The “if Roko makes you look silly, you probably are” edition.
Banks – at least I now know why his shoulders are so muscular: they have years of having to prop up a flailing career based on broken promise. Sir, Roko Ukic slapped you with his purse tonight.
Belinelli – Great game tonight. Hit all his shots, was a stopper on defense, fought through all the screens, found his teammates for the open shot, and was the figurehead for this team, showing the bench can easily outplay the starters. Just kidding. I just got giddy because he looks like an elf in the picture above.
Bosh – sure, got a double double, brought some hustle, but he showed little energy in doing so. Did a nice job of pulling DeMar aside when DeRozan was blocked hard by Delfino, but he needed to do that to the entire team tonight and didn’t. Leadership calls for it and tonight is another feather in the cap for those that argue that Bosh isn’t a leader.
Calderon – stayed back in Toronto. Evidently Reggie wanted a buddy to go shopping with.
DeRozan – a little bit of a step back tonight. Delfino really got into his head with the aforementioned block and one killer crossover. Carlos made DeRozan look like a rookie the majority of the night. That said, DeRozan didn’t take either end of the floor sitting down and he kept pushing. Nice job on the boards, but needs to try and get inside again. The free throw line is your friend, sir.
Evans – anybody else think he lounges at home wearing a smoking jacket?
Jack – Brandon Jennings was in a slump, so Jarrett decided to give him an early Christmas gift. Ridnour too. Roko as well. Hell, I could swear I saw him give the Bucks mascot a happy ending. Seriously, Jack did what he could to keep the Raps in this, but 33 minutes against an active backcourt with your team giving up 14 turnovers (for 23 points) is just a recipe for frustration.
Johnson – admit it….you were excited when you heard Bargs was out, thinking someone like Amir could step in and prove that he should be “freed”. Well, sure, he can be freed, as long as he agrees to wear an electric shock collar. He provided his usual game, but when you are down two starters, Amir is the type of guy you turn to for a spark. Instead, it was like trying to light a fire with a magnifying glass using wet paper and the moon.
Mensah-Bonsu – well, at least he saw the floor tonight. The good news? POB outscored his British ass.
Nesterovic – started the game in place of Bargnani. Going up against Bogut probably wasn’t fair and it showed. No rebounds, 3 fouls and he only hit one shot. He got T’d up as well for arguing with the official. Yes, Rasho. A technical. It was like watching a bear get angry at a fish.
O’Bryant – came in, scored, pulled down a board. Let the trade talks begin.
Turkoglu- tell me, if you have a guy making over $50mil in your starting lineup that is healthy, would you expect him to step up when two of his fellow starters are out? I know I would. Smile all you want after you hit a shot, Hedo, just do me a favour and smile more often. I’d say his game tonight is below average as a Raptor, but I would be lying. Tonight was indicative of what he has brought to this team since signing here: disappointment.
Weems – solid game with some extended minutes. Nice hustle, actually saw flashes of half decent defense too. I still like his game, but his talent level reminds me of a Joey Graham-type.
Wright – better shot selection tonight turned into a nice boost to the bench scoring, especially when coupled with Weems. Unfortunately nights like tonight where Wright knows his role seem to be few and far between.
Driving The Bus: Chris Bosh
Under The Bus: Hedo Turkoglu
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