We’re happy to be sending Ritchie to the game tonight as our contest winner; he loves the Raptors, he really does!!
Ok, short pre-game today:
Reggie Evans – Out
Linas Kleiza – Out
Jerry Bayless – Out
Matt Bonner – Day to day
While I wanted Jose to make himself an offensive threat, 2-15 from the field wasn’t what I had in mind. Getting good scoring opportunities were a concern going into the game, and Calderon fell into the Bucks trap of becoming a scorer and not a facilitator; the Raptors offense is best when Jose’s making others better. Against the Spurs, the pace will be much quicker. Jose will have to deal with Parker instead of Jennings, and the grass isn’t greener my friend. Tit-for-tat with Parker is the best case scenario after the two played to a duel the last time out.
Box: 13pts 10ast 4rebs
9-13 from the field, but zero trips to the line. On a night where only two Raptors scored in double-digits I’ll take it. I like that his jumper is coming along, but i cant help but think of his athleticism is being wasted, in the mold of VC, if he keeps relying on that jumper. I know it’s just a couple games, but DeRozan has only gone to the line 6 times in the last 5 games. If he remembers, the last time against Spurs, Manu got to the line 14 times even though he shot 4-13 from the field. I’d like to see some of those attempts reduced tonight, and see DeMar duplicate the success he had by getting into the lane, and drawing fouls to the tune of 9 free throw attempts.
Box: 23pts 7rebs
2-10 from the field last night; with the 2 made field goals layups in transition. What I said about Sonny yesterday, still applies today except he needs to STOP SHOOTING THE F*CKING BALL SO MUCH AND TAKE IT TO THE BASKET. That’s all I got for him.
Box: 10pts 6rebs 3ast
Didn’t count on a poor shooting night from Amir of all folks, but the Bucks are that good on defense (hard to get good looks when Bogut swat 5 shots and affected numerous others). Same as Weems, what I said about him yesterday applies, but unlike Sonny, Amir contributed 11rebs 2ast 2blk while shooting 1-7 from the field. Dajuan Blair is no Ersan Ilyasova; and I hope Amir remembers the pounding he took from Blair the last time out (22pts 11rebs 1ast 1stl 1blk). I’m feeling a big night from one of the only guys who plays with fire; Amir can’t be happy with his performance last night.
Box: 18pts 12rebs 3ast 2blk
Our boy started very slow, but finished the game fairly strong; scoring from all over in different ways (off the bounce, leaner in the paint, jumper). Still, 9-23 is bloody brutal; even worse: Bargnani has gone 31-96 over the last five games (I couldn’t stomach to look back any further). I expect more of the same, but hope he can improve his efficiency to say 9-19 with a couple 3s, or something along those lines.
Box: 27pts 7rebs 2blk
Key to the Game
The Spurs have a tendency to play down to their opponents, which explains how the Raptors were able to get out to a 53-42 lead, before the Spurs stormed back after Poppovich sodomized them at the half for playing like girls. If San Antonio come out flat again tonight, the Raptors need to take advantage, and not relent in the 2nd half when they wake up. As far as how to do this, I got nothing, sorry.
The gamblers have the Spurs as 8.5 point favourites with an over/under of 201.5. We have Jah to thank for a quicker pace than last nights game, but I fear the end result will be the same.