The “can’t stop the Rock” edition:
Barbosa: love when he attacks the rim early. The obvious will never be overstated in that with Andrea out, Leandro has to step up both offensively and as a glue guy. He did both tonight.
Bayless: what do you do with a guy who played as well as he has in weeks and is actually creating points and pulling your guys back into the game? Sit him down, of course. 7/10, 4/5 from 3, and playing under control as much as I’ve seen him in a Raptors uniform. Understood that Calderon is your main guy, but we needed to ride Jerryd and Leandro until they pleaded to be pulled.
Butler: I’m beginning to think if you sent Rasual into your kitchen to make you a grilled cheese sandwich he’d get confused by the ingredients. He took 2 shots in 18 minutes, both from deep, and both uglier than a hamburger with no bacon.
Calderon: anytime Caldy plays 30+ minutes and has the same number of assists as turnovers, you know the Spaniard is listing. Obviously I’m wrong when I think that every time he faces a countryman he’s going to step up since he looked more like a turtle tonight than a lion.
Davis: can’t knock the hustle tonight and, hell, he actually looked pissed. Have to like it if it’s finally sinking in that he has been a bigger disappointment than going into a bar that is only serving Molson 67. Maybe the headband is picking up the radiowaves being broadcast by all the haters.
DeRozan: he should be thanking his lucky stars that capital punishment isn’t a thing here in Canada because he’d be cuffed and shipped to Nathan Phillips Square for a public flogging upon his return. He attacked the hoop after realising that they were giving him a wide open lane to the bucket in the fourth….and the fourth was when he scored his first points of the game. Brutal.
Forbes: for all those that want this beast released this had to be a disappointing night. 5 minutes, 0 of 3, and not any type of flash from the guy. He’s like a slice of white bread in amongst Breads Of The World.
Gray: a bit of a foul machine tonight and, as would be expected, he contributed nothing offensively. Nice job cleaning the glass tonight and along with Jamaal, we had a good one/two punch against Nene the Tank.
A. Johnson: still stuck in the mud and not showing much of a sign of pulling himself out of the bog. A nice block, mediocre hustle and not much else. Nobody needs a break more than this guy.
J. Johnson: most of his 16 came in the third but other than fouling out, his game was pretty nice tonight. If we had this effort even just every other game we would be in a good place. Infuriating.
Kleiza: starting for the first time this season after lighting it up the last few games, he let the light dim. 1 of 7, 8 rebounds. HOWEVER, his jawing and smiling with Harrington at the end of the game was a thing of beauty. First he talks smack to the John Deere loving fans in Utah and now he doesn’t back down from one of the most messed up guys in the game. Harrington even yelled at Linas to meet him out back after the game. Fantastic.
Magloire: well, look who figured out how tearaways work. 14 solid minutes from Jamaal that featured him laying bodies on the floor thanks to vicious screens, a nice wrap up of Nene that looked like they were about to go all Sumo, and some much needed toughness to get us back in to the game.
Driving the bus: Jerryd Bayless
Under the bus: DeMar DeRozan
Theme of the Game: