I’m starting to really, really like Jarrett Jack as a starting point guard. Don’t get me wrong — I still like Jose Calderon, but at this point I’m pretty much down for whatever, as long as the Raptors win some games. They did just that this afternoon, making quick work of an emotional Trevor Ariza and the Rockets, beating them 101-88 at the ACC.
With Calderon sidelined indefinitely, Jack made his fourth consecutive start, scoring 17 points and adding eight boards and eight assists. Toronto jumped all over Houston early, outscoring them 32-17 in the first and carrying a double-digit lead much of the game, frustrating Ariza (who also went 0-of-9) to the point where he attempted to take poor little DeMar DeRozan’s head off with an errant elbow following a steal in the third quarter. It was a dick move, and with apologies to DeRozan, I almost wish it connected so Ariza could be locked away for a fair amount of time. Here’s hoping the commish and friends still find reason enough for a suspension.
Hedo Turkoglu was aggressive early and scored a season-high 23, making a couple key shots in the fourth as well after Houston cut it to a single-digit lead. Chris Bosh also played well, finishing with 27 on 11-of-19. Sonny Weems stepped into the sixth man role, scoring 11 and more importantly taking the minutes of disgraced backup Antoine Wright, who likely still feels as though he’s a premiere NBA small forward despite the demotion. Sorry to say, but you weren’t missed, you chucker.
This win slightly softens the blow from Friday’s romp at the hands of the Hawks, plus makes it four of six overall and improves the Raptors to 11-15 on the season. They’re headed to South Florida for a date with the Heat Tuesday, followed by Superman and the Magic in Orlando the following night.