The Toronto Raptors had one of their biggest victories of the season last night against the Detroit Pistons. The Raptors have been struggling for the past two weeks and this was a huge win for the team. Not only are they getting out of their slump but they also defeated a premier team in the NBA. They made some key changes to the starting lineup as TJ Ford and Rasho Nesterovic went in and Jose Calderon and Andrea Bargnani went out. This move helped the team last night and it will help them in the long run.
The victory can and should be attributed to the guard play of the Raptors. Ford, starting for the first time since December, looked much more comfortable and did not make the mental mistakes he's been making ever since he came back from his injury. I said this before and I'll say it again, moving Calderon to the bench was the right move for the team and Jose realized that himself as he requested that TJ start.
By Calderon coming off the bench with the second unit, he will instantly make everyone on the bench play much better and bring Jason Kapono back to life. Bargnani going to bench will help him get his confidence back and he will be a lethal scorer off the bench. When Bargnani started alongside Bosh, CB4 was getting most of the touches as he should and that limited what Bargnani could do. Now that Bargnani will be coming off the bench, he should be option one or option two in terms of scoring. Jose will undoubtedly find Bargnani for easy baskets and will make sure he gets the ball. Calderon also plays really well with Carlos Delfino and knows exactly where and when to get the ball to Kapono. Overall, Calderon is going to make the Raptors bench one of the best in the NBA again.
This move will greatly benefit TJ Ford as he is really comfortable starting and playing alongside Bosh. By Ford distributing the ball to mainly Bosh, it will cut down on him trying to do everything on his own. The team also plays at a faster pace when Ford is in the game and they really need to play at a faster pace because they need the easy baskets and because they can tire out other team due to their depth.
The Rasho Nesterovic move should not be seen as a minor one either. Rasho can and does make the mid range jumper consistently but moreover, he plays good man to man defence against the other teams big men and I believe this will help the Raptors immensely.
The Raptors also have a very, very favourable schedule down the stretch and that should help them get their new rotation set in time for the playoffs.