The “coming home to face your demons” edition:
Barbosa: he cares, he shows passion for the game, but I’m beginning to think the Blur nickname has passed him by. Maybe the Brazilian Barely Buzzing is more apt.
Bargnani: might as well start calling him the puppet master. As Andrea goes, so do the Raptors so far this year. This was his best game but late 4th you could see him tire. He was still attacking the rim (!) but coming up short. The back to back Sunday/Monday should prove interesting, but Andrea seems to shine in NYC.
Bayless: down early due to a strained ankle. About as disappointing to most as it would be to find out a cheerleader had a crush on you.
Butler: Mr. Consistency showed us why he should be kept around to fill an important role: nothing.
Calderon: the Spanish Sputterer looked confused and lost most of the game. You’d think if Andrea drops 30 you’d see your PG who played 30+ minutes stockpile some nice assist numbers and look, you know, active. On the contrary, at times Jose looked like he was wondering how he could get his name on the guestlist at the hottest club in Orlando for NYE. That semi-dive where he looked like somebody hit him with a poison dart was impressive, though.
Carter: first action of the year and the first time since Hoffa where we have seen someone do a shout out to The Rock in the tattoo department. He gave us what we have come to expect from our backup PGs which is the equivalent of the effort of a waiter at the 3am rush in Sudbury during a snowstorm. None.
Davis: the effort seems to be there, but the results are somewhat shocking. Don’t know if it’s trying to grasp a new defensive system or the fact that the offense has taken a back seat, but Ed still hasn’t prompted any desire to move him up the rotation. He actually seems to be in the right spot…which is surprising for someone we all think is a double-double machine.
DeRozan: that clear path dunk was pretty, huh? Pretty enough to forget his poor shooting and inability to create opportunities or get to the line? I want so badly for this guy to be a solid #2 to AB, but I see nothing to say he will be.
Forbes: used to kill some minutes, but unlike the other night he actually provided an impression. He was a little Amir out there in a short appearance.
A. Johnson: Triano must be watching these games and wondering where he went wrong. Amir just seems to naturally be the guy that many touted him to be last season. Setting hard screens, driving the lane to slam in a follow up, calling huddles, listening to his coach. He is quickly making believers out of doubters and will soon have the following Reggie had here if he keeps it up.
J.Johnson: yikes. He definitely showed his on-court age tonight and it wasn’t pretty. 15min no points, 2 turnovers, and the look of an 11 year old that is having a tough time with his homework and his parents have told him he’s on his own. I actually think I heard him whimper at one point. All players have games like this and no shame in having it happen against the champs, but if you played even half as well as you played in game 1, the Raptors could have stolen this.
Magloire: shocking that he basically fouled out just by standing up. 6 minutes, 5 fouls. Big Cat is more like Big Detriment when on the court. Hey, I can see him being a motivational tool for the young guys, but so is providing bottles of Patron for the flight home if you play your ass off. Hmmm…guy from Scarborough who is meaningless to most players or free booze?
Driving the bus: Andrea Bargnani
Under the bus: James Johnson