Live Blog: Chris Bosh Returns to Toronto
The last game before the All-Star break for the Raptors and Heat is a big one, especially for the Raptors. With no chance of making the playoffs, this game is the biggest of the year for the Raptors and their fans. The T.O. crowd will get their chance to show Bosh how they feel, and while I don’t think it could possibly reach the level of Vince Carter’s reception, it definitely won’t be friendly. While the crowd reaction will be interesting, I’m excited to see who the first Raptor player to attack Bosh at the rim is going to be. My money’s on Sonny Weems.
I’ll be updating the blog frequently throughout the game so check back for the latest on the only Toronto Raptor playoff game of the year.
[6:50]: Heat hit the floor for pre-game shootaround with some mild boos and random cheers. Bosh is going to get it.
[6:57]: I think I might buy one of those Matt & Jack ticket packages the Raptors are always advertising just to meet Jack Armstrong. The guy is half crazy/half old/half old-crazy. In the same ratio as Man-Bear-Pig.
[7:05]: James Cybulski got his hair did. Last time I saw him he had faux-hawk, tonight he’s rocking an emo sweep like the guy from Good Charlotte. Keep an eye when Leo Rautins joins Cybulski, it’s like watching an interview with the stars of My Giant.
[7:07]: So Bosh came out first and the response was underwhelming. I expected more, but kind of cool that Wade got cheers. I wonder if he gets that in every city.
[7:12]: Unrelated thought: I’ve always heard from ball ‘experts’ that the most valuable positions are your PG and C and that generally holds. If you have a dominant PG or C, your team can overcome a lot of other deficiencies. If you’re the Heat you just role out Mario Chalmers and Big Z and that’s good enough.
[7:15]: Raptors hit back-to-back 3’s and Bosh gets stuffed at the D end. He’s starting to get it good from the crowd when he touches the ball. ALERT: Black Swan Bargnani seems to be present tonight.
[7:19]: Crowd chanting “Overrated” is entertaining but unoriginal. If they’re going down that road I would much rather a “Bosh Sucks,” but that’s just me. Amir Johnson has the slowest gather for a jumper I’ve ever seen.
[7:22]: 13-12 Heat at first TV timeout. LeBron temporarily sucks the life out of the building with a nice And 1, but the real beauty was the Shooter McGavin guns he displayed.
[7:32]: DeRozan JUST missed crushing one. Foreshadowing to this weekend… DeRozan ACTIVATED! Nice follow-up cram by DeMar.
[7:41]: Heat up 2 after Q1. LeBron plays the villain role so well, unlike A-Rod who just eats popcorn from a not-hot-anymore Cameron Diaz.
[7:52]: Every time I see Barbosa on the court for the Raptors I can’t believe Colangelo got him for Turkoglu straight up. Could have been inception.
[7:57]: Amir Johnson with his 1st foul of the game with 5 minutes left in Q2. Congrats!
[8:12]: First half ova with the score Miami 50 – Toronto 46. The Raptors have been hanging in there and had some success with their zone defense before the Heat put in Eddie “Big Balls” House to bust the zone with his 3-point shooting. Also, watch for the My Giant half-time show featuring James Cybulski (Billy Crystal) and Leo Rautins (Gheorghe Muresan).
[8:25]: The Raptors gruesome twosome of Bargnani and DeRozan with 28 points through one half, with Bargnani cradling his trademark zero rebounds.
[8:33]: 8 minutes left in Q3 and the Raptors quickly down 12. The Heat are exerting their will, but they’ll never keep my boy Bargs down! (Note: I reserve the right to change my opinion on Bargnani play to play.)
[8:41]: Another Triano head-scratcher: Why is Julian Wright buried on the bench when he played great when Weems was out and he’s the best Raptors perimeter defender? Sonny isn’t providing anything so far and the Heat are killing the Raptors off the bounce.
[8:46]: Raptors PR Department head-scratcher: Why choose scarves to hand out at an indoor sporting event? I understand they work well at soccer games and Toronto FC has rabid fans, so maybe they want to feed off some of that. But basketball is indoors. I would bet half the people who received scarves at the door have it draped over their chair or stuffed in their coat. Good effort though!
[8:53]: Heat up 8 at the end of Q3, but it seems like the Heat’s lead should be more. Ed Davis continues to look good out there, but I am a little concerned about the flavour status of his gum; he’s been chomping the shit out of it.
[8:59]: Raptors start the 4th on a mini-run which was terminated by a Jordanesque D-Wade slam.
[9:04]: The frequency with which Jack Armstrong makes jokes about drinking, or wanting to drink, or being drunk is a little concerning. But I mean he’s doing Raptors games so I’ll give him a break.
[9:06]: You gotta love D-Wade because he plays the exact same way he played when he was at Marquette and led them to the Final Four. On a related note, Wade’s alma mater was the most recent victim of my St. John’s Red Storm. Go Johnnies!
[9:17]: Just under 5 minutes left in the 4th and the Heat up up 4. Bargnani has shown continuously this game that he is a scorer, currently with 32 points. He continues to be Black Swan Bargnani and you gotta believe that going against Bosh is motivating him. He played the same way against the Blazers and Aldridge, the 2006 draft #2 pick when it seemed like he was trying to prove he is the man of that draft. He’s got a long way to go defense and rebounding wise, but he does things on the court that only one other 7-footer in the NBA (Dirk) does, or even can do.
[9:23]: Heat up 7 with just under 2 minutes to play. Bayless gets to the rim with incredible ease, but makes layups at an awful rate. Those two things together do not make sense.
[9:26]: Heat up 6 with 19 seconds left and it’s down to free throws. Bosh should thank Wade and LeBron for completely overshadowing him and taking the pressure off, but I’m sure he’s used to doing that by now.
Final Score: Miami 103 – Toronto 95
It was an exciting game and the crowd at the ACC was definitely into the game, but the Heat are just better than the Raptors. I don’t think I’ve still grasped that LeBron and Wade are going to be teammates for at least 4 more years and they’re both in their respective prime of their careers.
There is still hope for Raptor fans as Bargnani poured in 38, Ed Davis proved again that he could be the steal of the 2010 Draft and DeMar DeRozan continued to show his offensive improvement. The Raptors are young, talented and cap-light and sit in position to add a top-4 talent to their core via the upcoming draft. Fingers crossed T.O.