December 13, 2008

The Big Payback - VC stinks it up

There’s an old James Brown song called the Big Payback and Friday was the Raps chance to get it.

"Gotta Get Pay Back!"
Ever since Vince was traded, Raps fans just want to eat him for lunch. Even though it was years ago, fans still want to see Vince suffer and stink it up. Unfortunately, Vince usually just rubs it your face like he stole your girlriend. Vince is the guy that once beat him in a fight and you're walking away, he's the guy to kick you in the back of the head because once you thought you've beat him, he just goes off.

"I'm Mad!"
The last game against the New Jersey Nets was the root of when everything started to go sour for Toronto. The Toronto Raptors have always been known for blowing leads but that particular game put a sour taste in Raptors fans mouths. Bosh, Calderon and Bargnani all had big games and were on rout to closing out the Nets when Vince just took over. It was the game where the Raps lost Jermaine O'Neal to injury, it was the game where Colangelo started thinking about firing Sam Mitchell and it was the game that lead to a string of losses where Bosh lost his groove. It just stung that not only was a last second loss but it was also against VC who Raptors fans hate. Vince Carter is the Raptors' Lex Luthor.

Tonight was the second game of the three game series. Raptors were fresh off a win against the Pacers where they got increased production from bench players (now starters) in Jamario Moon and Jason Kapono. Moon and Kapono have had a quiet start of the season and the last game was somewhat of a breakout game for them. The Raptors were looking to put a string of wins together to end their funk and also get revenge on the Nets in their hometown.

"The Big Payback"
Anthony Parker was still out with the ankle injury so Jason Kapono got the start. Jamario also started in place of Andrea Bargnani. The game started out slow, and the Nets only scored 18 points in the 1st.

To the Raptors fans delight, the big story of the night was that Carter stunk it up. Bad. He went 0-13 from the field, missing a lot of jumpers and ended up with only 3 points. The Raps played good defense holding the Nets to 27% shooting in the first half. They were able to contain both Devin Harris and Vince Carter to a combined 17 pts where they were 4-23 from the field. Bosh looked strong in the first half, driving to the basket and getting to the line where he was 6 for 7 finshing with 18 & 5 in 30 minutes of play.

Another big story was the Raps had 6 players in double figures again. I think Triano's rotation of minutes is getting everyone out there playing and provding more scoring opportunities for everyone. Kapono, Calderon, Bosh, Graham, Bargnani and Roko were all in double figures. Jason Kapono had another good game as a starter going for 16. Joey Graham had another nice dunk as the Raps' second unit got more run as this was already a blowout in the 4th. A blowout for the Raps? Yes. It was good to see the Raps on the other side of the coin, Bosh, Calderon and Jamario sat out most of the 4th. The Raps were outrebounded by the Nets 50-37 but it was probably one of the best defensive efforts from the Raps this year.

Raps are home for the Hornets on Sunday and then the Nets again on Monday for the rubber match.


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