I highly debated if I should continue watching March Madness and just watch the recap in an hour of this one. However after much debate I am here for the Bobcats and Raptors. I figured who beyond me would watch this one so it might actually be on of those times where a Raptor Rewind would be important. Well as important as it can be for a team that is heading to the NBA lottery. At the start of this season that team you would have figured would be the Charlotte Bobcats. But they are very much alive in the playoff race as the Raptors are barely hanging on to a pulse. They looked every bit that team when they took on the Bobcats on Monday. I can only pray I will be rewarded for my dedication with at least an entertaining game to talk about. Let's hope so anyway. I am missing the Madness for this. My bracket is taking some shots but my final four is very much alive. James Harden was not that impressive today for all the folks calling for him to be a Raptor. Whoever and where ever the Raptors select they need to pick the best player available that is the bottom line. For tonight the bottom line is effort with a large E. Need to see some. Will we? We are about to find out.
Bobcats win the tip and away we go. Bobcats have a couple chances to score and do not but kept possession and eventually score on a Gerald Wallace dunk. Jose Calderon scores and Raps create a turnover but can't turn it into points. Wallace another dunk and Bobcats lead 4-2. He is fighting through pain and keeps playing. Raps turn the ball over and Okafor gets the easy score inside. Wallace is fouled and heads to the line looking to add to an early lead which he does going 2 for 2. Bosh answers the Bobcat 6-0 run with a basket. But Bobcats offer a quick reply and it is 10-4 Bobcats. After the teams exchange misses Gerald Wallace drives and scores with pretty much no one willing to stop him. Time out Toronto.
Bosh out of time out has his shot blocked and go out off him. Bobcats quickly score and lead by 10. Andrea Bargnani answers with a 3 point and cuts the lead to 14-7. Boris Diaw one of the new Bobcats gets a basket to extend the lead. Bargnani answers with a 2 point effort. Felton answers that with a quick 2. Graham happy to learn OSU got a win gets 2 points for the Raps. But Bobcats fire right back and there is no D in Toronto that I have seen of yet. Anthony Parker attempts to make this a game, making an open three ball. But as things have been of late Raymond Felton answers with a 3 of his own. Bosh makes a pair at the line and the Bobcats lead 23-16.
Raja Bell cranked up a 3 ball but missed it. Raps can't cut the lead. Bobcats are showing hustle and Raps are sleep walking. Bargnani missed in the lane and Joey Graham cleans up the mess in relief of Shawn Marion who was taken out early by Triano. Bobcats answer the Raptors score to maintain a 7 point lead. Pops checks in for CB4. Calderon fouled and makes a pair at the line. Wallace draws a foul on the other end and heads to the line. He splits a pair and Bargnani is fouled on the other end. He is 2 for 2. Okafor scores on inside guarded by Pops on D. Wallace draws a foul and Triano gets teched up. Who knew Jay Triano was so fiery. He has got more techs than Sam Mitchell ever did. Sam was known for talking but he rarely got teched up for it. After the tech and free throws Bobcat lead was 9. Raptors would score to cut the lead to 7 and after a Bobcat miss have a chance to cut lead to 5 after one. But would not and in fact the Bobcats would add to the lead. Bobcats lead 33-24 after one.
Bosh is fouled and heads to the line to start the second. He makes a pair and the lead was 7 points again. Raymond Felton answers with a score plus a foul. Bobcat lead was back to 10 points. Make that a dozen and I am rapidly regretting my choice not to stick with the Madness. Diaw would score and after the Bosh free throws the Bobcats had rattled off a run to lead by 14. This season is just painful to watch at this point. I would be interested to see the Ratings for March Madness in comparison to this game. I am thinking it would be shockingly bad for the Raptors much like the effort on the floor to this point.
Shawn Marion gets his first basket out of the time out to end the Bobcat run. Diaw drives and draws a foul on CB4 but non shooting and Bobcats don't get a score. But no worries Raptors turn it over and give it right back they have already racked up 7. Diaw would drive and score and Raps would answer but still were down 12 and showing 0 defensive pride. Bosh would get a score and cut the lead to 10. Marion would get a score and the lead was down to 8.
Bobcats were finally cooling off and Raps were taking advantage a bit. Bosh would draw a foul and Raptors were making a push to get back in this game. Bosh made both and lead was down to 6. Oakfor would put a stop to the Raptors run with an easy score and the lead was back to 8 with score 44-36. Bosh is fouled and at the line makes a pair. D.J Augstin the drive and score to keep the lead at 8. Raps would get a Bargnani score and had a chance to cut the lead even more. Bosh would do just that as he had 14 and the Raptors trailed by the number on his jersey. But a 3 pointer for the Bobcats would make the lead 7 once more. Radmanovic doing the damage. Raps were staying in this by making free throws they were perfect at the line and got 2 more. Bosh would get fouled again and he could actually cut the Bobcat lead down to 1 if he made both. Which he did and Raps were down just 49-48. Felton would make a much needed jump shot for the Bobcats. Calderon a brutal miss and Bobcats had chance to score again but could not. But an easy Parker miss and Gerald Wallace would draw a foul and split a pair at the line. Calderon would drive and score and the lead was 2 and Bobcats would get a last chance to respond. An Augustin chuck at buzzer would not fall. Bobcats leas 52-50 at the half. Bosh with 20 for the home side.
Marion was denied by Gerald Wallace to start the second half. But Bargnani would make a basket after a Bobcats failed first possession. 52 all...and worth noting Bobcats only have 10 road wins on the year. While I type that the Bobcats score to restore a 2 point advantage. Okafor would pick up 2 quick fouls and had 4 in the game and take a seat. Parker would score after Oakfor checked out. Felton would answer and Bobcats leasd 56-54. Wallace would hit a 3 pointer as he was wide open and would take advantage. He would score again driving the the basket and a 7-0 run Bobcats and lead was 7. Bosh would make a couple jumpers with a bobcat score in between them and it was 63-58 Bobcats.
Felton with the easy drive and score off the screen and roll. Bosh was doing all he could to keep Raps in the game as he would answer. Bobcats would turn the ball over with a 5 point lead 65-60. Parker would get fouled non shooting and a time out on the floor. Raps would fail to convert after the break. Felton drives and Bosh would make him change the shot and he missed it. Calderon was left in the dust again by Felton a theme of the evening. Bosh an ill advised jumper would not fall. Give and go play would lead to a score for Brois Diaw who now had 22 in the game. Bobcats leading it 67-60. Calderon would score on the drive. Charlotte would answer with a quick score. Bargnani would comeback with a 3 ball for the Raptors cutting the lead to 4. Bobcats a miss and Pops on the glass gets it. He would get an offensive board on the other end but travel before passing it to Marion.
Bobcats fail to cash in on the turnover and Bargnani would draw the foul on the other end. He would split a pair and the Bobcat lead was trimmed to 3. Diaw would score in the lane over Bosh. Bargnani would answer on the other end for the Raptors. Wallace would return the favour for the Bobcats. He would get a steal and a slam and end the back and forth giving the Bobcats a 8 point lead with score 76-68. The Raptors had never lead in this game and looked like Bobcats were determined to keep it that way. Bobcats split a pair at the line. Jose a miss from 3 and Graham would clean up the mess with a score. But Bobcats would add to the lead and end the quarter up 82-70.
Wide open look for 3 does not fall for Felton to start the 4th. Kapono would get called for a foul on the offensive end. Wallace took the ball from Bosh and would draw the foul on Bosh as the 2 would riun the other way off the turnover. Diaw would score in the post on the possession off the turnover. Bobcats missed on a lay up that could have made it a 16 point lead. Marion missed on offensive he was a sorry 2 of 8 and Raptors were looking primed for another loss. Bosh taking a 3 pointer was not going to change that. Diaw would score agian the Bobcats had largest lead of night with score 86-70.
After Raps would trail by 18 they would score back to back baskets and cut it down to 14 points. Mark Ivaroni was in the house and got a on camera appearnce on the broadcast. Meanwhile Bargnani would hit a 3 with his new coach watching on? Regardless Raps had cut lead to 11 and the very much employed Larry Brown would call a time out. D.J Augstin would get it done out of time out and this game was pretty much settled. Wallace would take a hip check from Bargnani and was not happy about it. He may have been more shocked than anything. Good for Andrea. Raps were out of it down 16 but they need more of that and honestly they needed it long before now. D.J Augstin with a drive and score and Bobcats lead was 18 and this thing was all over but the final score. Bobcats have got back on track with 3 straight wins after this. They had lost 3 straight prior to the Raptors visit on Monday, 2 wins over the Raps and a win over the Kings in the middle and Bobcats are still in the playoff hunt. Raptors would cut the lead to 11 with just over 2 minutes to play but the damage had been done. A wide open 3 ball would make it 102-86 and all that was left to do is determine the final score. The final score would be 102-89. Bosh had 35 but had little help beyond Andrea Bargnani who had 27. Diaw and Wallace both had 30 to lead the Bobcats.
Raptors play Clippers on Sunday and if they can't win that I mean really what can you say. I mean it really has all been said at this point.