Sunday’s win over the Nets was a red herring. It’s going to be a festival of losing in Toronto while the Raptors wait for Andrea Bargnani to return. The Raptors adorably kept it close until halfway through the second quarter, but then the much more talented Hawks turned up the heat and coasted to a comfortable 23-point win.
Presumably, you’re here to read my thoughts on this bummer of a game. All right, if you insist.
1. Joe Johnson had averaged 30 points in his previous three games against the Raptors and he dropped another 30 on them tonight, on 13-of-18 shooting. No one Raptor deserves the brunt of the blame for this, since Dwane Casey tried to use different guys on him with no success whatsoever. It’s clear that nobody on this team can guard him.
2. DeMar DeRozan obviously didn’t have a great night (nine points on 3-for-9 shooting in 34 minutes) but it didn’t seem like his teammates were making much of an effort to get him the ball. Hey, it’s not like he was coming off his best game of the season going into tonight. Oh, wait…
3. Ed Davis was the lone bright spot for the Raptors tonight. He finished with his first double-double of the season and showed the kind of hustle that he needs to exhibit to earn minutes from Dwane Casey.
4. I noticed that some people still boo Tracy McGrady at the Air Canada Centre. Really? It’s been over a decade. I think Jennifer Aniston will get over Brad Pitt before some Raptors fans will get over a player who doesn’t pledge allegiance to their franchise for life.
5. I wasn’t aware that Kirk Hinrich was rocking the safety goggles now, but there isn’t another NBA player who I would be less surprised to see wearing those. He could start shooting free throws underhanded, Rick Barry style, and I wouldn’t blink.
6. The Hawks are now 9-2 since they lost Al Horford — arguably their best player — to a torn pectoral muscle. It seems like they’re being overlooked as a darkhorse contender in the East, and I’m sure they wouldn’t want it any other way. They’ve got some of that same kind of steeze that the Mavericks had during the 2010-11 regular season. Of course, there is one fairly significant difference between the two teams. Joe’s a’ight, but he ain’t Dirk.
Raptors Player of the Game: Ed Davis — 26 MP, 11 Pts, 4-6 FG, 3-3 FT, 11 Reb, 1 Stl, 1 Blk
Hawks Player of the Game: Joe Johnson — 30 MP, 30 Pts, 13-18 FG, 3-5 3Pt, 1-1 FT, 2 Reb, 4 Ast,