The “boat still ain’t sinking, people” edition.
Banks – back to the inactive list The guy sits more than Canadian parliament.
Bargnani – what happens in the locker room at the half? Consistently he has come out and stepped his game up in the second half and actually appears re-born. Had an off shooting night but defensively stepped up to the plate in the 3rd and 4th giving the guys who were scoring the opportunity to pull this out.
Belinelli – one thing I hope he gets used to: the letters DNP.
Bosh – Mr Big Stuff came out somewhat lethargic but slowly carved out his niche. He had a monster 4th that had the ACC crowd as loud as they have been all season (not hard to do with the voices bouncing off the empty seats). Like Bargs, something slapped him in the face in the second half and he even did a passable job on help defence, featuring one massive block. Perfect from the line, another double double, and his Avatar imitation made a re-appearance.
Calderon – ever sit in the back of a cab after a nice night of adult beverages and as soon as the stoplight turns green you are jerked in your seat so hard you are sure you have whiplash? Well, that must have been what the rest of Jose’s teammates felt like tonight when he was brought in. Calderon completely changed what the Raptors looked like and had this team on the cusp of a victory. Fantastic game. Did he get exposed on defence by Gay? Absolutely, but it’s become common belief that a 7 year old with a limp could probably expose Jose on D.
DeRozan – he looked like he came out with something to prove. He didn’t flash that sly smile as much tonight and he appeared to want to show people he remembered where the rim was and that it took effort to get there. He faltered as the game went on, got exposed on D one too many times and Jay just had enough. He had as much chance to be a part of the late game reindeer games as the elf that was caught sleeping with Mrs. Claus.
Evans – four minutes of fury? 4 points, 4 rebounds, 4 minutes and the recipient of quite possibly the most effusive Devlin love in the history of man (outside of Bosh). Again, his conditioning looks absolutely horrible and with the schedule getting tougher and also shorter, he needs to bust his ass. Still playing like pennies on the dollar.
Jack – he hung out in Dallas with AllStars but evidently is walking proof that talent and work ethic isn’t transferable through touch. If Jose was a race car tonight, Jarrett was the pothole in Daytona.
Johnson – check this: 5 for 5, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks, 10 points. I haven’t seen a more impressive line than that since I visited the Bunny Ranch in Vegas. He and Jose were Stockton and Malone at every opportunity and he once again showed Evans and Colangelo that he isn’t just insurance, he is top of the bench material. Best game of the year.
Nesterovic – Rasho is like that guy you have in your class at high school that you chum around with in calculus because he isn’t geeky, but he isn’t cool, has all the answers and he just wants to fit in. You put on a front, use him for what he has (in Rasho’s case, his per diem) and outside of school you mock him for being played.
O’Bryant – in the process of setting up a joint twitter account with Marcus: @leastwegetpaidtosithere
Turkoglu- this is a tough one. People are obviously burning pictures of Hedo as we speak, but he played with his mask again and just came back from the Old Country looking after some sad family matters. It’s not like the guy was hanging out in Vegas spending part of his income on roulette and magic shows. Yes, 1 point and very little else, but personally I was much more disappointed in Jack than I was Hedo. I’m beginning to feel Hedo is this seasons version of Hoffa in that no matter what he does, the fanbase will be all over him.
Weems – sweet game by Sonny. Shot 5/7, played some fantastic defence in the second quarter, was probably unjustifiably yanked in the late 4th to be replaced by Turk, but most importantly, played a solid 27 minutes. Weems and Wright will continue to be key factors down the stretch.
Wright – one of the horsemen got elbowed tonight and started to bleed but Antoine the closer came back out and….well…..didn’t do much. Played his usual hardnosed ball most of the game, but those shots that didn’t look like they would go in that did in previous games didn’t tonight. Provided some nice stops, but still hope his scoring touch re-appears on the weekend since, if we had it tonight, we would have had the victory.
Driving The Bus: Jose Calderon
Under The Bus: Hedo Turkoglu
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