The Raptors used a total team effort to easily down the lowly Nets, who can only hope that the end of the season will come soon. Without star Chris Bosh in the lineup the Raptors turned to Rasho Nesterovic as a starter. The little used veteran provided solid defense and a nice stroke with his jump shot. He had 16pts on the night as 6 other Raptors were able to score in double digits. The Raps will have to find more of the same energy when they face off against the, almost unrecognizable, Washington Wizards tomorrow night at the ACC.
The Zan for Three
No matter the situation that Jay Triano calls him into, Rasho Nesterovic is ready to play. Whether he is left at the end of the bench and plays four minutes or plays 26 minutes as a startr and takes 11 shots, he is always in game ready shape. Rasho has been sitting for the last 4 games as a DNP-CD but looked ready from the opening tip in New Jersey. He played tough defense on Brook Lopez and was the main reason the big centre couldn’t get anything started. A constant professional, Rasho is one of those players coaches love to have because they know, no matter the situation, they can always count on him to get the job done.
“It’s tough…you don’t play for five, 10 games and all of a sudden you have to start. You …just come in and try to play”
– Rasho Nesterovic
Captain by Committee
Tonight the Raptors were without their leader and top scorer and needed someone to step up. Every player on the team shared the responsibility tonight. The attack was balanced. Most baskets were made with sharp passes and unselfish play. Jose Calderon and Jarrett Jack led their units respectively and shared the ball well. The extra pass was made when needed and the team came away with key scoring chances. In the end 7 players reached double digits and no player played excessive minutes. This team was bigger than the sum of its parts.
Jay Triano rotated his team regularly, keeping his players fresh and active. One of the great benefits of having Reggie Evans back is that he now gets to give his starting bigs a bit more time to rest. Jose and Jack were solid running the point and neither one dominated the playing time. Hedo got to control the ball a lot more and the bigs didn’t tire out. This also keeps his starters fresh for another game tomorrow. As we know, back-to-backs are not the Raptors strongest area. Jay made the right choices and the Raptors were in total control.
Zan of the Night
Rasho. The big man came from deep off the bench to start the game for the Raps. Not only did he perfrom admirably, he was fantastic. He made shots, smart passes and played strong defense. He was pretty hard to beat out there.
Not Zan of the Night
Yi. Absolutely owned by Andrea and Rasho on the inside. Settled for 2 points on 13 shots. He was compltely overmatched the entire night by a guy that hasn’t played in four games. Not a good night at the office.
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***Kristoffer Pedlar The Zan Tabak Herald