As everyone knows, tonight marked the highly anticipated debut of our other animal Reginald Evans. Reggie entered the game to a chorus of "reggie" chants from a delighted ACC. And much like a dog, a wolf, or a bear that's been caged in too long Reggie went at the Sixers like a beast that hasn't been fed in weeks. Body parts and guts were flying everywhere and Reggie emerged with a smile on his face, satisfied with the meal he worked so hard to earn. He reminded me a lot of JYD as he was a lot like a junkyard dog on a porkchop. He boxed out under the basket, grabbed a few boards, a steal, and assist, took a charge and scored a basket. All this in a matter of 5 minutes. Maybe we'll call that one the value meal combo at McReggies.
Despite the excitement of having Reggie back, this game was a mish-mash game for the Raptors with lots of highs and lows. First you got a solid first quarter by the starting unit. Then the second unit comes in and explodes with Jose fueling the fire. Couple that with the highs of Reggie coming in. They push a lead up to the 20's in the third only to completely blow that lead in the fourth. Still, the Raps hung in there and took care of business once again at home improving to 20-6 on their home turf. They held AI and Brand to 8 and 11 points respectively. That is a pretty big shutdown in my books. Good job despite falling asleep on other Sixer players. Still, you have to give the Sixers credit for fighting till the end and coming back from such a big deficit especially since they just played the night before. Kudos to them and I don't think they have anything to be ashamed of.
Things you may have noticed:
- Amir Johnson Johnson played a big game and despite Reggie coming back, he should not be forgotten or under appreciated. He went after any loose ball remotely near him and played hard nosed defense. He added 10 points which is a bonus. Here's hoping he develops his offense a bit more and that his upside hasn't been reached. He's a young guy with a lot of potential.
- Jose played inspired basketball tonight making an impact as soon as he entered the game. Dishing out a lot of creative assists and scoring when the defense allowed him some space. He tossed up more pretty looking lob passes than I have ever seen him in one game. He also added 10 bucks off the bench and 6 dimes.
- How on earth did the Raps fall asleep on Lou Williams? He only tore the Raptors a new one earlier this season and he did the same thing tonight. He went off for 26 points and is "that guy" on the other team that the Raptors let loose. If they're planning on making a playoff run they should try to avoid this or it's gonna kill them one of these days.
- Bargnani played decent defense throughout the game and shut down Elton "No Name" Brand all by himself on several occasions. He shot the ball well but was cold again from the arc. He did hit the dagger 3 pointer when it counted though his team seemed to forget about him on the offensive end with all the excitement create by Reggie and the dunkfest that was going on by the twins.
- Bosh? He was Bosh, solid as usual and I can't really remember the last time he's had a bad game. Mr. Dependable is who he is and that's exactly what makes him special.
- Belinelli had an off game going back to his crazy circus shots and out of control drives. He needs to work within the confines of the offensive system, and the flow of the game. At least shoot off a screen or run a pick and roll man! I think he'll bounce back strong. Hopefully some time off will do him some good.
- Did anyone miss Turk tonight?
Studs: Amir, Jose, Sonny, Demar, Bosh
Now the Raptors get the All Star break off to relax and reflect on how they've won and ponder on spoiling us fans some more by continuing to win. One question I asked myself today as I was driving home from work listening to Bob McCowan: When's the last time I watched an allstar game and actually enjoyed it? I couldn't think of one. Back when we were all kids, watching the NHL allstar games used to be awesome. Now all of them seem to suck. I'll still watch though to see how our Big Bosh Man does. Hopefully Demar wins something too but I think Sonny shoulda been included in this dunk contest. Just a damn shame.