NBA Roundtable

Game Time: Toronto vs Cleveland

In Game Log / Recap on October 28, 2009 at 7:29 pm

First Quarter

  • Nice intro video + music from the Raptors
  • Bosh and Shaq jump up it … Bosh wins the tip. Calderon dribbles forward, pick and roll, over to Bargnani who ran around the baseline, Varejao is defending him, head fake, drives baseline, dunks over Varejao. Nice move.
  • Bargnani is defending Shaquille on the other end. Mo Williams misses from the corner, Varejao beats Bosh to the rebound.
  • Chris Bosh posts up on the right box, turns middle, lefty hook, well defended by Varejao, miss.
  • Shaquille O’Neal earns his first trip to the line (Bargnani foul) where he splits a pair. No sorry, the made free throw is waived off for a lane violation by the Cavs. Jump ball at center court due to the lane violation, Shaq wins the tip this time. Cavs come back down, to Parker on the right wing, Bron cuts across the paint gingerly, Parker forced to pass back out, now Bron comes out to the perimeter, right wing, quick pass inside to Shaq who scores inside on Bargnani.
  • Bosh with a great first step against Shaq but he misses the lefty layup. Good intent.
  • Chris Bosh cuts hard down the paint from the left elbow to the middle of the paint, great low position but he can’t hold it against Shaq, pushed outside of the paint, still has good position, gets the ball, turns middle, short shot in the paint again, misses again.
  • Nice pass from James to Parker for the easy hoop.
  • Nice attempted up and under from Varejao (saw that twice last night), Bosh makes himself tall, doesn’t reach and avoids the foul, Varejao off balance and misses the shot.
  • DeRozan gets to the FT line, hits two.

The game is tied 4-4 after three minutes

  • Varejao takes the 16 footer above the right elbow, miss, offensive rebound Shaq, dunk.
  • Nice drive and kick to DeRozan out on the right wing, he drills the jump shot.
  • Shaq lackadaisical on defense as Bargnani catches the ball at the three point line, Bargnani laces one up and knocks it down.
  • Nice block by Bargnani on Varejao’s short shot off the spin move (from right block to middle of the paint) following the pick and roll with Mo Williams. Good patience by Bargnani in waiting for Varejao to release the ball before trying to swat it. Well timed. Just saw a replay, Varejao’s need to go back to his right hand gave Bargnani an angle to block it. Bad offense, decent defense.
  • Timeout
  • Good pick and roll defense by Bosh to push James out towards the half way line off the sideline pick and roll with Shaq.
  • Nice pass by Jose to Bosh for the 16 footer, he knocks it down on the left wing.
  • Oh, nice passing … Bosh with the rebound, quick outlet, Calderon dribbling down the left sideline, finds Bargnani with a step on Shaq and throws a nice one handed pass to Bargnani for the attempted layup (foul). Bargnani makes both.

The Raptors lead 15-6 as we near the midway point in the first quarter

  • Anthony Parker runs off one screen, goes to the opposite side of the court, loses his man completely (DeRozan?), wide open jump shot from the left wing, miss.
  • Shaquille O’Neal gets another basket inside. Does he have 6 of the Cavs 8 points? I think so.
  • Bargnani fronts Shaquille, pass over the top, DeRozan from the weak side blocks the layup from O’Neal. Nice play!
  • James throws a poor cross court pass. Turnover.
  • The Raptors energy is excellent. The Cavs are dead.
  • LeBron switches onto Bargnani, he backs him down in the post (left block), turns middle, rolling hook shot, hits it. Bargnani has 11 of Toronto’s 19 points.
  • Mo Williams makes a three point play.
  • Bargnani posts up Moon, fallaway as Big Z comes over, knocks it down.
  • Lovely passing from the Cavs … touch pass from James to Moon for the wide open dunk. Cavs lead 12-6 in points in the paint.
  • Antoine Wright takes a bad shot from behind the arc out on the left wing, lot of time on the shot clock for him to take that, miss.
  • Raptors lineup — Bargnani + Hedo + Wright + Jack + Calderon — Wow! The no rebounding lineup. That is frightening. The Cavs have to take advantage of this.
  • Bargnani with the steal at the top of the key, breakaway dunk, miss! Great work by Bargnani. He’s into this game.
  • Turkoglu taking a contested shot over on the left wing, misses. Bad take.

Toronto lead 21-13 with three minutes to play in the first quarter

  • Great effort by the Cavs to stick with it despite deflections and missed shots – James gets the putback and the foul off Hickson’s miss. Three point play.
  • Cavs lineup — Big Z + Hickson + James + Moon + Mo — A lot of rebounding mainly due to Moon and James.
  • Bosh and Amir check in for Hedo and Bargnani.
  • Bosh misses a high arcing jump shot.
  • JJ Hickson hits two FTs. The Cavs physical play is causing the Raptors some problems.
  • Chris Bosh gets the Raptors their first offensive rebound off the game, and he scores the putback (Jack missed a runner, nice drive). Six point lead for Toronto.
  • James posts up Wright, passes out as Calderon gets too close, Daniel Gibson knocks down a triple before Calderon can get back in place. The lead is halved.
  • Calderon gets to the line. He’s automatic from there … jinxed him, sorry! … Calderon misses the first. Misses the second. Sorry!!
  • James posts up on Wright again, lovely cut by Moon down the baseline, James passes over the top of Wright to Moon for the layup. One point game. The Cavs have eliminated the Raptors early lead.
  • Chris Bosh makes two FTs.

Final minute — Raptors lead 25-22

  • Bosh backing down Wright off the dribble from the perimeter, double, kickout, three pointer, miss.
  • Calderon pick and roll with Amir, Jose pulls up, shot rims in and out.
  • Big Z inside, posting up Bosh, has the middle open to him, shoulder fake, fadeaway the other way, miss.
  • Cavs in the penalty (loose ball foul). More FTs for Toronto. Amir makes two. Raptors inch their lead back up to five.
  • James dribbles down the clock, passes at seven, touch pass from Moon to Gibson in the corner, he drives baseline, out of control layup, miss.

Second Quarter

Toronto leads 27-22

  • Cavs lead 16-8 for points in the paint. Cleveland also leads 18-13 on the boards. Bad omens from the Raptors heading forward.
  • Good pick and roll defense again from Chris Bosh.
  • Mo Williams has a layup but instead passed out to Moon for a jumper, miss. Mo needs to take that shot. Offensive rebound Z, putback, good.
  • DeRozan with a nice drive and finish
  • Great rebound from Chris Bosh, from the opposite side of the rim, stole it away from Mo Williams (missed tip after missed floater) and Bargnani who were both closer to the ball.
  • Shaq backs down Bosh easily but he’s off balance as he hoists up the short shot, miss, offensive rebound Moon. Foul on DeRozan. Moon makes two at the line.
  • Toronto has got to get on the backboards … the offensive rebounds are killing them.
  • Bosh (6) and DeRozan (3) have 9 of Toronto’s 14 boards. They need some help.
  • Another second chance opportunity for the Cavs (9th offensive rebound), Shaq fouled by Bosh (#2). Another lane violation, this time on Toronto. Misses again.
  • Jack with a nice head fake to beat Mo Williams, drive and kick to Bargnani who drills the jumper. Bargs has 15 points.

Toronto lead 31-28 after two plus minutes

  • Raptors lineup — starting frontcourt plus Jack and Belinelli
  • Cavs lineup — Shaq + Z + Moon + Gibson + Mo
  • Belinelli bags a jumper
  • Good contest from Bosh as Mo Williams misses a floater in the paint, another rebound for Bosh, that’s his eight board.
  • Turkoglu with a nice pump fake, dribbles inside, to the edge of the paint, short jump shot, hits it.
  • Good full court pressure defense by Belinelli against Parker, knocks the ball out of bounds at midcourt.
  • Jack takes a quick jumper from 23 feet at the start of the possession, miss.
  • Rasho Nesterovic has checked into the game for Bosh. Gets a rebound almost instantly.
  • Belinelli with the off balance high arcing floating jump shot, miss. Weird looking shot.
  • Parker dancing on Belinelli, crosses back over, fadeaway, misses. Bad shot.
  • Andrea Bargnani facing up Ilgauskas at the top of the key, drives right, beats Z, Shaq comes over and knocks Bargnani to the ground. Foul. Two FTs made by Bargnani.
  • Z and Shaq check out of the game … Rasho checks out too, for Amir Johnson … Varejao and James in for Cleveland. Parker, Moon and Mo on the perimeter … vs Hedo, Jack and Belinelli for Toronto.

Toronto leads 37-30 with seven minutes left to play in the first half

  • Bad defense from Hedo on James out on the left wing. He crossed over his legs on a jab step and he was dead from then on.
  • Lovely up and under on James in the post, score the hoop for Bargnani. He’s having a splendid game offensively.
  • Amir Johnson with a nice offensive rebound after a bad three point shot.
  • Great screen by Bargnani, took Parker out of the play, Belinelli with a wide open path to the rim, he stuffs it down hard with two hands!
  • Timeout Cleveland — Mike Brown has to be disappointed with his team defensively
  • James isolation against Hedo Turkoglu, goes right by him, down into the paint, fouled by the help. James makes two FTs.
  • Belinelli fires up a jumper over Hickson from three out on the left wing, hits it! Toronto up double digits again.
  • Hedo Turkoglu comes down the paint, claims the defensive rebound, Turkoglu brings up the ball, screen and roll at the top of the key, drives right, gets bumped, foul. Hedo makes two FTs.

Toronto leads 46-34 with less than five minutes to play

  • Chris Bosh checks back in for Amir Johnson. Toronto have their starting lineup out there except for Belinelli (DeRozan)
  • Cleveland’s lineup — Varejao + Hickson + James + Parker + Mo
  • As I say this Antoine Wright checks in for Turkoglu
  • Chris Bosh climbs high for the defensive rebound. His ninth board.
  • LeBron James scores in transition. Nice pass from Mo Williams.
  • Oh, lovely move from Chris Bosh, down into the right post, Chris Bosh jab step left, goes right down the baseline, leaves Shaq in his dust, foul. Bosh makes two FTs.

Toronto leads 50-36 with three minutes to play in the first half. Terrible performance by the Cavs, good performance by the Raptors.

  • Good defense from Bosh, helping Bargs with Shaq as he moves down inside, then jumps out on Varejao, then makes himself big to take away the passing angle inside to Shaq. Ball swung to the wing, drive, Antoine Wright takes the charge. Lovely.
  • Bargnani with the slam dunk — 21 points on 8-11 shooting
  • Anthony Parker left wide open in the left corner for a three, miss.
  • Nice pass from Belinelli to Rasho for the 16 footer on the right wing, he hits it. Toronto up 20 points.

Final minute and a half — Toronto lead 56-36

  • Great job by Nesterovic hedging on the pick and roll. Ties up Mo Williams. Jump ball.
  • James stripped by Wright on the drive, knocked out of bounds. Two seconds on the shot clock, inbounds from Williams to James, fadeaway falling out of bounds on the sideline over Belinelli (brilliantly contested), miss. Air ball, turnover.
  • James races into the open court, to the rim, misses the layup.
  • Silly foul off the ball (holding foul) by Gibson. His team is in the penalty. Belinelli gets two FTs, makes one of two. Toronto up 21 points.
  • James splits the pick and roll defense, knifes into the lane and draws the foul. James splits a pair. 20 point game.
  • 24 seconds to play — Raptors will hold onto this for a final shot. Calderon has it, isolation, Jose drives, comes up empty … fastbreak the other way, too much time on the clock, James races ahead, two seconds, James to the rim, layup. Nice finish.


I’ve enjoyed Chris Bosh’s activity defensively. That’s a pleasant sight after the poor effort he put in last season defensively.

If Cleveland’s deficit was in the 10-15 points range I’d still feel good about their chances to win but I’m not convinced that their offense is working well enough (or that their defense is tight enough) to make up a 20 point deficit in one half against a good offensive team. Toronto should go on to win this one.

Second Half

Not watching anymore

  • Wow … Cavs cut it the deficit to 12 a  minute and a half into the third quarter.

Halftime in the Spurs-Hornets game. I’m going to tune back into the Raptors-Cavs game for awhile.

The score is 67-57 Toronto halfway through the third.

  • Raptors lineup — Jack + Calderon + Belinelli + Wright + Bargnani — wow, that’s a small lineup
  • Two consecutive offensive fouls against Bargnani. That’s number four on him. Jose almost picked up a tech for his reaction. Acting from Varejao got the foul. Bosh checks in for Andrea.
  • Cavs lineup — Varejao + James + Parker + Gibson + Mo
  • Williams driving into the lane, off balance, hanging shot, hits it. Five point game.
  • Wow, I’m very surprised that the Cavs made their way back into this after their first half.
  • Chris Bosh calls for the ball and draws a foul down in the paint. Bosh makes one of two FTs.
  • Bad pass from Hedo Turkoglu, picked off by James, good transition defense by Toronto. Cavs reset the offense, swing the ball, Gibson gets a three point off, hits it. Three point game.
  • Calderon takes a poor shot from the left wing, misses, nobody within 15 feet of the rim to contest the rebound.
  • Jamario Moon gets fouled. Makes two FTs at the line.
  • Bosh and James exchange made and missed FTs (both split a pair)

Final three minutes — Raptors lead 69-68

  • Bosh goes strong to the rim, stripped, turnover. James into the open court, races to the rim, fouled as he stream rolls his way through the paint. James splits a pair again. Tie game.
  • Good pick and roll defense, as always, by Varejao. Hedo forced high, then dribbles inside, passes out, Jack drives, runner, miss, offensive rebound and putback by Bosh.
  • DeRozan with the crossover, the spin move, takes James off the bounce, into the lane, goes up strong and finishes in the paint. Nice move.
  • Parker works his way to the FT line and makes one of two. Three point game with a minute twenty to play in the third quarter.
  • Nice pass by Turkoglu (pump fake, Moon bit, Hedo beat him, James helped) to a wide open DeRozan who drains a jumper off the left sideline
  • LeBron misses the long jumper, long rebound to Jarrett Jack who goes coast to coast, to the rim, fouled.
  • Turkoglu takes it strong to the rim, finishes inside. Seven point game.
  • Anthony Parker creating off the dribble against the shot clock, very good defense by Belinelli to stay in front of him forcing Parker to take a contested fadeaway, miss.

Fourth Quarter

  • 36-35 rebounds Cavs advantage
  • 11-9 turnovers advantage Raptors
  • 20-17 bench points Cavs advantage

Raptors lead 78-71

  • Moon gets another couple of free throws and makes one. Six point game.
  • Jack brings it upcourt, pick and roll with Bargnani, passes to the high post, Bargnani cuts, Bosh finds him, Bargnani can’t hold the pass. Turnover. Nice idea.
  • Gibson misses a three pointer, DeRozan on the glass … fastbreak Toronto, Jack brings it up, finds a trailing Barngani for the three pointer, bang!
  • Good defense by Jack on Mo Williams, shot clock running down, he has to force it, great contest, miss.
  • Jack gets the rebound at the free throw line, he runs free, slithers to the hoop and lays it in.
  • The crowd goes wild! Timeout Mike Brown

The Cavs fall apart again with LeBron off the court.

  • LeBron James has 18, 10 (assists) and 7 (rebounds) but he is only 6-15 from the field and only 6-10 from the line.
  • Mo Williams has 14 points but it took 13 shots and 4 FTs. Bad. Only one assist too. Bad game.
  • Hedo Turkoglu has 11 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists.
  • Calderon has 10 points but only 2 points.
  • Bargnani has 28 points on 15 shots + 4 FTs as he bags a jumper from 18 feet
  • Bosh has 17 and 13 but is only 4-12 from the floor … Bosh runs the floor and gets the finger roll to go.

Raptors lead 87-74 with 8:40 left to play.

  • James drives on the rookie, Bargnani helps, nice pass to Shaq, layup.
  • Good help defense from Mo Williams who almost stole the ball from DeRozan as he tried the spin move … Parker draws a charge a few moments later. Nice defense. Good ball denial on Bargnani off the ball too.
  • LeBron catches it at the elbow as he moves off Shaq, Shaq dives to the rim, quick pass inside, Shaq has fantastic position, Bargnani fouls him. That’s number five. Bargnani checks out for Rasho.

Toronto up 11 with 8 minutes to play

  • Shaq drives on Rasho, hop step, loses control, Raptors get the loose ball … run the other way, missed shot from the corner, offensive rebound by Rasho, putback is good.
  • Shaq moves across the paint, catch and jump hook from 6 feet, hits it. Seven minutes.
  • Jack misses a three pointer from the right wing. Good look.
  • James at the top of the key against Hedo, Hedo backs off him, LeBron drives hard left, spins right, loses the ball, gets it back, throws it out of bounds. Turnover.
  • Jarrett Jack slices right to the hole and finishes inside.
  • James drives across the paint, hoists an ugly runner, misses it.

13 point lead with six minutes left to play

  • Leo Rautins — “LeBron is giving a lot of strange looks to his teammates” … continues on saying that LeBron is unhappy with what his teammates are doing. They’re standing and watching.
  • Chris Bosh faces up from 15 feet on the left wing, faces up and knocks down the jumper. 15 point lead.
  • Jack strips Parker, fastbreak, good transition defense from LeBron. Raptors hold it up, set up, find the mismatch, Hedo against Gibson, Hedo high post right wing, decides to face up and shoot, misses the shot. Might have been better off to post up, Gibson is a poor post defender against guards nevermind someone of Hedo’s size.
  • Turnover Raptors.

This game is very close to being out of the Cavs reach, they need to make a run and make it quickly.

Raptors lead 93-78 with 4:45 left to play.

  • James on the screen and roll, not really set, James moves right towards the middle, reverses the ball back from where he came from, Mo Williams unlaces a triple, fouled by Jack (Leo doesn’t like the call). Williams makes two of three. Replay of the foul, bad call.
  • Gibson left open from three, James finds him, Gibson hits it.

10 point game with four minutes to play

  • Hedo Turkoglu pick and roll with Bosh, switch, Bosh in the post against Parker, double, Bosh passes out, ball swung to the opposite wing, three pointer, miss.
  • Varejao on the pick and roll, short shot from three feet, miss. Big miss.
  • Antoine Wright drills a three pointer out on the left wing

13 point lead with three minutes to go

  • James top of the key, faces up, drives on Wright, passes out, ball swung to Parker in the left corner and he knocks it (three pointer) down.
  • Timeout Jay Triano with 2:30 left to play. The Raptors look safe.
  • James makes one of two free throws. He follows that up with a triple.
  • Jarrett Jack goes to the line and makes one of two.

Raptors up seven with a minute twenty to play

  • LeBron James dribbling at the top of the key, rises up with a three pointer, misses it. Rebound Toronto.
  • The Raptors milk the clock, nice ball movement around the perimeter, Jack drives out of the corner, to the paint, nice pass to Bosh, blocked by Varejao … fastbreak Cleveland, James to the line, makes two.

Six point game with 45 seconds to play

  • Raptors ball after they rebound the James’ missed FT.
  • Toronto runs down the clock, Turkoglu drives, to the rim, fouled. He makes the first, misses the second.
  • Turnover Cavs, Jose dribbles down, fouled by James and scores the basket. Good patience by Jose to bait LeBron into that foul.
  • Bosh finishes with 21 and 16.

Game Over. Raptors win. Excellent win for the Raptors.

  1. How BAD was Shaq? Ugly, ugly, UGLY game from him. Still, yay Raptors! Now don’t follow this up with a loss to Memphis, please.

    -Lu Galasso

  2. Hey Lu Galasso, Welcome to the blog!

    Shaq was terrible last night. He can’t come anywhere close to defending a shooter of Bargnani’s caliber in the high pick and roll, and he can’t defend the ball-handler either. That’s a very nice flaw for the Raptors opposing team to have … one they can pummel the opposition with over and over and over again.

    Andrea Bargnani did a very good job defending Shaquille O’Neal in the low post too. His post defense was good-to-very good last season … hopefully he can take another leap defensively in that area again this season too.


    I watched about five minutes of the Grizzlies game last night and they were horrible. Scatterbrain basketball. No defense either. The Raptors are looking very good heading into that game.

    No word on whether Iverson is fit to rejoin his troops though.

    : Iverson will not play against the Raptors.

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