Quick Reaction

Quick Reaction / Recap: Raptors 89, Celtics 107

Celtics shot 74% in the first quarter.

Toronto Raptors 89 Final
Recap | Box Score
107 Boston Celtics
Dominic McGuire, SF 17 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -8

Tasked with guarding Paul Pierce, he did as well as we’d expect him to. One should beware of expecting too much from scrubs, so I’ll heed that advice and leave it at this: defensive duties aside, if you are a starting SF on the Raptors, at the very least you’ll have to spread the floor and unfortunately, nobody seems to do that, least of all McGuire.

Andrea Bargnani, C 26 MIN | 5-14 FG | 4-5 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 15 PTS | -22

15 points on 14 shots and 4 turnovers. He had some moments in the third where it looked like a revival was upon us, but when you step back and take a look at his overall game, all you’ll see is a selfish player playing for himself. Casey even helped him out by committing to a cross-switch of sorts, just so he wouldn’t have to guard Garnett.

Jonas Valanciunas, C 19 MIN | 1-4 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | -7

Had issues guarding Garnett, as expected. Garnett’s early points were less his fault and more poor communication by the Raptors, worst of all was communication on the screens. I hate Garnett, but he’s a legend and this was a lesson for Valanciunas. There’s lot to be learned from Garnett which has little to do with actual basketball – psychological approach to the game, demeanor on the court, and of the sort. Jonas should take note, because he’ll need to have that to realize his potential.

Jose Calderon, PG 28 MIN | 3-7 FG | 2-3 FT | 2 REB | 9 AST | 10 PTS | -15

Only took 7 shots and that’s a shame because Rondo’s defense was off, and the only guy on the Raptors that looked to have an advantage in any matchup was Calderon. It’s too bad he tried to play the role of distributor, when in fact he should have been hoisting up 20 shots.

DeMar DeRozan, SG 24 MIN | 5-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | -5

Pierce had him sealed off in the first half and he couldn’t find his usual avenues to the rim. I don’t recall seeing a single post-up by DeRozan – against any one. Call it the Celtics fronting whenever he did try to post-up, or there simply not being a game-plan to get DeRozan going, you just feel he could’ve had more from this game.

Ed Davis, PF 21 MIN | 2-3 FG | 3-6 FT | 9 REB | 3 AST | 7 PTS | -11

Beast mode. Great game by Ed, very active on the glass which has been the norm. Kept possessions alive and if his backcourt partners could’ve controlled a few more tap-outs, he would’ve had three more rebounds. Defensively, he played well and cleaned up on offense whenever he could. He’s playing the role that’s defined for him to perfection.

Amir Johnson, PF 16 MIN | 0-1 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 1 PTS | -5

We got injuries everywhere and you expect a guy with his experience (8th year) to deliver something more than this. He’s inconsistent and if Bargnani is getting slack for his performances, there’s no reason Johnson shouldn’t, regardless of his effort level. It should be said that there wasn’t enough done to involve him in the offense today, but then again his game is so limited and stuck to the pick ‘n roll that it’s difficult to do so.

Quincy Acy, SF 12 MIN | 1-1 FG | 4-4 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | +5

Garbage time PT. Looks like Reggie Evans.

Linas Kleiza, SF 24 MIN | 3-9 FG | 4-7 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 10 PTS | -9

He should be doing one thing and one thing only on offense: posting up his man, taking a few dribbles, and unleashing a hook-shot. Everything else looks like a bad idea. He did supply a punch in the second/third quarters when the Raptors looked to compete, but it was too little. This isn’t a case of hindsight being 20/20, he was a poor signing then and remains one to this day.

Aaron Gray, C 2 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | +4

Came in with 1:45 left in the game.

John Lucas, PG 26 MIN | 5-11 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 3 AST | 15 PTS | -4

Good one from Lucas, hit some threes which Raptor fans are thirsting for; produced something of significance in the Raptors second/third quarter run. This was going to be a tough road game and likely a L from the start, let’s just hope this kickstarts him.

Terrence Ross, SG 24 MIN | 4-6 FG | 0-1 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | -13

I don’t recall him scoring any points whatsoever so I was shocked to see him have 10 in the box score. On further observation, he appears to have scored all 10 in garbage time which explains why I have no memory of this. He’ll come around eventually, nobody can be as useless as he’s been this year so it can only get better. Forget the offense for a second, where’s that defense he was touted for?

Five Things We Saw

  1. Celtics shot 74% in the first quarter. Dribble penetration from everyone, easy kick-outs for jumpers all quarter long. Poor communication in the first quarter by the Raptors and it’s getting harder to explain why a Casey-coached team is starting games like this.
  2. The Raptors made a great run in the third quarter, which had the deficit hovering around 2-5 points after being down 16 earlier. Paul Pierce’s five consecutive points pushed the lead back to 7, and for me that was a turning point.
  3. This game had very little energy until late in the first half when the Raptors made their comeback, thanks to some great play by Lucas, Davis, and even Kleiza. The second unit was key in buckling down and slowing down the dribble penetration. They forced turnovers, were aggressive going to the rim (unlike the starters), and outscored the Celtics bench 16-0 in the second.
  4. Rondo had 20 assists somehow. I can’t explain it.
  5. This game looked to be coming into the fourth quarter quite close, especially after the Raptors’ third quarter opening. Unfortunately, the third ended with the Celtics going on a 13-2 run where the Raptors committed three turnovers (two by Bargnani) and missed two long jumpers.
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