When Bosh and Bargs have it going, it really is a beautiful thing to watch. They seem to mesh well together, both attacking and pulling up for jumpers, making the most of what is available. Tonight was one of those nights.
We have seen Andrea playing solid basketball for a while now, but tonight I loved seeing the bit of grit he had, not backing down after getting shoved in the back by Garcia. It would have been easy enough for him to just walk away and although it’s not like he came back with a shove of his own, he stood right up in Garcia’s face before Joey came in to break things up. Standing up like that comes from confidence, knowing that you are at a point where you have faith in your game and know that you shouldn’t be taking any garbage from anybody.
The only reason this game wasn’t a complete blowout was due to the fact that Sacramento was on fire from behind the arc to start the game. A lot of those 3’s were uncontested, something that the Raptors were able to correct as the game went on. It wasn’t necessary for the Raptors to get out and try to block those shots, but they at least needed to get some hands in some faces or put a little pressure on the shooter, not letting them set up. The second half saw those open looks decrease and the Kings had to start to try to get inside on the Raptors, which wasn’t working for them.
There have been many times this season where we have seen the Raptors come out and tank the third quarter, so we should give credit to them when they come out and take care of business in the third. This game was won in the third quarter, as the Raptors were able to outscore the Kings by 10 points and open up a 13 point lead. Bargnani played a major role in the Raptors putting up those points, attacking the basket and forcing the Kings to take some hacks at him, putting him at the line. If the Raptors were able to do that a few more times earlier in the season, we might be looking at a team in a different situation than the one we see right now.
If Jamario Moon continues to miss assignments on D like he did today, JT is not going to hesitate to put him on the bench as we saw today. With the way Joey has been playing, Moon needs to be alert to what is going on around him. Usually, the defensive end hasn’t been his enemy. We have seen him play some decent D throughout the season, with the odd mental lapse, but overall, his struggles have been on the offensive end. Tonight, it just didn’t look like Jamario was in the game. You would think that when you have a teammate who is gunning for your minutes, that you would be alert and ready to play every night, but lately Moon hasn’t looked engaged. Maybe he just had a bad night, but the Raptors can’t afford many of those from anybody if they plan on making the playoffs.
Next up, Jersey. Would be nice to pick up another win with the schedule tightening up in the next little while.