Just when you think you’ve got this team figured out, they go and put on a performance like this. I’m a little dumbfounded, but I’m impressed. Anyway, let’s skip a lengthy preamble because it’s three in the bloody a.m. as I type this. Don’t ask.

Six thoughts: I has them. Opulence: I hasn’t.

1. DeMar DeRozan had his best game of the season, without question. He was confident, intelligently aggressive, and flat-out dominant at times. Naturally, he collided with Jose Calderon on a block attempt with about three minutes to go in the game and promptly hopped/limped right into the locker room. He’s probably OK, but I’m starting to think that one of the Raptors fans in Tank Nation has some voodoo dolls with Raptors jerseys on them.

2. Andrea Bargnani played like he the pre-injury Andrea who seemed to give a crap every game. That was nice to see. I’m pretty Zen about Bargnani these days. I try to ignore him when he plays like crap and doesn’t crash the boards, and I appreciate his talent when he drops a 20-spot or so with apparent ease. Of course, it helps that this entire Raptors season doesn’t really matter. In fact, that’s the entire reason I have this attitude about him right now.

3. Fun fact: Steve Novak shot 5-for-9 on three-pointers, while the rest of the Knicks missed all 23 attempts. Dwane Casey had the Raptors play a lot of zone defense and the Knicks apparently thought they could obliterate it with long bombs. Yeah, not so much.

4. Anytime Leo Rautins is working a Raptors game, I know he’s going to go out of his way to defend the big men and criticize the guards any chance he gets. I don’t know what his deal is, but he played with Andrew Toney and Mo Cheeks in Philly so I hope he doesn’t believe it’s their fault he didn’t have a more successful NBA career. Anyway, here’s something he said tonight after Bargnani was correctly called for a foul on a moving screen: “We see them several times a game, and I’d say 80 percent of the time it’s the guard at fault.”

5. J.R. Smith is a disaster. Is this really a surprise to anyone? “Oooohhhh, loogit! He can dunk nice and he’s got swag!” He’s an idiot and he’s going to hurt your team more than he’ll help it. You can’t convince me otherwise.

6. Jose Calderon’s reaction when Carmelo Anthony “tackled” him in the first quarter might have been the funniest thing I’ve seen in a Raptors game this season. Carmelo tried to wrap up Jose as he drove down the lane, and Jose went down pretty hard. When ‘Melo reached out to offer to help him up, Jose sprung up and waved his arms around while screaming, “WHAT THE FUCK?!?” Pure gold. Part of me will miss the fiery Spaniard when he’s gone.

Raptors Player of the Game: DeMar DeRozan — 30 Pts, 11-17 FG, 8-9 FT 3 Reb, 1 Ast

Knicks Player of the Game: Amare Stoudemire — 17 Pts, 6-12 FG, 5-11 FT, 6 Reb, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

Comments (8)

  1. what? no love for our bigs?
    Gray started off and took over under the basket…then amir came in aand acted like a power forward, even giving fun drives to the basket.
    They made everybody see chandler is a benifactor of playing with great people…cause he is NOT.

  2. Although I’m not one to defend Leo and the hand full of “wisdom nuggets” he repeats every game (“Don’t leave your feet to block a shot!! I played for Syracuse, Dicky B ejected me once!)
    He has a bit of the point about the screens (not saying he was 100% accurate about last night, just screens in general).
    If the big is heading to location X at the top of the key to screen for a guard, and the guard makes his move before the big finishes getting in position at location X, the guard will be running his defender into a moving Big, and the big will get charged for the foul.

    • Also hate to agree with Rautins, but when Jose uses a screen before it’s there and the big has hip check the screenee in order to slow him down and gets called for a foul, that’s kinda Jose’s fault.

    • Playing “My Player” mode into 2K12 has taught me that point.

    • Are you disagreeing with Leo in saying “Don’t leave your feet to block a shot!!” ?

      He’s right. When your contesting a shot from the perimeter, you’re not supposed to jump and try and block it. Just get your hands up and make the shooter shoot over you instead of into you, which makes the shot even tougher than it already is without drawing a foul.

      But right about the screens. Jose didn’t wait for Gray to set the screen.

      • Not disagreeing with the the idea fundamentally, my two issues with it are: 1. The frequency with which he says it
        2. He always goes on about how he doesn’t understand why they ever do it because they rarely if ever block the shot. While that’s true he never mentions the extra height you get from jumping can alter the shot causing the miss. While it’s true a lot of guys do it too much and are undisciplined, it can be effective if your smart about it. Leo only brings it up on foul calls and not when it successfully altered a shot causing a miss.

  3. Outside of 5 min in the 1st and 5 min in the 2nd, New York just didn’t seem to care. No real effort. Don’t get too worked up about this being a ‘great win’.

    It is looking more and more like the Raptors will be picking 9th instead of 4th or 5th. A sad talent drop off going that low. OK, so it is DDs turn to be injured for 10 days. Hoping BC got to him with the message before he spoke to the media.

    That said, nice to see DD’s extra effort yesterday. Can we at least have that version show up every game next season? Still no rebounds or assists, questionable D, but at least he was doing what he should be doing every game on O. Everyone was talking about Bargs return to form. I saw some improvement, but nothing huge yet. But keep it up Bargs. Ed Davis. Where are ya big fella? Aaron Grey. Sure hope BC gets him cheap for another year or two. He would be a great mentor/starter/backup with Val. Quite frankly, he is probably the minimum salary piece that Miami needed to win this year. Can’t wait to see who steps up to keep baby bron from another ring this year.

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