In a game that probably no one saw the Raptors were thoroughly outplayed as the Blazers took advantage of a Bosh-less Raptor squad. It was the first game that the Raptors clearly missed Bosh’s offensive presence. The Raptors couldn’t muster much energy or fight. They looked a lot like the Russian hockey team. If the Raptors are to be successful without Bosh they have to play smart. 16 turnovers is not smart basketball, and very uncharacteristic for this team. Maybe they were checking the scoreboard like everyone else in the building. Not a good night for the Raps. Good thing no one was watching.
The Zan for Three
Return of the Turk
Hedo was a different player tonight. Not a great game but there were positives. He was active on the glass, distributing the ball with confidence and he wasn’t afraid to take shots. He went 8-9 from the field. With the way the rest of the team shot the ball, maybe he should have taken more. He was a leader out there and is going to need to be that even more with the team still missing Chris Bosh.
One can only hope that Turkoglu is beginning to turn a corner. He was brought here to help the Raptors reach another level. One he has consistently reached in his career. He was brought here to put the Raptors over a hump and move them into the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference. These last few games without Chris Bosh, Turkoglu is beginning to do just that. Let’s hope the real Hedo has finally arrived in Toronto.
A blessing and a curse for a basketball team. Time is good to heal wounds and rest a little bit. Prepare yourself for the battles that lie ahead. Time off can also cause rust to form. The Raptors looked like they were resting too long. They started out very slow and were unable to get any kind of momentum going the entire night. The perimeter defense on Roy, Miller and Fernandez was especially slow. There was hope the time off would help Bosh be ready for this game, but he wasn’t and niether were the Raps. I imagine there will be plenty of hard work before Friday’s matchup against King James.
A Fan’s Dilemma
If you’re a Raptor fan and you have tickets to a game against a solid young team like the Blazers and Canada is fighting for it’s life in an Olympic quarter-final: What do you do? Do you go to the game and miss out on what could be (and totally was) an amazing hockey experience that comes only once every four years? Or do you honour your tickets and watch the Bosh-less Raptors hammer it out. Hindsight is, of course, 20-20 but it is a hard choice. One would feel like a Mini-Wheats commercial. On the one hand you want to honour your commitment to the best team in the city and the team you love, but on the other your patriotic duty calls. A tough dilemma for all of those that showed up at the ACC . But Kudos to them for being there to cheer on the Raps.
Zan of the Night
Not a superb shooting night, but he controlled the game most of the way and led his team to a decisive victory over a good Raptors squad. Hedo Turkoglu also deserves honourable mention as we saw the most life out of him this season. A well played game for the Turk.
Not Zan of the Night
Evgeni Nabokov. I easily could have said anyone of the Raptors outside of Turkoglu, but Nabokov had the worst night out of anyone in the entire country. Even Adam Giambrone feels bad for the guy. Rough night at the office for the Russian. One can only hope, for him and his Sharks teammates, it doesn’t carry over into NHL action.
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***Kristoffer Pedlar The Zan Tabak Herald