Raptors need to get a win over the Bobcats. It really is as simple as that. When you have the challenging schedule like the Raptors have faced, you must win games you are expected to win. That is what all good teams do. The fact it is a back to back, the fact Charlotte was sitting home watching the Raps win last night it doesn't matter. Just win the game. That is the mission and everyone who was in the line-up last night is back again tonight. Reggie Evans has come along for the trip even if it is just for moral support tonight. One of the things that will be of help for the Raptors was they got some quality moments from Rasho Nesterovic last night. Chris Bosh could not find away to make his jumper fall but tonight is a new night and a new chance to shine for CB4. He will have to do it with Tyson Chandler trying to stop him and the rest of the Bobcats. The Raptors and Bobcats both come in off a win over the Pacers and the both want to make it 2 wins in a row. Like the old NBA ad campaign said "there can only be one ". Time to decide who that one will be.
From Ric Flair Country WOOOOOOO!!!! It's tip time in Charlotte North Carolina!!! Raps sporting the alternate blacks for this one. Bobcats end up with it and Tyson Chandler has impact right away with the tap back for 2. Chandler would impact on D as well blocking Bosh's first attempt but Jose Calderon would get it and stick a jumper to get Raps on the board trailing 4-2. Demar DeRozan does one thing very well already in his young NBA career and that is get to the line. He makes a pair at the stripe and it is tied at 4. Stephen Jackson and Bargnani swap baskets to keep the score tied. Hedo and Jackson again for the Bobcats swap scores. A missed lay-up for Jose turns into points for Felton in transition. Bosh would get to the line and cut the Charlotte lead to just 1. But Stephen Jackson was getting heated up as he scores again. Amir Johnson said to me last night if they miss shots I will be there to get a putback or a tap in. Well Bosh missed and true to his word he taps it back in and Raps trail 13-12. Amir was not done as he runs the floor and gets a basket in transition and had 4 quick points off the bench. Raps on top 14-13.
Bobcats would take the lead on a bucket in transition and Jose Calderon would create a turnover and flip it ahead to Demar DeRozan for the easy dunk. Not big on style points but it counts for 2 points. Chandler split a pair at the line then Bosh would get to the line thanks to Chandler his second foul and he was off to the bench. Bosh would split a pair at the line and the Raps again had a 1 point lead at 17-16. It would remain that way to the official's time out at the 3 minute mark despite Jackson getting an open look in the corner. Marco Belinelli makes a sweet drop off for Amir Johnson for the flush. Johnson got a block on D but the rookie Gerald Henderson cashed in for 2 grabbing the ball of the block. Raps would get a basket and D.J Augustin would turn the ball over but the Raps could not push the lead to 5. D.J would drop a dime and Bargnani would answer with a score. Last second Jack for Jack would not fall. Raps were grinding it this one out to have a 23-20 lead after 1
Both teams were not shooting it well with Bobcats at 36% and Raps at 34.5%. They both would miss on their opening trips. Bobcats would get a block then a turnover and score off both in transition. Amir Johnson would score again to give the Raps the lead briefly. Bobcats would score to take the lead back at 26-25. After a one for two effort at the line Bargnani would score and tie it. Gerald Henderson showed you why he got some consideration to be a pick for the Raptors with a nice jam. Amir Johnson was having a good night as he scored and has 10. Bargnani gets a shooters roll for 3!!! Raps on top 32-31. Raps had no turnover in 1st and they had 4 in this quarter the latest slammed home by Henderson in transition. Another Bargnani 3 would even up at 35.
Bosh would pick up his 2nd foul with 6:01 to play but remains in the game. Turnover number 5 would lead to a Wallace jam and the bottom line was the Bobcats were scoring far to easily. Charlotte already had 19 fast break points just past the mid point of the 2nd quarter. Bobcats were nursing a 40-37 build on Raptors mistakes. Bosh was doing a solid job getting to the line even with his 2 fouls. He makes a pair and the lead was back to 1. Gerald Wallace would take a spill after being fouled by Antonie Wright. He would make both at the line. Jay Triano wanted to talk it over with the Raptors trailing 43-39. Bosh would make his way to the line again it isn't flashy but effective. When he makes the shots that is which he did. Stephen Jackson has been scoring it well as he adding to more to his total. Bargnani had a sneaky 15 points as he gets another kind role for a score. Raps were also not doing a good job on the defensive glass as the Bobcats make them pay with second chance points and lead 48-44 in the late going of the first half. To easy for Gerald Wallace. Bosh would finally score some points not from the line making his first field goal. Felton would score in response and Jack could not have an answer. Bobcats took a 6 point lead to the half leading 52-46.
Raps shot just 37.2% and Bosh had only 1 field goal. Wallace and Jackson a combined 31 points and the Bobcats put up 32 points in that 2nd quarter. DeRozan gets 2 points getting on the glass after a Jose miss from 3. Demar scored again and Raps had the lead to just 2. Bargnani missed an easy one and Bobcats would score off the miss and Diaw who had left injured earlier was back at hit an open 3. Bobcats had the largest lead of the night of 7. Hedo Turkoglu would hit a 3 pointer and shave lead back to 4. Bargnani missed another easy one with a chance to cut the lead to 2. He would pick up a foul on the other end sending Wallace to the line to the pair. Raps were not hitting shots and giving up far to easy scores to the Bobcats as Jackson drove and scored on a lay-up. DeRozan and Wallace traded baskets. Bosh would score but Jackson would answer and get fouled and the lead was 9 at 66-57. Finally as Jackson drove and dropped it for Diaw for yet another easy score that would cause Jay Triano to call a time out. The lead was back at 9 with the Raptors down 68-59.
Time out did not help an easy steal and score for an easy basket for Raymond Felton. Bobcats lead had grown to alarming 72-59. Yet another Bosh miss and the Raps were labouring badly. This game was rapidly falling out of reach. Marco Belinelli hit a 3 point to cut the lead to 12. But the Bobcats would take a turnover and get the Wallace slam in transition plus the foul. Another transition basket and Jay Triano uses yet another time out. Clipboards quiver in fear for their lives. Raptors were down 17 and showing no signs of being able to comeback. In fact quite the opposite this lead was growing and growing fast. It was 81-62 and the Raps after no turnovers in the first were giving up the ball like it had the plague. D.J Augustin drove it to the basket and scored....Bobcats were owning their paint. Fitting way to end the quarter as Amir Johnson could not make a chippy. Raps were struggling to score and defend which makes for a lethal combination. Bobcats lead 85-67 after 3.
Charlotte just keeps rolling along as they start the quarter extending the lead to 23 points. Bosh would hit a jumper just his 3rd made FG and the lead was back to 20 at 90-70 Charlotte. Bosh would get another score but it should be far to late you would thing down 18 with 10 to play. Really there is not much left to say about this one unless the Raptors find some kind of miracle. There is no evidence of that happening despite Bosh finally starting to getting rolling scoring wise. He had 18 points and 13 rebounds but despite the nice fantasy line with the double double it was not a good night for him or the Raps.
Honestly the Raptors have just become a Jekyll and Hyde act that just is getting more frustrating and troubling as this season rolls along. Raps are at 76 points at the mid point of the 4th quarter they had 74 at the half last night. The most upsetting is the defensive effort or lack of one. The Raps will fall to 7-9 and a far from good 2-7 on the road including loses to the Grizzlies and Bobcats. All of this and the next team you have to face in Boston on the road on Friday. Technically a battle of first vs second in the Atlantic Division. This was ugly and not changing as the Bobcats lead 98-76 with 5 to play. In fact the Bobcats could have had a team dunk contest with the number of throw downs the Raptors have allowed. Raps just continue to sink into the abyss trailing 105-76 with 3 to play. You can say the team got in late and this is a back to back playing a team that was waiting for you, but there has been no fight or grit from this team since the first quarter. The short of it, is everything that may have gone right last night went wrong tonight with the score getting to become a growing embarrassment. The final score is 116-81 to a team that was 4-9 coming into it. There is really no one with the possible exception Amir Johnson that can be trilled with their performance personally. Collectively it was one of the worst efforts of the season that has already had some solid candidates. Enough said. For the truly brave here is the boxscore to this train wreak