Raptors Make It Rain In Big Easy

Not exactly a re-cap for you. Just some sound thoughts on Raps and Hornets from Friday night. Jose Calderon has taken a lot of heat here and elsewhere but on this Friday in November Calderon looked more like the guy some see as an all-star. For whatever reason Chris Paul seems to bring out the best in Jose. The last time the Raptors had won in New Orleans Jose would shock everyone and out play Chris Paul on New Year's Eve. He was not as good on this night but miles ahead of anything we have seen from him this season. He had 16 points and 8 assists even had a steal. He would draw a charge on Paul in the 3rd quarter and was talking some smack. It was a fired up Jose Calderon on this night. You have to give credit when it is deserved and on this night it clearly was. Chris Bosh continued his amazing start to the season with a very solid 27 points to be the games high scorer along with 7 rebounds and a block. He did all that with sitting a big part of the 4th. He was not hurt or anything he just was not needed. The Raptors trailed by 2 at the half and came out of the locker room and blitzed the Hornets out scoring them 34-14 in the 3rd quarter. The defense was much better even guarding the are in which New Orleans was only 6-20. The Raptors were 14-29 from downtown and that was the big difference. The Raptors clearly can score coming into the game as 3rd best in the NBA.

If not for the fact the Raps have to play Dallas tomorrow night it is likely Andrea Bargnani would have back to back double doubles. After 12 rebounds vs the Pistons Bargnani had 9 boards to go with 14 points. HedoTurkoglu is starting to show signs of turning the corner and looking more like the guy that was advertised coming to the Raptors. It was a quiet night for Demar DeRozan with 4 points a couple boards and a block.

Jack and Belinelli lead the 30 point effort from the bench with 9 each. Wright and Johnson also looked good and it was a solid all around effort for the team as a whole. The Raptors even showed a little bit of a press look. If there was a knock on the Raps maybe the foul line where they were just 65% but it was better than New Orleans who shot below that and Raps got the line more.

Raptors would take this contest 107-90. They will now head to face Antonie Wright's former team and Chris Bosh games home. The Dallas Mavericks were sitting home and likely watching the Raptors take apart a team that they lost to in overtime. The Mavs did have a big win over the Lakers on their early season resume. The Raps head to Dallas riding a 2 game win streak.

The Raptors have been hard to figure out early on. Maybe they are final starting to come together and gel. You would like to hope so if you are trying to think positive. This is a very tough November in terms of schedule. If the Raps exit this month .500 or better there is real reason to be positive about this team moving forward. The Raps need to have effort like this on a night in and night out basis. A big help to that cause will be Reggie Evans once he returns to the fold. He seems the be getting closer and he did make the trip with the team. It probably would seem unlikely he would be ready to play on this trip. However he gets into it on the bench and when he does return he would only help things in terms of defense and rebounding. He can hold his own with even that big Italian rebounding monster we have.

A final word on Chris Bosh. It is hard not to think about the uncertain future for him and staying with the Raptors. However that will not be decided anytime soon. What is happening now is you are seeing a very motivated and determined CB4. Regardless of if it is for the final season or for many more to come Bosh is getting it done and showing you why he has become a fixture on Team U.S.A and a regular at the NBA All-Star game. Try not to let any paranoid feelings you may have about 2010 get in the way of enjoying what this guy is doing. Bosh for the second straight season has started the season with a bang. We can only hope that he remains healthy and does not have the off-court distractions he faced last season. If Bosh is able to keep at it and not have those issues, I believe you are going to see the best season of this kid's career. Well he is not a kid but he is younger than me. Here is something to think about for Bosh and all of you. When the 2 previous franchise players left looking for a fresh start they got that. However they never matched the level of success they had in Toronto in Raptors jersey. You can bet like Lebron James was likely asked tonight about N.Y.C someone will ask Bosh about a return home to the Mavs. I will say it right now Bosh is not playing for the Mavs next year. I am confident in thinking that will e the case. More wins and performances like tonight and there will not be a question of where Chris will be. The answer will be likely Toronto.