The Raptors beat the Hornets

Published: March 1, 2011

Final Score: 96-90 Raptors (Box Score)

You thought I was kidding in the game preview didn’t you?  Jose Calderon really does get up to play Chris Paul.  Two years ago, they got into it in two seperate games, and from then on, Calderon simply goes after him.  I bet if you ask any Raptor fan tonight, they’ll tell you they haven’t seen Calderon that involved in a game all season.

Now, that said, I’m not going to be a broken record.  We’ve all seen Paul the last month.  This isn’t a mentality thing.  I’m not going to say any more about it, it’s too depressing.

Anyways, the first two quarters the Raptors kept their spacing, and their guards used it to flash to midrange and knock down jumpers or cut and catch Willie without any help defenders.  They were hitting everything, and our guys weren’t doing much to make them uncomfortable.  In fact the defensive energy started really low, which was pretty disappointing to see on the first night of a back to back.  Sure, the defense ratcheted up in the third, resulting in a ton of missed jumpers by the Raptors, but it was way too late and it wasn’t enough to counter the terrible things happening on the other end of the court.

Because . . . our starting five’s offense?  It looked horrendeous.  Paul wasn’t able to penetrate, Willie and Ariza weren’t generating much of anything, West and Okafor kept getting met at the rim and getting nothing out of it, and, again, the fourth quarter execution fizzled.  I weep for what once was.

The Three Amigos

The only reason that game wasn’t a blowout was the new bench mob of Landry, Belinelli and Jack.  They were aggressive, effective, and pounded that weak Raptor defense for 47 points.  Jack got into the paint at will, Belinelli finally caught fire in the second half, and Landry – Landry is a flat-out beast.   Once the starters get back on track, we might have something here.

Other Observations:

  • We have the answer to the game preview.  The Raptors like to give fouls – the Hornets managed to avoid earning any.
  • West had a nice game despite the way Amir rode him on his way to the basket.
  • Okafor, Okafor, wherefore art thou, Okafor?
  • I was hoping they’d play Bayless longer.  That’s a trade I don’t regret one iota.

I don’t have much else I want to say.  Annoying loss.  I’m just glad they made it respectable in the end – and Monty was willing to ride his bench players for pretty big minutes.

(Oh, and should I mention I predicted this loss in the podcast?  Would that get me lynched?)


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