Toronto Raptors 110 Final
Recap | Box Score
113 Denver Nuggets
Andrea Bargnani, C 40 MIN | 10-20 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 23 PTS | +7

The only guy who could take advantage of his matchup. He scored over Faried with ease and bailed the same out in equal measure. From a strategy point of view, I’m surprised Casey didn’t call enough plays where he caught the ball in the post as the first option. It would’ve slowed the pace down and given the Raptors a semblance of a chance.

Jonas Valanciunas, C 23 MIN | 3-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 7 PTS | -18

To give you an idea of how hard Denver runs (on make or miss, BTW), Valanciunas with all his hustle still couldn`t keep up with their bigs running down the heart of the lane in transition. He had good moments against McGee and even Koufus, but got visibly tired as the game went on. He did make a couple nice moves for a reverse dunk and a floater over McGee. Easily the best screener on the team who needs more touches, if for nothing than to keep the fans interested.

Kyle Lowry, PG 34 MIN | 6-16 FG | 11-11 FT | 3 REB | 7 AST | 24 PTS | +3

I’d like him to calm down, take a breath, and have a good long think about what the best option on the floor is. I appreciate the emotion and gun-slinging persona, which would be great if you`re a backup coming in to spark the fire, but as a starter you got a higher level of responsibility, that of team function, cohesiveness and organization, all areas of interest that seem to bore him. Went some ways to redeem himself by hitting some crazy shots in the fourth, but had absolutely no reason to leave Lawson to help in the middle on that three at the two-minute mark.

Mickael Pietrus, SG 25 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | -5

Not much from him this game. He was guarding Gallinari in the first quarter, hit a three on him I recall. Lost out on PT to Ross, who was simply more energetic.

DeMar DeRozan, SG 40 MIN | 8-13 FG | 1-1 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 18 PTS | +6

Decent statistical game, but lacked impact in my opinion for the first three quarters. Looked somewhat intimidated by Iguodala early and who, I felt, he showed way too much request to. Did hit the glass early when nobody else was, but overall, I felt he scored when it didn’t count as much, if that makes any sense. Nice play in the fourth quarter, though, how much of it was against the Denver bench, I do not recall. Missed the potentially game-tying three. BTW, I know I`m being harsh on him.

Ed Davis, PF 17 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 3 AST | 6 PTS | -3

Played a big part defensively in that fourth quarterrun which amounted to naught, and had a big offensive rebound for a put-back late on. Hedged hard, tracked back to the paint, and hit the glass like we’re accustomed to seeing. You just have to think, though, where he was when we needed him on the glass in the first half.

Amir Johnson, PF 16 MIN | 5-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 11 PTS | +8

Given the massacre on the glass, it’s hard for me to give credit to our bigs for anything, especially the bench kind for their performance in the first half. Let it be said, though, that Johnson did hit his jumpers, including an unlikely three which kept the statistical hope of a comeback alive till late. I do not like the rebounding numbers.

Jose Calderon, PG 16 MIN | 1-4 FG | 1-1 FT | 0 REB | 5 AST | 4 PTS | -7

Brutal first shift where he turned the ball over which led to Denver scores, took bad shots which led to Denver scores, and defended poorly in transition and the half-court which, you guessed it, led to Denver. On a night where Denver’s second unit decided the game early, ours was nowhere to be found and the first guy you got to look at is Jose.

John Lucas, PG 5 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -2

Started the run in the fourth quarter, yet couldn`t keep a cap on the 52-year old Andre Miller. Give him credit for at least initiating that almost oh-so-sweet run.

Terrence Ross, SG 24 MIN | 4-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 12 PTS | -4

With the team down big and free to play, Ross flourished in the fourth quarter in transition, and hit a massive three which cut the lead to three with just over two left. He brought the Mo Pete-style energy which I was expecting him to bring right from the start of the season. Coming along, slowly but surely.

Five Things We Saw

  1. The Raptors slowed the pace down in the second half, which is the main reason they came back in the game. Denver’s transition points decreased, as did our turnovers, rebounding differential, and shot quality.
  2. The Raptors need to stop bringing in help from three different directions on every drive. It leaves perimeter shooters wide open, and Denver made us pay.
  3. Combine the ridiculous speed at which Denver goes from defense to offense with a sickening rebounding differential (especially in the first half), and you should be shocked this one is even close.
  4. Valanciunas was benched in the fourth in favor of Ed Davis, with Casey going for two fours because Davis and Bargnani happened to be playing well. Fair enough.
  5. Raptors were down -19 at one point, and came back to almost tie it at the buzzer, but for DeRozan’s miss. They were -15 on the glass for the first half, but only -1 in the second. They were -11 on the offensive glass in the first half, and only -3 in the second. The Raptors were -24 FTA for the game.
  • knickz

    tough one…glad to see lowry attacking again…rebounds killed us

  • vice

    can anyone explain how the raptors were able to foul someone off ball with 5 seconds left in the game, i thought the rule was you have to foul the man with the ball, did the refs just somehow not know the rules?

    • knickz

       noticed that. think that’s what karl was arguing about. should have been a technical foul on the raptors. what was the spread in the game? lol

      • mountio

        I was sayin the same thing in the chat as it happened. I think the refs were arguing that the foul was part of the hand-off / screen and thus not “off the ball” …. seemed pretty dubious to me. Also seemed like bad coaching that we left Faried (a bad foul shooter) so wide open in the back court. Im ok letting them inbound it to him, but we need to be like flies on shit on him as soon as he gets it.

        Oh ya .. for everyone who claims there is a reffing consiracy against us .. heres an example of a key one going our way.

        As for the game .. great comeback .. but we just couldnt execute shots when we needed them. An open T Ross 3 (on great ball movement), Lowry drive that lets blocked and then an AB 3 .. we needed to score on 2 out of 3 of those possessions. Great otherwise, but needed those.

    • Theswirsky

      There were 2 problems there.  A foul should never have been called on Lowry, but the Refs were so ready for him to foul Miller they blew the whistle too quick. It was a clean pick and Lowry did nothing wrong by being screened.  Then since the refs did blow the whistle and called a foul off the ball it should have been a technical or 2 shots and the ball  (can’t remember which off hand)

      Its a situation where a call never should have been made, but since it was it shouldn’t have been a straight 2 FTs for Faried

      It was those bias Raptor hating refs at work again. Making the wrong call,  stopping the clock early and giving 2 FTs to Denver’s worst shooter on the floor in a 3pt game.  Oh wait…..

  • j bean

    Agree with your assessment of the pg play and believe better decisions by Lowry and less court time for Jose would have prevented the big hole they couldn’t quite dig their way out of. 

    • FAQ

      Casey had Lowery and Jose on the floor at the end of the game…. compensatory strategy?

  • Agunn

    over all i’m happy raptors gave a good effort, cant blame them for not having a better over all team then denver, or coach, bc on the other hand !!! we could blame the refs but im getting tired of it now. keep up the effort and ill keep up with my ratings

  • Brandon

    Great win for the Raps. Another dominant night for Derozan and Bargnani.

    • FAQ

      Win or lose… irrelevant for a deevelopmental team trying to jell.  

      • MoCo

        problem is, we’ve been in this rebuilding / “developmental” state for years now… bc sold us this year on a team looking to compete. he specifically mentioned the playoffs as a realistic goal to aspire to. so if the message is to compete, then it’s not to be “develop.” the problem is that we could do both by playing our best guys, and not being held hostage by bc’s love-in with andrea and terrible team-building decisions

  • nes

    Thanks Arse, that’s a fair assessment. Reading some of the forums make me feel like I am losing my sanity. My expectations might be low, Raps played hard in the second half and I feel happy with it.

    The team isn’t on the right page though, seems like there are chemistry and communication issues. Coach has to fix this. 

    • FAQ

      Have you noticed that DD, Lowery, TRoss are trying to deevelop their offensive game while sacrificing their defensive game?  It’s tough playing great offense and solid defense… exhausting too. 

      Oh well, as long as the big paycheques keep on rollin’ in ……!

      • FLUXLAND

        And how can they jell or even sacrifice on the offensive end when you gotta make sure the paycheques keep rolling in, while beating that league tenure average?  Farm teams don’t jell.. they develop players for other teams.

        Defense doesn’t get you contracts, when they are dictated by offensive stats.

        • FAQ

          Yup…. and notice that the t.h.f.’s on this and other forums only talk about “who scored what”, and how many “rebounds” were snagged.

          “Scoring” is the easiest and most satisfying stat because it is an extension of their delusional hero complex.  And “rebounds” are another easy stat, which also ignores if the rebound was contested or just fell into the hands.

          These fora are so quantitatively superficial, cause t.h.f.’s don’t have the b-ball IQ to make qualitative observations… like you and I do to the chagrin of the mentally and emotionally challenged t.h.f.’s …. so obvious.

  • Lorenzo

    Nice basketball there in the 4th quarter. And that Amir 3?! Wheew!

    Somebody get Ross in the dunk contest, man can really jam.

  • FAQ

    Hmmmm…. jell.. unjell.. jell.. unjell …. and another good deevelopment game…. now if they could steadily play as a “team”.

    Maybe the Raps play better when they are deprived of oxygen… ya think??!!!

    • Rob

      The only way this team will be jellin’ is if they all grab a pair of Dr. Scholls. This ship is sinking.

  • Scottbbaird

    Scoring efficiency would help us win these close ones. Our top scorers were Lowry and Bargs, but they also shot 16-36.

    Derozan has been very efficient of late.

    • John

      they scored a combined 47 points on those 36 shots.

      • Scottbbaird

        12 of those points were ft

        • WhiteVegas

          FT are a huge part of offensive efficiency. FG% is basically irrelevant without taking into context FT’s and 3PT’s.

          • Scottbbaird

            how is fg% irrelevant when the game is basically decided by possessions?

            • WhiteVegas

              Because you can shoot 0 FG on a possession and still score 1-3pts via FT’s.

              For instance, a player could be 0-2 FG (0%FG), 10-10 FT for 10 pts. That’s 10pts on 2 missed FG’s (0%FG), which is actually a very efficient game. See how FG% is irrelevant without taking FT’s into context?Also because a 3pt shot is worth more than a 2pt shot.For instance, a player can shoot 4-10 FG (40%FG) with all shots beings 3’s for 12pts. Or they could shoot 6-10FG (60%FG) with all shots being 2pt shots for 12pts. Same possessions, much worse FG%, same points. See how FG% is irrelevant without taking 3pt shots into context?

              I highly recommend you check out TS%. It is a much much better indicator of a players offensive shooting efficiency.

  • Truthkiller

    Looked like someone ripped their balls off before tip-off they were getting absolutely killed on the glass.

  • Jamshid

    I really like to see this line up on the floor getting extended minutes:

    K.L  D.D T.R E.D  J.V

    We know AB, Jose, Amir and the rest are not a part of future. Stop Chasing the Play offs and start playing these guys together more.

    • NyAlesund

       So, trade them tomorrow…………….

  • ShermanTank

    Is it too early to bring in the tank?

    • Nilanka15

      Shouldn’t tank this year.  Let the pick go to OKC (in a weak draft).

  • Geoff

    Anyone hear Leo Rautins in the pre-game? “Coming into tonight, the Raptors are unbeaten with Michael Pietrus in the lineup.” Unbelievable this moron..

    • tweed8

      LOL. He wasn’t lying.

  • JHP

    Well I think the tank needs to driven into the yard for all to see.  Who is going to come up lame tonight.  AB or DD.  

    At least they play so late at night who cares and we can always check the score in the morning.  I’m guessing another over time thriller. 

  • NyAlesund

    That this the reason why I don’t really appreciate Lowry. 12 points in the 4/4 quarter, excellent, but at the same time he gambled again and this fact hurt us badly. I can even accept a couple bad shots but he DOES NOT leave Lawson alone in the arc.

    Also why AB didin’t have a chance to take advantage of mismatch on Faried. I do not know if it was Casey decison or badly not executed by the pg.

    Great game by Ross. DD played pretty well and the other gave a good support. The second quarter killed us.

    • John

      My guess is Lowry had his usual tunnel vision late in the game that has cost us so often.

      • NyAlesund

         Unfortunately, yes.

  • Deadallus

    Was anyone watching the comeback like me thinking “They are going to come up short and I’m going to be pissed because if they didn’t take the end of the first quarter and the entire second quarter off this could have been a win”.