These Vince Carter returns are getting a little boring. The crowd wasn’t as great as the last time but an interesting moment early on: With Bosh on the line and the crowd chanting MVP, Carter smirked and pretty much rolled his eyes at the chants, here’s the video.
Aside from the return of Carter, this also marked the return of Bostjan Nachbar. Who? Bostjan Nachbar. Him and Eddie House were on fire from the arc and kept the Nets in this one until midway through the fourth. Similar story as the Bulls game with the Raptors scoring anytime they want but having trouble stopping the other team. Both team shooting well above 50% for the entire game and it was only a matter of time until the Nets cooled off. Without Kidd, Kristic or Jefferson in the lineup, the Nets put up more than a commendable effort but in the end the Raptors offensive arsenal was too much for the depleted Nets. To his credit Mikki Moore was draining 17ft jumpers and by the looks of it he was surprised when they didn’t go in.
Seven Raptors scored in double figures including Bosh, Ford and Parker with 25, 17 and 16 respectively. The ball movement has been excellent especially out of the Bosh double team and swinging it on the perimeter with Parker or Peterson draining the long jumper. By taking and scoring on what the defense gives them, the Raptors are forcing teams to think twice about how to defend them. New Jersey’s game plan was to help on Bosh but that proved way too costly as the Raptors made them pay for almost every single double team. I uploaded a video of Vince Carter getting schooled by Bosh, here it is. You can also check out all the highlights in this RealGM thread.
I thought the most critical part of the game was at the end of the third quarter when Calderon scored and the Raptors came up with a steal and Bargnani hit a three. Instead of going into the fourth up two, the Raptors were up seven. A sweet five point swing. I put the video on Daily Motion:
Everytime Chuck Swirsky bad-mouths Vince, I just want to grab Chuck by the collar and say, Hey Chuck, weren’t you riding his jockstrap when he was playing with us and covering up for every bad shot and all of his gut-ripping smiles after losses? Much easier now that you don’t work for the same company, eh. I would have a lot more respect for Chuck Swirsky if he had just called things the way they were when Vince was here. And to all you Raptor fans who hate Vince, keep this in mind: HE PUT US ON THE MAP.
I saw this game on the YES Network which surprisingly gave a very unbiased and un-homerish view of the game. They praised the Raptors’ offensive efficiency and endorsed Andrea Bargnani as a future force in the NBA. I thought they were more excited to see him score than Carter. Anthony Parker was also a the object of their admiration and they praised the Raptor management for orchestrating a very successful off-season. VC went 5-15 FG and was largely ineffective except for a stretch in the third quarter where he stringed together 3 jumpers and a couple of assists to Mikki Moore. It was the same old Vince settling for jumpers when he could easily drive. I bet Nets fans are tired of him and wouldn’t mind seeing him move on.
This was the last game before the all-star break for both teams and the Raptors have their largest division lead ever at 4.5 games.