The “home crowd advantage” edition.
Banks – whole lot of nothing from our man tonight. He had as much impact on the outcome of this game as Richard Peddie has on this team winning a championship. Still a damn sight better than what we had last year from a third string point guard. Here’s hoping a team sees him play with some hustle and wants him at the trade deadline.
Bargnani – what was there not to like tonight? Dished when he should have, drove the lane, didn’t shy away from the paint and never looked defeated. That Gene Simmons impersonation with Jose after he hit that 3 should be in the top 3 plays of the year. What struck me is just how easy everything seemed to come from him tonight and to have it capped off with that emotion and seeing him smile was fantastic.
Belinelli – is he working with a shooting coach or a crash test dummy? He looked like a cheerleader that accidently got caught on the field during a football game the way he was flailing around out there. Amazingly, though, it actually seemed to work for him in the second half. That runner at the buzzer, initiating contact in the fourth, heck even his active hands in the first half gave his team some spark.
Bosh – Nazr probably felt like he was in the Eaton Centre on Boxing Day trying to go in the out door. Bosh just embarrassed him beyond belief and then kept on going. Chris did what he needs to do against these teams and dared them to keep doubling him until the very end. That pass to Andrea for the game winning 3 was textbook.
Calderon – evidently he’s been watching the parliamentary channel while he’s been out and has decided to join the Liberal party.
DeRozan – Lighthouse came out like a house on fire early but ended up being a background singer the rest of the night. Loved his energy, however not being able to sustain it is what gives Jay the easy decision to pull him.
Evans – I’d love to see Stephen Jackson and Reggie Evans do a boxing-style press conference. Have them talk smack and do the stare down at the end. Epic. Then have Reggie break out into a rap about how he hurt his foot by snapping it off in someone’s ass. Legendary.
Jack – good floor general tonight. Didn’t look to be the focal point and seemed to see things 2 plays ahead which is something good point guards do. Set the offence up, defended okay and pushed his guys to the final whistle.
Johnson – not his best game, but that dish to Weems at the end of the first quarter was worthy of another look. Here’s hoping he understands he can add that to his repertoire for the good of the team moving forward.
Mensah-Bonsu – asked Santa for some talent. Evidently WalMart was out and instead he was given the ability to earn money for doing nothing. In other words he received a Gherardini.
Nesterovic – word on the street is he is about 67% done counting the number of light fixtures in the arena. Once he completes that he will move on to the number of bolts in the crossbeams. Good times.
O’Bryant – if this was a just world, you would catch him using one of these on the bench. At least it plays to his strong suit: not leaving his feet when around a ball.
Turkoglu- left early due to injury which is too bad considering he was playing the style of game he has grown accustomed to over the last few. Dished out 5 assists in 14min and had the ball in his hands when on the floor with Banks.
Weems – early on he attacked the rim and scored easily. He then decided he was Vince Carter and tried shooting jumpers which had the success rate of one of Arsenalist’s condoms. Give him credit, though….he fought his way to the free throw line and converted from there.
Wright – took over for Hedo and, while he didn’t live up to what Hedo was doing early, he didn’t negatively impact the game either, which he can do. He clicked with his teammates tonight, joined Bosh in diving for loose balls and looked like he knew his role. Knowing the second half was his to lose probably helped him keep the confidence up. Good to see.
Driving The Bus: Andrea Bargnani
Under The Bus: Marcus Banks
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