Some Game 1 thoughts
Wasn’t that something? I swear if Stan Van Gundy had put a uniform, he’d have made a three-pointer.
Action: Bargnani starts.
Reaction: Bewilderment. Followed by a yawn, really.
It was a gamble, no doubt. Sam’s explanation – Bargnani played well in the playoffs last year, having him out there with Bosh would deny the Magic a chance to post-up Hedo or Lewis – makes marginal sense.
But it didn’t address the defensive matchup problem, which is Bosh on Lewis. And it’s not like the Raptors were doing anything to get Bargnani more involved in the offence.
One thing it did was, effectively, cut the rotation by one (Moon’s four minutes were inconsequential) and I’m all for that. A seven and a half-man rotation (Calderon and one of Delfino-Kapono) isn’t that bad in my opinion.
The move also smelled of a way to get Bargnani going and if that was the case, it certainly didn’t work. Five points, eight shots? Hardly the production they’d expect.
Not sure Moon could have given them much more, although he is a quicker defender on the perimeter.
Trouble is, now do they go back to Moon? Or stay with the group that gave up 43 first-quarter points? I’d stick with this one for one more game. But it did not cost them the game.
Action: Dwight Howard shows up.
Reaction: Most Raptors cower.
That was the quietest 20-20 game I’ve ever seen and if the Magic had thrown the ball to Howard a dozen more times, we might have seen a 40-30 game. His ability to shrug off defenders and hit the offensive glass is stunning. I have no idea how the Raptors will deal with him, and they don’t either.
"The thing we have to do a better job of is keeping him off the glass. It’s easy for me to sit here and say it but I don’t have to do it. Our guys understand what we have to do and we’ve got to do a much better job of keeping him off the offensive glass,” said Sam.
Here’s the thing: Mitchell’s right. Howard’s going to get 15 or 20 defensive boards a game, he’s that good; if they hold him to six on the offensive glass, that’s about as good as they can hope.
The view from the south.
How the Orlando Sentinel had it.
Another dark day. As we’re searching the record book after the 43-point first quarter, it points out the 43’s the most in a first quarter ever and but the 60 in a first half is two off the all-time record. Those other two marks were established in the same game, a May 16, 2001 121-88 loss to the Sixers in Game 5 of that series.
Action: Raptors play zone.
Reaction: Orlando smiles.
Three possessions in the first quarter, all after made baskets. First possession Bosh gets a steal and Raptors score. Second: Maurice Evans hits an open three. Third: Rashard Lewis hits an open three.
Action: Kapono shoots
Reaction: We are shocked.
Yes, that was Jason Kapono taking six three-pointers and making four.
The shot he made to make it 88-83 (as close as they’d get, of course) was exactly the kind of play he should have been making all year. On the catch, he pumped faked Hedo Turkoglu, got him off the ground but instead of heading to the rim to meet big men and being forced to shoot that runner of his, he stepped back and to the side and drilled a three.
That’s what they’re paying him $24 million to do.
Oh, a word to The Chicken, who I’m told knows what goes on around here. The Orlando Dragon made his arrival coming down from the arena ceiling. Not sure you can do that in the ACC but I hope he/she/it is trying to come up with something special for Thursday.
Action: Raptor point guards supposed to shine.
Reaction: Not so much.
I can’t remember a game when both Ford and Calderon were so normal. No idea why they didn’t guard Jameer Nelson and Keyon Dooling the length of the floor but that’s something I’d like to see them try tomorrow night.
Oh, and making some shots would be a good idea. Four-for-20 is not going to cut it.
Trouble is, I get sneaking suspicion that Ford might try to show everyone that he’s got his game turned around by Game 2 and that’s a dangerous proposition.
Magic officials told us after the game there were about 3,000 tickets left for Tuesday night. Anyone coming? See you there.