It was a tough game to lose as the Raps played well enough to win against the very talented Lebron James and the Cavs. The Raps battled and hung with Cleveland all night but missed opportunities, especially in the fourth, and as a result watched what could have been a big win fall through the cracks. Free throw shooting, rebounding and a rough end to the game did them in. A lot of positives to take away from the game but definitely a missed chance.
The Zan for Three
4th Quarter Efficiency
Lebron and the Cavs are an elite NBA team and the Raptors hung with them all night and had many chances to steal a win, but if you’re going to be considered an elite team yourself you need to come up big in the fourth quarter. The Raps didn’t make the right calls in the fourth opting for jumpshots instead of finding cuts and taking the ball to the rim (Which is what had them in the game all night). Toronto played well enough to win but didn’t get the job done in the fourth.
Flu Shot for the Win!
Marco Belinelli has not played the last couple of games because of the flu but he looked well rested and healthy tonight. Belinelli was one of the key reasons the Raps hung around so long. He made smart cuts, drove to the basket and shot the ball really well. He brought a lot of energy , on a night that Hedo Turkoglu couldn’t and didn’t , and was a major reason the Raptors played so well.
The man really is an amazing player to watch even if he looks like Sanford from “Sanford and Son”. The play of the game, from my point of view, was not his dunks or nice passes, but his steal on the Calderon pass to Bosh in the fourth quarter. Say what you will about the refs when he plays (and they were their regular star-loving selves tonight) but he is quite an efficient player and a marvel to watch on both ends of the floor. His shots are so confident, he drives the net with ease and his defence is nothing to sneeze at either. There was no stopping him tonight, whether the refs would have let that happen or not. He is a tough player to beat.
Zan of the Night
Lebron James. He was the driving force behind the Cavs (as he is most nights). Points, Assists, Defence. You name it, he did it. It was also rare to see Shaq actually back him up tonight with some decent play. Shaq is looking older and older but tonight he gave Lebron some decent offensive support..
Honorable Mention to Demar Derozan. The Kid is starting to play with confidence and is earning his minutes. He played another great game tonight and is hopefully turning the corner this year as he heads to a very important second half for himself and the Raptors. He could be a big part of the success of the Raptors down the stretch.
Not Zan of the Night
Hedo Turkoglu. He picked up two quick fouls and was from that point on, a non factor. There are, oh I don’t know, $50 million reasons why he should be a factor but continues to underwhelm and disappoint. It has been a rough patch for him. Let’s hope he pulls it together because if we are going to compete in the playoffs and maybe steal one from a big club like Cleveland we will need Hedo Turkoglu. Could have used him tonight.
By the way…. I miss Anthony Parker. Just saying.
Zan Tabak Herald