The “man alive that was a long game” edition.
Banks – back in his rightful place: hanging out with the usher at the end of the bench looking for scraps.
Bargnani – took him a full half to get going. Not sure if his illness is lingering, but he had the Bargnani-of-old look to start the game: disinterest. Pulled it together in the second half and was a contributing factor.
Belinelli – fought his way to the free throw line tonight and showed he can indeed be a great distributor. I’m sure Triano (and I) would love to see him tone down the flashy passes just a wee bit, but whatever works.
Bosh – far from dominating on the offense end, but had 2 fantastic blocks covering for s beaten teammate and refused to stop looking for contact even though it seemed like he was only getting 50% of the calls he may have deserved.
Calderon – see what happens when you attack the hoop and demand attention right from the outset? One of his best games of the season with the ball in his hand. Did TJ burn him on the other end? Do I need to answer? I just hope Jose now knows he doesn’t have to be the primary playmaker on this team anymore. Relax and take what is given to you. Offset your defensive liabilities by working to produce elsewhere.
DeRozan – how about the nickname “Lighthouse” since he likes to get lit up every night? He needs time and I’m a patient guy, but he is quickly becoming somewhat of a liability. No plays are run for him, he stands in one spot too often and on the defensive end it’s like he should be holding 2 lit directional cones like they use to direct airplanes on the tarmac.
Evans – faker with a nice boot.
Jack – you think he was a bit hungry? This is somewhat like I expected from Hedo the other night. He was perfect from the field, perfect from the stripe and also had 6 dimes. Yes, he was pumped to play his old team, but more importantly he kept his “returning to form” play up. Great to see.
Johnson – I think he was caught up in a situation tonight where he felt he had to be too many places at once. He’s always moving every night, but tonight he seemed like he was trying to decide who to cover.
Mensah-Bonsu – never moved off the bench. Guess Indiana was too athletic a team for him to see any action.
Nesterovic – best game of the year. He showed he doesn’t always just bring bulk, but he can add some awkward finesse to it as well. It was nicely odd to see guys actually looking for him when they were passing the ball. It was almost like Rasho was 10 years younger and could actually, you know, produce.
O’Bryant – when he fills out his taxes, do you think he states he is a part-time seasonal worker? Kind of like a shopping mall Santa?
Turkoglu- you think he is starting to fit in? I still think he’s about 5 games away, but I’m thinking Jay and Jose are starting to believe he can actually run the offense a bit. I’m just waiting to see him running the point with Jarrett as his sidekick. The Hedojack Connection.
Weems – didn’t play. He did, however, order season 4 of Friends from amazon.com.
Wright – back in action. Didn’t seem to go full out and only saw 16minutes, but he did hit a much needed 3. Didn’t do much else, but we didn’t need it tonight. Not going to be able to say that too often, though.
Driving The Bus: Jose Calderon
Under The Bus: DeMar DeRozan
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