Bosh Out. Rasho In. No Problem.

Little used Rasho Nesterovic paces the Raptors to a 106-89 win over the Nets with 16pts 7rebs 4ast.

Raptors 106, Nets 89 – Box

Looking at the schedule, Bosh’s injury couldn’t have come at a better time for the Raptors as he will have a full week to recover, while the Raptors play two of the worst teams in the East. A 17 point win, on the road, without your franchise player is a nice to way to respond to a situation, by confronting the situation and turning that situation into a non-situation.

I felt it tonight. I had a bunch of open shots at the beginning. With CB not playing, we were going to have play like a team and share the ball. That was our only chance to win. Knocking down the first couple, I relaxed a little bit. It’s much easier than if you’re struggling. All I can do is try and do my best. – Rasho Nesterovic

In my opinion, basketball is a game of rhythm and he hasn’t been in the lineup for a while. For him to come in and contribute the way that he did is really unbelievable. It’s a testament to him always been ready when called upon. – Jarrett Jack

Those two quotes say it all. Rasho was a great pick-up by Colangelo in the off-season: he doesn’t stir the pot, plays hard when he’s called on, and when folks are counting on him, he delivers. He played 11 minutes in the previous 6 games, but gets the start and drops 16pts 7rebs 4ast. Can he do this on the regular? No, but no other forward on the bench could have started the game, spread the floor, and move the ball around the way our boy did.

The Raptors looked like a totally different team last night, and I must say it was nice to watch. When you lose your franchise player, one of the very few people on the team who can create for himself off the dribble, there is only one way to win: share the ball. The Raptors took good shots, and made them. They moved the ball around, making the extra pass on almost every possession and found the right guy every time. 70% of the shots the Raptors made was assisted (30ast / 43fg).

“Any time your opponent shoots 60 percent for the game, you’re not going to have much of a chance to win” – Kiki Vandeweghe

The Nets did a marginally better job of offensive rebounding and protecting the ball, but whenever your eFG is 63.8%, and you’re getting to the line 34.7% of the time, good things are going to happen. Had the Raptors shot the ball from the line at the same rate as they have been doing all season (76.5%), they could have added another 5 points to the box. The poor shooting from the line can be directly attributed to Bosh being out – he’s shooting 79% on the season.

What is interesting is where the points were coming from (click image to enlarge):

With Bosh out of the game, the Raptors took only 9 shots inside of 15ft; and had an almost even split of layups/dunks (30) and jumpers (33, 12 from beyond the arc). Normally the closer you get to the rim, the better, but with all the swinging, pick-n-rolls, and penetration/kick, the shooters were wide open and knock them down. Even Hedo, yea…

Wizards tonight, pre-game should be up shortly.

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