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Old 03-21-2011, 08:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
effin' ineffable

In the Paint
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 30,070
Default Jack Armstrong mustered up five more thoughts

he also has a bunch of other NBA-related stuff - find it here - TSN

Here are my five thoughts on the Raptors:

1. Raptors in Denver Monday night: Just a little food for thought for Monday's game here in the Mile High City. The Raptors are 0-5 all time playing here on the second night of a back-to-back. Denver is 9-0 when playing teams coming into town on a back-to-back. The altitude of the city becomes a factor late in a game, so it's better to get off to a great start and try to play with a lead, which is never easy here.

2. James Johnson: His defense on Kevin Durant on Sunday, which held the Thunder forward to 6-of-21 from the field was excellent. The big defensive three man has the length and lateral quickness to be a pest and he was just that. Johnson did a wonderful job of battling Durant away from the ball and not giving him quality touches in his scoring spots. Job VERY well done!

3. Leandro Barbosa: It was nice to have a veteran drop a big three pointer and get a big assist in final few plays of the game on Sunday, which by the way were great play calls by Jay Trian. Barbosa's poise and creativity under pressure are crucial to this team late in games.

4. Reggie Evans: The power forward took no nonsense from Kendrick Perkins and the Thunder big men and set the tone for his team inside. He really plays like a man out there and gives no ground to anyone. The Raptors are 3-3 since his return, which shows that Evans makes a difference. The team has a lot more swagger and toughness when he plays, and that's something which they desperately need.

5. Jerryd Bayless: He's much improved running the team in his last 10+ games. He's more under control and responsible with the ball. Bayless is getting teammates very good shots and not forcing his game as much, which means he's settling in. He has to improve his perimeter shot big-time this off-season, as he needs to be a 40% or better three-point shooter, to further open his game up. I see an up-tick here though currently.
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