Tonite, the Raptors and a deviant ACC crowd defeated the Orlando Magic 108-94 in game 3 of their first round series. Behind some communist scoring (6 guys in double figures) and guard domination (Raptors guards – 56 points, Magic guards – 28 points), the Raptors guaranteed themselves a return trip to Orlando, whose crowd would have to drop a collective 1000 years and snort a kilo of blow EACH to match the absurdity put forth by the ACC crowd tonite. What a performance by the truthers. At this moment, I think Hedo is holding Dwight ever so gently in the Magic locker room. The fearless ACC laughed in the face of holy repercussions and let Howard have it. After going 14-20 in Orlando, the ACC’s verbal assault on Jesus Christ Superstar forced him to shoot 3-8 from the line. I was gettin all tingly when the Canucks’ chanting of “Howard, Howard” forced the second coming to miss two free throws in the 2nd quarter. Just phenemonal. Guy with beach towel, I salute you.
Also fascinating was TJ’s dismantling of Carlos Arroyo. I didn’t think much of Chuck’s assertion concerning Ford’s love for Carlos’ D, but Teej made him look clairvoyant during an epic three minute stretch that saw the lil Texan score 11 points on the pride of Puerto Rico. TJ has found his Manny DelCarmen. What are the odds of seeing Carlos again in this series? Large I say. TJ finished with 21 on the nite despite sitting the entire 4th.
And why did he sit? Because the Jose of the regular season made a much appreciated appearance. The spaniard was at his sauciest tonite, finding open man after open man and knocking down uncontested treys off kickouts from a doubled Bosh. It was tingling. Though Bosh only had 15 points tonite, his passing out of double teams led to numerous threes from wide open teammates. Bosh’s instincts are far superior to Dwights’ when it comes to double-team recognition. On at least 3 occasions, Howard turned the ball over after being hounded by some nice doubling. You could also tell that the ACC’s collective taunting frustrated the big man, as he commited 4 fouls away from the ball and was goaded into a 5th by some elaborate Jose dance moves.
Another key component of the victory was the reinstatement of Jamario into the starting five. Jamario went off in the 1st half, collecting a double-double and finishing off some poetic ball movement with an open trey. This success did not extend to the 2nd half however, as Jamario regressed into bad habits and started taking awful shots. He actually finished the game as the only Raptors player in the minus (-2) despite being +15 18 minutes into the game. Hopefully the Raps can avoid that dropoff in performance in future games. He did however serve his purpose, igniting the reds to a 61-40 start.
Kapones once again made his case for the final shot by putting up 11 of his 15 points in the 4th quarter to subdue a frisky Magic team that had cut the Raps’ lead to 9 at the start of the final frame. Just a treat.
Despite the fantastic result, tonite’s success just seems to reveal the faults of Sam Mitchell. Kapono’s playoff performance has made his gross misuse during the regular season even more infuriating. I mean he only played 18.9 minutes per game this year, or two less than TJ puppet Carlos Arroyo. Also, Moon’s removal from the starting 5 was also revealed to be idiotic as he played a huge role in the Raps’ hot start. I could just see the old-school Sam talking himself into benching Jamario based on his playoff inexperience, as if he forgot that he just broke the record for Rookie starts. Guys gotta go no matter what the result of the Raps playoff run.
A little foreshadowin during the game maybe. Larry Brown now available eh…