Banks – does he even exist?
Bargnani – rough night. His shots seemed to be either short or long. One of the rare nights this season that I audibly groaned when he hoisted a shot. Had a fantastic drive for a dunk in the second quarter and 2 nice blocks, but his greatness this night ended there. Needs to pass the ball more in certain situations.
Belinelli – he had 3 fouls at the 6 minute mark of the 2nd quarter but that didn’t stop him from hooking up with Jack on some timely 3s and using screens to free up a lane and attack the hoop. He was abused at times on the defensive end of the ball, but held his own at others. Solid game.
Bosh – toughest game of the year for him, bar none. Without Hedo and with Bargs having an off night, the Nuggets could afford to zero in on CB4 and that they did. He was frustrated all night, had no trips to the line in the first half, got T’d up in the 4th for showing up a ref and finished with a lowly 13 points.
Calderon – did a good job on Chauncey early on. Had a great shooting night (missing another free throw though) but his lax defense in the second half opened the flood gates. A surprising three turnovers. Still, head and shoulders above how he played early in the season.
DeRozan – his best game of the year for both point production and effort. Stuck with Carmelo when he was on him, took it at him, and scored some hoops that hopefully will kick start his confidence. He needs to attack the paint more and if he can do it against the Denver bigs, he can do it against anybody….and should.
Evans - faker.
Jack – he did a good job at finding people tonight, including the above mentioned Belinelli and a nice alley oop to Weems. His 4 turnovers hurt, though, especially getting called for a cheap foul in the third on one possession then a travelling call the next. We were still in the game at the time and it seemed to start the ball rolling the other way. The 9 and 6 are good, though.
Johnson – bad night for the big man. He attempted no shots from the floor and picked up 5 fouls in 10 minutes. He was able to pull down 5 boards and had his usual active hands everywhere the ball was going, but on a night where we needed bodies to compete, he came up short.
Mensah-Bonsu – picked up a rebound and took a charge within the first 30 seconds of entering the game. He’ll be a welcome addition until Reggie comes back, but after that he will probably take POB’s role on the bench. If you want to see him play, you better find a contact that can get you into a Raptors practice.
Nesterovic – bit better effort tonight. He needed to step up a bit since Bargs had early fouls and Amir was off his rocker. Still has yet to bring what many thought he would upon his return to Toronto. Thank God he’s cheap, otherwise this was a big waste of a roster spot.
O’Bryant – saw some action, hit a jumper, pulled down a couple of boards. Lovely. A man of his size should stand out in garbage time. Instead he blends in like he was a piece of hardwood.
Turkoglu- took the night off. I think he’s afraid of Melo.
Weems – another nice game in limited minutes. One of the Raptors in the second unit that had pep in his step and showed his athleticism. When we hit our lull in the 3rd, he was the only guy to step up on both ends and play like he cared. Good minutes, making Jay’s job that much harder.
Wright – got the start in place of Hedo. Started the game like he was a one man show. Took a charge or two, chased down loose balls, bought some popcorn from the vendor. He then sat down to let the bench come in and he was never the same again, finishing with just 17min and 5 points. Did he choke when given the opportunity? Don’t think so, but he certainly didn’t sustain his play when he subbed back in.
Driving The Bus: DeMar DeRozan
Under The Bus: Amir Johnson
Tags: Amir Johnson, andrea bargnani, Antoine Wright, basketball, Chris Bosh, Demar DeRozan, Hedo Turkoglu, Jarrett Jack, jose calderon, marco belinelli, Marcus Banks, NBA, patrick o'bryant, pops mensah-bonsu, Rasho Nesterovic, Reggie Evans, Sonny Weems, toronto raptors