Just when you thought the Knicks were going to come away with the win...
...Quincy Acy to the rescue.
Fake, because for those of you who watched last night's affair, you know that this game was an almost certain W, had the Knicks left the likes of Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler in the game.
But against the Knicks' bench, Acy, and some of the Raptors' deep bench crew got the job done, going on an 18 to 4 run with about nine minutes left, grabbing the eventual W.
The funny thing is Acy played all of six minutes in this one. But during those six minutes the bearded one poured in nine points, including a three-pointer, took a charge, blocked a shot, grabbed a steal. His energy was truly momentum changing and after his insertion, it seemed like the whole team took their collective bounce, up a notch.
Other big pluses for the Raptors last night were Dwight Buycks, Tyler Hansbrough and DeMar DeRozan. Buycks, like Acy, was huge down the stretch and while he did have four turnovers, he also scored 10 points in 18 minutes of action, was 4 of 8 from the field, and did a good job running the second unit. Post-game, Raptors' Head Coach Dwane Casey even hinted that Buycks might have the upper hand on DJ Augustin for the back-up point guard spot. (Augustin wasn't brutal last night, but he wasn't exactly stellar either.)
Hansbrough was his usual pain-in-the-ass self, bullying his way to the hoop and providing solid minutes once again for the Dinos.
And DeMar DeRozan was the one starter who stood out last night, showing off an array of offensive moves and dropping in 20 points on some uber-efficient shooting.
On the flip side though, you could hardly say the Raptors as a whole looked ready to take on the league. The starters again last night seemed discombobulated, turning the ball over and settling for tough shots far too often. Rudy Gay had 17 points but had he not gotten to the free-throw line 12 times, it would have been ugly. He was 4 of 11 from the field.
Kyle Lowry's box score numbers look solid...until you get to the six turnovers. For whatever reason, Lowry just didn't seem crisp with his decision making and I felt he was outplayed by his Knicks' counterparts.
And poor Landry Fields. While not a starter, I couldn't finish this recap without mentioning his continued shooting struggles.
While he made some nice plays off the ball, he missed all six of his shots, including this sequence, a surefire Sportscenter highlight...had he not blown the dunk/lay-up.
It's preseason though, so let's hope that his shot starts to fall as the games progress, and the club does a better job of hanging onto the rock. Toronto turned it over 23 times last night and as mentioned to start this recap, the Knicks looked like they were en route to a win, partly because of this stat.
"And what about Bargnani?"
Oh yes, it was the former Raptor top pick's return to Toronto last night, one that the whole city was on edge about.
Or replace "was on edge" with "seemed indifferent."
Yes, there were boos for Bargs when he was introduced and during the game, but the half-empty ACC didn't exactly treat him like Vince Carter.
He didn't enact a Carter-like revenge performance either finishing with 10 points and 4 rebound in 22 minutes. These are the type of numbers I expect to see on average for Andrea this season for New York so I don't think fans will need to fret about him reaching his potential in Gotham.
Put it this way. Give me Quincy Acy over Andrea Bargnani any day.