Once again, filling in for Scott.
It’s the “Atlanta ain’t braver” edition.
Banks – Can’t tell the difference between green beer and windshield-washer fluid.
Bargnani – Every time we rip into him on the Rapcast, he comes back with a strong game. Brought the lunch pail with 22/11 and supplied the early oxygen when it looked like Atlanta would run away with it. Had Horford get the better of him on a few possession in the fourth, but hit a massive three which made a real game of it. The question is whether he can bring it for two nights in a row, or better yet a whole season.
Belinelli – Would you have liked to see Marco Belinelli come in and guard Bibby and maybe use his length to disrupt him? Me too.
Bosh – Terrible 47:53. Great 7 seconds. Seriously, he was making Sam look like a fool for posting that article on Wednesday. His legs weren’t in it, he was settling for the jumper too easily and was getting out-manned by Horford every time on either end. When that jumper left his hands I would’ve bet my house that it was going to hit front-rim and the ACC would be filled with a chorus of boos despite the free pizza. Helped out on the boards with 10 against a fierce Atlanta frontline that could defend him without fouling, hence only 2 FTs. But hey, all people will remember is ‘The Shot’.
Calderon – Got the start and tried to bring what he brought as a reserve to the starting lineup with decent results. The energy was there, the ball distribution was decent and even picked up a couple early steals. His defense on Bibby was awful but you have to wonder what Triano’s thinking when asking Calderon to be the help guy and then also expecting him to recover. It’s like asking A-Dub to speak and be coherent. Loved how he instigated action with Josh Smith by staring down at him, even though it woke the Hawks up.
DeRozan – I’m sorry, did I hear you wanted to take him out of the starting lineup? 19pts, 7-12 shooting and always looking to be aggressive and push the issue on the break. That hot-start we got off to had as much to do with him than anybody else. Yes, he got rocked by Evans and Crawford a couple times, but did he hang his head? No. Did he come back strong? Yes. Does he deserve to start? Hell yes. Oh BTW, Matt Devlin with the most useless stat ever: “When DeMar DeRozan scores more than 10 points, we’re 15-10”. Honestly Matt, what the *&^% am I supposed to do with that?
Evans – He actually got an offensive rebound and passed it out. It was a new concept for him. To be fair, he only did that after he got rejected after trying to go up on the previous possession. 3rebs in 6minutes, that’s 24 per 48 minutes. I’m telling ya, we’re on to something here.
Jack – How do you show the coach he made a mistake by benching you? Go 3-10 of course. Seriously though, other than a sweet And1 against Jeff Teague on the break, he was rather anonymous. He wasn’t even hitting his crazy off-balance floaters today, he did run the offense with only one turnover and the team-total of 4 turnovers had something to do with us winning this game. Bibby lit him up just slightly less than Calderon but overall I was expecting a lot more from him in this game.
Johnson – Without him we lose this game. His hustle got us the possession which allowed Chris Bosh to launch his game-winner. Crashed the offensive glass as usual and surprised Josh Smith with what he could do in the first half. A generally solid game where he played within himself and gave 100%. His finishing around the rim has improved by 300% since opening day and he’s played himself into actually being a legit option on an offensive play.
Nesterovic – Celebrated Festivus with friends and family at Nandos Chicken.
O’Bryant – Apparently he’s half Irish. Yeah, and I’m a Kennedy.
Turkoglu- Can you imagine the headlines if Amir Johnson hadn’t bailed him out with that offensive rebound? He should take the $25K he made in this game and give to Amir. Other than the choke-job on the FT he had a nice game – 16/5/3. Showed some initiative in the early shot-clock, setup Bosh for a couple scores, drove the ball on that second last possession (which shouldn’t be forgotten in the mix) and even dove on the floor head-first. Yes, it was that kind of night and I can’t see why we can’t have more of these from him.
Weems – The silky smooth J was back. Went 4-8 and was one of the few wings who played decent defense on Crawford. He’s oozing athletic ability, has fairly high basketball IQ and an improving mid-range game that could turn deadly. We rip on Colangelo for screwing us for the last three years, and I don’t know if he knew what he had in Sonny when he made the trade, but he’s been a find!
Wright – Injured his ankle trying to dodge questions about why he went 0-for on the West coast trip.
Driving The Bus: Andrea Bargnani
Under The Bus: Jarrett Jack
Game Theme:Follow @raptorsrepublic