Raptors Rewind- The O.J Show Hits T.O

So let's get started with a roster update. Jamario Moon is back the proud papa of a baby girl. Could having that behind him inspire him to play well. I sure hope so. He was back in the starting line-up. But no Jermaine O'Neal and despite some hopeful signs it looks like no Jose Calderon as well. Will Solomon would be your starting point guard tonight for the Raptors. This is a big game for the Raptors who could make it 4 out 5 wins for them. Also you have a back to back with a recently struggling Boston Celtics who are taking on a Cleveland Cavs team on a mission to keep them that way. That may not mean good things for the Raptors and it is why tonight against a Memphis team that is 11-25 is a must win type game. Raptors are starting to get it on track at home as well. They have won their last 2 at the ACC but are still only 7-9 on their home floor. Can Bargnani and Bosh keep things rolling as they have been of late? They will hope so as the will see a young and talented Marc Gasol.

1st Quarter

Raptors take the opening tip and we are off. Chris Bosh gets in going right away and he hits his first jumper. O.J Mayo would miss with his reply on the other end. Rudy Gay would make his first attempt count with a 3 pointer. Andrea Bargnani answered with a 2 not a 3 and Raptors were back on top. Jamario Moon made his first shot as a dad and Raptors had early lead 6-3. Anthony Parker the veteran with a basket and Darrell Arthur the rookie with the reply. Chris Bosh took a nice looking jumper from top of the key and he made it. Will Solomon found Jamario Moon for the easy score and it was Raptors off to an impressive 12-5 start with 7:15 left to go in quarter number 1 of 4.

Turnover for Memphis as Marc Gasol got called for 3 in the key. Bosh would make them pay with another jumper. O.J Mayo had another miss and his Canada debut was not off to a great start. Bosh though was having a wonderful start as he was at the line and made a pair. Raptors were building a lead that was up to 11 points with the score 16-5. Will Solomon would find a cutting Bargnani for the easy layup. Raptors would surrender a bucket to Rudy Gay and a turnover and a forceful jam for Gasol. The Grizz were on a roll as Rudy Gay scored another and it was a 6-0 run and Jay Triano had seen enough and called a time out. Raptors still had the lead 18-11 with 4:48 left to play in the quarter.

Jamario Moon missed a jumper badly out of the time out. He would make up for it with some hustle on the defensive glass but Raptors could get a score off of that as Kapono would miss. Raptors had gone cold as Bargnani had a lay up pretty much roll out. Kyle Lowry would finally make the Raptors pay cutting to the lead 5 points. But Jason Kapono answered that with a 2 pointer. After a 20 second time out for the Grizzlies Rudy Gay continued his great opening quarter with another basket he was 4-4 on the night. Marc Gasol was trying to make it a 3 point lead for Toronto but Bosh had other ideas with the block. But the next time down Gasol would get to the rim and be able to lay it in for two. Jason Kapono would get hooked up by Roko Ukic and he would make a 3 pointer. Gasol from the top of the key shows that he has a jump shot as he drained it. The Raptors were hanging on to a 23-19 lead after one quarter of play.

2nd Quarter

Teams exchange baskets to start the quarter. Raptors had most of the reserves in the game. Bargnani was still out there though and he grabbed a rebound on defensive end. But it did not turn into points. Both teams were looking sloppy with back to back travels on Conley and Graham one for each side. Warrick split a pair from the line. Raptors lead had been trimmed to 25-22 early in the second quarter. Jake Voskhul had his way to the line and massaged a couple through the hoop. Warrick would get a quick response for two for Memphis. That would get answered by Joey G who was set up by Kapono. Jason was not done as he hooked up Jake Voskhul for another 2 points for him. Raptors had build back up to a 7 point lead it was 31-24 with 8:08 left on the clock.

Jason Kapono would turn it over on a travel proving he was not exactly a point guard yet. Chris Bosh was back and he had a thunderous jam to let you know it. Memphis responded with a basket. Bosh would look to hook up Bargnani but instead it was stolen for a turnover for the Grizz. Raptors had really cooled off after a hot start but the Grizzlies were not taking advantage of chances. Joey Graham would get a basket driving to the basket and The Raptors were kind of on cruise control as they lead 35-28 with 4:49 and a time out on the floor.

Warrick made his way to the line and made a pair. Chris Bosh had a jumper rim out and Rudy Gay would come back and score and the Grizzlies were back to just 3 points down with the score 35-32. Bosh would get himself to the free throw line and he would make a pair. O.J Mayo apparently was suffering from a hip pointer but had checked back into the game. It was Mike Conley at the line and he split a pair. Rudy Gay was making up for a lack of Mayo he made a 3 pointer. The Grizz would score again to take a lead 37-36 and that brought boos from the crowd that was not impressed with the Raptor effort and honestly they had reason to be upset. Jay Triano in the time out did not have much love for his team as well. Chris Bosh would respond and get to the line. O.J Mayo got his first bucket on the night. Bosh answered that one with a basket. But the Grizz were inspired and made a basket to answer that. A slam dunk for the Moon man as the teams kept swapping a one point lead. Raptors would score again to end the ping pong match. O.J Mayo since checking back in looked better as he had another score. Will Solomon would close out the second quarter with a basket and it was 47-44.

3rd Quarter

Chris Bosh had 16 points shooting 5-7 from the field and a prefect 6-6 at the line. He also had 7 rebounds and 2 blocks but the rest of the team was sluggish at best. Rudy Gay had 14 for his side a perfect 2-2 from 3 point range and 6-8 from the field overall. Jose Calderon said in a halftime interview that he wants to return to the line-up on Sunday he said in a halftime interview with Rod Black. The will need him against the Celtics who were losing to the Cavs at the moment. But this game here was back underway. Rudy Gay was still hot and opened the half with a long 2 pointer. Chris Bosh also hot would answer with a basket for his side. Lowery had a score for Memphis and Bosh answered that. Rudy Gay as another answer for that. Defense was just a rumour at the ACC at the start of the second half. Marc Gasol decided to foul Bosh that was at least an attempt at defense. Nobody can stop Rudy Gay as he had another basket and had 20 points and we had a tie basketball game at 52. Bosh would take the ball at Gay and draw the 3rd foul on him that may be the only way to stop him on this night. Bosh who was perfect from line in first half started the second 2-4. Grizzlies scored a runner in the lane for O.J Mayo and they had the lead 54-53 with eight and change to play.

Andrea Bargnani with a nice pump fake was able to draw a foul. He would make a pair to put the Raptors back in front. A turnover forced by Bargnani playing good D on Gasol. Anthony Parker who had been really quiet made his way to the line. But he would miss his first attempt and make his second. Rudy Gay was showing the whole package with a running hook in the lane. Andrea Bargnani would answer with a much needed 3 pointer for the Raptors.That made the score 59-56. However Andrea was not done as he makes back to back 3 balls and it was a 6 point lead all thanks to Andrea with the score 62-56 and a time out called. The Grizzlies defense needed to be reminded to find number 7 and not let him do that.

Gasol out of time out drove to the hoop but missed. Bargnani tried to take advantage in the post matched up on Mayo but he could not score on the inside. He would look to drive the next time and drop it off for Bosh but it was stolen and lead to easy score in transition. Chris Bosh would get the ball the next time though and make a jumper. Gay had a rare miss from 3 point range that could have cut the Raptor lead to just 1 point. Andrea Bargnani would find his way to the line and have a chance to make a pair. But he missed both. Grizzlies again were getting chance to take control and not cashing in. Chris Bosh would make them pay with a basket. A steal that lead to a score for Will Solomon and just like that raptors were back up by 8 points with score 68-60 with only 2:42 to play in the quarter.

Out of a time out Grizzlies have an empty trip with a shot and miss. Jason Kapono makes them pay with a 2 ball from the corner. Raptors finally were showing signs that they wanted to put this one away. Jamario Moon was having a good effort as he got a rebound and then make me look bad my missing a 3 pointer. Warrick spilt a pair from the line to cut the lead to single digits. But an O.J Mayo turnover would lead to a raptor basket in transition. It was clear Mayo was not right but Raptors could care less leading 72-61. Will Solomon attempted a fading jumper in the lane at the buzzer but no dice. Raptors would have to settle for there 72-61 lead after 3 quarters of play.

4th Quarter

So the title of this Raptor Rewind was not looking like it would make sense tonight. O.J was not the guy it was Rudy that was the man for Memphis. Bosh was that man for the Raptors as he is on most nights. But Andrea Bargnani was starting to help out and he opened the quarter with a 2 point effort. Warrick and Mayo would answer with back to back baskets. Mayo looked for back to back buckets but his jumper would not fall. Bargnani wound O.J guarding him again and he took it right at him with the huge size advantage. Bargnani would dunk it on Mayo. Chris Bosh was resting up for a big finish as he would enjoy a Jason Kapono jumper as the Raptors had their largest lead of the night 78-66. Bosh had come back in the game at that point.

He entered the game for Andrea Bargnani who had heard his share of boos at ACC but on this night cheers would rain down on him. He had 18 points and Bosh was checking back in looking to build on his 22. Matt Devlin and Jack Armstrong were refering to them as the Killer Bees. But the look nothing like B. Brain Blair and Jumping Jim Brunzell. Busting out my old 80's wrestling knowledge. Kris Humphries could maybe have a career as a wrestler.He was in there and got himself a basket in his chosen profession of basketball player. Not starting trade rumours but Bryan Colangelo was working his blackberry hard as he looked on from his little bunker by where the players go in and out from the floor. Roko Ukic with a pretty feed knows who to pass it to. He found Bosh with the jumper from the top of the key and the lead was 82-69. Ukic later on made a pretty runner in the lane for himself. Chris Bosh was looking to close it out as he drove to the lane and would get sent to the line after the time out.

Bosh stepped to the line with 5:29 left. He would make both and it was an 86-72 lead for Toronto who had a much better effort in this second half. Kapono was making passes and dropping dimes a bit tonight. He found Joey G for the basket. Kapono had 5 dimes and so did Anthony Parker despite a quiet night scoring wise. Bosh had it going on tonight as he made the fading jumper and it was all falling for CB4. He was 11-13 from the field and had 32 points. Andrea Bargnani was back in the game and wanted a piece of the action he made a 3 pointer that caused Jose Calderon to stand up in his suit and do his 3 point deal when he makes one. It was all smiles as the Raptors were heading to winning 4 of 5, before a very tough test in a back to back with a Celtics team thinking they have a lot to prove. Bargnani had 21 on the night and they had a 21 point lead 95-74. Bargnani was not showing any sign of giving up he blocked a shot. But he and Bosh had done enough as they would leave to cheers from the fans. Raptors after a sleepy first half effort were putting it to the weaker opposition in the second. Kris Humphries was owning garbage time with back to back baskets. Will Solomon would deliver the pizza with a jumper in the lane. Raptors were running away with it leading 101-78. It was all over but the final score. The lines for Bargnani and Bosh. 53 points 18 rebounds and 4 blocks combined that is a heck of a night. You can make the final 103-82. Check it all out in a very fan friendly boxscore from The Score.

Rap/Grizz Boxscore

So the Raptors will hope to add some healthy folks back to the line-up but with no Jose and no J.O things were still A O K for the Raptors of late. They now will have an early Sunday date with the defending champs who had been playing like chumps of late. Should be fun.

1 comment:

  1. great recap. thanks for the effort!