A rife amount of our Nation was most likely tuning into the Hockey game tonight. My condolences are passed on to you, and if it makes you feel any better after seeing the Russians yell in our cameras for what seemed like an eternity – the Raptors won tonight, beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 120-105.
I know, hardly a consolation.
De facto, the Raptors actually found themselves behind by 15 points in the 1st quarter, and trailed by a dozen by the end of it. But it was apparent that the Raps were never going to lose to arguably the worst team in the NBA.
“At the end of the first quarter [when the Raptors trailed 38-26], I didn’t even have to say anything. I just wrote a ’38′ on the board. The guys responded.”
– Raptors coach Jay Triano
Jose Calderon found himself back in the starting line-up, and his presence impacted the game significantly. Jose Grabbed 12 points on 8-of-10 shooting (3-of-3 from behind the ark), and dished out 17 assists.
Probably, the biggest stand-out after Jose was Julian Wright. Most Raptor fans have come to the consensus that Julian needs more minutes. Any time he gets floor time, he impresses, and brings great fundamentals to the team. Against the Cavs tonight, Wright grabbed a season-high 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting, pulled down 9 rebounds, and dished out 5 assists.
The most efficient aspect to Wright’s game though is his defense. Regardless of what he does on the offensive end, you can feel at ease knowing that Julian will be doing all the right things on the defensive end. His defensive organization of the team also compliments the likes of Andrea and Jose – more-so than Kleiza does.
“(We’re) capable of scoring in bunches, we just have to help each other defensively,” Wright said. “Talking (while on defence), I think it intimidates the other team, lets them know that we know what we’re doing out there.”
Andrea Bargnani, quietly had another consistent performance with 25 points and 8 rebounds. He scores 20+ with such each these days that it’s become routine for him and the Raps. That’s a good sign of course. Vote.
Barbosa, as usual, was a spark off the bench with 22 points. While Demar Derozan had a more subtle game than his previous two, scoring just 13 points on 15 attempts.
Rookie Ed Davis was quietly impressive as he has been so many times this season, scoring 8 points, grabbing 7 rebounds, and blocking 3 shots.
With this win, the Raptors end their 11-game losing skid in Cleveland, moving to 12-23 on the season. However, they’re still pretty banged up. Jose, Amir, and Bayless continue to fight through injuries, while Weems, Peja, and Reggie are out indefinitely.
Next game is a tough one: @ Boston on Friday.