Iâ€™m forced to look at games in a different way these days.Â I'm lowering my expectations.Â Â I'm grading on a curve.Â Tonightâ€™s curve produced a very solid B.Â Hereâ€™s why:
Did Anyone Get Hurt?
No.Â For that reason alone, we can call this one a success.Â Although Rondo gave me a scare when he went down after knocking knees with a Raptor defender.
How Did Jefferson and Green Do?
Al Jefferson definitely needs a few more looks a game than heâ€™s gotten.Â He never really got going.Â Gerald hit a shot or two late in the game but definitely struggled the whole game.Â They both get some credit for 6 rebounds a piece and each had their moments, but overall a disappointing game for them.
Did Anyone Else Step Up?
All the rookies stepped up, with Rondo leading the way with a career high 23 points, 5 assists, 4 steals, and just an all around heady performance.Â He was the one that kept this game interesting down the stretch and breathed some life into the crowd.Â That kid, as they say, is a keeper.
Also give Allan Ray some credit for a very solid first half.Â Leon Powe was a grown man, grabbing 12 strong rebounds and just being an all around ball hawk.Â I like that kid.
Grade for Rookies: A
Grade for Everyone Else: B-
How Did Doc Handle Things?
The team started out big with Gomes at the 3 and Perk and Jefferson starting down low.Â That didnâ€™t last too long before Doc went to the small ball lineup, typically featuring Telfair, Rondo, and Ray on the court at the same time.Â That lineup showed more spunk and kept things interesting, but in the end it just wasnâ€™t enough.
Overall Grade: B
Bonus: Toronto is one step closer to winning the Titanic Division with a .500 record.Â Good luck with that.