Well, it wasn’t rocket science. The key for the Raptors in Game 3 was to come out and compete right from the opening tip. They couldn’t afford to come out flat and while they did seem a little slow at the start, they turned on the jets and never looked back. The Raptors were able to use their speed to create open looks, which allowed them to go away from Bosh a bit more. Bosh didn’t even get going until there were a few minutes left in the half. When you drop 61 in the first half and haven’t had Bosh as part of that output, you’re doing something right.
I wonder what all the people who were bashing TJ will be saying tomorrow. Lucky night? It was all because of Calderon? There’s always an excuse for people not to give TJ credit, but let’s let the light shine on him tonight. He dropped 21 points, had 5 rebounds and 3 assists, but what I liked the most on his night is that he went 6-6 from the line. Six points with the clock stopped and forcing Jameer Nelson to put himself into foul trouble with a lot of time left on the clock. We’ve said it a few times here, but Orlando cannot match Toronto’s speed. If Ford is able to realize that his dribble penetration can be lethal in this series, the Raptors will still be able to pull this off. The key is for him not to force shots after he has penetrated and is approaching the key. I would still like to see him get more assists, but when you have the other stats to support your night, at least you can show that you are hustling. When you are able to put 11 points on the board in a span of just over 3 minutes, you’re on.
Calderon was well…Calderon. Another highly efficient night for Jose, finding his teammates and getting them the ball quickly so there was a lot of time left for them to check some different options. I’m not completely sure if I’m a fan of him taking 8 3-point shots over the game, but I can live with that if he is distributing the ball and creating openings. 13 assists in 24 minutes is an impressive stat, but I would still like to see him attack the basket a bit more, especially against Orlando.
Everybody knows how the Raptors don’t rebound, but tonight they actually brought a little toughness to their game. Jamario Moon provided the rebounding the Raptors have been looking, the key is to just keep him under control, but still attacking the rim.
You have to give it up for the fans down at the ACC. That game was loud. The fans were into it…somebody should go and steal Manu’s trophy, because the Raps’ fans are the 6-man of the year. That kind of thing can really help motivate a team and the Toronto fans were amazing. Let’s hope that Saturday sees the Raptor fans even louder than they were tonight.