Don’t Get Too Excited…

First, sorry RF readers, I’ve been a bit awol, just lots of stuff to take care of. Anyway, on to last night’s game.

There were some definite positives to take away from last night’s win over the Pistons and any win against a team of that calibre should not be taken lightly. That being said, there was no Chauncey Billups last night and he is an extremely important part of that team. Between Billups and Rip, I’m not sure who is more important to the success of the Pistons, but they are both vital.

What everybody had to love was Hump’s game last night. Here’s what Lang and I were saying as we were watching him pull down rebound after rebound: Since Hump has accepted that his role is to get rebounds and that’s pretty much it, he has started to excel. He hasn’t been dribbling the ball or taking a lot of wayward shots and it looks like he is starting to take some pride in the fact that he is there to do a specific thing that the rest of the team (outisde of Bosh) seems to have some problems with. He is appreciating the fact that when it comes to one of the most difficult things to do in the game, he is one of the best on one of the best teams in the league. That’s where pride can be a wonderfully effective thing. Not only is Hump getting his rebounds by getting in position and by using his frame, he is also doing a good job of knowing when to go right back up with the ball or when to kick it back out. That is a skill that can’t really be taught. You just have to feel it. So with 19 rebounds and 8 points (half of those on free throws), game ball to Hump.

Where are my TJ haters at? When it looked like the game was going to slip away, I turned to Lang and said, “Dude, it’s time TJ starts taking this over, pushing it a bit.” and voila. If you needed a better example of where TJ’s speed can break down defences, you saw it last night. His speed was also key in getting that steal at the end, but let’s not just sum it up to his quickness. Here’s a point for TJ realizing that Detroit was taking a cavalier attitude to the inbounds pass and pouncing on it. That’s using your head. Nice distribution of the ball and I like the fact that when the Raps were down, you could see how upset TJ was. I’m sorry, I like a bit of emotion…as long as it is kept in check.

Bosh is so good that we tend to gloss over a lot of the stuff he does. We just expect it of him. Bosh had a relatively pedestrian game for him offensively, but those 16 boards were earned the hard way. Bosh was getting bumped all around and you could see that he was starting to make it his mission to come down with any loose ball. We tend to get on him about his grit, but last night it was there. Now, if there is one thing Bosh needs to work on (and Lang has pointed this out before…it actually is his pet peeve with Bosh) it’s that he needs to make quicker decisions with the ball. Too many times when the ball goes in to Bosh, he kills about 4-5 seconds either just holding it or dribbling. He needs to take a look at KG. When the ball goes into Garnett, he takes a quick look and if nothing is materializing, he’s attacking. Plain and simple. Stop me if you can. Bosh needs a bit more of that and we would probably see it affect the rest of the team as it would provide the other guys with a bit more time on the clock if nothing was there. He could kick it back out and get the rotation started.

When Gatorade Graham comes down the lane for a dunk, is there anybody who seriously wants to get in his way? That place clears out like an elevator after a fart. Now if he could just do that more often…

A final point: There just hasn’t been enough talk around the league about how great of a player Anthony Parker is. You get the same effort and almost the same results night in and night out. Great attitude and tons of athleticism. Could have one of the best looking shots in the league.

Home court on its way…


Johnn19  on April 15th, 2007

AP is showing the kind of game he had at Macabi, where he was a Euro MVP,and is concentrating more on his shot since Sam asked him to look to score more in Andreas abscence. TJ is starting to get his game going again & at his best is outstanding
All in all a good defensive effort and very poor shooting,but an important win. Raptors seem to take at least 1 game to get back in stride after a 3 day layoff.

Lang  on April 15th, 2007

You’re right about Hump knowing his role. He was quoted in the Star today:

“(My goal) is just to try to keep it going, the confidence that I can do that and do it again.

“We’re trying to do damage in the playoffs and my role is just to come in and rebound, play defence, run the floor and add energy.”