Thursday, November 11, 2010

Oh, Those Bargnani Turnovers - BOBCATS 101, RAPS 96

written by guest blogger, Ryan Dickison

Wednesday’s game against the Charlotte Bobcats began with an Andrea Bargnani turnover and ended on an Andrea Bargnani turnover. In the words of Alanis Morissette, isn’t it ironic, don’t you think??   

In what was a must win game for both teams opening this young season with a 1-6 record, the Raptors looked to establish Bargnani early which led to an impressive 5 of 6 shooting from the field for 10 of the 22 first quarter Raptor points. It was important for the first unit to get out to a strong start after falling behind by double digits over the course of their 5-game losing streak. Unfortunately for the Raptors, their other four starters didn’t contribute much at all. DeRozan picked up three quick fouls that kept him on the bench for the majority of the first half, making him a non-factor until late in the fourth quarter. Linas Kleiza appeared to have been hampered by his sore Achilles tendon, contributing little with 4 points on 2 of 7 shooting in only 17 minutes of action. Jarrett Jack had more turnovers than assists (6/5) and Reggie Evans wasn’t much of an offensive threat as per usual.

Scoring, then becomes far more difficult for the Raptors when opposing defences choose to play off of Reggie, daring him to make that 20 foot jumper from the elbow. There is very little space left on the court which in turn creates more double teams for Bargnani and less opportunity for interior looks into the paint. If Amir Johnson can continue to stay out of foul trouble, perhaps Triano might consider a change in the line-up.

It was Toronto’s bench that once again kept the Raptors in the ball game. Sonny Weems pitched in with 20 points off the pine, highlighted by yet another thunderous dunk and Amir Johnson continued his strong play with a respectable 16 points and 9 boards. The Brazilian Blur however, sat this one out with a strained left shoulder he suffered during Monday’s game against the Golden State Warriors.  His instant energy and his ability to knock down the three were surely missed in yet another hard fought game that ended with little execution and poor result.

Prior to tonight’s game, the Bobcats were averaging a league worst 89.9 ppg but managed to light up the Raptors for 101. Going into this season, Raptors fans knew this was going to be a long year but it’ll be much worse if they can’t begin capitalizing on these must have games against teams with less talent compared to those of Miami, Boston, Orlando and Atlanta of the Eastern Conference. Toronto’s next four games come on the road at Orlando, Miami, Washington and Philadelphia.

Game Notes

There was heavy talk during the off-season of a potential trade that nearly sent Jose Calderon and Reggie Evans to Charlotte for Boris Diaw and Tyson Chandler but Bobcats’ General Manager Michael Jordan and Head Coach Larry Brown nixed the trade for defensive liabilities related to Jose’s perimeter mobility. Instead, Chandler was sent to Dallas for Eric Dampier’s non-guaranteed 13 million dollar contract. Dampier was then waived by the Bobcats and has yet to sign with another NBA franchise.
  • Charlotte Bobcats All-Star forward Gerald Wallace finished with 19 points and 14 rebounds 
  • Back-up center David Andersen did not play due to a case of the flu. 
  • Next up, the Raps take on the Orlando Magic on Friday night
 (photo via Yahoo! Sports)

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