The “triage unit” edition.
Banks – back on the outside looking in. I have to confess that I was quietly hoping Jay would sub him in ahead of Jarrett in the second half.
Bargnani – Casper. Plain and simple, the man is Casper when it comes down to playing the part of a leader. He’s always lucky to have a built-in excuse (coming off a sickness, 3 staples in his head, it’s a day that ends in “y”) but it’s starting to wear thin.
Belinelli – guess while people question his game, he has to question his heritage since this is the second Italian Night this year that he didn’t see any playing time.
Bosh – Blame Hadi.
Calderon – I get sick of saying it, so I’m sure you get sick of reading it: drive and score…drive and score. Yes, I know the Knicks perimeter D is as bad as, say, Jose’s, but even against midlevel defence, the drive is there and points are available for the taking. It’s not a stretch to say it’s a main reason we won the game tonight. Don’t forget it. Also worth mentioning were some fantastic finds of Hedo and Amir.
DeRozan – starting to feel the heat a bit? Hard to tell, but he came to play tonight. Good shot selection but again has to learn to defend his man without giving them an out via a foul or a blow by. It will come in time, but it is frustrating to see him not getting better.
Evans – honestly no idea if he was hurt, sick, or the tempo of the game scared him off, but he only played 5 minutes and was a non-factor in every sense.
Jack – turned the ball over far too much and was a level below his normal self when it came to getting the ball to the “right” guy. If Jose could make the Knicks pay, Jarrett should have been going at them like a kid goes at ice cream.
Johnson – under the weather but still working hard to provide his team with some much needed energy and grit. You taking notes, Andrea? Jay should pull out the Amir hilights of this game and force Andrea to take Bambi out of his DVD player and watch it. 5 of his 8 rebounds gave the Raptors a second chance to score, he kept his fouling in check and he shot the ball with consistency. Took the starting role and kicked its ass plus he went all Randy Savage on Andrea, elbowed him in the head and sent him off for stitches. Bonus points and a power up for that.
Nesterovic – rather than keep his mind in the game, he preferred to sit back and wonder if tiramisu would be served at the postgame buffet.
O’Bryant – back in a suit and found himself explaining to Hedo who that old guy was at centre court and why he got a standing ovation.
Turkoglu- another of the walking wounded that paid a visit to the locker room while the game was being played. Too bad since it took away from what was a pretty good night for him. He had 7 rebs early, he had his shooting touch working for him and I swear…I SWEAR…I saw him play his man tonight. Damn turkish coffee playing tricks on me again.
Weems – a career high, some swagger, lots of intensity, the ability to appear out of nowhere and, as phdSteve pointed out, he even took ESPN by surprise, forcing them to go back to his stint in an Outkast video for a head shot. Obviously we will never always get 20/9 out of the guy, but it was something phenomenal for a player that most thought would be injury insurance. Well, I guess technically he is, but not at his own position.
Wright – man, some of his shots made me almost as nervous as I was when it was ladies choice at the barn dance I was at in Alliston Ontario. My pillow still has teeth marks in it……and they are from my own teeth. He didn’t play poorly, but he didn’t help his cause. Lock down D against the Knicks shouldn’t be too much to ask from a guy that was loudly touting his ability to play defensively a few short weeks ago. Looks like he needs a muzzle.
Driving The Bus: Sonny Weems
Under The Bus: Andrea Bargnani
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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