I hate when the Raptors play in Charlotte. Every year it seems they go in there on a bit of a high and then play well for part of the game only to hand Charlotte a come from behind win. The Raptors, once again, couldn’t defeat the Bobcats at home and the team is now heading home scratching their heads and licking their wounds.
Andrea Bargnani had one of his worst games of the season and could not get into any kind of groove. Jarryd Bayless was Jekyll and Hyde out there going from brilliant to ridiculous from possession to possession. He clearly has some upside and has done some great things since being thrust into the starting job, but he’s young and doesn’t always let the game come to him.
The Raptors had control in the first half but couldn’t score in the second. They were blocked 18 times by Charlotte and had very no interior defense to speak of. Triano mixed things up a bit tonight but there was no combination that could hit the mark.
A tough loss for the Raps.
Zan for Three
It was the Best of Times, It was the Worst of Times
Jarryd Bayless has had an incredibly interesting first week as an NBA starter hasn’t he? You can’t say he doesn’t keep it interesting. He plays an awful game against Denver at home and then is the key force behind the largest comeback in team history against Detroit. Tonight he looked good for most of the game. He ran the point well, took smart shots and distributed well.
Then the fourth quarter happened.
He did not protect the ball well and took some awful shots, forgetting about the rest of his teammates.
I think there is a solid NBA player in there somewhere and it is important to remember that these mistakes are a hallmark of most young players, especially ones still getting used to new teammates.
Not a game to remember for Bayless, but he certainly had his moments.
Give and Ye Shall Receive
Amir Johnson was on the court for a grand total of 36 minutes collecting a double-double with twelve boards and twelve points. Why did Amir get such an extended amount of playing time? He only had 2 fouls by halftime. Yes, he finished with 5 in total, but was able to keep himself out of foul trouble for the majority of the game.
More playing time.
This is what Raptor fans, Bryan Colangelo and Jay Triano want to see. Amir Johnson is a significant part of the future of the Toronto Raptors and he needs to find a way to stay on the court. Tonight he did and he was able to contribute more than most members of the team. Nice to see him play well and the coach reward him for his hard work.
Amir is becoming a better and better all around player and is making Raptor fans miss Chris Bosh less and less each game.
Now why Sonny Weems is getting 36 minutes is the more important question.
Our Baby is Growing Up
Nice to see Ed Davis get his first sniff of extended minutes as well. Yes, he looked a little slow and sloppy on the defensive end at times and committed 5 fouls, but he played hard. I liked what he brought to the defensive end of the floor and is getting more and more confident as his minutes and time on the court increase.
Davis isn’t going to learn much in the NBA by sitting on the bench so it is nice to see Triano playing him longer and in increasingly significant points in the game.
Zan of the Night
The Raptors interior defense is horrible and Nazr Mohammed took full advantage tonight. He abused the Raptors inside and shot a ridiculous 8/11 from the field. He was pretty much unstoppable under the basket. Whether that had more to do with Mohammed’s solid play or Bargnani’s defensive effort is up for debate. Either way, he took full advantage of the Raptors defense deficiencies and was the difference in the game.
Not Zan of the Game
Bargnani played a stinker tonight, didn’t he?
He could not find a groove or hit a shot and at times moved around the court like an awkward teenager that just went through a growth spurt. He was awful and when he isn’t on his game the Raptors do not play well. He is the core of this team, like it or not, and so goes Bargnani, so goes the Raptors.
His defensive effort in the paint was almost non-existent and players like Nazr Mohammed and (GASP!!) Kwame Brown had great games. There is some irony in that last statement somewhere.
I did like one play in the fourth quarter where Bargnani missed an open jumper, collected his own rebound and then immediately took another shot and hit it. That was an acknowledgement on Bargnani’s part that he wasn’t shooting well and was trying to get it going just in time.
Sadly he did not and the team could not figure itself out.
He has been great this year and games like this will happen, but it certainly wasn’t pretty out there. Bargnani must play harder on the defensive end, especially on nights when his shot isn’t falling. Otherwise he is a liability out there.*** Kristoffer Pedlar The Zan Tabak Herald *** Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @Zantabakherald