The “best 4th quarter of the year” edition.
Banks – back to suits. The only person who is in and out of suits more is an escort working in DC.
Bargnani – took him a while, but as they say, it’s the final result. Looked pretty bad at times early on, which may be a result of being abused by the Lakers big men. He shook it off and became a huge part of the Raptors 4th quarter of the year.
Belinelli – he played the part of gunslinger tonight. Shots that have never fallen consistently for him all year seemed to be on a laser beam directly into the hoop. 3 for 3 from 3, a beautiful pass to Amir in the 3rd and no silly “I will do this all by myself” drives to the hoop. Best game of the year.
Bosh – surprisingly never made it to the free throw line tonight, but still posted a double double. He took what the Lakers gave him, which is good, but not what we need or expect from the franchise player. He needed to take it to the Lakers, force them to defend him and open the floor a bit early.
Calderon – he took a shot to the right eye, so there is a built in excuse for his less than stellar game. 5 pts, 5 assists in 14 minutes. He was exposed defensively too much (and too long) for my liking and Jay’s decision to stick with him for the majority of the fourth could have been a game losing decision.
DeRozan – sure Kobe had 27 points, but it took him 24 shots to get them. DeMar played him tough all night, going stroke for stroke with one of his idols. I was personally hoping for a nice flashy dunk to open some American eyes, but I’ll take what he gave us: a solid game.
Evans – a month until he plays. This is probably going to be as epic as Barbra Streisand returning to the stage. The standing O could last minutes.
Jack – he kept us in the game in the 3rd quarter, his play calling and ball distribution was some of the best in the past month. The fact it took until the final 3 minutes to get him in the game was maddening given the energy he was showing in the 3rd quarter and the way his teammates were responding. He secured the starting spot on this team for the remainder of the season tonight.
Johnson – great energy, some nice off the ball movement, a nice job standing up to the Lakers bigs. I admit those 2 fouls early had me rolling my eyes, but his game made me quickly forgive and forget.
Nesterovic – barely got into the game but this game was far to frenetic for him. Actually, snails doing reverse cowgirl is too frenetic for him, but I digress.
O’Bryant – he was dressed and ready for action. Then he got to the bench and saw Gasol, Odom, etc. He promptly soiled himself, remembered he was wearing home whites and asked Coach Triano to award him with a DNP-CD.
Turkoglu- you could almost audibly hear the angry typing coming from basements across Canada as it became apparent that Hedo was keeping the ball for that final possession. He had another awful shooting night (1-6) and didn’t create as much as he did last game, save a beautiful touch pass to Bosh in the 1st. The only stat that mattered, though, was that he was 6 of 6 from the FT line, with numbers 5 and 6 being the biggest of this Raptors season.
Weems – a man with his talents must be disappointed at not playing. That’s akin to DocNaismith going to the Beaver Tails booth and being told they have no sugar.
Wright – He was an embarrassment early when he cowered Bosh-like from the oncoming train called Farmar. What the hell was that?? Anyway, being a Canadian, I can forgive him his trespasses as he defending Kobe in the final minute like he was guarding the virginity of a Jonas Brother (well, the unmarried ones). Spectacular D that was reminded one of Anthony Parker on a good day.
Driving The Bus: Andrea Bargnani
Under The Bus: Jose Calderon