|Ed Davis, PF 28 MIN | 3-4 FG | 4-4 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | -24
Acquitted himself well going up against one of the best front-lines in the league. Got a little overwhelmed in that third quarter when Memphis decided to go down to their bigs on every possession. Effective on the pick ‘n rolls and always hovering around the glass; he’s the Raptors best stretch defender in the paint, i.e., the guy who can cover his man and be cognizant enough of help duties to contest.
|Linas Kleiza, SF 25 MIN | 5-15 FG | 1-1 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 11 PTS | -13
Started off as a man on fire (3 of 5 FGs in the first), ended up being suffocated under the weight of his own bricks. Maybe he felt the reason for his insertion into the starting lineup was to replace Bargnani instead of McGuire, because he sure did hoist up shots at that rate. He’s best in two-dribble-plus-shoot situations in isolations, not going up against the heart of the defense and flailing up a shot.
|Jonas Valanciunas, C 28 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 2 PTS | -12
Was defending Randolph for some reason, switched to Gasol at times and I thought, overall, made the Memphis bigs work. In a game where you`re getting pounded on the glass, though, your big has to rebound and he didn`t do that. Maybe it`s because when you spend so much energy defending the actual play outside your comfort area, you`re not going to have the energy or the position to fight for the rebound, especially on a back-to-back. He`s got to recognize when a double is coming over because giving him the ball in the post right now is inviting a turnovers.
|Kyle Lowry, PG 27 MIN | 3-10 FG | 5-7 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 12 PTS | -11
The worst player for me last night. After he took the night off in Houston, I was counting him to come back strong today. Instead, it was more of the same: questionable shots, not enough of a focus to break the defense down and get his team going, and extremely poor body language when things start going even a little south.
|DeMar DeRozan, SG 32 MIN | 5-10 FG | 4-4 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 16 PTS | -18
If you’re of the belief that DeRozan could play the three defensively, that period in the third where Gay was going at him should’ve cast some doubts. Had some brief moments in the first where he looked to assert himself, especially after Casey’s early timeout, but after that initial burst he gently faded into anonymity and was nowhere to be found in that third quarter when the Raptors needed a response. Hit a couple threes in the garbage-time that was the fourth, so his stat line isn’t as bad as it should be. Too muted of a game for me.
|Amir Johnson, PF 17 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | +7
I’m surprised that so few fans are calling this guy out for taking three out of four nights off consistently. These are the games, going up against a frontline such as Memphis, that guys like Johnson and Davis need to announce themselves. He wasn’t quick enough to press Randolph, and the fact that the Raptors have to send help on Randolph when he’s posting up against Amir 8-feet out should make you wonder just exactly what Johnson brings.
|Dominic McGuire, SF 3 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | +3
He played? Don’t remember, must’ve been in garbage time.
|Quincy Acy, SF 4 MIN | 0-1 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 PTS | -2
Fouled Rudy Gay hard and got a deserved flagrant. He’s well on his way to be a poor man’s Reggie Evans…wonder what that looks like…
|Aaron Gray, C 18 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | -13
Carved up some good space inside in the first half, hovered in the right areas near the rim, which allowed the guards to drive and made him an implicit threat for a dump-off. Obviously, nothing of substance is expected offensively, but the rebounding was brutal and his lack of athleticism really showed.
|Jose Calderon, PG 18 MIN | 4-6 FG | 3-3 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 12 PTS | -11
I thought he should’ve come in earlier in the third to add some more scoring to the lineup. Ross wasn’t doing much at the time and Calderon had had some success earlier; maybe playing the small ball card with Calderon out there with Lowry and DeRozan was the answer to Memphis’ shift in focus where they went down to their bigs every time. Casey’s not very good at recognizing when his team might have an advantage when facing a siege. A sortie of sorts, perhaps. The third was where something of ingenuity was needed. I`m not saying Calderon was the answer, I`m saying doing nothing wasn`t.
|John Lucas, PG 9 MIN | 2-5 FG | 1-1 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | -1
He`s the new Patrick O`Bryant. His appearance indicates the official arrival of garbage time.
|Terrence Ross, SG 30 MIN | 4-13 FG | 0-2 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 8 PTS | -10
Poor shooting night and very sparse defense. His first half wasn`t too bad, he handled the ball well, played a bit of a playmaker at times, and got in the passing lanes to good effect. Having said all that, his primary role on a team lacking three-point shooting is to provide said three-point shooting and he went 0-6.
Five Things We Saw
- The Raptors were outscored 33-14 in the third. Counting Houston’s third quarter, they’re 71-42 in their last two third quarters.
- Raps started off well and were up 8-7 with Kleiza featuring, but quickly fell behind by 7. Casey called a timeout, settled the nerves and out came a renewed team headed by DeRozan. They ended up shooting 59% in the first and ended the quarter on a 17-5 run.
- After operating a lot out of their guards in the first half, the Grizzlies went down to the paint in the third through Gay, Gasol, and Randolph. That spelt the end of the Raptors.
- Raps were -13 on the glass and had 17 turnovers.
- Andrea Bargnani was out with some sort of ankle thing, so Davis got the start. Kleiza also replaced McGuire in the lineup, with Casey going for Kleiza’s offensive to make up for Bargnani’s. It worked early, but couldn’t sustain.