Thursday, March 18, 2010
Batman and Robin(s)
The headline on NBA.Com?
Bosh Saves The Day
But for those who actually took in the game last night, they know what really happened. Sure, if you want to get technical, then yes - Bosh did save the day. After all, it was he who was relied on in the clutch situations of last night's game. Two of the final three possessions went through Bosh, and consequently, CB4 converted those 2 possessions into buckets. Bosh also managed to eclipse the 10,000 point mark - the first ever Raptor to do so. But there was no doubt in the minds of Raptors fans everywhere, that with our backs up against the ropes, there was no bigger pair of points than this particular bucket:
Yet - could Bosh's shining moment have been made possible without the help of his team? Most definitely not.
Going into the 4th quarter, Bosh had a petty 6 points. For most of the game, the Raptors' captain did not look like the All-Star we had been spoiled with throughout the season. There wasn't any explosion in his first step. His jumpers were short. And the emotion wasn't there for about 44 minutes of the game. Some will quickly say "Who can blame him?" And those same people would be justified, because this team has let him down one too many times.
Going into last night's bout, anyone and everyone pegged Atlanta to blow Toronto out of the water for the third straight meeting, and perhaps Bosh did as well. Fortunately for Raptors Nation, Bosh's teammates had other ideas. While Bosh was practically invisible on the court and the stat sheet for about 3 quarters, his team stepped up and matched the Hawks punch for punch.
Bargnani - someone often criticized for not being able to provide the load when Bosh went down with injury - was perhaps the best player for Toronto last night. The Italian finished the opening quarter with 11 points, and ultimately the game with 22 points and 11 rebounds.
The young rookie DeMar DeRozan finally became that athletic wing player the Raptors have so desperately coveted. He played respectable defense (despite Crawford filling it up) and constantly attacked the rim. The fast break points he provided was something that I felt wasn't applauded enough.
Believe it or not - but Turk also made his case for most effective Raptor of the night as well. His shot showed signs of coming back to form in Portland, and luckily for us, it seemed to have traveled with him back to Toronto. He made plays, rebounded, and even dove for a couple of loose balls. On top of that, he even got out of that 1st quarter without recording a foul! Canada's "Do You Believe" campaign can now finally end
Lastly. Let's give it up to someone who has been under constant fire since the Raptors went into a downward spiral. Though not an actual player on the roster, this specific individual also played his part in setting up Bosh for his game winner. Congratulations Jay Triano! After drawing a foul, Hedo Turkoglu went to the line in an attempt to tie the game. Before the second free throw, Triano subbed in Amir Johnson for rebounding purposes. Turk surprisingly missed the second shot, which Amir (unsurprisingly) quickly tracked down before scrambling for the loose ball amidst the overwhelming number of Hawks players around him. The result? Toronto regaining possession with 10 seconds left.
Make no mistake about it, Chris Bosh isn't the only one on this team who cares about winning. Bosh felt like the route of calling his team out in the media was what was necessary, and his teammates responded. Sure, you can point out the fact that Bosh has certainly carried his team more often than his team has carried him, but why keep score? The main point that was made last night was that this team isn't ready to give up on Bosh or on the city.
Success and failure are usually placed on opposite ends of the spectrum; when they shouldn't be. Because at the end of the day, they're companions, like the hero and the sidekick. And on this night against the Atlanta Hawks, Bosh couldn't have saved the day like Batman without his army of Robins.