Game Recap: Raptors 116, Kings 91

It was really interesting to hear Bryan Colangelo today on Prime Time Sports. He talked a lot about the need for a guy like TJ, who currently is working out with John Lucas and getting back into the game mentally. He also talked about his disappointment with Bargnani, but also reiterated that Bargnani remains a key piece of the team, and that Dirk Nowitzki also encountered similar problems in his rookie year when he adjusted towards a new playing style. The important thing is that Bryan has this understanding about balancing a need for the future, while still making sure there’s hope for the present. A guy like TJ Ford would probably have guaranteed that the Raptors would have won at least a few more games in December, and he recognizes that while the Raptors need a big, hard-nosed body in the middle, he’s not willing to take a huge contract, nor is he willing to take someone who can’t shoot free throws.

In any case, looking at players we do have, it was nice to see Bargnani come out and give some effort on both ends of the floor. Even though the crowd got restless throughout the game, he didn’t let them bother him and managed to keep going to the boards and try and create something throughout the day. Though it didn’t show up in his scoring, Bargnani did try to attack the interior of the Kings, something that he has to be more consistent in. Heck, I’d love it if the coaching staff could get him a tape of Kevin Martin’s performance and get him to copy it almost exactly the same as far as drawing fouls is concerned.

In what can be categorized as the first full effort in a long time, and the first convincing complete win of the new year, the Raptors completely put the Kings away on the defensive end, while consistently shooting a high percentage from all over the floor. Oh yeah, the Raptors also managed to out rebound the Kings by 13, in no small part thanks to players like Jamario Moon crashing the glass.

So, at the end of the day, we can all say that the Raptors kept a good team down. Guys like Carlos Delfino and Jason Kapono contributed mightily to the effort as Carlos had a career night and Kapono gave a good effort on both ends of the floor. Calderon also played exceptionally well and Bosh managed to soften up the Kings from the inside and outside, leading to his incredible shooting efficiency. Of course, the Raptors were also slightly lucky that the Kings were not a stronger rebounding team, or the entire game would have held a different story. With Mike Bibby returning and shooting unconsciously from all over the floor, and Kevin Martin doing his best Reggie Miller impersonation, the Raptors wings had trouble covering the most effective Kings on the court. But you can’t win every battle all, and the Raptors hit the Kings where it counted the most.

Looking ahead, the Raptors will have a nice revenge game against the Hawks on Friday. It’s a no-brainer, but the Hawks are a team the Raptors should be able to take advantage of and there should definitely be an air of retribution for their fallen player, TJ Ford. It definitely was a mistake on Al Horford’s part, but anything the Raptors can use to fire themselves up for the game and insure that they attack the Hawks from the inside is good in my book.

Next Game: Atlanta @ Toronto

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4 thoughts on “Game Recap: Raptors 116, Kings 91

  1. KY,

    Good win, and it was the most complete. Especially Thanks to Artest for making sure the his Kings cannot comeback for his team chemistry killing, ill-advised jumpers. Those Kings NEEEED a TRADE!

    About the next game against atlanta I hope a hard foul comes to Horford, but make sure it is not counted falgrant or up to a type 1 flagarant. Horford is a nice guy though and give credit he IS the subtle reason they are at 0.500, but it will be a good way of letting him “learn” the game the hard way.

  2. forgot to mention the Kings were introducing two big ball pounders in the team which killed chemistry. if it was the kings from the previous game they played, I think this game would have been a different story.

  3. Great win and nice to see Andrea trying to improve. Hate to quibble, but Parker was turning over the ball quite often last night. I agree that we need to put bodies on Horford to pay him back for taking out my man TJ. Finally, I hope Colangelo was genuine when he said that TJ’s coming back in the near future.

  4. Anthony – Yup, I’m not saying the Raptors need to be thugs, but a little love tap might do some good. Show some toughness, etc…

    Dude – It really was a non-factor. Bibby was great, and the Raptors killed them from the inside out, something that the Kings have a weakness in regardless if they’re reintroducing players.

    TFan – Colangelo doesn’t have an ETA though, which makes it a little worrisome, because reading between the lines of what he said, there’s some mental aspect of what’s going on, which is why TJ’s in the Lucas camp again getting his confidence back . And yeah, Parker does have a tendency to turn to ball over.

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