Was a huge part of the charge in the third where the Raptors outscored them 34-14. Ran some great PNRs with Bosh and had two step-back threes that reminded you of the Orlando days. Both our playmakers were on tonight and we were hitting our threes, there were the Raptors as dangerous as they could be. 16/4/4.
Jack: 5 Pardon the low rating but his defense in the second was atrocious. I think the Hornets got all their points off of him in some sort of way in that frame. Missed some shots he needs to make, we’re not seeing any sort of consistency with that mid-range game. For once the lineup with Jose worked, but that was mostly because of Jose’s hot shooting. He gets credit for spreading the floor in the third quarter and going turnover free in 25 minutes.
Belinelli: 4 Came in early to not do much, then reappeared in garbage time to score some inconsequential hoops. Meh.
Johnson: 6 6 rebounds in 21 minutes and a key steal in that third quarter leading to a dunk. Very active on the boards and in boxing out, the 4 fouls is a concern but at least he’s trying. Give him that. Appears to be slowly coming out of his funk by, you know, trying.
Wright: 5 I thought we should’ve asked him to cover Paul and see what he could bring, maybe play off of him to concede the jumper while contesting it. Did a decent job on Peja/Wright but his night was easy since the Hornets don’t have a three who can do any damage in 1v1 situations.
Nesterovic: 1 Came in, missed a layup. Got benched.
O’Bryant: N/A Came in, played 2 minutes, picked up 2 fouls. Playa.
Weems: N/A His line 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -2 0.
Collecting da cheque
Everybody came to work.
Pimp: Chris Bosh.
Ho: Rasho Nesterovic.
What we learned: Calderon has a pulse. Live blogging is hard. I should make a living betting on games.
The Verdict: When the jumper’s falling, life is good.Follow @raptorsrepublic