The Raptors need to be ready for this game, it is one they need, as they will have back to back games on Friday and Saturday, with Cleveland and Washington. Cleveland is starting to look comfortable (just beat Boston) and Washington is SOMEHOW playing better ball WITHOUT Agent 0 in the lineup.
But back to the game against the Grizz. Just a week ago, the Raptors were able to finish off the Grizz, with a 95-89 win. Just to jog your memory, that was the monster rebound game by Bosh, where he grabbed 19 boards and dropped in 22 points to boot.
The key for the Raptors in that game was their ability to shut down the Grizzlies’ star players, not letting anyone get above 16 points. The Raptors were actually a little bit tough that night, making guys uncomfortable to the point where they were taking shots that were not what they are accustomed to.
This game will see the return of Rasho from his life threatening sprained ankle (I guess they finally got around to that exorcism, getting the Vince demon out of Rasho), which means that Bargnani will head back to the bench. The question is, which Andrea are we going to see come out. Is this an opportunity for him to make a statement, where he shows Sam that he doesn’t want to go back to the bench, that he wants to be in the starting lineup every night? Or are we going to see the Andrea who is going to sit there and accept it, come out and take a few jumpers, pick up some quick fouls and sit down? The outcome of the game may depend on which Andrea we see.
TJ will not be back until probably the weekend. Word is that he is still having some trouble with his hand, that it isn’t the “stinger.” Um…getting a little nervous about that whole situation. Then again, maybe the Raptors are taking everything a bit more cautiously after the whole Garbo incident. It’s not like we don’t have another guy in there to run the show, but I don’t think it’s healthy to have any point guard out there for 41 minutes a game. Even Calderon said the other night that he was getting a little tired. D-Mart, put down that burger and run some laps! The Raptors need you.
Should be an interesting game, but this is one the Raptors should win. Stick with Bosh and his newly found agressive game, use Jamario’s energy on D and get him right up on Gasol and Gay, because while Grizz management thinks those two guys are tough, I beg to differ. Neither one of them likes to get that physical and will opt for a jumper if put to the test.
Enjoy the game.