The “Saturday afternoons were(n’t) made for NBA basketball” edition.
Banks – all he kept thinking was “cheeeeeeesesteak”
Bargnani – possible for him to have a quiet 23? He put up some nicely timed 3s and corralled the loose ball (tipped by Wright) off of Jack’s missed FTs in overtime and both were huge factors in the game. Just as sweet: a buzzer-beating heave from beyond mid-court and 3, count them, 3 smiles. Must be spring.
Belinelli – as useless as Jay was in the fourth.
Bosh – you know when your leg is asleep and when you try and walk it kind of thrusts out and leaves you unbalanced as you lean on it? Kind of making you feel unsure of yourself? Well, Bosh’s entire body seemed to be like that early in this game. It was like watching him play in a sandbox. He continued to fight his way to the line, which accounted for 12 of his 28 points, but that spark wasn’t there early. Time for him to live up to his own words and give effort right from the word go.
Calderon – he found himself in strange territory: foul trouble. And early, too, picking up 2 quick ones. He ended up with 5, but still managed 33 minutes, 10 assists and 16 points. Jay hid him on the defensive end to preserve him, but he did a great job on his own of playing smart and really helping his team tonight.
DeRozan – wow. Talk about a step back. 0 of 2 in 10 minutes that featured as much pop as Evian water. I bet if you asked 20 people, 18 of them would say he didn’t even play today, he was that invisible.
Evans – like me, were you expecting a bit more? I know he said earlier in the day that his return to Philly meant nothing, but come on. He even entered to some appreciative applause and, stranger still, he looked spry with eyes wide open and the hunger looking like it was present. Well, that translated into a short stint of playing time. Jay’s love affair with the zone killed any need we had for Evans.
Jack – He looked Bosh-like for a great portion of the game: distant, uncaring, wondering how many more squares he needs to complete that quilt he is working on. Which is odd considering he’s been somewhat of a catalyst lately. He’s earned an off day, but surprised it came against this team.
Johnson – like Reggie, Amir came out looking like he’d love to knock the head off the Rocky statue. He actually even played like it: 5 boards in 7 minutes against a fairly big squad is nothing to be ashamed of. Then ZONE 2010 came into Wachovia and made Amir expendable.
Nesterovic – I see him in shootaround, so I know he’s alive.
O’Bryant – if ever there was a competition to find the worst dressed scrub in the league with a good IQ and the ability to tweet, I’d want to be his running mate. (I’d bring the IQ part).
Turkoglu- it’s kind of like someone wanted to create the ideal player for fantasy sports and came up with Hedo. You want to rip the guy a new one after every game and then you see how he fills up a stat sheet. Then again, you look at his hair, and the game is back on. Hedo has found his groove off the bench. That second unit has begun to gel and we have just enough time before the playoffs to make it a cohesive unit. Could be the card up our sleeve.
Weems – I’ll let Sam tear Jay a new one in the post game, but Sonny, while not out-of-this-world spectacular today, played pretty freaking good. Good enough to have more than 25minutes of floor time considering every other starter played 33min+.
Wright – solid game from start to finish. Can’t rag on him for his shot selection, he hit some nice “nooooo’s” and played up to his own level of defence. As mentioned above, his play in overtime probably saved the game for us. He’s still way too up and down for my liking, but a performance like tonight would go down quite well every night.
Driving The Bus: Chris Bosh
Under The Bus: DeMar DeRozan
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