The “paging a team with heart to reception, please…a team with heart” edition.
Banks – there was probably a 50/50 split when he hoisted that three late in the fourth as it relates to people hoping for the best and others wanting to throw him in a fire as soon as he released it. Forgive me, but I actually thought he was going to nail it. He was in a rhythm, his head was in the game, his stutter step was nice….then he hit the top of the backboard. Pretty much summed up the game.
Bargnani – Big Baby was throwing Andrea around like he was Realizar in a UFC fight. I was half expecting Bargs to yelp. As has happened more than a few times this season, though, AB heated up late in the first quarter, went to the bench, then played level headed the rest of the way. One sequence of an offensive rebound followed by a nice reverse in the second certainly stood out. Yes, Rasheed lit him up late in the fourth and it hurt (badly) but this crushing defeat can’t be laid at the feet of Andrea.
Belinelli – got a question for you. Did you see him defend Ray Allen down the stretch? Hounding defence, very active, stuck to him like glue. Can he not give us 10-12 minutes of that a night? He made Ray look like an average NBA player. Stuff like that should happen at all times when your shot isn’t falling.
Bosh – Baron Davis gave CB4 a pair of oven mitts for Christmas. Bosh must really like them because evidently he has decided to play basketball with them. Maddening to see catchable passes skim through/off his hands in the paint and result in turnovers. Hurtful to watch his effort defensively tonight, especially that blow-by by Tony Allen that was more embarrassing than ‘”that dunk”. He got his points, but we needed his hustle as well.
Calderon – he was probably at home playing NBA2k with Garnett on mute.
DeRozan – 3 fouls in the first 5 minutes. That’s not how you show you can hang with the big boys in this league. This is, though. Still, far from a great effort by someone we needed a good game from to negate one of the few Celtic stars playing tonight.
Evans – at this point you have to wonder if the foot injury has been aggravated by him kicking the coffee table at his place. I know mine has.
Jack – he had that look about him tonight. He just wasn’t in the game mentally. He spent the middle of the game looking like he’d rather be shopping at Sephora on boxing day than be in a basketball game. He re-appeared late (too late?) with some zest, but he should have been a catalyst with no Rondo in the lineup. Disappointing.
Johnson – came in and stopped Davis for the first couple of possessions. Then a couple of quick ticky-tack fouls lifted him from the game. Would have been a nice game for him to step up and prove the “freeamir” movement is legit.
Mensah-Bonsu – Jay tried to (achem) “shake things up” by inserting Bangers & Mash into the game in the second half. He did make one great defensive play, but unfortunately it was on Chris Bosh.
Nesterovic – actually saw the floor tonight. Here’s hoping the executives at Real Madrid were watching. Not sure why Jay wouldn’t use his mass more against Davis, especially given Rasho had a nice game against the Celtics the last time he was played.
O’Bryant – you know, if he played on the Wizards, he’d probably be apt to shoot himself in the foot.
Turkoglu- never let it be said he gave up. Posted a 12/7/7 but I think this was one of the nights we needed his shooting ability more than his creation ability. True, Jack wasn’t helping in that department either, but Hedo either needed to hoist more than his 9 shots or he needed to get to the foul line. He was a late addition to the line up, but if you play 40 minutes you must be healthy enough to take it inside.
Weems – not much of anything tonight, unless you count fouls and ill-advised shots.
Wright – speaking of missed opportunities, he was inserted for foul-happy DeMar and how did he re-pay Jay? No output in 5 minutes of play. He looked like a F1 driver in a car with no wheels.
Driving The Bus: Andrea Bargnani
Under The Bus: Antoine Wright
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