So, I’m not going to go ahead and make a big ol’ stinkin’ deal about finally beating a team with a plus .500 record… although I’m not the only one who felt an extra tingle out of knocking that smarmy stoner grin off T-Mac’s baby face.
On a night where Bosh’s return was enough to stoke the collective flames of self-respect, the Raptors fought back from another disastrous, disgusting, even disturbing stumble out of the gate to snatch* what looked like a runaway road victory from a struggling Rockets team. The spit flying from the brace-faced masses on RealGM seem to believe that Bosh’s return to the lineup is the beginning of a 61-0 record the rest of the way (we’d still end up second in the Conference to the Celts!) but I dunno, that might be a tad lofty.
* it also means grab, kids.
It’s important to realize that one of the Absolutes Of Sports™ is that passionate moral victories are often coupled with:
-A retiring player
– A new coach
– Playing against an old coach
– Playing against an old player
– Welcoming a player back from injury/suspension/overdose
– Last night in an old arena
Back in Business Bosh led the way – as he should – playing 41 minutes (33 of them well) and going off for 21/10/4blks. He singlehandedly came in and gave us an identity, when we’ve been playing like a team of amnesiac hobos since he’s been out.
The biggest lesson to learn from this performance is NOT that continuing to attack the rim when the shot isn’t falling will pay off (it will), NOT that getting to the free throw line is imperative to our success (it is), but that taking an extra day to come back from an injury is well worth it. Bosh was probably ready Wednesday against the Suns. Definitely could have ran Friday in Boston. But he took his time, waiting until he felt 99.99%, until his eyes would explode if he watched anymore, until he couldn’t wait another moment to step out onto to court and
devour someone’s baby lay it all out on the floor. I respect Bosh, the training staff, and even whatshisfaceonthebench for not panicking when we lost a couple and rushing CB back. I imagine they’re doing the same thing with Bargnani.
See that look on Bosh’s face? T-Mac and Yao should both have that taped inside their lockers.
(DiNote: Check out Rasho in the picture above. A dead ringer for Rick Moranis in “Honey I Shrunk The Kids.”)
Once again, Jose outplayed and outproduced TJ at the point guard position (lettin’ the record skip… lettin’ the record…), even if both had modest numbers. Jose had 6 assists, zero turnovers. TJ had 4 assists, 3 turnovers. It’s clear the stinger somehow rattled TJ’s brain, reverting him back to the playground of his youth. Is there another excuse for him playing like he’s trying to prove a point to the trash-talking post-pubescent dudes on the sideline? He’s taking bad shots, forcing unfair passes, leaving his feet without a plan, and generally making a very good case for Jose to start again. But of course Sam will never read the writing on the wall, no matter how big and bright and bold and profane it is. I could start getting all V for Vendetta on here and suggest we spray-paint Mitchell Manor…but that would be wrong, illegal, and oh so fun. That sound you here is seventeen-year-old Dinosty packing his knapsack.
What I love about the Raps is that there’s while always someone to step up and drop 20+, everyone else fills in the gaps nicely with 10, 12, 16, etc. Not a great roster for fantasy numbers, but when steady group of faceless contributors – 9th men, 10th men – pour off the bench and not only steamroll your bench but ATTACK your starters…that’s a bad spot to be in. Just ask Rick Adelman.
Some notes on the faceless masses:
- Humph was especially effective (7-7 from the field, 2-2 from the line) because he’s not playing enough minutes to start screwing up (another perk of Bosh’s return). Love
The Big SexyBaby Huey. That guy brings a ton of energy, even if he likely can’t spell it.
- Every time Delfino shoots a three, it’s in. Not only does he have dead-point accurancy*, he seems to have infinite range. Have I mentioned he’s supremely, disgustingly undervalued yet?
* Not a term.
- Kapono can pass the ball better than I thought…though I still don’t need for him to dribble.
- Rasho is roaring! This brings a big fat smile to my face. I love watching him lumber out there and use his head to Fustigate™ opposing centers. He must have got his hands on the same One Year Euro Renassaince potion that Big Z found.
- Our bench had 45 points. Houston scored 35 in the entire second half. I’m guessing that’s not going to appear in their media guide.
I’m not thrilled with this Rockets team. The Female Sam Mitchell is big on them, but it’s impossible to disregard the fact that T-Mac’s lazy and Yao’s timid, and the rest of the hurlyburly Houston castaways look uninspired and uninterested. How big is Yao, like 8 feet? How do you have the World’s Tallest Free-Standing Asian, with hands like cocoa butter, and not involve him in every offensive set? The guy only took ten shots, for God’s sake! Yao’s post game interview pretty much said it all.
“I feel this is the worst game I ever had in my career,” Yao said. “When we played on the court, no intensity, no patience, no (adherence to the) game plan, don’t know our game, don’t know their game, no trust (of) each other, no defense.
“I hate this game. I hated it. It’s all on us. Us. I’m one of us.”
“Hate” is a strong word, one I usually reserve for snow, mayonaise, and the cable company. What ‘game’ do you think Yao’s referring to? The game he just played? The game of basketball in general? Or the game of trying to hype up his teammates, only to be ignored? I pick door number 3.
Not a Happy-Happy-Super-Fun-Time-Superstar-Sunday for this guy.
Tomorrow’s game in Hotlanta is exciting, not only because I get to stare at my sports crush Josh Smith for the first time this year, but I’m calling the contest a must-win, if nothing else than to show that we have the discipline and focus of a plus .500 team.
Not sure what it means, but grab the frickin’ feed, okay?