Monday, February 8th, 2010 at 9:00 am  |  25 responses

Post Up: Celtics fall to Magic

And Tyreke is really fun to watch in person.

by Holly MacKenzie / @stackmack

Let’s start this out by saying, yay Saints. Congratulations to the New Orleans Saints and their fans. I’m not a big football person, but of course I saw the game and yes, I got a little choked up when they showed the celebration afterwards. I suppose I was pulling for the Saints because they were the underdog and had a story I liked.

Because of the big game, the NBA had a very light schedule with just two games. Here in Toronto, the Raptors defeated the Kings, 115-104. And let me tell you, this girl, not a fan of 12 p.m. starts. We do a lot of 1 p.m. tip offs and even 12:30 p.m., but who knew that extra hour or half our would make such a difference.

When you’re used to settling into writing mode in the early evening, trying to get your pregame questions in during the scrums with the coaches pregame at that hour is just funny. Everyone is sort of in a haze trying to get focused and it feels ridiculously early. Only in sports, does 12 p.m. feel way too early to be getting underway.

While the Kings came out flat, they came back and put up a good fight against the Raptors before the fourth quarter collapse. Chris Bosh was awesome for the Raptors, finishing with 35 points on 14-for-18 field goals to go with 11 rebounds and five assists. Hedo Turkoglu played and wore the dreaded mask to protect the non-displaced fracture of his orbital bone and he scored 16 points as well. Andrea Bargnani had 22 and eight boards and Antoine Wright had a fantastic game off of the bench, playing some great D on Tyreke Evans and hitting six of his seven attempts from the floor.

For the Kings, Kevin Martin scored 24, Spencer Hawes had 13 points and 11 rebounds and Tyreke Evans had 11 points to go with nine assists. They also had a lot of energy –after the first quarter, when they came out sluggish as anything– and really seem to get on one another to play hard and get after it. It was fun watching them. They’re a young group, but they want it.

Tyreke Evans is something else. He’s big, he’s strong, smart, skilled. It’s seriously hard to believe that he is a rookie. From drawing fouls when shooting, to getting into the lane and either drawing fouls, being able to finish strong or kick out to an open teammate, he’s a handful. He’s also just kind of out there, doing what comes natural. You get the feeling that they’ve just let him go to see what he can do and that he hasn’t had a whole lot of structure yet. Exciting to think about, because the future’s bright for that one.

He was just really pleasant to watch. So young, yet so aware. So smooth, but so, so powerful. An interesting mix.

In Boston, the Magic pulled out the 96-89 victory over the Celtics in a come from behind victory after trailing by 11 at the half. It was a third quarter of disaster for Boston, as they gave up an 19-0 run to the Magic. Vince Carter and Dwight Howard led the way in the second half, each dropping in nine points in the third when Orlando made their move. While Boston kept it close down the stretch, Rashard Lewis sealed the game with a layup in the final minute.

Vince had 20 for the game while Dwight added 16 points and 13 rebounds. Rondo was solid in the loss for the Celtics, with 17 points, eight rebounds and nine assists. Paul Pierce played 30 minutes in his first game back and finished with 13 points. Kevin Garnett also scored 13 points and added nine rebounds.

Now, onto the performance of the weekend. In a victory against the Hornets, Russell Westbrook went off and showed everyone why he’s going to be on everyone’s radar next season. The guy scores 21 points, pulls down seven rebounds, dishes 10 assists and grabs eight steals. Yes, eight steals. Who puts up numbers like that? Chris Paul puts up numbers like that. Now, don’t think I’m comparing the two, I’m just saying, CP3 is the only other player to record eight assists in a single game this season. That’s pretty fun. Not bad company to be in, either.

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  • rish

    I love Russ, but performance of the weekend? Did we quickly forget LBJ’s 47 points on the Knicks? 24 straight points? The shots he was taking were just plain ridiculous.

  • BackInBlack

    magic are champs

  • riggs

    i think you meant 8 steals in that last paragraph there holly

  • vongustedt

    Anyone know of the top of the head whats the W/L cleveland v orlando?

  • http://Slamadamonth.com Mvp23100

    1-0 cle so far

  • Buschfire

    didn’t CB get 36? anyways, good to see the Raps are proving to all the non believers that they are a team to contend with.

  • http://aol.com Run’N'Gun 219

    kg is done. he is the next chris webber… and the funny thing is that messed up there knees going up for simple alley oops. c-web was never the same and kg hasnt been the same since.

  • http://digitalthread.com AlbertBarr

    Holly, nice observation about the lack of structure from the Kings when it comes to Tyreke and the offense…it does seem like the coaching staff just wants to get an idea of what this team can do without to much frills in the strategy. On the other side of the court though, the Raptors were getting dirty with some of their ball movement…it was clean, quick and really kept the Kings from getting many stops down the stretch. My favorite play…for some reason it was Bosh’s monster block on Donte Green that straight looked like it was going to pop the ball when it got pinned against the backboard.

  • Hoodsnake

    I think the Kings should try to trade Martin so Reke can run it *thinking*

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    Huh. The Raps proved they are a team to contend with by beating… Sacramento?

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    This is why the Raptors are still a middling team. Because our team and honestly us the fan base get all giddy after little victories like this, or after a particularly good possession… and let it get to our heads, leading to a terrible game or stupid turnover the next time round.

  • http://digitalthread.com AlbertBarr

    Hoodsnake…I agree, but I think we should wait till the offseason for some reason…although the Kings could use a shakeup right about now.

  • vtrobot

    KG w/ bad knee > Webber w/ bad knee. KG’s not quite to Sixers CWebb level yet. They better not trade Ray right now. They might be OK for one more shot at it. Then again, they might get swept out of the playoffs. It would be very sad to see KG go out like that.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    What I’m saying is this about the Raps: If we’re going to be this easily contented – like we have been for the last couple of years – with semi-decent regular season records, with just “being in the mix”, we’ll never get past the first round. We’ve set the bar terribly low. Until we start consistently beating teams and showing we can at least hang with the Hawks/Magic/Celts, especially on the road, I think we should try and not start patting ourselves on the back yet.

  • T-Money

    Perhaps my memory is failing me but wasn’t Webber putting up 20-10 on a bad wheel for the Sixers?

  • http://digitalthread.com AlbertBarr

    Yes, T-money, he was. It just wasnt a good system for him…kinda like Brand. Webber didnt get enough touches that he could then kick out to other players for good looks. C-webb wanted the ball more but it turned out Iverson was on his team.

  • http://techrepublic.com.com/ Adrian

    Hey Joel. Where are do these so-called “contented” Raptors fans reside? I haven’t spoken with a Raptor fan or read a single blog that would indicate that someone is at all happy or giddy about low seeded playoff spots or first round playoff exits. If you ever listen to the post game interviews with players you’ll hear that the guys are in a good mood; but they know they still have to clean up transition D and rebounding. You ever seen the ACC when the game isn’t going well for the home team? Crowd actually starts booing; if anything that means this sports teams’ fans have set very high expectations for this squad.

    Relative to last season, the Raptors are putting together some wins against quality teams (LA, San Antonio, Dallas) and this is what has people excited as there is a sense of a home court advantage. You’re right in that the team has to get better and more consistent on the road.

    I agree with everything you say; except for the part where you assume Raptors fans have set low expectations. If anything, we come off as a bit moody and tempermental.

  • http://www.realcavsfans.com Anton

    Big Z is in the new puppets commercial!
    “vhat’s up LeBron” LOL

  • Buschfire

    @ joel O’s:

    I didn’t state that they are a team to contend with now that they beat Sacramento, i was inferring to the several wins they have won prior to the All Star break they weren’t huge wins, but wins none the less against the Mavericks, Spurs, Lakers, & Magic….. so I would say based on their vast improvement in chemistry that they are more of a team to contend with then they have been in the near history of this team. HOWEVER I’m not looking for mediocrity, this team is horrible on Perimeter, and interior Defense….hopefully with Reggie Evans coming back into the lineup it may create a spark for the rest of the team to wake up and see their potential if their defense just improved ever so slighlty!

  • Buschfire

    Figures, i’m the most pesamistic raptors fan there is, the one time i say somthing nice about them theres one guy that tells me I’m too optomistic….lol

  • http://www.rich-imaging.com Dutch Rich

    You got to go to training camp 3 weeks early…just to learn the handshakes.

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    i was just about to say that tmoney. “done” cwebb was one of only a few to put up 20 10, every game. kg is super done. its over. meanwhile, tim duncan is having yet another stellar allnba season.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    @Adrian: Good then that you’re proving me wrong. Moody and temperamental is good, because the city definitely deserves more.

  • Jon

    DID U SEE VC’S 48?! HE’S BACK!

  • Buschfire

    I did see VC’s 48! HE WAS NEVER GONE… he just decided to Not WANT TO TRY…like how he always does….then people start to complain and he’s like oh, maybe I should show em a lil sumpin sumpin to make em happy… lazy mofo. like his shoulders are really hurting him that much…. look at Kobe playin through all injuries…