The “first of three in a row…first of a back to back to back….they play tomorrow and the night after….they don’t have a night off in 3 days…..”edition:

Barbosa: for one night at least, he was back to the Barbosa we need. Crisp passes, getting to the line (where he was a perfect 9/9), active hands on defense…it was good to see.

Bargnani: this is verging on redunkulous. His game is almost written by a Hollywood script night in and night out: get pushed around, ignore it, give up taking a 3 to get a high percentage shot, have one reverse, pull one never-seen-by-him-before defensive move out of nowhere, make your critics eat crow. He got off 25 shots and 9 free throws in 45 minutes of action and he looked like he would go full throttle in OT if needed. Incredible.

Butler: I’ll give $20 to the first person to take a picture of his vehicle’s gas cap opening because I’m sure it is surrounded by gashes from the nozzle. This guy just can’t find a hole and fill it. How he has escaped the boo birds by the local fans is mindblowing. 0 for 5 from deep and every time he hoisted you almost knew it wasn’t going in. Embarrassing.

Calderon: I can’t be the only one who was terrified to see what Jose would do tonight. Going up against Rubio with at least a few thousand more Spaniards watching online than there were Canadians at the ACC tonight, the proud Calderon was bound to be wound up more than Liston at a new release of Microsoft Excel. Happy to say, though, that this is an older/wiser/freshly shorn Calderon and he passed with a solid B.  He held Rubio in check and refused to be on the bad part of a highlight reel.

Carter: sweet momma….7 minutes, –17, no points, no assists, 2 fouls. If you had given him a jar of pickles to open tonight, I’d put my money on the jar.

Davis: I’m not going to say that, one again, I’m disappointed in Davis’ game and he underperformed against a team that he should do better against.  i will say that I am less disappointed in my dog who ate my roast beef dinner and drank 2 bottles of my Carlsberg then went to the bathroom on my newly purchased area rug. The excuses are running out for Davis and soon one has to wonder if Solomon was actually the most deserving of being sent to the DLeague.

DeRozan: he once again made an attempt to redeem himself late in the game but as was deftly pointed out by Mr. Armstrong, we need more out of a guy who represented the team at Allstar weekend and is constantly referred to as our future. There are times he seems disinterested.

A. Johnson: I know the season is just underway, but if there was ever a game to show the change in Amir, this was it. 30 minutes, with the majority coming against Kevin Love, almost a double double at the half, 7/9 from the floor, 5/6 from the line. Last year he would have been saddled with 3 fouls in 4 minutes and then pick up a quick 2 in the second. This year all he did was make Love look like he’d met his match. Phenomenal game.

J.Johnson: James didn’t fare as well against Love. Heck, he lasted one possession at one point where he came in for Amir, he fouled love in a few seconds and Casey swapped Amir back in immediately. Just like DeMar, he saved his soul in the 4th with 2 wonderful blocks that set the tone for the Raptors to finish the game. I have no doubt that he’ll be punished by watching a lot of video tomorrow, but that’s well deserved. We still need him playing like he did in game 1.

Driving the bus: Amir Johnson

Under the bus: Rasual Butler

Theme of the Game:

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