By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
Putting The Clamps on Motown
Normal 0TORONTO (BASN) — Close to 18,000 fans were in attendance Wednesday night to cheer on their beloved Raptors. And even though there were a lot of empty seats in the Air Canada Centre, the Raptors gave Toronto something to talk about with a 110-99 win over the Detroit Pistons.
For the second night in a row the Pistons played without forward Tayshaun Prince (sore back) and guard Richard Hamilton (sprained right ankle).
But even with those two out of the starting lineup Raptors star Chris Bosh knew getting the win would not be easy.
“Those are the most dangerous teams to play when their stars are out cause guys get to step up and show what they can do and their ability,’ said Bosh after the game. ‘It’s the NBA you will get beat if you underestimate teams.”
And what a mistake it would have been if the Raptors underestimated newly acquired Ben Gordon.
Gordon impressed many with his stellar performance in the first round of the ’08-’09 eastern conference playoffs when he was in Chicago.
His performance against the Boston Celtics was unbelievable and Wednesday night was no exception as he led all scorers with a season-high 30 points.
Gordon was clearly on fire but he was no match for the Raptors big men.
In the opening quarters Toronto fans saw CB4 continue to dominate the paint after an impressive 35-point performance against Orlando.
It didn’t take long to see how much Detroit missed the inside presence of Rasheed Wallace, now a member of the Boston Celtics.
Without Wallace virtually no one who could guard Bosh deep in the paint including ex-teammate Charlie Villanueva.
A much more focus and aggressive Bosh finished the game with 25 points and went 15-of-20 from the free-throw line.
Andrea Bargnani had a monster game with 22 points and a career high 12 boards and like always Hedo Turkoglu was impressive nailing key shots late in the game.
There’s no question the big three came to play but let’s not forget Antoine Wright who did his thing from off the bench.
Wright who missed most of pre-season due to a knee injury found his rhythm on the court and chipped in 12 points in 16 minutes.
However, Wright had an opportunity to add more to his stat line instead he declined Coach Jay Triano’s offer to re-enter the game late in the fourth.
“I want to win,” said an unselfish Wright. “My whole career I’ve been on winning teams and I know what it takes. When you got a unit like Jack and Jose[Calderon] rolling, I told coach[Triano] keep them out there. “
Toronto rolled on to get the win but the 9 points -1 assist performance from starting point guard Jose Calderon raised a few questions in the locker room.
” I think he’s just trying to adjust to their [Turkoglu and DeMar DeRozan's] style of play and also trying to fit himself into the equation as well,” said Toronto’s back up point guard Jarrett Jack.
Bosh added, “[Calderon] just has to keep his head up. It happens. I know he wants to play well every game and It’s not going to happen every game.”
With the win, the Raptors became the first team this season to score more than 100 points over the Detroit Pistons.
Notes: Friday night, Toronto extended their winning streak to two with a 107-90 victory over the New Orleans Hornets. Chris Paul scored 21 points and had 18 assists but he was no match for Toronto’s Chris Bosh who led all scorers with 27 points.