It has been awhile since we had a Raptors Rewind. My work schedule has not exactly made it easy. Besides the fact that anything you read should be taken with a grain of salt. Raptors are hot and burning up ping pong balls at an alarming rate. Winners of 4 straight games. But this has to come to an end against Orlando right? The second best team in the east and they had already lost to the Raptors. So there is no way they would look ahead to the Cavs game would they? Stan Van Gundy would freak out if that were to happen. However thanks to TSN2 I am watching a replay of the game and no what happened. I listened to Paul and Eric on the radio. But I need to see it for my own eyes to believe it. Raptors after this one face Knicks in a back to back and it is hard to think they will not be competitive against them. If they were to sweep that home and home that would be bad news as it would advance them ahead of the The Knicks in the standings but would fall behind them in the Lottery Standings and those are the ones that count. Can the Raptors do anything right this year? Even when they win they are shooting themselves in the foot. People are buying into the mirage. Colangelo was on the radio and pretty much without saying it endorsed Jay Triano for coming back next season. I am total against that. I don't care if the Raptors don't lose another game all year. Unless the plan is to gut this team I can not imagine Jay Triano remaining. Even Bosh has endorsed him. I don't get it. Sam Mitchell was a game under .500 and fired and Jay Triano has a record far below .500 and he gets a contract? Say what? This game will make you say that as well. What the heck is going on. I happy the team is playing better but it just does not matter. I mean that is the reality and ping pong balls have more value than W's. You may not like to hear that but that is the reality. That being said I am pulling for the Raptors to be the bridesmaid in the lottery. I am even more for that as Colangelo without saying his name basically suggested that Blake Griffin would be the Raptors pick if they selected number 1. Not down with that at all. Thabeet is the guy and he would be there at 2 and maybe 3. But at the rate the Raps are going there chances of winning the Lottery will be as good as mind winning the Super 7. Time for basketball from Orlando.
Magic win the tip and away we go. They go right to Superman inside for 2. A steal and a Rafer Alston lay up and the beating was on? Andrea Bargnani would make a jumper for 2. Great ball movement leads to a Marion lay-up. Rafer Alston the former rap with a 3 ball. Bosh answers with 2 on the other end. Bosh making a stop on other end getting a piece of a Lewis shot. Bargnani with a score answered by a Superman jam and it has 9-8 Magic. A.P would give the Raps the lead with a score. Howard would answer again and put the Magic back up 1. Jose Calderon is good on his first shot of the night. Lewis the score and was fouled but missed the and 1. Defense was a rumour in Orlando. Dwight Howard with a block but it was goaltending on the Marion shot. Marion would score again of his own steal on the defensive end. Bosh feeds Bargnani for a jam. Raptors lead 18-14 and this was shocking to say the least. I am very high on the Magic and a Raptor win over this team is no joke. Unlike the last 4 games that beyond the Bulls win could be considered that.
Dwight Howard is not good on a curling hook shoot. Bosh would also have troubles on the offensive end. Bosh lays the wood to Courtney Lee sending him to the line. He makes both shots at the line and the Raps lead is 2. Magic would tie it up at 18 and have a chance to take the lead. Howard looked to tear the Rim down with a dunk but a foul and no finish on the dunk. He would split a pair at the line. Andrea Bargnani would hit a jumper to but the Raps back in front. Shawn Marion would follow that up with a score. Howard would respond with 2 points. Calderon with a nice drive and reverse lay-up. Pietrus has an answer for that and this was an entertaining game in Orlando early. Bargnani good for a pair at the line. Raps lead it still 26-23. Raptors continue to hang to the lead. Dwight Howard thought he tied it up with a dunk but instead he had a foul. Magic missed another chance to tie it up. The score remained 28-26 for the men in black. Calderon money at the line makes it a 4 point Raptor lead. Hedo would cut the lead back to two points. Joey G showing some point guard like skills before hitting a jumper. Making the score 32-28 Raptors. Calderon would be long on a jumper and Parker chuck at the buzzer both do not fall. So Score remains 32-28 for the Raps after one.
Roko Ukic in to start the second and would pick up a quick foul on a reach in. Pops got rejected by Gortat. Both teams were struggling to fine a basket after shooting the lights out in the first quarter. Anthony Johnson would finally open the scoring in the second with a basket. Pops would pick up a foul and Hedo would have a chance to tie the game at 32 after a time out. Hedo would make a pair and it was all tied at 32. Jason Kapono would break the tie quickly with a basket in response. Bosh would eventually get a basket from Bosh showing good hustle and leading by 4. Hedo was back at the line and this time splits a pair. Bosh with a nice score the other way and Raptors lead was 5. Roko would miss a lay-up that could have made the lead 7. Johnson would hit a 3 ball on other end and instead of a 7 point lead it was a 2 point lead like that.
Lewis missed on a 3 that would have given the Magic the lead. Shawn Marion with a huge throw down on the other end. Lewis would not miss a second 3 ball as he hit it this time.Jose Calderon doing a good job on D. Did I just say that ? I thought April Fool's end at noon. But he serious did do a nice job and set Johnson up to take a charge. Raps could not take advantage of the extra possession though. Dwight Howard would slam it home to give the Magic the lead. Rafer Alston would add to the lead with a 2 point effort. Some end to end play would end with a CB4 dunk. Howard and Marion would exchange baskets. Marion would rebound a Magic miss and Raps would have a chance to take the lead back. Bosh would miss on a fading jumper and fail to give the Raps the lead. Howard would have a shot fall out and Bargnani would put the Raps in from with a jumper for 2. Howard would get fouled and sent to the line. He would make both to but the Magic back in front. Calderon with the drive and score and Raps were up 1. Hedo would return serve with a score. Bosh would get called for a foul on Howard. But Dwight would miss the first of his 2. He would make the second and we were all tied at 48. Joey Graham would get a score plus a foul but he would not convert that and 1. Magic would score to tie at 50. Parker would hit a 3 ball. Gortat would answer with 2. Raptors lead at the half was 1 with the score 53-52.
Raps blazing the nets shooting 51.1% at the half. Bosh missed Shawn Marion on a pass and the Magic convert the turnover into 2 points. Bosh would make up for miscue by making a jumper. Andrea Bargnani would pick up his 3rd foul and that was not good as Bargnani had a solid first half. Bosh on the same possession would get called for a foul as well. All tied at 55 when Rafer Alston would break that tie with a basket. Bargnani would respond and even the score once more. Marion would also pick up his 3rd foul. He to was having a good night and this was a growing concern. A Marion miss on offense and Lewis made the Raps pay with a 3 ball from the corner. Bosh would make a jumper to pull the Raps to down just 1. Lewis would turnover the ball on a travel. Marion would get fouled and head to the line. He would split a pair and we were tied at 60.
Bosh would get called for his 3rd foul and now Marion, Bosh and Bargnani all had 3 fouls. Lewis would fire up an air ball and Raps had a chance to take the lead. But the could no deliver. The would get another chance as Lee would miss a 3 from the corner. Anthony Parker shows him how it is done making a 3 from his office. Howard would draw the 4th on Andrea as he would score and make the and 1 foul. Tied at 63 with Bargnani replaced by Jake Voskhul. Bosh would hit on a jumper to give the Raps the lead back at 65-63.
Lewis was hot and cold in this quarter. Hot on this latest effort from behind the arc and Magic take the lead. Howard was back at the line fouled by Jake Voskhul. Raps did not like the call. But no worries Dwight went 0-2 and the Magic lead remained at just 1. Calderon would hit on a 3 pointer set up by Joey Graham off an offensive board. Jake Voskhul would get another foul and the Magic were in the bonus. Dwight was only good on one of two. Calderon would score on the following possession and the Raptors lead it 70-67. Parker with a steal and he gave it to Marion on the break for a dunk. Another steal off a pass in for Dwight Howard that would be stolen and lead to another Marion dunk in transition. Raptors leading 74-67 late in the 3rd quarter. Stan Van Gundy was not a happy man. Not that he ever is that happy. But trailing to the Raptors this late was not a good thing for the Magic trying to secure 2nd in the East over Boston.The Jake Voskhul foul total climbed to 3. This time he whacked Hedo who made both his free throws. Calderon makes the basket and is fouled by Anthony Johnson. Calderon is as money as it gets at the line and he would be on the and 1. Calderon on the next possession would hit a 3 and the Raptors led 80-69. Howard with a slam and Magic cut the Raptors largest lead of 11 down to just 7. Voskhul would miss on a very long jumper at the buzzer of the third. Raptors would take an 80-73 lead into the 4th Quarter.
Raps had done a good job guarding the arc as the Magic were just 5 of 17 from behind the 3 point line. Jason Kapono would open the scoring in the 4th. The lead was back up to 9. Andrea Bargnani was back in but not for long as he picked up his 5th foul. Triano did not like the call and neither did Jack Armstrong. However regardless of the Hedo would take and make 2. Bargnani would take a seat on the bench. Bosh a score and Hedo would answer that with a 3 ball. Raptors lead had been cut to 84-78. Jason Kapono would bounce it off his foot and a turnover. Hedo Turkoglu would take advantage with the score plus a foul shot that he would make. The Raptors lead was just 84-81. Bosh would hit a jump shot over Dwight Howard and Raps lead was back up to 5.
Dwight Howard was back at the line yet again. He would split two on this latest trip to the line. Bosh had it stolen away and on the offensive trip Howard would be fouled again and back to the line we go. Howard 1 of 2 again and Raptors lead 86-83. Howard was fouled by Andrea Bargnani who has just checked back in with 5 fouls and he was out before you noticed he was back. Howard would go 0 for 2 at line. Kapono would nail a jumper for 2. Pietrus a long miss for them Magic.Bosh would miss on a jumper over Howard and the score remained 86-83 for the Raptors. Someone else actually go to line for Orlando. Think it was Pietrus but regardless of who it was they split a pair. A steal and Magic would get an Alston basket and the lead was. Bosh would have a turnover and Magic has a chance to tie or take the lead and the Magic would miss on 3 ball. Raps lead was 88-86 and Joey G was at the line looking to add to that lead. He would make both and it was 90-86. Lewis for 3 from the corner on the Alston feed.
Bosh another turnover and it was the Magic charging down just one and they would have a chance to take the lead after a time out with the score 90-89 for the Raptors. Lewis would take a 3 ball and miss it. Graham a long miss and a foul on Rafer Alston on the miss. Bosh would draw a foul as the possession would continue. Bosh had not been to the line all game. He would make bith and Raps lead was 92-89. Lewis with a solid fake and it would lead to a wide open lane and drive for a slam for him. Calderon would answer that and Howard would answer the answer. It was 94-93 Raptors as Bosh would draw a foul and head to the line. Bosh would make a pair with 50 seconds left and the Raptors up 96-93. A foul on Calderon would send Hedo to the line. He would make a pair and it was 96-95 Raptors. Calderon would have it knocked out of bounds with 8 left on the shot clock. Bosh would make a very long jumper for 2 on the inbound play. Raps lead was 98-95. Magic had 23 seconds left and Lewis would get a wide open look for 3 but it would not fall. Marion would get fouled and head to the line he miss both at the line. But the ball would end up in the hands of Joey Graham who would be fouled. Joey missed the first but mad the second and that was it. Raptors take this one 99-95.
So a huge quality win and the Raptors win streak grows to 5 games. That being said it is killing there odds in the NBA Lotto. Raptors look like a different team from the one that got cruised in back to back games by the Bobcats. That being said the Bobcats also beat the Lakers and on this night lost a game to the Celtics by just 2 points. However it is all kind of frustrating to watch this team play well at this point. There is no way they did not get the best punch of the Bulls and Magic in the last 2 games. The happy basketball boxscore below:
So bring on the Knicks and watch ping pong balls go up in smoke as the Raptors play the Knicks in a Saturday and Sunday back to back.