Obviously others chipped in and contributed…just that the headline was perfect and I didn’t want to change it: Calderon moved the ball around aside from a couple retarded passes, but the defense wasn’t there; Barbosa did DeRozan’s job and scored the ball; Kleiza did Amir’s and Davis’ job and grabbed rebounds off the bench; and James Johnson’s double-double was so natural it makes you want to choke him out on nights he puts up crap.
I have nothing positive to say about this game. It took 42 minutes from Bargnani, after missing six games, to win this one. 42 MINUTES! You have to assume he still isn’t 100% since that’s how the pro’s work. Amir and Ed played so terrible that Casey couldn’t spare more than 6 minutes at the power forward. Think about what that means for a minute; guys that were considered core members of the future could only give an injured man, who missed six straight games with injury, 6 minutes of relief against the one of the few teams in the league I wouldn’t trade the Raptors straight up for.
That last notion is a conversation I’ve been having with a lot of folks over the last few days: if you were to compare the Raptors to every other team in the league as currently constructed, you’d be hard-pressed not to like the other squad*. In this instance, the Suns have the best player of the two teams, Steve Nash, but he’s old and dreaming of finishing his career in New York. If he still had a year or two left on his contract, you could make the case that it would be better to rebuild around him…I really want to know what people think of this, put it in the comments.
As for Arse’s predictions:
Margin after first: -8 -> 10
Margin at halftime: -4 -> 4
Margin at end of third: -16 -> 8
Final score margin: -9 -> 3
Best Raptor: James Johnson -> Would have been if Bargnani wasn’t there
Worst Raptor: Ed Davis -> Yup, see Roll Call
Shots of Suns cheerleaders: 6 -> I counted 7 on LPBB
DeMar DeRozan three attempts: 4 -> 0, thank jah
Amir Johnson fouls: 5 -> 3, but didn’t play enough to get there
Barbosa final point tally: 18 -> 19
Rasual Butler moments of retardedness: 3 -> 2
Dwayne Casey yelling “go go go”: 2 -> No idea, I wont lie and say 6+
Jose Calderon assists: 8 -> 11
One thing I did like was the starting lineup, not that they played very long together, but Gray and Bargnani lining up together is more formidable than anything else we can muster. Next step is to insert Barbosa into the starting five, and make DeRozan the first wing off the bench; could be what he needs…in Utah tonight, pre-game up soon.
* Of the ten worst teams in the league, a case could be made that only Charlotte and Detroit are worse off than the Raptors
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