The “JYD experience” edition.
Banks – according to one reporter, his contribution to this game came from him standing up encouraging the fans to chant “We Want Reggie” as his teammates were on the floor letting Philly back into the game. Micah Nori needs to sit Marcus down and explain how things work.
Bargnani – a hard fought night with Brand and Andrea absolutely cloaked him. It seemed like every time Brand turned to look at the basket Andrea greeted him with outstretched arms and a goofy grin. Offensively it was just an average night for Bargs, but he definitely had a stamp on this game. His 3 was a dagger at the end of the game, finally snuffing out a resilient Philly team.
Belinelli – if Andrea was the stamp, Marco was the gag reflex you get after you lick the envelope. Just a horrible outing. No points, 3 fouls, and a mirror reflection of Jason Kapono. Pathetic.
Bosh – I want to say this was a quiet game for Bosh, but his line still stands out: 23/12. He kept his shot attempts down and the Sixers threw some different looks at him, so maybe it caught him off guard. That one spin move on Thaddeus Young was beautiful, though.
Calderon – if you give a man some leapers, he can throw the alley-oop. Often looked at as a poor facilitator of the alley-oop pass, he turned the world upside down tonight. 4 assists in 2 minutes, a nice drive to end the first quarter, he ended up with 10pts, 6 assists. Still want to see him force the issue a bit more and get himself to the free throw line, an obvious strength.
DeRozan – nice confidence boosting game for the rook leading into what will undoubtedly be a sensory overload weekend. He made a point of attacking on both ends of the floor tonight (his challenge on Brand late fourth was impressive, taking the charge and swinging momentum). One play that stands out offensively was him charging through an open lane for a put back jam that had people in Newmarket holding on to their shaking tables.
Evans – all that was missing was Reggie cupping his hands around his mouth and barking. For the record, I love the hysteria and the blind love, I really do. At the end of the day, though, having some guy sucking wind after 5 minutes and looking like me after a flight of stairs isn’t something that sits well with me. Love how he hasn’t gained weight, but lets get his conditioning up for the stretch run. Now, that said, a sequence of a sweet pass that lead to a dunk for Antoine and then drawing a charge on the subsequent play was Kris Humphries-esque, so well done. Oh, and you people in the arena chanting “We Want Reggie” as your lead just got cut in half, you reminded me of this. Again, have fun, but timing is everything.
Jack – strange game, no? Started fine, has his team firing on (mostly) all cylinders, did okay coming out of the half, but then he kind of had wobbly tires down the stretch. Those 2 missed free throws hurt, then when on the floor with Jose, Lou Williams inflicted pain like he was a roided out bouncer. His poor shooting and terrible execution down the stretch offset his 8 assist night.
Johnson – he made his case for remaining the first big off the bench. Offensively he played as well as he has all year, going 4 of 5 and taking smart shots. Sure, his rebound numbers were off but he played within the game, something we need from that spot. Also of note: 13 minutes, no fouls. That’s about as rare as Megan Fox being hired as a hand model.
Nesterovic – he’s probably just happy that he doesn’t have to look into Reggie’s beard every night to see what Evans had for lunch, just to pass the time on the bench.
O’Bryant – back rockin’ the pinstripes and the fedoras. Ladies love him. Guys want to be him. Children want him to be their daddy.
Turkoglu- rumbles of disbelief of his reason for not playing. Some wonder if it is just him pulling out and getting extra time without the mask. Family is family, so I (for one) will believe him. As it turns out, we didn’t need him, but if the Sixers had pulled off the comeback, I wonder if those rumbles would have been deafening.
Weems – what a night for Sonny…so good that non-Raptors fans on Twitter were asking where he came from. First he hits his first 3 of the year and it just so happens to be the Raptors first 3 of the game, extending that precious streak. Then, upon watching his fellow guards allow Lou every discretion, he comes in and immediately shuts Williams down. It was a pivotal defensive play that may have been overshadowed by Bargnani’s rebound and getting fouled a little later, but it was a statement stance for Weems and his ballclub.
Wright – the Closer also had a hand (pun intended) late 4th in getting under Williams’ skin and forcing a turnover. Wright has become the reliable guy we need down the stretch, something we’ve been missing for years. You never know what you are getting with his shot, but like Amir, you can now never doubt the energy he’ll bring.
Driving The Bus: Andrea Bargnani
Under The Bus: Marco Belinelli
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, Rasho Nesterovic, Reggie Evans, Sonny Weems, toronto raptors