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Tag:Chris Bosh
Posted on: November 25, 2008 2:55 pm
 

Raptors - Bobcats Game Preview

Wednesday night, the Bobcats come to the ACC bringing with them a record of 4 – 9 to the game. They are coming off a win over the 76ers following losses to the Magic, the Mavericks, the Hawks and the Bucks in the past 10 days. The Raptors are coming into the game reeling from to tough losses to start a 4 game home stand having lost to the Celtics and a heart-breaking loss to the Nets as Vince Carter carried the game for the visitors. Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo lead the Champions who had 7 players in double digits in the game.

Sam Mitchell will look to the bench and see a hurting Jermaine O’Neal and a banged up Jose Calderon which has contributed to the sluggish play the last 2 games. The Bobcats are missing Jason Richardson who is their leading scorer in spite of missing 6 games. The Bobcats will start D.J. Augustine, Gerald Wallace, Emeka Okafur, Alexis Ajinca, and Raymond Felton at point guard. The Raptors will counter with Chris Bosh, Andrea Bargnani, Jermaine O’Neal, Anthony Parker and Jose Calderon.

I look for the Raptors to carry the game to the Bobcats as both teams need a win at this point in the season. If Jermaine is unable to play, Kris Humprhies should provide an energy boost or they could put Andrea at the Post and give Jason Kapono some much needed minutes to raise his confidence level to a functional level. For the Raptors to win, we must control the ball, we must out play their front court at both ends of the floor and we must play with more intensity on defense and move the ball in transition to take advantage of our front court advantage on the glass.

Posted on: November 24, 2008 12:33 pm
 

Raptors - Week 5 in Preview

So, the past 4 games have given us a very deep look into this team, and it is very much in a state of flux. Our 4 main guys right now are Andrea Bargnani, Jose Calderon, who is hurting, Jermaine O’Neal, who is hurting as well, and Chris Bosh. Over the past week, their numbers look pretty good with Chris averaging over 30 points per game and 10.5 rebounds. He is shooting 54% from the floor with his first 3 point shot of the season, and 83% from the line. Andrea has stepped up his production as he continues to improve while adjusting to the SF position scoring 18.25 per game, 6 rebounds and 50% from outside the arc. Jermaine has become a very solid fixture on defense and hurt his knee during the Nets game. He has given us 11 points and 9 rebounds with the last two games being injured. It is obvious that he is becoming comfortable with Chris Bosh and his secondary role on this team which bodes well for the future as long as his knee keeps him on the floor, he will continue to add depth and strength up front. Jose Calderon missed one game this week but has continued to contribute 16 points and 10.3 assists per game and is still 100% from the free throw line to lead the league in that.

I won't dwell on last week as a wonderful review has already been put up and i can't add much except to say that we need to expect a lot less out of this Raptors team for the next month or so. Jose Calderon has been playing injured and Jermaine O'Neal has become an object of concern as his knee is obviously not in good shape after that Nets game. With no defense to speak of from our back court, Smitch looks helpless and hopeless on the bench right now. The guys are responding to his lack of ability to adjust with indifference. I really don't like what i have seen this past week from the team as a whole. BC not being at the game, as I see it, is a huge lack of respect and support for his sinking head coach.

That all off my chest, the front line guys are playing well on offense, but with nothing on the bench worth worrying about, I now wonder if teams are not just waiting for that first wave of substitutions with quiet resolve knowing that they will be outplayed by a good d-league squad most nights. This week ahead brings us the Bobcats who must be worried that this Raptors team will actually put a full game together and blow someone away one game soon. With Emeka Okafur, Jason Richardson, Gerald Wallace, D.J. Augustine and Raymond Felton, this team plays a decent brand of ball and could catch the Raptors reeling from the past week’s games. If we look past these guys, they will pick us off. We will need to continue to pound the ball inside as not many teams have the position guys to compete with us. The Bobcats will bring a balanced offense with decent guard play and solid wing play which, so far, we have not been able to contend with on a nightly basis. I think we should still win, but I look for Jose and Jermaine to play less minutes to try and keep them fresh for the tough weekend coming up. That being said, I also can see this Bobcats team making both work hard and take advantage of the replacements who will be forced to play a lot of minutes this week as they heal.

Next up, the Hawks bring their 8 – 5 record to the ACC. They are currently second in the Southwest division behind the Magic and are coming off a loss to the Cavaliers. They only have one game this week at home on Wednesday against the Bucks so they should be well rested as they begin a 2 game road trip with the Wizards on Saturday night after playing us Friday. With Josh Smith still out since they last played and beat the Raptors, this team has struggled going 4 – 5 in the 9 games since he went out. Joe Johnson and Mike Bibby anchor this team with Ronald Murray and Marvin Williams. Al Horford has continued his steady play and looks set to become the solid double double man they need to compliment them in the Post. The Raptors will have their hands full as Bibby and Johnson offer a back court that we could not stop in the first game. We could win if we take advantage of our inside offensive advantage, but unless we play better team defense, they will again kill us from the back-court!

Next Sunday we have the Lakers in Los Angeles. Having been thrashed by the Celtics, should we expect anything different from the Lakers? Kobe Bryant and the Lakers are healthy and have lost only 1 game this season to the Pistons. Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Lamar Odom and Dereck Fisher are all averaging over 10 points a game with Bynum and Gasol near 10 rebounds a game each. This team is balanced, fast and will look to destroy the Raptors from the outside in! I don’t think it will be close but I don’t see Kobe beating his 81 either!

Do I think we can win any of these games? Yes, we could win 2 of them. Will we? I am not sure this team has much heart left after this past week and having 2 of our 4 best players hurting. We don’t play well when the second unit is in, we play awful on defense and couldn’t play help defense to save ourselves. We have forgotten how to beat a zone, we get lost in transition as our guards struggle to push the tempo to take advantage of our front court. This week will be a period of adjustments for this squad. I hope they can get it done.

Category: NBA
Posted on: November 24, 2008 11:35 am
 

Raptors - Week 4 in Review

Last week the Raptors would love to forget most of what happened to them. I know Raptors fans are very disgruntled right now with the inconsistent play from the team in general as they find ways to lose games in which they have huge leads. So far, after 13 games, the team is 6 – 7, which is exactly where it was last year after 13 games and at this point, there seems little hope for team fortunes to improve as the next week brings the Bobcats, the Hawks and the Lakers on the schedule.  With Jose Calderon still not even close to 100% healthy, it looks to be a long week again.

Here’s what I saw in the past week and what I am looking at for the next week.

The past week gave us 4 games against Eastern conference teams. Two were in the top 4 teams of the conference last season and the other two are hovering around .500 as we are. The Magic were first up in Orlando on our Florida swing with back to back games in Orlando and Miami for a re-match against the struggling Heat.

The Magic came into the game on a 3 game win streak and were 8 – 3 on the season at that point. We were able to open up a lead on the Magic as we were able to get the ball inside and keep Dwight Howard off the boards and off his game with only 4 points in the first half. He finished with 18 points and 9 rebounds, both off of his season averages. Chris Bosh had a huge game with 40 points, 18 rebounds hitting 14/19 shots while Jermaine O’Neal had 1t points and 10 rebounds. With Jamario Moon and Jason Kapono seemingly lost in their own heads, Sam Mitchell started Andrea Bargnani in the 3 spot and he struggled both on offense and on offense with only 5 points. Playing without Jose Calderon, this team turned the ball over 24 times and squandered the lead and the game away as Will Solomon attempted to run the offense with little success as the Magic just kept shooting the ball as Hedo Turkoglu, Jameer Nelson and Rashard Lewis all had 22 points and seemed to answer any run the Raptors threw at them causing turnovers or grabbing rebounds and running the floor scoring an easy 2 or 3 off the transition game.

Next up were the Heat who came into the game 5 – 5 and missing Centers Jamaal Magloire and Mark Blount up front leaving the Heat out manned against the front line of Chris Bosh, Jermaine O’Neal and Andrea Bargnani. Having beaten the Heat the previous Sunday, the rematch in Miami presented the Raptors with a good chance for a road win. Jose started the game but looked sore and careful on his injured leg. Though Dwyane Wade had 40 points and 11 assists and Shawn Marion had a 20 point, 14 rebound game, they were just not matched up well as Andrea Bargnani had a 25 point game and Jermaine had a 16 point 17 rebound effort. It was a very exciting game as Dwyane Wade took over and attacked the Raptors inside in the 4th to keep the game close. To me, the play of the game was JO’s rejection of Wade with a little over a minute left. It allowed the Raptors to get the ball back up court and pull ahead and out of range.

Next game was the Nets and Vince Carter. Although the Raptors opened up another 18 point lead, Vince scored 12 points in the last 22 seconds including the game tying 3 from 27 feet with Anthony Parkers had in his face. Then he scored on an ally-oop to win the game on the last shot. Dropping 39 points and grabbing 9 rebounds while Devin Harris, who left before half time with an upset stomach, scored 30. Together, they combined for half of the Nets points. Andrea had his best game as a pro scoring 29 points while Jose scored 26 and CB scored 42 as he and VC went back and forth all evening answering each other on both ends of the floor.

Sunday, the World Champions visited the ACC and from the beginning of the game, the Raptors appeared shell shocked, probably not recovered from the terrible loss Friday. The Celtics had 7 guys in double digits with Ray Allen leading the way with 21, Kevin Garnett, who harassed Chris all afternoon had 15, Kendrick Perkins had 12, Rajon Rondo scored 15 as did Tony Allen and Eddie House added 11. CB countered with 24 and AB added another 14 as this game was never close.

So, the past 4 games have given us a very deep look into this team, and it is very much in a state of flux. Our 4 main guys right now are Andrea Bargnani, Jose Calderon, who is hurting, Jermaine O’Neal, who is hurting as well, and Chris Bosh. Over the past week, their numbers look pretty good with Chris averaging over 30 points per game and 10.5 rebounds. He is shooting 54% from the floor with his first 3 point shot of the season, and 83% from the line. Andrea has stepped up his production as he continues to improve while adjusting to the SF position scoring 18.25 per game, 6 rebounds and 50% from outside the arc. Jermaine has become a very solid fixture on defense and hurt his knee during the Nets game. He has given us 11 points and 9 rebounds with the last two games being injured. It is obvious that he is becoming comfortable with Chris Bosh and his secondary role on this team which bodes well for the future as long as his knee keeps him on the floor, he will continue to add depth and strength up front. Jose Calderon missed one game this week but has continued to contribute 16 points and 10.3 assists per game and is still 100% from the free throw line to lead the league in that.

With all that great play from these 4 guys, all this team needs is someone – anyone at this point to step up and contribute some defense and a little on offense. Most nights, there is no one on the bench who seems willing to contribute other than Kris Humphries who offers good minutes when called on. Every game this week our second unit of Jason Kapono, Will Solomon or Roko Ukic and Jamario Moon has found ways to lose huge leads built by our first unit. Sam has little success adjusting as the guys just aren’t playing well as a group. Last season, our bench was a strong point, but this year, they are anticipated by every team we play as they endure or first line to get to the weak, ineffective second stringers. Until these guys can start adding to the team, we will struggle against every team in this league and will have little chance to make the playoffs as anything below .500% won’t make the playoffs in the east this year. This past week we allowed an average of 46.5 points in the paint per game. An unbelievable number with the guys we have up front! Where are they coming from? Wade and Carter – guards scored 40 and 39 with Harris, another guard adding 30, mostly off the dribble or at the line. Jameer Nelson and Dwight Howard with 22 and 18 with Nelson driving and dishing and shooting wide open looks over our guards. It becomes pretty obvious that this team can not stop any kind of wing game, as Paul Pierce showed in the first game. Night after night our guards and SF positions are exploited as teams out play our guys and Sam Mitchell seems lost as to how to stop it. With the Lakers and the Hawks coming up, this does not look promising as they are both bringing 2 of the best SG’s in the league with Kobe Bryant and Joe Johnson. I hope they can find a way to stop wing and guard penetration soon as we saw Sam unable to attack a zone defense. Should be a very long week for the Raptors and it’s fan base.

Posted on: November 21, 2008 10:52 pm
 

Raptors - Nets game Review

What can you do to stop a team from outscoring you by 20 points in a quarter and a half? The Raptors have lost another game in which they had an 18 point lead late in the 3rd quarter. The Nets started to jump passing lanes, grab offensive boards and Devin Harris came back as Jermaine O’Neal was getting tossed to the floor and had to leave the game with a strained knee. Let’s hope it isn’t a serious injury, but it was our fear from the beginning of the O’Neal experiment.

Chris Bosh played his heart out scoring 42 points, collecting 9 rebounds and handing out 4 assists. Andrea Bargnani had a career night hitting 5 bombs scoring 29 with 10 rebounds while Jose Calderon had 26 points and 14 assists. Jose had a rough night with 5 turnovers all in the second half as the Nets forced him to pass too early in the offense or pass off balance and over the head and into the bleachers. You have to give the Nets credit as the zone they ran had the Raptors bewildered and with no clue what to do on offense to counter it. Vince Carter had a great game scoring 39 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists, including the 3 to tie it with 0.5 on the clock and the winning dunk in overtime. This is  a game where no one was able to stop him as they spent the second half running around on the defensive end trying to find him allowing Brook Lopez to look like a 10 year vet scoring 14 points but grabbing some huge rebounds down the stretch as our defense could not get set to rotate properly and rebound effectively. Devin Harris added 30 and Jarvis Hayes added 14. Anthony Parker had 8 while trying to follow VC around all night.

Over all, this game was another example of how NOT to play with a huge lead. The Raptors became very complacent in the third and seem to lose interest in the game while the second unit was allowed to give back most of the 18 point lead they had built up. Jamario Moon and Will Solomon offered nothing to this game. Only 6 seconds into the 3rd quarter, Solomon fouls Vince Carter as he crosses mid-court off the inbounds. Then later he gives the ball away fouls again. Jamario had a little more success but after he hit his second shot early in the quarter, he faded away and was lost on defense letting Carter get open on the final play of overtime. Lawrence Franks deserves full marks for his ability to keep his team in the game and focused on the task at hand. His adjustments on defense put the more dominant front line of the Raptors on the run as they put huge amounts of pressure on our PG and weak over all back court. They were able to exploit the weak play of Anthony Parker, Jason Kapono and Will Solomon all night and fought back and earned a tough road win. Sam Mitchell seems unable or unwilling to adjust his team offensively or defensively as teams seem not too concerned about falling behind this team. That should worry a coach that his team keeps giving up huge leads and he should be able to make the necessary changes in personnel to hold on to a lead of any size. With .25 seconds left, the Raptors were up 7 points and they found a way to let the Nets have a chance to win.

With the Celtics coming to town on Sunday, this will be a tough loss to shake off as the Nets were short-handed tonight and were in a position to control the game from the beginning and couldn’t. In the next week we have the Hawks, the Bobcats, and the Lakers on the agenda and we need a much better game to compete against the 2 top teams in the league.

Category: NBA
Posted on: November 21, 2008 10:07 am
 

Some early season thoughts on the Raptors

I hope the Raptors faithful can see this team for what it is and stick with it for a bit longer. Chris Bosh is a top 10 player in this league or higher, Jermaine O'Neal has begun to put up the numbers we expected offensively with 43 points and 45 rebounds in the past 3 games and has brought the inside presence beside CB4 that makes us a very hard team to out play up front.

Andrea Bargnani has hopefully regained some of that confidence he lost as he has become a force on both offense and defense averaging 14 points and 4 rebounds in the last 3 games. If he can continue to progress on defense and on the glass, that is a very tough front line for any team in this league to match up against. Add to the mix Ocho at point guard and that is 4 of the 5 positions with very good players in them. Jose Calderon played the Heat with a sore leg but knew we needed him out there. The inspired offense was a result.

Our problem right now is at the 2 and 3 position. Hopefully going 4/4 in the 4th over Dwyane Wade will help Anthony Parker back to mental health and get his game face back. He has the potential to be a solid 2 in this league, but his time is running out. At the 3 we have the Jamario Moon Jason Kapono debate which neither looks willing to solve. Teams have eaten us up from there and putting Andrea there seems to offer us at least a consistancy that had been lacking. Our back up guards played like it, but I see so much of Jose in Roko Ukic that we must be patient with him as he will be a very good guard in time. Kris Humphries has played well when he has been needed and continues to be a great insertion into the lineup on the whole. He does tend to get beat by PF's that are quick like Kevin Garnett and Rasheed Wallace, but not many guys can cover those guys all night any how.

Sam Mitchell continues to work these guys into a team that could make noise. what it comes down to is HEART. Do these guys have the heart to go out and win games at any cost? Do they want every loose ball? Do they want to beat you down the court and cut off the lane? Are they willing to stop you at any price? So far, just over 50% of the time, that is true. It is time for the guys to step up and play like they can.

Should be a great game against the Nets tonight with Vince Carter back in the ACC.

Posted on: November 20, 2008 3:03 pm
 

Raptors - Nets game preview

Friday night we welcome to the ACC the one and only Vince Carter and his traveling minstrel show, I mean the Nets. I am sure the Raptors fans will lovingly welcome back the team’s all-time scoring leader with loving shouts of adoration.

Now that I have that off my chest, Friday’s game with the Nets is another key divisional game that we can’t afford to lose. With the Celtics so far, and again, the class of the East if not the league we need to keep pace with the teams bunched up behind them until we can find our groove and put a few wins together. At 6 – 5, the Raptors are tied with the Knicks for 2nd in the Atlantic a game ahead of the 5 – 6 76ers and 2 games up on the 4 – 6 Nets. Divisional games this season will have huge playoff ramifications every night as the Celtics are showing little sign of slowing down with Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce doing what they do best, WIN.

The Raptors come into the game off a week where they played without Jose Calderon for two games. Sunday they were able to hold off the struggling Heat at the ACC then headed to Florida for a split against the Magic and the Heat. The Magic took advantage of our poor outside shooting as Jason Kapono and Jamario Moon struggled as they have all season and Will Solomon lead them to a two game total of 44 turnovers, 24 against the Magic as Hedo Turkoglu, Rashard Lewis and Jameer Nelson all had 22 points and attacked Chris Bosh and Jermaine O’Neal all night long. Wednesday saw a rematch against the Heat in Miami and the return of the spiritual leader of this team Jose Calderon. Cutting the turnovers in half allowed this team to spread the floor and move the ball as Chris Bosh and Jermaine O’Neal turned in double doubles with 31 points and 27 rebounds between them while Andrea Bargnani started with 10 quick points and 25 points on the game.

The Nets are coming off a week where they lost to the Pacers and the Cavaliers but beat the Hawks in a home and home last weekend. This team of course has Vince Carter who is still putting up 22.8 points a game and 5 assists. This year, they have a few guys that are full of potential and have been called a playoff team in more than one pre-season ranking. Devin Harris brings 23 points and 4 boards and 6 assists to the floor every night to help this team as they await an injured front court to return. Eduardo Najera, Josh Boone and Stromile Swift are all out at this point which leaves the front court to younger players such as Brook Lopez and Yi Jianlian who are playing well, as is Keyon Dooling. The Nets will be in tough as we continue to floor our 3 man wrecking crew up front while Anthony Parker seems to have found his stroke and Jose Calderon keep the back end humming along and in control. Devin Harris against Jose Calderon will be the match to pay attention to as both will try to establish the tempo of the game and keep the offenses running at a high level. Anthony Parker against Vince Carter will be the key match-up in the back court as Parker will have to play solid at both ends to contain him. Where the Nets will struggle is in the front court as Brook Lopez will probably start against Jermaine O’Neal and Chris Bosh will face Yi Jianlian which should give the Raptors another advantage as they bring into the game a 3 game average of 27/12 for Bosh and 14.5/15 for Jermaine.  I am not sure who Sam Mitchell will start against Bobby Simmonds, but if Jamario starts, this will be an exciting match up of two very athletic wingmen. If Sam goes big, which I think he will to exploit the weak Nets front at this point, Andrea brings a three game average of 14 points and nearly 4 boards a game. If he can grab a few more rebounds, I think all Raptors fans would be able to handle those numbers night after night. Starting him at the 3 spot by nature would afford him less opportunity to grab boards, but he is beginning to balance his game out, which has to be good. Both benches are in search of consistency with Roko Ukic and Will Solomon showing how tough it is to step in and play PG in this league, Kris Humphries and Jason Kapono will be looked at to provide solid help from a bench that is very thin. The Nets are hurt and therefore their bench strength is starting which is never a good situation to be in but Ryan Anderson and Jarvis Hayes provide the minutes needed to get the guys rest.

I look for a game where both teams will rely on their stars. Chris Bosh and Vince Carter will be expected to shine. I also think that if the Raptors pound away at the inside on the glass as they have averaged 46.3 rebounds including 12.6 offensive boards per game over the last 3 games. They have allowed just 37.6 in the past 3 games, 11.3 of which are offensive. That is one area you don’t want to be the worst in the league at for sure.

Enjoy the game.

Posted on: November 20, 2008 10:27 am
 

Raptors - Heat Round 2 Review

Last night in Miami, Dwyane Wade and the Heat were looking to take advantage of a weakened opponent and gain a sense of revenge for the loss on Sunday in Toronto. Jose Calderon started last night and Sam Mitchell put Andrea Bargnani on the floor again and was rewarded with probably the best quarter the young Italian has played as a Raptors player. A quick 10 points by Andrea got the Raptors off to a good start as they worked to shake off the bitter loss in Orlando to the Magic the night before. He ended up with 25 on the night, a Raptors game high. After giving up 44 turnovers in Sunday and Tuesday’s games, the Raptors looked to Jose to provide some stability to the stagnating offense as Will Solomon tried to step in with Roko Ukic to fill the huge void Jose left.

The game was a very exciting one with the ball flying all over the court. It was fun to watch Andrea run the floor with Anthony Parker who broke out of his slump dropping 19 points while grabbing 6 rebounds including 1 Offensive. Down the stretch he answered several D-Wade dunks with smooth 3’s from the corner. A very welcome sight as his check scored 40 on us while collecting 4 boards and hanging out 11 assists and adding 5 blocks to a very solid game. Shawn Marion added 20 points and 14 rebounds to the mix.

These teams played a very even game as the stats reflect very little between them that stands out as the main reason one team won and the other lost. The Raptors made 38 baskets, the Heat 39, the Raptors hit 9 from 3 point land which was refreshing after the debacle in Orlando, while the Heat were a bit out done here making only 7. The Raptors shot 62% from outside while the Heat began to settle for outside shots when they started getting down in the 3rd ending up at 30% on 3’s. As I have stated many times and will as long as I breath basketball, this game was won and lost at the Free Throw line. The Raptors made 16 of 20 while the Heat made 10 of 15. Those 6 baskets were the margin of victory.

Some other things that I enjoyed watching last night was the steady play of Jermaine O’Neal as he has become the inside force we lacked for many years now. The play of the game from my perspective was the late block on D-Wade from the wing. That play stopped his momentum enough for us to come back down the floor and drop another 3. Defense really does matter in the NBA. Chris Bosh took the night off and ended up with another double – double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Kris Humphries came off the bench and gave us some great play attacking the ball all over the floor and making 6 of 7 Free Throws – an interesting number, no? Jamario Moon and Jason Kapono were both very quiet again, but Jamario did hit a huge 3 for the team and did manage 2 huge steals in the 4th quarter as the Heat were edging back.

Over all, this was a very well played game by the starters who responded to Chris’ huge game Tuesday, as well as the return of Jose Calderon who gave us 8 points, 7 assists and only 1 turnover. Cutting the turnovers in half from the Magic game allowed us to keep the pressure on the smaller front of the Heat and was one of the huge keys to the victory. With 4 guys in double digits and another game with two double-double guys, this team returned to a balance offense with great ball movement. I am still concerned by how easily the Heat were able to find wide open guys, it’s a good thing they didn’t make a couple more shots.

We now prepare for the Nets, the Celtics and the Hawks with the Lakers soon to follow.

Posted on: November 19, 2008 10:32 am
 

Raptors - Heat Preview - Round 2

Well, tonight will be a very difficult game for this Raptors team as they recover from the worst performance by a Raptors team in a long time. Other than Chris Bosh and Jermaine O'Neal, this team lacked focus, lack intensity and lacked the heart to keep the Magic on their heels posting a 10 point 2nd quarter lead only to lose it with bad offensive play. Tonight, the Heat will look to capitalize on the weak back court that we have unless Jose Calderon is ready to go. I hope he doesn't rush back and hurt himself worse as much as it pains me to say, we need him healthy for more than tonight.

Jermaine O'Neal has begun to play the solid game at both ends of the floor we brought him here for. Dwight Howard was frustrated all night and made 8 - 11 ft's to finish with 18 points and only 9 rebounds, well below his average for both. After these two, the team looks very thin. Andrea Bargnani is getting the ball where he should be, but is relying on pull-up jumpers again. Jamario Moon will need to step his game up quickly as neither him nor Jason Kapono looks able to play consistent basketball at this point in the year. Will Solomon had 7 of the 24 turnovers which destroyed this team in the 3rd quarter and down the stretch. I wish we could wave and wand and make Will play nba level, but it is a learning curve, one that both he and Roko Ukic suddenly find themselves looking straight up at.

The Heat, fresh off a victory last night against the Wizards, are looking to avenge the loss in Toronto on Sunday. Dwyane Wade rolled his ankle in that game but played last night in Washington. With a line-up that features Wade, Shawn Marion, Michael Beasley and Udonis Haslem as well as Mario Chalmers, the Raptors will need to play smart ball control offense and solid team defense, both of which have been lacking even with Jose Calderon in the line-up. Tonight Sam Mitchell will have a tough challenge to get his players ready to help Bosh at both ends of the floor. From here, there are no easy games with the Nets, the Celtics and the Lakers and the Hawks coming up. We need to right this ship NOW.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com