Andrea Bargnani was the symbol of that first half to the second half in terms of play and effort. He was terrible in the first half and unreal in the second. Having a few brutal turnovers in the first half and then later on nailing clutch 3 point shots in the 4th. I think Andrea talent wise has turned the corner and it is now up to him to bring that talent night in and night out. Including a more balanced effort. He had 26 points most in the second half and in total just 4 rebounds which is not good. Granted Bosh grabbing 16 rebounds will cut down on chances to get rebounds. Hedo Turkoglu in playing his former team also looked like a tale of two halves as well. He had 19 points and just 3 rebounds with a couple blocks and a steal. He played over 40 minutes which shows that at least Jay Triano is trusting him to be ready to play. He still seems to be finding his way and fitting into the mix.
It was not a great night for Calderon or Jack in any meaningful way. Jose had 10 points and 6 assists and Jack just 5 points and only 2 assists. A far cry from the nights that T.J Ford and Calderon produced as a tandem. Jameer Nelson turned the corner in his career at the hands of Calderon and Ford in the playoffs. He is Jose Calderon's daddy as Yankees are to Pedro. 30 points and 5-9 from 3 point range and 5 assists. He is to quick and just owns the match-up. The point guard play from both Jack and Calderon needs to be better. On both ends of the floor. Jack did make his first 3 pointer as a Raptor today but we need a lot more from J-Jack and Calderon.
In terms of Demar Derozan he scored 8 and had 3 boards in under 20 minutes. He like everyone else has to pick it up on the guarding the 3 point stripe. However if anyone gets a bit of a pass early on it should be Demar as he needs others to be doing the right things if he is suppose to know what his role is on D. He has had little flashes in games where he has let everyone know he is out there. In time hopefully those moments become more frequent. Heir Canada did not get to meet Air Canada today, but all in good time.
Speaking of Vince I wish he had been there to see something in this game. Chris Bosh and Dwight Howard are very close friends. But Bosh did not hug his buddy, he fouled him hard and even had a verbal exchange with him afterwords. Can't tell you how many time I watched Vince Carter laugh and chuckle his way through an NBA game here in Toronto and after. You can be buddies with guys and still bring it hard at them. So often you get comparisons between Bosh and Carter especially with all this 2010 talk. That little incident is an example in the difference between the two. I'll take the attitude of the guy wearing #4 over the guy not wearing 15(today) any day.
The Raptors showed everyone that may have doubts about them that they can be good in the game versus Cleveland. However in the games since they have shown all those full of optimism just what all of those doubters were and are concerned about. Detroit is up next and these are not you daddy's Pistons. This is one of the teams like the Raptors that could finish anywhere from 5th right on down to about 12th. The Raptors must step up and give a full 48 minutes and not be trying to come from behind after failing to answer the bell early. Yes it is very early in the season but given the high stakes the Raptors have this season they can not afford to give anything away to anyone. Could the Raps have won with the same effort in the 2nd half had they matched it in the first? We will never know but you have to think they would have had a good chance. When J.J Redick is scoring 27 and it is not a tape of him playing at Duke....there is a problem.
Raps need to solve the problem fast or their will be no house left to defend and the house that is the ACC will turn into an ugly place in a hurry. Raptor fans are great but are not going to be patient for much longer and they will demand more and deserve more. About the only thing they are getting that they deserve is a heck of a performance from Chris Bosh. Shame that a few do not appreciate that...but if things do not change they will when Bosh comes in as a visitor. The playoffs and making them is one thing but the Raptors have more on the line than that this season. A lot MORE!!