Note from Blake – Please welcome Garrett to the RR team. This was a pre-season tryout of sorts for him as well…we’ll see if he makes the Opening Day roster here.

Raptors 107, Knicks 88 – Box

Really a tale of two games tonight as the Raptors went down big early, turned things around, and cruised the rest of the way. It’s a pretty big win, as far as pre-season is concerned: not only was it against a division rival but it was also nationally broadcast (on TSN2, but still). I don’t know if it was the sold-out crowd, the pre-game poutine, or just that the Knicks really aren’t that good, but for the final two-thirds of the game tonight we saw the Raptors squad that we’d all been quietly hoping these guys could be.

Lowry was excellent from start to finish. He ended up with 17, along with 5 boards and 4 assists, was a ridiculous 5 for 6 from three, and put a nail in the coffin for any remaining point guard controversy arguments in TO. Nobody expects the threes to come every night but if he can explode like this from time to time it’ll give us an offensive cog that is effective from both inside and outside, something we don’t really have at the moment (depending on how you feel about Bargnani’s post-up game).

The calf injury didn’t seem to slow up Andrea much, he played nearly 33 minutes, most on the team after DD. He did take a ridiculous 21 shots to get his 20 points but rebounded well (the Raps will take 7 boards from him any night of the week) and played better defense on Amare then the stats suggest. Even though Stoudemire was 8 for 11 on the night, a couple of those were uncontested dunks on missed switches – an issue, certainly, but when Andrea got into position he was reasonably effective on D.

The Knicks’ early run against the Raptors second unit largely happened between the free-throw lines on both sides of the court – we couldn’t make a shot, and they couldn’t miss. The Raps seemed slow on their defensive switches and the Knicks, particularly Jason Kidd, were doing a great job of finding the open man. Jose in particular looked lost in the second, it seemed like every pass he threw was a couple feet too high and every shot he took was a missed three (including an airball) – he played the majority of the second quarter and had a halftime line of 0/0/0, though he did pick it up in the second half (we’ll get to that in a second).

About halfway through the quarter, Casey had seen enough and started working the starters back in (besides JV, who had gotten in early foul trouble) and the team really started to take off, tying it up by halftime on a fluky bank 3 by Lowry – a run that was really triggered by the fast break. This team is deep and athletic and runs like this are going to be key for them this season, but key to them is playing tough exterior defence and not sagging, particularly against a team like the Knicks which is consistently dangerous from 3. More turnovers outside of the post = more fast breaks = more points for the Raps.

Amir really shined during the second quarter. He may have bricks for hands but his hustle, defense, and ability to stay out of foul trouble really kept the team together during the Knicks’ surge, triggered the fast-break on numerous occasions, and kept Ed on the bench for the whole game. We’re not going to see this version of Amir every night but it must be reassuring for Coach Casey to see this kind of game from the guy who, in theory, is our first big off the bench (playing out of position, nonetheless).

In the second half, we saw the Jose/Lucas combination once again. Blake wrote an excellent post a couple of days ago analyzing the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of a two-point guard matchup on defense, but against ball-stopping teams like the Knicks, who run their offense through forwards no matter who is out there in the other jerseys, the impact was negligible and their offensive contributions really shined. Lucas is a real firebrand off the bench – it’s too bad he wasn’t 4 inches taller because he’d be pushing DD for minutes at the other guard if he were. As it stands, he’s great late-game offense off the bench and has been very effective thus far in limited time (12 points in 9 minutes tonight).

In the words of Denny Green, the Knicks were who we thought they were: a star-driven team without much in the way of bench strength. Amare had a decent game and ‘Melo was effective in stretches but for the most part the two simply took turns dribbling into the post and either turning the ball over or drawing fouls. Fields worked hard on Carmelo all night – he still got his but had to work for it, which is the kind of consistency we need from him on a nightly basis. On paper, teams with elite small forwards are the Raptors’ kryptonite and Fields will be key on those nights.

The fourth quarter saw all the starters return and put the game away after a brief surge from Carmelo. For the final six minutes or so of the game, the unit was clicking in every way. In particular, one sequence saw Lowry dive on the floor the floor for a loose ball, which was tipped to Fields, who made a great pass to DeRozan for a highlight real dunk. The next time up the floor, Jonas received the ball in the low post, backed Chandler down and kicked it out to Andrea, who made a 3 from the top of the key. Now THAT’S the sum of parts being greater than the whole.

JV had a decent game tonight despite some early foul trouble – he was called for two offensive fouls in the first quarter and he’s really going to have to be careful here with the league’s referees emphasizing the moving screen. That said, he managed to keep playing tough with five fouls in the fourth quarter, picked up 10 boards and had a statement block on Amare late in the game. The kid plays stronger than he looks but there’s a yin and yang dynamic to his game – he lost Tyson Chandler for an uncontested dunk immediately following his block on Stoudemire – but the potential is screaming through the screen and if he consistently gives that kind of effort those lapses will start to disappear sooner rather than later.

Demar had an… interesting game. His hustle was evident – he picked up two offensive boards in the first half that he had no business recovering – and in the first half he was extremely effective in getting to the hoop, though, once again, we didn’t see anything from him in the way of outside shooting.

Someone must have said something to him in the locker room though, because in the second half he started shooting with no regard for the situation. He did manage to sneak in a 3 but for the most part this really limited his effectiveness on the offensive end. It’s great to see him taking shots but he has to realize that there are nights where the matchups call for him to take the ball to the hoop – the Knicks started James White at SG, for God’s sake – and overpower opposing players with his athleticism. He certainly contributed to the win but I can’t help but feel like he should have had a huge game tonight.

As for the other Raptors, McGuire played an effective few minutes; Anderson had a strong effort guarding Anthony; Kleiza did Kleiza things; Ross had a rough 5 minutes, missing two open looks, but did score on a nice backdoor cut, Gray got in for all of a minute; and Davis did a great job modeling the Raps’ warmups.

All in all, though, a very promising night where we saw a lot of potential – positive on our side and negative for the Knicks, who just scream overrated at this point.

Next game is Monday night against the Bucks; two more pre-season games until we do it for real.

  • Brian Gerstein

    Nice write-up Garrett.  You have a good feel for the team.  You will want to edit out the parts about Amir taking Ed Davis’s minutes away and how he never saw the floor.  Ed was held out of the game on purpose due to a hard fall he took in the previous game.

    • mountio

      Interesting on Ed – I hadnt heard that (they didnt seem to know on the broadcast yesterday). Im assuming Ross’ limited minutes were also to rest the knee? Either way .. good game and good write up

      • Brian Gerstein

        Ed said he is good to go btw for their next game Monday against Milwaukee.  Yes, Ross only got 5 minutes because of his knee, otherwise he would have seen more burn.

    • Garrett Hinchey

      Thanks very much for the feedback! I didn’t realize this about Ed – as mountio says, they didn’t say anything about it on the broadcast yesterday.

      In either case, I don’t have the ability to edit posts after they’ve gone up so that’ll have to be up to one of the other guys… But please disregard what I said about him taking ED’s minutes if he was indeed injured.

      • Krytha

        A fun read. Just thinking if this is your site “audition” or whatever, there are a few little things you might consider cleaning up. Demar made a highlight REEL dunk, and the expression goes – “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

        Victoire à Montreal 

        • Garrett Hinchey

          I’ll have to do a more extensive editing job next time – I do really appreciate the feedback, thanks!

  • j bean

    The Knicks played like it was an exhibition game, the Raptors like they wanted to win. 

    • FAQ

      No doubt to boost season ticket sales which are lagging badly.. I hear… LOL

      • p00ka

        Oh? Is this just blowing smoke out of your ass, or do you have some substance to share about lagging ticket sales that a “fan” would think is funny? I know, just “probing”/trolling, eh.

        • FAQ

          hey, p00 … you stink … LOL

          • CJT

            ZING!!

            • p00ka

              Yeah, that was hard to take, lol

              • FAQ

                … but you did bend over… (_*_)

                • p00ka

                  *yawn* It never fails to amaze what small desperate minds get amused by.

                • Observant

                  p00, the serious minded Ratpor b-ball analyst… graces us with his erudite commentary, like this:

                  “Oh? Is this just blowing smoke out of your ass, or do you have some
                  substance to share about lagging ticket sales that a “fan” would think
                  is funny? I know, just “probing”/trolling, eh.”

                  … and then complains when he gets slimed with his own sheet.. LOL

                • CJT

                  Yawn.

  • mountio

    Good game. Lowry appears to be for real .. i very much like what I see. I love what I see from DD – more because hes realized what he cant do, than for what he is doing. He realizes his jumpshot isnt good .. isnt even average. Where does he have an advantage? Leaping ability. But, he never used to be able to finish at the rim, so it was moot. Now, he bulked up a bit, is posting up and taking it strong. Its great. The best part is that is repeatable and consistent (in sharp contrast to his shooting game).
    AB needs some work .. but hes looking marginally better game by game. We still need to post him up, espeically because the other team is now forced to put their biggest guy on JV – so AB has the 4 – and normally a large size advantage.
    I think we will see a lot of games like this from JV – too many fouls. Having said that, I still love what I see. Had some nice moves in the post and is a very good rebounder (even in limited minutes).
    Lucas great again .. Jose might be a spot shooter in limited minutes, but thats about it. Lowry should be playing 35 mins+ and Lucas should get lots of run too. Doesnt leave much for Jose.
    Im not starting the parade .. but I do like what I see.

    • KJ-B

      Re: DD. . . I’d say that he’s a hard worker + hard work is a major skill.  So I expect him to put in extra time to get as many as the kinks out as he can throughout the year–I just think that he’s just getting used to playing in the post/closer to the rim and that takes a beating on your legs and stamina for the j part of his game. . . the “city game” he’s playing, as Jack Armstrong likes to say, works out pretty well for other 2 guards with less than average shooting ability in the league like Wade/Jordan… so let’s hope he keeps bringing it in the preparation department and collects on the charity stripe!

      FTs over 3s any day!

  • AB7.38pt.on.CB4

    “Even though Stoudemire was 8 for 11 on the night, a couple of those were uncontested dunks on missed switches – an issue, certainly, but when Andrea got into position he was reasonably effective on D.” 
    A new writer writing BS about AB7. Not a good start. Let’s see the facts

    Amare had 3 dunks during the match:

    1st) Q1 6:05 Melo with the ball sideline. Amare screens on Fields so Andrea goes on Melo. Amare go baseline and recieved from Melo. Amir Johnson switch on Amare who bumps into AJ.No call.Dunk

    2nd) Q2 5:40 Felton with the ball. High screen Chanlder on Lowry. Felton dribbles pointing the paint. AB7 only player in the paint. Amare is on right side of Andrea. Andrea rise his arms and tries to intercept Felton pass to Amare

    3rd) Q4 11:51 Amare 3rd and last dunk. Raptors Calderon,Lucas,Kleiza,Anderson,Valanciunas

    Can someone explain better what this new writer was referring to ? Thank you

    • mountio

      arent the first two you described exactly what the writer suggests “missed switches” .. you can debate who is more at fault, AB, the man who got screened or the help d .. but reading what you describe sounds exactly like what was written ..

    • ckh26

      A NICE effort by the writer. Seems he watched the game and has made the prescient observation at the end of his article that the Knicks are indeed overrated. Given the volume of literary dreck from NewYork based media outlets that gushes around the Knicks this is a nice counter piece.

      IMO the Rap’s used this game as a full out attempt to see what an “up tempo” game plan would look like. As a byproduct of that plan  they exposed the Knicks still unresolved problem of employing not one but two ballhogs in a half court offense. Its still a game and if the three other guys on the team aren’t seeing the ball things just kind of slow down and break down. Anthony and Stoudemire will “get theirs” in this system but as a team they will continue to struggle until they can fix that issue. The scoreboard doesn’t have pictures, just numbers, and those numbers says the projected 4-6th place in the east Knicks lost by 19.

      I had missed this piece of myopia from the breakfast read this morning.
      http://www.cbssports.com/nba/blog/eye-on-basketball/20568206/2012-13-eob-nba-division-previews-atlantic-division
      Where Matt Moore calls for a an overweight guy with a bad back to be the rookie of the year in the division. You can sprinkle sugar on it… but its still dreck.

  • Shadybiz

    I had to speak up on Amir having “bricks for hands”  this is not true, he actually has pretty good hands I think your confusing him with Ed “hands of stone” Davis who can rebound but always seems to bumble the ball if it is passed to him for any sort of offence  

    • Garrett Hinchey

      Amir had a rough first quarter catching passes last night. He did a bit better in the second (though his fast break finish was sketchy to say the least) and was more or less held out of the offense for the rest of the game.

      That said, the guy hustles like hell and makes do – I certainly think he’s a valuable player nonetheless and had a great game last night. Not everyone can be great at everything.

  • http://www.facebook.com/fritjof.schuon Fritjof Schuon

    Nice write up!  One small criticism I have is that you failed to mention that the Knicks were without Shump, JR, and Brewer.  You wrote that the Knicks are overrated, however I think that when healthy, the Knicks will be a playoff team and that’s  pretty much all that was expected of them; that doesn’t really scream overrated to me.

    • mountio

      while those guys will help the Knicks .. they are something like 5th thru 10th in terms of importance to the team .. so its not like they were missing key guys. Similar to us not playing Davis and playing Ross limited minutes ..

      • http://www.facebook.com/fritjof.schuon Fritjof Schuon

        I think you’re definitely underrating Shumpert; he’s the Knicks most important perimeter defender and I think he would have made a difference in the game tonight.

        • Bendit

          Not to worry, Melo & Amare will turn him into a one dimensional player (defense). Even if he played and rendered his mark (DD most probably) ineffective, I believe the Raps this year have the depth to overcome his diminished scoring…and I am giving Shumpert the benefit of full recovery of lateral movement after quite a devastating injury.

          • FAQ

            Ya don’t say ……. and who are you to make such lofty judgments …?

            • Bendit

              Dont like a few facts about your team?….too bad. The Knicks and their boring/elitist fans have a constant sense of false entitlement…you must know that.

              • FAQ

                Today on NBATV, Rick Mahorn predicts that the Knicks will win the Atlantic conference ….. oh… you don’t have NBATV…?!

                • Nilanka15

                  What’s an “Atlantic Conference?”

                • FAQ

                  …same as Atlantic Division … but without chairs….

                • Nilanka15

                  Lol, well played.

    • http://twitter.com/DJAG88 Big D

      They’re overrated in the sense that the Knicks and Knick fan believe that they’re a contender for a championship. The Knicks have enough talent to make the playoffs but that talent hasn’t meshed well at all. They’ll be first round fodder or they’ll imploded. 

      • j bean

        Amare wasn’t interested in defense or rebounding. If they don’t turn that around things could be way worse than they expect.

        • 2damkule

          well, amare hasn’t been overly interested in either for, well, the better part of his career, so…

          • j bean

            Averaging 8-9 per game for the season isn’t what I would call uninterested.

            • 2damkule

              good thing that’s not what i said then…

      • j bean

        mmType your comment here.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XHJKFMCGSMBEQGBRKJVLKUGSEQ john g

      They still overrated. It doesn’t even matter if those guys are in. The ball will stick in Carmelo’s hands and he won’t pass it up. Watch if they make it in the playoffs, Carmelo will force himself to take over, neglect everyone else and it will be a 1 on 5 game. And that’s what we saw tonight as well. The offense hasn’t changed from last year.

      • CJT

        Novack was on fire, making a few shots back to back, but then never saw the ball again.  I have always disliked Carmelo’s game.  That is the main reason he has never realistically competed for anything.

  • 511

    I always look forward to the Saturday morning write-ups on RR after the Friday night game. This one more than held its own. Nice job. 

    • Jerry Garcia

      I too enjoyed this read…good use of the terms cog and kryptonite !! Really starting to feel that Fields is a great addition. 

  • CJT

    Don’t really understand the reference to Amir’s brick hands.  He shot 5 for 6 last game from15+ feet, he catches passes well on the pick and roll and seems to have a pretty good touch around the basket on putbacks etc. 

  • Noloudnoise

    im gay

    • Trudy

      What in the world does have to do with the game?

    • Cesco

      I’ll do anything for the dick

      • Nilanka

        agreed me too.

        • Matt52

          glad to see you boys finally come out of the closet, just wondering if I could be your butt buddy?

          • pran

            I love cock as well

            • Bcstefanskicaseygots2go!!!

              im feeling this shit……but with my penis cuz im gay.

              • Faq

                lets hold hands when we go shopping

                • Lorenzo

                  Loooooooool, oh man, thanks for the show

          • Matt52

             Yeah, that wasn’t me.

            • Nilanka15

              It actually took that buffoon 6 hole minutes to type out this thread. Looks like “what the’s” last ditch effort to get someone to finally read his comments.

              • Lorenzo

                Well I thought it was funny..

              • CJT

                not only that, but the first time his comments were actually understandable.  Write what you know I guess.

                • Trruth

                  that’s because it was me, trolling my ass off. I hoped it would be obvious that it was a joke but I guess not. sorry for hurting feelings.

    • FAQ

      Must be a Montreal fan… tabarnak ….!

  • http://falseprophetsandgods.blogspot.com/ GN. FLAVIVS PHILOVERITAS

    The Raptors have been doing a good job of sharing the spotlight this preseason, it seems like different guys are stepping up each game to get warmed up. That said, this style of play is not indicative of how a real game would play out. I like what I see from Toronto in terms of team depth. This team still is too new and guys like Fields and Lowry need to learn their team-mates’ tendencies. Jonas seems to be better informed, since he had a year to prepare to be a raptor, that kick out to Andrea was what I had seen Landry and Lowry miss repeatedly.

    When they finally gel they should be a fun squad to watch. The Knicks looked bad, they didn’t look disinterested, and played their starters, so I don’t buy the it’s preseason excuse. I could see them breaking down and finishing with a worse record then our lowly raps.

    • CJT

      AB’s numbers were a bit misleading last night I thought.  There were 3 or 4 occasions that he was forced to put up a contested three with the shot clock running out because of poor ball movement and offensive movement.  He did take a few ugly shots, but it looked to me like he jacked a few up because he thought he got fouled and was trying for freethrows but then, no call.

      • 511

        I agree. I’m gonna take it slow getting amped up about AB but I did get the feeling he took it up another half-notch last night, offensively. And defensively, if he keeps doing what he’s doing, I’m a happy Raptors fan. 

  • Jamshid

    Got to love the ESPN highlight of this match. It is all Knicks highlights and not even one basket by Toronto !! 

    • CJT

      but they probably showed every single Carmelo bucket.  F’n espn

      • BlakeMurphy

        Seriously? They didn’t even show Jonas’ sick post moves punking Amare?

    • Lorenzo

       I saw that, I was mad

  • FAQ

    Wins now are rather meaningless, and it’s all about development of rotations and evaluating individual performances.  Teams that lose in the preseason may be developing their deeper rotations and will come out stronger in the regular season.

    Casey is really working on rotations and the wins are a bonus … to sell more season tickets to unsuspecting t.h. fans.

    • Bendit

      zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

      • p00ka

        Look around. The scummy little troll is coming after you now.

        • FAQ

          hey, p00 … you stink … LOL

          • CJT

            Twice in the same thread!  comedy gold.

    • 2damkule

      that’s a great point.  i really, truly believe that people who are on the fence about whether or not to buy season tickets are swayed by how the team does in the preseason.  really.  honestly.

      • cesco

        If the team is winning more than losing during the season , they will fill up the arena , independently of how many season tickets are sold , wouldn’t they ? .

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XHJKFMCGSMBEQGBRKJVLKUGSEQ john g

        hey there ain’t no hockey so they going to watch the raptors

      • FAQ

        BC hopes so too… and the big player murals all over the ACC will be new faces like Lowry, JonasV and TRoss … and get rid of ugly mugs like DD and AB …ya think?!

        • what the

          Don’t forget about Calderon

          • Observant

            Has Jose been traded already..??!!!

    • ckh26

      If wins are meaningless why do they keep score ?

      • FAQ

        Because the tribal honking fans can’t count beyond 20 …??!!!!

  • ibleedpurple

    If this game was any inclination of what the Raptors can be with Jonas and Lowry anchoring their respective positions, then Raptors fan are going to have an enjoyable season of basketball to watch. Lowry was a steal for the raptors in more ways than one. His personality offcourt and his tenacious on court leadership act as stimulus for the other guards on the team in the same way that JV’s constant interior movement sets the tone for the big men. I for one can’t wait for the season to start.

  • 511

    Reading around online, it’s funny
    how U.S. basketball fans and writers almost universally dismiss the Raps
    chances of anything but the basement, so matter-of-factly, before even getting
    a sense of what kind of team they might be. I guess that’s not atypical, but
    still. On top of that, many seem to believe the Knicks will (almost)
    automatically be in the playoffs. I wonder how many are rethinking all that
    after last night?

     

    I like sound so I pay
    attention to sound qualities and while watching highlights this morning on
    NBA.com of last night’s game with headphones on, I could hear crowd sounds that
    I think I’ve only ever heard from Montreal arenas (seriously), especially in
    the fourth quarter. I grew up there so I might be biased … but I don’t think
    so. It was nice to hear the old hometown enjoying the Raps the way only they
    can. And did. 

    • Bendit

      They do have a boisterous arena (more so than at the ACC) and not just when the Raps are up and winning. The last game there was the same. They might be a good venue for expansion.

      • FAQ

        Expanding the NBA into separatist Quebec is a dumb idea… but coming from you …….

        • Bendit

          Quebec is a wonderful province. You should visit sometime. Did you have a point about mixing politics with a basketball franchise?   

          • FAQ

            Lived there and thankfully escaped just in time. Now I’m a Ratpor fan… like you…

            If there is a NBA franchise in Quebec, it could be called … Les Grenouilles Montréal … (Montreal Frogs for you)… LOL

          • Destro

            Montreal is a great place to visit but its a terrible sports city and basketball would not work there..there is no b-ball culture there…

            • CJT

              uh.  ya.  There aren’t any guys who identify Montreal as their hometown.

            • p00ka

              Dalembert, Joel Anthony, Kris Joseph…. how many Toronto players in the NBA that make it so much more a b-ball culture, even with an NBA team in town for 16 (?, scotch, eh) years? As is often the case, you don’t know what you’re talking about, man. Seriously, is there still a segment of T.O. society that pines to think superior to Montreal? It’ll never happen, haha.

              • FAQ

                oh, p00kaka… yer soooo… superieure … et baisse mon cul ….

                • cesco

                   Tu parles francais pire qu’une vache espagnole , …superieur … baise .

                • Observant

                  I’m bi–lingual …. joual et maudites anglais… c’est-la ….!

                • cesco

                   FAQ , n’essaie pas de parler joual , reste avec ta maudite langue anglaise .

  • Roarque

    I’m sure Dwane told the team that Montreal is in Canada and therefore this is a home game that they NEED to win to get Montrealers on the Raptors Bandwagon for this season and the future. He coached like he wanted to let the 1st string win the game and they did. What’s wrong with that?

    • 2damkule

      absolutely.  i’m pretty sure it was a point of emphasis in the pregame discussions…hell, it was probably the ONLY thing he talked about, how it was important to go out there and give it their all to impress the fans, and get more people on the bandwagon.  because, y’know, that’s the most important thing for everyone.

    • FAQ

      … and they got a free plate of poutine after the game because the Raps went over 100 …. ya think??!!!

  • KJ-B

    Well TRoss… “College glory fades fast in the pros.” ~ Pat Riley … Time to get in that extra work, hopefully he’s hitting the rookie wall early, lol..!

    • FAQ

      Give the boy some time to develop … he still doesn’t have a NBA “body”…. after all, the Raps are the NBA Development Team.

  • ad

    5 Observations from this game:
    1) JV is more skilled than I thought.
    2) Derozan still has the ball handling skills of a 4th grade and is still a poor passer. I dont know why theyre still relying on him to become a star when its clear he doesnt have the fundamentals to be one.
    3) Lowry could very well be the best all around point guard in raptors history.
    4) Fields isnt a stiff but hes more suited to a bench role on a good team.
    5) Bargnani played good D but i would like to see more versatility offensively. Like he played in those magical 13 games last season.

    • mountio

      I dont think there is any question about lowry and best all around PG. Who is even close? DS and JC had a couple nice (not spectacular) offensive seasons .. but brutal on D.
      Fields has been better than I thought at the intangibles (getting to the hoop on cuts, right place right time, manufacturing hoops) – but agree – hes a guy whos something like 5-8 on our depth chart .. let alone a good teams. Having said that, I think he has a role in the league .. if he could learn to shoot again (I doubt it, his shot looks broken) .. he could be pretty interesting.
      JV – very very solid moves.

      • Destro

        Damon Stoudamire…

        • mountio

          i included above (DS). brutal defensive player. ok on offense.

    • FAQ

      Good observations, and here’s mine:

      1) JV is not only skilled, he runs the floor faster than Bargs.
      2) BC has not offered DD any contract extension which says a lot.
      3) What about Damon Stoudamire or Alvin Williams who actually played?
      4) Fields may become another costly BC mistake… hope not.
      5) Bargs is obviously not taking the preseason seriously, and why should he if he has concluded the Raptors are going nowhere … again… or maybe he’s saving himself for the regular season… or maybe Casey told him to tank just to see what JV can do.. or ….

  • Bendit

    A tidbit from the NY Post….that Fields and Melo didnt exactly get along as team mates. Surprise! He played him tight and tough last night.

    http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/knicks/montreal_expose_STfttsWM3w4LYUzgzxvZaP

    • FAQ

      That’s good to know …. so happy….

  • NyAlesund

    Great game. It looked like a rs games than the pre-season one.

    JV impressed me despite the early fouls. He is a dynamo. Moving ups and downs costantly. This guy has enormous potential.

    AB played really well. Despite the numbers I saw him to defend well. Better than the usual. Two blocks, some excellent defences against Stat but generally he was active. 7 boards!!!

    Lowry showed all his talent and except for a couple of bad shot he was perfect. DD had a great game but this year we have a plenty of talent to make up some bad nights.

    Field very good.

    Lucas III is unbelievable shooter, and honestly I am thinking that BC has made a great acquisition. Interesting to see Calderon and him together. The big difference compared to the last year is the chance to have a reliable second unit able to score and defend well.

    • 511

      “… plenty of talent to make up some bad nights.” Thinking about this, I’ll be curious to see just how much Casey uses the bench-depth over the course of the season. Especially during some of those stretches we see every year, with back-to-backs, hectic travelling, etc … being able to play Amir more one night and Ed more the next and the like … it’s not hard to imagine that depth playing in our favour in a big way as the gruelling aspects of the season are taking their toll on everyone else, more than maybe it does, us. I’m even wondering if this isn’t more a conscious part of the long-term (season) plan than has been spoken of. Could be. 

      • 511

        … then again, listening to what Casey said after Friday’s game, he is kind of saying just that, how ‘fluid’ the ‘nine or ten’ each night will likely be, depending on match ups. I was more thinking that the ‘nine or ten’ would be constant, game to game. But … apparently not. 

  • Herman

    New Yorks goal this season is to win the division,

    • cesco

       If that is their goal then it has to be the Raps goal also .

  • Danielscott677

    Is it just me are the raps guards stingy with dumping the ball in the post to J.V. like dude should be getting at least ten touches a game! Espesially with all the 3 point shooters we have on our roster this year??

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XHJKFMCGSMBEQGBRKJVLKUGSEQ john g

      I wouldn’t give JV the ball that many times. JV isn’t that strong enough to really back down anybody. He couldn’t even back down Carmelo. He got a nice move on STAT but I wouldn’t count on him still at this time as a consistent threat in the low post.

      • Bendit

        PnR. He rolls really well. In time I suppose since they probably just want him to play D and without fouling. But it’d be nice if Lowry and he could hook up a couple of times at least. 

      • Lino Dinardo

        Wow what game were you watching. He has great hands and backed up amare like he was event there. The kid has a ton of strength and knows the game better than most players his age. I really would love to see Casey give him 25-30 mins per game if he can stay out of foul trouble, he does a ton of little things, takes a lot of space and is everywhere. If raps get in the post season he would be a major factor and deserving of rookie of the year votes.

        Is it really that far fetched? He has the desire and tools and a great defensive coach who coached a defensive player of the year

        • Destro

          Yea those fouls ARE the problem tho…

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XHJKFMCGSMBEQGBRKJVLKUGSEQ john g

          Scoring on Amare is not an achievement, everybody does in the league. He still seems out of control with the ball at times and doesn’t know what to do. He doesn’t recognize help defenders in the post and when to pass it out. In one of the plays, when he backed down Amare, he turned to shoot, only to look and not even see Tyson’s big hand blocking the ball. Or the other play where he double dribbled right under the basket for some reason when he got double teamed.
          I don’t mind giving it to him in the post a few times, but he isn’t a consistent threat in the post night in night out.

      • Destro

        He could post up Melo problem is he receives the ball so far away from the basket…He needs to learn to pass out and re post when that happens…and not over dribble and make too many moves…realistically he needs to re post one foot in the box..1-2 dribbles and go to his move…the 3-4 pump fakes wont work by mid season…

        I like the fact he DOES recognize when hes guarded by a small guy to ask for the ball in the post and go to work…

      • Danielscott677

        I dunno man…he is a strong 20 year old . And he looked good backing down amare like he wasnt even there. He has got good hands and feet and the only way to get better is two give the poor guy 3 touches a quarter. Not to much to ask when AB is out there dashing up ridiculous outside attempts under strong coverage

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XHJKFMCGSMBEQGBRKJVLKUGSEQ john g

          Everyone scores on Amare. Lets see you give him the ball against Bynum and Garnett this year, where he’ll see them often.

    • Matt52

       Guys have to hit the three’s to really create the space and opportunities for JV.  Outside of Lowry and Lucas the 3 pt shot has hardly been a weapon and those are the guys usually going to be the other half of the PnR.

  • Soquick23

    raptors played a great game. Its going to be interesting to see what second unit linups coach casey will go to. What happened to Quincy Acy tho? i havent heard anything about him. Is he hurt?

    • Lorenzo

      No, he isn’t hurt, he’s just a second rounder

  • DryDry

    The late night at the Super Sexe the night before made the Knicks very very very tired

    • FAQ

      Do they allow ‘touching’ there in Montreal…???

  • Philoveritas

    JV isn’t getting enough looks imo, probably they are trying to work him in to the offense slowly. He’s backed down a few opposing bigs this preseason.  

    • Observant

      JV is our “weapon of mass confusion”… and is being kept secret under wraps..!!

      JV will change the colour of the game when inserted … into the lineup..!!!