January 16, 2013 by slewfeet
Even with Derrick Rose injured, the Chicago Bulls are still a dangerous team with the likes of Joakim Noah, the only man in the NBA with a better sneer than Alan Anderson (edit: this is debatable). He gets the privilege of matching up against Aaron “50 Shades of” Gray, so odds are he’ll get about a dozen steals tonight.
Gray and John Lucas should be in for a whirlwind of emotions tonight, playing against their former team. JL3 calls them his brothers, but I’m pretty sure none of them even recognize him. In contrast, Mickael Pietrus is completely devoid of feeling as he sinks a practice three, despite it being the first shot he’s hit in weeks.
Tipoff goes to the Bulls, and Leo Rautins already thinks things are starting to unravel. Little do we know, Leo’s actually pawing around a ball of yarn off-screen.
Jose and Carlos Boozer trade free throws and look silky smooth doing it. Aaron Gray gets a pass and looks like he’s never seen a basketball before in his life. While Gray tries to remember what sport he’s playing, Boozer is playing better than pretty much everyone on the Raptors combined.
Amir Johnson mercifully replaces Gray, but can do little to stem the bleeding. Landry Fields doesn’t mind, as long as he can keep racking up these uncontested rebounds. Between that and the douchey alley-oop he called against the Sixers to reach a double-double, we’re pretty sure Fields cares way too much about his statline.
Joakim Noah throws a chest pass into the basket, and we cut to commercial – which in the Bronasdome means a detour to the Covered Bridges program. So far, the Raptors have been crushed on both offense and defense, no one other than DeMar DeRozan can seem to make a shot, and accordingly it’s now 27-17.
A bit of saving grace to end the quarter – Ed Davis gets an unguarded dunk, and then Kyle Lowry drives right through Boozer for the and-one – but the Raptors can’t stop that last Chicago shot with a second to go. The Raptors respond by opening the 2nd quarter with Quincy Acy, which is a substitution that could make or break this season.
Q&A throws down a beastly dunk on his first shift, and then draws an offensive foul to halt the Bulls offense in its tracks. Maybe if we’re lucky he’ll even get his first career assist.
Sometimes Joakim Noah’s hair bun rides up and it looks like he’s wearing a tiny hat. This, dear reader, is one of these times.
Acy doesn’t seem to be able to move and handle the ball at the same time. He’s great at getting run into and falling over though, and his intrepidness delivers in the form of an Alan Anderson three. Another hard-fought shot from Amir Johnson, and the Raptors have improbably earned a 33-33 tie.
Anderson misses his next three, and five consecutive rebounds are missed between both teams before Nate Robinson of all people finally catches it. He’s fouled and sinks two, but Lowry responds by running around the entire Chicago team to equalize. Boozer makes a long jumper, but anything he can do Kyle can do better. With a quick three, the score jumps to 38-37 Toronto.
Is it just me, or does Alan Anderson kind of have elf ears? Maybe it’s just the weird camera angle … or maybe the elves have kidnapped him and replaced him with one of their own?
DeRozan just took maybe the worst shot of his career, completely blind with a defender absolutely locking him down. To compound things for him, Sportsnet just made a DeLightful pun on his name, which causes groans across the nation. He does manage to catch some easy rebounds off some missed shots from Noah, though. From the bench, Landry Fields silently seethes in envy and wishes it were him.
It’s 50-42 Bulls now, when did that happen? Probably when Acy was taken off. Calderon’s forced to make an inbounds violation because nobody wants the pass, and Boozer scores his 25th (!) point of the game on the ensuing possession. Jose gets two right back to end the half, but tears have been shed and the damage is done.
Classic Landry: Picks up the easy defensive rebound, then finds out it doesn’t count because the Raptors have a foul and throws the ball up in disgust. Boozer remains unstoppable, the Bulls’ defense stays impenetrable, and the bar’s raised to 60-44. The Raptors respond by offering up no resistance whatsoever.
It’s starting to concern me that Fields might have some debilitating disease that prevents him from ever attempting a three. Do the team doctors know about this?
Alan Anderson comes in to save the day, with a three and a grimace as Boozer gets an and-one past some truly futile defense from Davis. God, can you imagine if it were Bargnani assigned to guard him instead?
Matt Devlin has gone into a rant about Richard Hamilton taking some liberties with Raptors players. In a hilarious show of karma in action, he gets to watch Kyle Lowry get a technical foul for passing to the referee after an Anderson score.
It’s 76-57 now and that doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon, but wait – is that our trump card Quincy Acy stepping in to the game? He makes his presence known emphatically with two big dunks, and the Bulls need a timeout to stay their shaken hearts and trembling knees.
Belinelli only makes one free throw because he sucks, and then Acy does the impossible and gets an actual assist on Anderon’s three. And the box score says it was actually his second of the game – is there anything this man can’t do?
Last play of the third and Lowry’s delaying for time. All of a sudden, Acy makes a stealthy cut, and SLAMS the pass home on his off-hand. Six point game? You’d better believe it when Q&A’s on the court! He’s now +17 in under 12 minutes, while Ed Davis, the man he’s playing behind, is -23 in 24:40. #letacystart
These days Acy’s been having a career game every game. They aren’t even little trifles either; every one of his shifts has more highlights than Leo Rautins’ hair. If he keeps this up, he’ll break double-digit points by March.
Quincy Acy comes up against the juggernaut Carlos Boozer and draws the offensive foul! Anderson’s so overjoyed that he punches Acy twice in the abs. A few more baskets both ways and it’s 85-80, and would be even closer if Lowry and Davis could make free throws.
Luol “Dang!” Deng drives a dagger into our hearts with a three, but Lowry gets it right back. The Bulls make their next attempt, and Amir accidentally steps in on the inbound, costing the Raptors possession. Belinelli misses his shot because he sucks, and DeRozan makes two free throws on the other side. Belinelli misses another shot because he sucks, and this is probably the best he’s ever played for the Raptors.
The Bulls cough it up, but the Raptors can’t make anything happen either. Lowry impossibly picks up an o-reb from amidst an entire crowd, but Davis can’t make his dunk. As Casey (B&W writer amiracle15, not Dwane Casey) wryly comments, Quincy Acy would’ve made that. #letacydunk
Hinrich fouls out and sends Lowry to the line. Lowry sinks two ugly shots to reach 20 points, and the deficit’s shrunk to 95-93. Either Amir or Ed blocks Boozer’s shot by swatting it right into the net. Dwane Casey starts crying on the inside.
I hate Luol Deng for making two free throws there, but I love him for the pseudo Fu Manchu thing he has going. Nate Robinson gifts Lowry with three free throws; he’ll make two of them. Belinelli comes in, takes a smack in the face from Fields, and only hits one free throw because he sucks.
Lowry drives into a throng of Bulls and gets the layup – we’re at 100-99. Belinelli misses his shot because he sucks. Boozer somehow loses his shoe. Dwane Casey calls a timeout, presmably in order to sub in Acy, but he tragically remains on the bench.
The crowd is on their feet as Lowry receives the inbound. A pass to DeRozan, who can’t get a shot and passes back. Lowry runs out of time and sends up a shot in desperation, and Amir’s in perfect position for the rebound. Taj Gibson fouls out on him, but Amir only sinks one. Chicago calls timeout with 11.8 seconds left and a hundred points apiece, it doesn’t get much more dramatic than this, folks.
Inbound to Belinelli, who escapes his guard, drives in, stumbles, and misses by miles because he sucks. Raptors time out with 0.7 seconds left, and the Bulls send Daequan Cook in for his first shift all game. This must be a career highlight for him.
DeRozan takes the inbound. Fate is thrust into Anderson’s hands, and he misses the pass entirely, whoops. Even in one of their most dramatic games of the year, the Raptors are still the Raptors. We’re headed to overtime.
Noah will draw first blood, and then Amir fouls Boozer on a rebound. Not the best start, but on the bright side, Belinelli is still on the floor and steps out of bounds because he sucks. Davis takes a stupid jumper, but again Lowry comes away with the o-reb out of a crowd. Anderson gets fouled and only sinks one, but forces Noah to knock it out of bounds.
The ball’s circulated to Anderson following a video review that takes centuries, and Belinelli fouls him because he sucks. Amir can’t score, but neither can Robinson for the Bulls. The Raptors have no answer for Boozer (Acy notwithstanding #letacyplay) though, and he’ll put Chicago up 104-101. A powerful run from Anderson keeps it close, and then Amir blocks Deng on the other end to force a jump ball.
The Raptors take possession, but a turnover in the key forces Anderson to foul out on Robinson going the other way. Though let’s be honest, I’m pretty sure AA enjoyed that immensely. Noah somehow flips the ball way into the crowd, and possession goes to review because the officials have just given up on doing their jobs.
It’ll be Chicago’s ball, and Boozer gets a huge rebound. Belinelli delays and goads DeRozan into fouling him with a subtle butt fondle. He also only hits one freebie because he sucks. 2 points, 15 seconds, and the game on the line. There’s electricity in the air. Mickael Pietrus starts to wonder if he left his oven on.
Lowry passes into Calderon and back to Lowry, and he makes a casual little drop that looks like it’s off-course until it falls perfectly into the net. It’s 105-105, and the crowd loses their minds.
But the Bulls come in ready to play, and Deng loses Fields easily and drills his shot. Leo Rautins wants an offensive foul, but he’s crying to deaf ears. The Raptors have three seconds, and Amir’s fouled – but no, he isn’t getting a free throw. Fields fires Calderon an inbound with one second left, and Jose desperately lets it fly for the three.
Hearts shatter all through the ACC, as the shot hits the rim. Sobbing children mourn their heroes as they fall once more in bitter defeat. All Dwane Casey can do is stand there stoically, a broken and bereaved man. Trying to hold back our tears, the Bronasdome turns off the TV before Matt and Leo can say anything too obnoxious.
All around the world, Raptors fans are asking the same question: Where was our saviour Quincy Acy when we needed him most? #letacyshoot