The “stops > points” edition:
Barbosa: he had a first half offensively that was as unstoppable as trips to the bathroom after you break the seal after the 3rd beer. Leandro took a pathetic putrid team that started the game in mud and absolutely turned them around almost single handedly. As good as Andrea was in the second, we owe this game to Barbosa.
Bargnani: rusty to start the game, but after the halftime Gatorade, it was like watching a man among boys. Providing more heat than a bunch of firefighters in a room full of just divorced cougars, Andrea looked like he was a real life replay machine from 3 in a few consecutive possessions that had the Suns crowd groaning every time he went to take a shot. He didn’t shy away: 21 FGA’s and a perfect 12 trips to the line. He even had a heck of a block and is now the proud owner of part of Grant Hill’s eyebrow.
Bayless: came out of the gates looking like he wanted to give it to his old hometown, but fizzled something quick. Casey even put him in earlier than usual hoping to quell what seemed to be the start of a Sun tide and Jerryd looked like he was going to do just that. But, no, he went back on his heels pretty quickly and proved to be, well, disappointing.
Butler: the leader of the Misfits comes off the bench tonight and other than making the highlight reel for an insanely poor in-bounds play in the dying seconds, he was as much a part of this victory as carrots are to a caesar salad.
Calderon: he has gone from handing out refreshments in the lockerroom to dressing down teammates on the floor in the crucial dying seconds. I can live with that. Sure, he can’t keep up with a 78 year old broken down Canadian, but man can he ever shift blame onto someone with the basketball IQ of a farmer in Saskatchewan.
Davis: this, my dear friends, is his year in the form of a game: 3 minutes, 3 fouls, benched. This guy has pulled the biggest scam since snake oil on Toronto basketball fans. It’s obvious he can’t keep up with NBA talent and it needs to be addressed. You can’t blame the new system at this point. He’s being asked to go out and get the ball, something he has been doing his whole life. If he can’t do it without being a detriment to the team, he gets to hang with Jamaal on the sidelines with some scratch and win cards.
DeRozan: and speaking of delusions of grandeur….sweet momma siki. I almost actually hate that it’s been 2 games in a row that he has scored on an alley-oop because it reminds me of what he can be and isn’t. To me a Suns team with Gortat on the bench and Lopez tossed out is a sitting duck waiting to be backdoored, but DeMar didn’t even test the locks.
Forbes: positive: he played 33% of the time that Ed Davis did and he picked up no fouls. Forbes for President.
Gray: we said it 2 days ago and here it is: Aaron was your starter tonight. Casey stuck to his word and rewarded on merit after Aaron completely outshone Amir in L.A.. Gray got a quick hook tonight but his effort was still greater than what Amir could muster in virtually identical minutes.
A. Johnson: after such a great start to the season, I’m hoping word comes out that he is suffering from some debilitating bug he got from eating Skittles or something because the drop off we have seen over the last few games is far worse than the one I suffered when my mom took away my hand lotion when I was 15. His body language reminds me of a dog in its final days waiting for that needle and it’s bloody well depressing me.
J. Johnson: two nice things happened today: RapsFan sent me this (slightly NSFW) and JJ had a good game resulting in a double double. If you are a Raptors fan, you have to be as frustrated with this guy as I am. He is as up and down as Liston after eating hot sauce and drinking a vat of Carlsberg at BMO Field.
Kleiza: I am going to say something that will blow your mind. Ready? 10 rebounds. Yup, Linas tore down boards like he was a midwestern family trying to get the early bird special at IHOP. Granted, most of them fell into his lap but it still took the sting away from a lacklustre offensive game from him.
Driving the bus: Andrea Bargnani
Under the bus: Ed Davis
Theme of the Game: