Another game, another win. This one didn’t start off well, but the Raptors came to life in the second half and absolutely devoured a tired Clippers team. Chris Bosh did pretty much everything in this game scoring 34 points on 12-17 shooting and 11 rebounds. The more important statistic for Bosh is that he got to the line 13 times. This is what Bosh must do to be at his very best. He needs to get to the rim and take advantage of an inferior defender. A great performance from CB4.
The Raptors now look ready to take control of their own destiny in the battle for the last playoff spot. The last few games the Raptors and Bulls have played as if they’re not interested in the playoffs, but tonight the Raptors looked in control, dominant and ready for life in the trenches of the NBA Playoffs.
Bring it on.
The Zan for Three
Changing of the Guard
The new lineups have, thus far, been very successful. Perhaps it has been the level of Toronto’s opponents, or maybe their new-found intensity, or maybe Jay has finally found the right mix. Sonny Weems and Antoine Wright have looked great in the starting lineup. Jarrett Jack and Hedo Turkoglu have found great chemistry off of the bench. All players were key components in this win. Sometimes change is a good thing. The old lineups were getting stale and the players were not maximizing their talents. Hedo is distributing the ball with Jack taking more shots on the second unit. Weems and Wright add a much-needed defensive presence to the starting lineup. Probably not what many people would have expected going into the season, but if it works; run with it.
The Evolution of Sonny Weems
How great does that trade with Milwaukee look now? Yes, Carlos Delfino is playing well with the Bucks and is a key reason they are looking at a top 6 seed in the East, but the Raptors have clearly won the deal overall. Don’t even mention that Roko Ukic is now playing ball in Europe, the Raptors got the better return. Amir Johnson has been a solid contributor all season long and Sonny Weems may end up being the key to that deal. Originally a throw in to even out the money, Sonny may make Bryan Colangelo look like a genius if he keeps playing the way he has. 17 points tonight, but what is more staggering is that he continues to play a key role for this team. He drives the net, has developed a nice mid-range game and is one of Jay’s go-to guys on the defensive end. At the beginning of the season he had a goal of becoming a rotation player and now he is starting for the Raptors. Not bad for a guy no one had heard of in the summer. He is turning into a nice looking player that could be a key piece going forward for the Raptors.
Attacking the Rack
Over the last few games Chris Bosh had stopped doing the things that made him so successful early in the year. He stopped taking the ball to the rack and his free throw attempts per game plummeted. Tonight he took charge, didn’t settle for the jump shot and was rewarded by the referee. Chris has been one of the top 5 players in free throw attempts per game throughout the course of this year. That is an important stat to consider game in, game out. He has the respect of the league officials and must take advantage of it. If they’re going to give it to you, take it. Tonight he got back to what made him successful and he scored a tonne of points. More importantly the Raptors won the game. This could be imperative to winning basketball games down the stretch.
…Plus the Foul
What’s Mine is Yours
Tonight was a total team effort. Jarrett Jack and Hedo Turkoglu did an especially good job of distributing the ball. Six players were in double figures and Jack led the team with ten assists. When this team shares the ball, they win. The Raptors are a great passing team and need to utilize this skill to beat teams. Hedo has looked good with the “ball” in his hands as well off the bench. If they can get him going the Raptors could make a late charge.
Zan of the Night
Chris Bosh. Absolutely dominating performance. He shot the ball with confidence, got to the line and led this team to an integral win against an inferior opponent. The most important aspect of his game tonight was his intensity. He looked focused and fearless. This was the Chris Bosh we have been looking for over the last stretch of games. Welcome Back, Mr. Bosh.
Not Zan of Night
Chris Kaman. Yes, he is an All-Star. And yes, he had some good inside moves tonight. But, he cannot guard Andrea Bargnani. Andrea Played cat and mouse with him all night; taking him out to the three-point line and then switching it up on him and driving it to the lane. Kaman was a half step slow on almost every Andrea possession. Yes, he was tired; but he let Andrea take full advantage of that fact.
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***Kristoffer Pedlar The Zan Tabak Herald