3/10/12

Bargnani In, Jose Out , While Raptors get KOed Early

So Andrea Bargnani is back and will start but will be limited in his minutes. Still it is good to see Andrea Bargnani back after 20 games out with a calf injury. Some folks have lost their minds over his return and are talking playoffs. You folks are in need of some prospective. Even with Bargnani this was a below .500 team and in order to get in the playoff race you need to be better than that even in the Eastern Conference. It is vital this team keeps playing as hard as it has without him. If that doesn't happen don't expect the Raptors to be much better with him.

Bargnani lost the opening tip and Pistons get the first two points of this contest. Greg Monroe would school Aaron Gray for an easy two points. He would redeem himself with a put back on a Jose Calderon miss. Pistons didn't care much about the Raptors returning star and started this game with a 9-2 run. After a James Johnson basket, Brandon Knight would hit the second of back to back 3's for the Pistons. Bargnani has some trouble handling the ball it leads to a sloppy possession that results in no points and Pistons go the other way and score it was 15-4 and a time out was taken. Finally with 5:45 to go in first Bargnani with a nice move in post gets on board but it was 18-8 Pistons. Bargs took a seat with 4 points and his team down 20-10. Pistons were hot from 3 point land hitting 4 of their first 5 from beyond the arc and this was getting ugly 27-12 Pistons with still 3 minutes to play in 1st. Raptors were a mess shooting 5-20 and down 23 to the Pistons after one with score 37-14.

Lightning rarely strikes in same place twice. Rod Black pointed out that Raptors biggest comeback came here in Detroit from 25 points down. The fact it was 43-19 with 9:04 to go really gives me little hope it will happen again. This game was turning into an embarrassment at a rapid rate. Barbosa who is Raps most attractive trade piece was trying to breath some life into this dead offense with 5 quick points but Piston lead was still 22. When it rains it pours, Jose Calderon who had been having an unspectacular night and this is being kind, he went down with what looked like a very bad ankle turn. He was ruled out for the night and by looks of it out from awhile. Raptors could be ruled out of winning this game as well with score 61-37 at the half for the Pistons.

It was 89-58 after the 3rd quarter. Need we go into detail? No we do not need too. Instead I will remind you all to set your clocks ahead and will do the same with this recap. The Raptors were dead long ago in this one. They will face the Bucks tomorrow with no Jose Calderon and a lot to prove in terms of pride. Raptors did make it less awful in a full quarter of garbage time making the final 105-86.

I am heading down to cover the game tomorrow. I hope to see a team that shows up and fights. I sure didn't see that tonight. Set those clocks ahead at least the nightmares this game caused will be shorter.

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