The “we have a new king” edition.
Banks – solid game. Shot well from the floor, defended well, took a nice charge. Maybe Jose is coming back too early?
Bargnani – his shooting percentage doesn’t show it, but he had a solid game from pillar to post. He logged a lot of minutes, demanded attention and his attitude continues to shine. Stepped up his game defensively tonight and made it look like he was shown stuff he needed to improve on from last nights game and he listened.
Belinelli – thank heavens that he has shown defensive intensity lately, otherwise he’d be in danger of hanging with Rasho for most games. Have no idea if the rumour of him working with a shooting coach is legit but, if it is, both he and the coach get a failing grade so far. Went 0-fer from the floor but if you factor in his D and his mission to get to the line, he helped (barely) more than he hurt.
Bosh – it took him 24 shots, but he broke the record, posted a 22/15 and brought back the aggression that had been missing the last few games. Was he playing with a purpose just because he was chasing a carrot? Have to hope not, but the Bosh doubters will bring it up.
Calderon – should be ready to go the next game. Jay now has an example in Tim Duncan to show him that good players can come off the bench.
DeRozan – played above the rim well tonight, including scoring an alley oop off the glass. Not to beleaguer the point, but quick fouls once again became an issue tonight. It’s both a blessing and a curse: it shows he is stepping up his defensive effort, but needs to learn how to pull back. Andrea went through the same thing. Ah, rookie growing pains.
Evans – disgruntled that the Boxing Week sales at International Clothiers have come to a close.
Jack – rocking the headband to all new levels. Facing someone like Parker and not having Hedo in the lineup, distribution was going to be key. Jarrett did a fantastic job of doing just that with 8 assists. Shooting 50% from the floor and getting to the line made it a game to remember after one to forget.
Johnson – his one bucket was a beaut, his defence was up to his usual standards, but another night where he had the opportunity to rise above the crowd and didn’t. Have to take advantage.
Mensah-Bonsu – back to being nailed to the bench. He’s like Guiness Light.
Nesterovic – Mr. Passion spent the night playing Sudoku and following Gilbert Arenas on twitter.
O’Bryant – he was having a garage sale online today. Fridge, dishwasher, etc. All yours if you were willing to pick it up. Hopefully somebody dropped off some talent on his doorstep so that we can see him actually earn some keep.
Turkoglu- sick as a dog and sent home by the principal. Should be ready for his second visit to Orlando.
Weems – you can never accuse my man of not hustling. Pushes the ball, but sometimes disregards his teammates in doing so. He plays the game a gear below “out of control” and a gear above “methodical”.
Wright – started in place of Turk and did a good job of earning his minutes. Created space on the floor at certain times, defended like his rep claimed he could and even threw in some boards to boot. It’s games like this that frustrates the average fan since it only appears on what appears to be a lunar cycle.
Driving The Bus: Chris Bosh
Under The Bus: Amir Johnson
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