A new era has begun for the Toronto Raptors. When GM Bryan Colangelo decided to trade point guard Jose Calderon to the Detroit Pistons and emerging power forward Ed Davis to the Memphis Grizzlies in a three team trade this finally provided Toronto with the small forward they have always wanted, Rudy Gay.
By adding Gay to the starless roster, this has motivated the team and the city with two straight home sellouts, one against the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday and also against the Miami Heat on Sunday. Gay did not start in his first game with the Raptors but came off the bench and scored 20 points. Included in the performance were two alley oop dunks from DeMar DeRozan and three three-pointers (including a buzzer beater at the end of the third quarter). Also finishing the game with three defensive rebounds, one assist, and one steal. The Raptors played their best game of the season and had put on a defensive show beating the Clippers who are missing star point guard Chris Paul to injury winning 98-73.
Their next game on Sunday was against the Heat, and Gay was in the starting lineup. He finished the game with 29 points with 20 of them in the first half. This had the Raptors leading the Heat 50-44. Gay ended up shooting 11 for 23 in made field goals and one for five in three pointers made but had three steals and one blocked shot which was against LeBron James. The Heat ended up winning the game in the fourth quarter when the Raptors did not play great defence.
On the bright side, the Raptors do have a playoff contending team for now and the future, with the likes of Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, and Jonas Valanciunas. If the chemistry between DeRozan and Gay continue they could be on their way to an all-star game at some point.
Look for Bryan Colangelo to add some more pieces before the February 21st NBA trade deadline, maybe in the lines of Pau Gasol, J.J. Hickson, or Josh Smith.