Can you believe that a 10-14 team is tops in the Atlantic? That is the case as the Raps beat the Warriors 120-115 at the ACC in another well-deserved team win. Much like the Nets game, six players ended up in double figures with Morris Peterson leading the way with 23. Recapping the game is pointless (NBA.com can do that for you) but its worthy to mention that TJ Ford for Charlie Villanueva trade is paying dividends. Ford has shown that he is truly capable of being a starting PG in the league and his pass-first attitude is making the likes of Rasha Nesterovic and Anthony Parker look good. I can’t also complete this entry without mentioning Bargnani had six real blocks in the game and was a legitimate force on either end of the floor. Personally, I thought he was more impressive today than he was against Orlando.
However, the most impressive player on the court was Monta Ellis (28, 2, 3) whose explosive quickness and deft outside touch were causing the Raps fits as nobody could come close to staying in front of him. Lucky for the Raps, he missed two late FT’s which would’ve cut the lead to three with less than four minutes to play. The 40th pick in the draft who I’ve admittedly never heard off seems like a steal similar to Gilbert Arenas for the Warriors. In two years, this guy might be the best scoring PG in the league.
Celebrations were cut short when Jose Calderon went down after contesting for a defensive rebound under the rim. He had to be stretchered off after what seemed like a harmless play.
The other reason celebrations were cut short was the schedule. Starting Tuesday the Raptors will play four games in five nights on the road against Western conference competition including the Suns which have won 14 straight. If the Raps manage to come back 2-2, Sam Mitchell might be awarded Coach of the Year in December. With the precarious and ever changing nature of the Titanic division, it becomes imperative for the Raptors not to come back empty handed and allow any negative distance to be created between themselves and Boston, New Jersey and New York.
Raptors four game road trip:
- Phoenix – Tuesday
- LA Clippers – Wednesday
- Portland – Friday
- Seattle – Saturday
The winnable game here might be the struggling Sonics which are missing Ray Allen.