For 36 minutes, this was one of the ugliest games I've ever seen. From both squads, it was turnover, after turnover, after air-ball, after turnover. Despite the Raptors futility, the Hornets managed to play even worse, as the Raptors finished the third quarter with a three point lead.
In the fourth, however, it all changed. John Lucas happened. Rudy Gay happened. And then John Lucas happened again, and again, and again. The Raptors bench took full control, as Toronto grabbed a double-digit lead to start the quarter and never looked back.
MVP: John Lucas III
Rudy Gay, Amir Johnson, JV and Lowry all played solid games, but tonight's MVP goes to none other than John Lucas III. Despite some early-game struggles, Lucas came out on fire in the second half, recording 13 points on 7-10 shooting and 3-3 from beyond the arc, just in the second half. Ten of those points came in the fourth quarter where he did the majority of his damage, as he hit dagger after dagger to prevent a Hornets comeback.
John Lucas is a chucker. When his shots are falling, the opponents have nightmares, and when his shots aren't falling, here at RaptorsHQ, we have nightmares. And today, his shots were falling.
Best Comment: via the.dark.knight & ppellico
Referring to John Lucas' playing style:
the.dark.knight: "He's like a poor man's Nate Robinson sometimes"
ppellico: "Very poor"
LVP: Alan Anderson
Remember Ander-sanity? When Anderson was a focal point of our offense, and a clear fan favorite? Feels like years ago.
Recently, Alan Anderson has been added to our list of offensive liabilities, to go along with Gray, Pietrus and on off days, Landry Fields. Congrats! Since the Rudy Gay trade, Anderson has shot an abysmal 7-31 from the field, and 1-10 from the three point line. He's been trying to "do too much", as Jack Armstrong puts it, and has been a turnover machine as of late. Despite his struggles, Anderson has continued to put up shots, which is generally a good way to get out of a slump, unless, of course, you just keep missing.
Anderson needs to realize that with Gay on the squad, he's no longer needed to put up double digit points each night. He's getting minutes due to his defensive prowess, but needs to be less selfish on the offensive end, if he wants to stay in the game.
- After Alan Anderson made his first bucket of the game, Jack said frustratingly, "That's been a rarity."
- Rod mentioned Ross' involvement in the dunk contest, to which Leo responded "He doesn't have to play defense there... that's a good thing."
- Jack must have mentioned that Tyler Hansbrough was a hack, at least five times during this game. I'd love to see a fight between the two.
For the Hornets side of things, head over to At the Hive.
The Raptors next game is Tuesday night, as they look to keep it rolling against Ty Lawson and the Denver Nuggets.