Rockets 88, Raptors 85

The Raptors dug themselves a hole with a dismal first quarter, made a comeback and lost a close game to a good team. Imagine that.

You know by now that DeMar DeRozan tweeted his displeasure with not playing in the fourth quarter. I’d have been mad, too. DeRozan scored 10 of his 17 in the third, with several drives to the basket, a sweet turnaround over Chandler Parsons, and this:

Still, that’s not how you handle being benched and DeRozan knows it. It was out of character, he deleted it pretty quickly and I’m sure an apology is forthcoming.

I did find his fourth quarter absence strange, but it didn’t stand out that much. Jose Calderon’s late-game benching was more noticeable because it meant crunch-time Anthony Carter and I am just not used to the concept of crunch-time Anthony Carter. If it was me, I’d have put DeRozan back in midway through the quarter, but it’s impossible to know how that would have affected the game. If you criticize Casey for the way this was handled, be aware that the Carter-Barbosa-Johnson-Kleiza-Johnson lineup went on a 6-0 run in a minute and a half to get within two with just over three minutes to play. Do you change things up at that point? Tough call.

I’d also like to remind people that Leandro Barbosa is on the trading block and potential suitors would like to see him play 25 minutes a game.

The good, aside from DeRozan’s third? Ed Davis had FIFTEEN REBOUNDS. As mentioned a million times on the broadcast, he was caught way out of position against Samuel Dalembert on his first possession and committed a silly foul. After that, he was solid. Only five points, but that isn’t what Casey is most concerned about. It’s about focus and effort with Davis and he came through. I’d still like to see him set better screens, though.

Other positives: Jamaal Magloire was a nice interior presence (seriously) and James Johnson came through with his third straight productive all-around game. Encouraging!

The bad? Turnovers. Six after one, 11 at the half, 15 in the game, many of them unforced. You know why Carter was playing late and not Jerryd Bayless? Bayless coughed it up five times and looked even less point guardy than normal. Also, nobody could hit a three, Linas Kleiza was short on everything, and unsurprisingly no one could slow down Kyle Lowry.

All in all, not a bad effort. The Raptors contained Luis Scola and Kevin Martin, forcing a top-10 offensive team into an ugly game. As usual, they fouled a ton (23), but gave up few points in the paint (22). Make a couple of threes, hold onto the ball a bit better, and you have a road win. Let’s see if they can do that in New Orleans tonight.

  • Nilanka15

    That’s what I thought about DeRozan’s benching too.  That Barbosa is being showcased.  If Colangelo is serious about acquiring Wilson Chandler, Barbosa needs to be traded by March 1st.

  • What the

    man it’s like the coach said ” I don’t care if Demar takes 15 shats and miss them all, as long as he is where he’s suppose to be on the floor” and clearly BC #3 son wasn’t doing what he was suppose to be doing on the floor so yes bench him also the person that got into Demars twitter account should be tracked down and charged

    • Nilanka15

      From Doug Smith:

      “Our seats were in the corner and were better than many in that spot
      in various arenas because we weren’t too high or too far away from the
      And I had a perfect angle to see precisely what the coaches have been
      harping about with DeMar all season; and if any of you are ever at a
      game, watch it closely. It’s not something you can see on TV but it’s a
      huge problem with his game.

      When they run stuff for him that involves him curling off a screen,
      or cutting across the lane, he simply does not work hard enough to get

      He kind of lollygags at times, doesn’t use his body to get separation from his man and won’t use screens effectively.

      I believe he was miffed after the game – he apparently tweeted
      “Straight Bulls#!+” on the bus to the airport – but here’s what I think
      someone needs to say to him:

      Play better. Work harder. Be more effective. Then you’ll play, as you have in every fourth quarter in every game this season.”

    • Lorenzo

      Bro what the hell are you saying? Every single post you type makes no fucking sense

  • DC

    Dwayne Casey was easily the worst person on the team last night. This is the one problem Ive had with casey since he’s been here. Eventhough he’s coaching a terrible squad he rides his bench far far far too long sometimes. Idc how good of a game anthony carter was playing you don’t let this scrub play the whole 4th quarter.  LK was off all game and I know if i saw it on tv casey had to see it. Derozen should have been in that game instead of him with 7 mins left in the 4th. I would be pissed too I can’t blame him he played well last night offensively and defensively and I say we would of probably won that game if casey gets his head out of his ass. It was almost like they wanted to blow that game personally? Maybe BC told D.casey to blow as many games as possible. 

    • Dobsully

      You go with the best players that night.
      The fact that the bench keep you within two 
      and a chance to win seems to have missed you.

  • Truthkiller

    As soon as the Raptors got within 2, the Rockets called a timeout.. and Casey should have brought in Derozan for Kleiza. 17 points in the 3rd quarter and you bench him in the 4th quarter, C’mon Man. 

    Sadly though bad coaching was only one of the reasons why we lost the game

    • Truthkiller

      meant 17 points through 3 quarters

      • Dobsully

        The idea isn’t how many points you score
        but how many points you score vs how many points they score while your on the floor.
        Melo and Inverson are two prime examples.

  • Guest

    What shocked me most about this game:

    Raptors lost even though they out rebounded the Rockets and shot a higher percentage from the field. 

    Aside from turnovers the loss also comes down to our extremely high foul rate. All in all, weird night.

    • Destro

      Thats what being an inferior talented team is all about..outplaying teams and statistically dominating but still losing the games….

  • sleepz

    The reason the Raps lost last night is Lowry dominated the game, imho.

    Questionable coaching moves aside, K.L had 26 on 12 shots and couldn’t be guarded.

    • Truthkiller

      Lowry is good and the fact that yet another point guard had a good game against the Raptors was not much of a suprise. Key of the game was dealing with Martin and Scola.

  • Tonious35

    Lowry was great as expected, but it was that little annoying fly named Chandler Parsons that stole the game from us.

  • Tonious35

    Demar’s dunk was nice, BUT there was ZERO amount of Rockets that tried to contest it.  Demar DeRozen is not a good dunker until he always wants to poster on or over somebody and do serious humiliating damage.