You should just call this game the “mental error game” and be over with it. After all, there hasn’t been a game in recent memory that has had more crazy calls and mistakes on the floor. The 12:30 start might have something to do with it, but let’s be real. Jamario Moon giving the Blazers that four point play at the end of regulation? The refs missing a ton of fouls, including a 3-point shot by Delfino and Parker’s defensive interference in the corner not to mention the up and down in the fourth? Then you also have Andrea Bargnani’s consistently blown defensive assignments and help defense woes? It’s been quite some time since I’ve seen something like this.
Nevertheless, it was Bosh that threw down almost 40 points yet again, and willed his team to victory when they seemed lack luster. Finally getting to the free throw line in the fourth, he began to methodically pick apart the Trailblazers in overtime. Calderon provided some missing offense along with Anthony Parker, and the Raptors finally managed to put away the Trialblazers after an additional two overtime sessions. For the day, Delfino was the guy that came off the bench and helped alleviate Andrea Bargnani’s inconsistency of the day. Pulling down eight rebounds, playing serviceable defense on Brandon Roy and being the first Raptor to the line, Delfino finally truly came out of his funk by being aggressive on both ends of the floor. At the end of the day, he was the x-factor of the afternoon that stepped up to the challenge.
That’s not to say that Portland didn’t do their job against the Raptors. Channing Frye and Brandon Roy both proved to be hands full for the entire night with their scoring prowess. Then, you added the rebounding of Portland against the Raptor’s lack of rebounding, and you has a game where the Raptors should have put away Portland several times over, especially since they were shooting a full seven percent higher than Portland. Nevertheless, Portland is showing a lot of the same characteristics that the Raptors have shown last year. Winning at home, keeping games close on the road to give themselves a chance at winning. It’s a formula that’s helped the Trailblazers turn their fortunes around from a year ago.
So that makes it three in a row, and the Raptors finally have some traction. I do not have any illusions against Detroit in the upcoming game, especially since they will be looking to redeem themselves after an absolutely horrible performance against the Knicks yesterday. The question is, can the Raptors maintain their competitive edge, and continue to build upon their winning formula of the past few games? Against Detroit, the Raptors face a team that is possibly better than they are at every single position except for power forward and center. (If Bargnani has a good game that is.) As a result, the Raptors will find themselves in a difficult position to compete against them. However, as the Knicks proved, Detroit does have difficulties scoring, so if the Raptors manage to play a high tempo, high scoring game, Detroit may just find themselves on the short end of a very long stick.
Next Game: Toronto @ Detroit