The “like there was ever any doubt” edition.
Banks – he was finally a crucial part of a Raptors victory: he took the minutes during the meeting.
Bargnani – non-existent for pretty much three quarters, but like Frankenstein in a hydro field, he woke up late. Finished with 16/9, but it took him 20 shots to get there. Full marks for posting up more in one game than he probably has all season.
Belinelli – back to normal for Marco. Saw 11 minutes of playing time that he used to show Coach Triano that he really lives up to what Coach Nelson saw in him. In one 30sec stretch he had his shot blocked, committed a turnover and then committed a foul, lending strength to a run that Washington was making to close out the half.
Bosh – rarely do you see someone live up to the billing of the term “a man possessed”, but that was Bosh in the 4th. Hell, he started the game with 4 points, a block and 2 boards in the first 2 minutes, helping the Raps to a 10-0 outburst. In the 4th, he grabbed offensive boards like they were apples falling from a tree and he was using a dump truck to catch them. His final line? 31pts, 16 rebounds, 9 of which were offensive. He took heat for not talking during the meeting, but he did it on the court.
Calderon – played under control. Did Arenas get his? 34pts says yes, but Jose and Jarrett never lost sight of the end goal, which was to keep a level head and move the ball. Far from a great game, but at least he didn’t fold up like a tent.
DeRozan – great game from DeMar. He was being creative, he was getting open for shots, he split the defensive coverage, he made people like me ask for forgiveness. He was almost Vince-like. Then Jay happened. The game was close, we needed some buckets and DeMar was nailed to the bench like the furniture at the Motel 6 is to the floor. I didn’t, and still don’t, get it. Yes, he had 4 fouls, but son is just getting his confidence going, so why not toss him out there and see how he handles the heat?
Evans – got his cast off today. I’m thinking it has found a new home up someone’s ass. Strange how Hedo was walking funny tonight.
Jack – I’m gonna say it: fantastic defensive effort in the 4th and in overtime. Wow. I feel like a geek on prom night who just found out what an “escort” was. His hustle was Amir-like and it goes to show what a little infectious play by your main guys does to your bench players.
Johnson – did a nice job on Jamison but, as per usual, picked up fouls, assessed five with 10min left in the fourth. Fair to say that his active play catches the attention of officials, but plays like this take him out of the game unfairly.
Mensah-Bonsu – the GM was in the house and Jay wanted to win, so Pops didn’t play.
Nesterovic – not flashy, simply workmanlike. For 3 minutes. However, he did run the length of the court with a full head of steam one time in those 3 minutes. That’s more than POB has done all season.
O’Bryant – he actually held a real NBA game-played basketball. During a timeout. Then he had to give it back and return to his real life. On the bench. Planning his night. Or tomorrows wardrobe.
Turkoglu- all game Hedo had a little pep in his step. Hell, you could actually see his pupils his eyes were so wide. It was great to see and it helped remind Raptor fans what they could have for he next few years. Of course all of that went out the window when Mr. Clutch Your Ass Cheeks Together Cause You Know It Ain’t Goin’ In missed another late game shot (a shot at the regulation buzzer that had as much chance of scoring as phdSteve does with anybody over the age of 20). Then he hit the wild game winner from the corner, in front of the Wizzers bench and birds chirped, cats meowed and fish gargled. Sassy Turk was back in the house. Want proof?
Weems – didn’t play, but with Coach’s new quick insertion system, you can probably expect to see some Sonny tomorrow night.
Wright – big talker, little producer had a nice run to the bucket tonight, but that was it. Minimal minutes for the pot-stirrer. If he had the game to back up his Dr. Phil type observations of those around him, he could be Pippen.
Driving The Bus: Chris Bosh
Under The Bus: Marco Belinelli
Tags: Amir Johnson, andrea bargnani, Antoine Wright, basketball, Chris Bosh, Demar DeRozan, Hedo Turkoglu, jose calderon, marco belinelli, Marcus Banks, NBA, patrick o'bryant, pops mensah-bonsu, Rasho Nesterovic, Reggie Evans, Sonny Weems, toronto raptors