|Ed Davis, PF 45 MIN | 11-13 FG | 2-3 FT | 12 REB | 1 AST | 24 PTS | -6
For those jonesing for the Davis/Valanciunas combo, you saw the possibilities, albeit against a pretty poor defensive frontline of Blatche/Evans. Davis was awesome by all accounts and some may argue his production quality is of the type that it’s proportional to minutes. Entirely.
|Jonas Valanciunas, C 26 MIN | 6-6 FG | 3-5 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 15 PTS | -8
Throw it down big man! Took full advantage of the shorter and slower Evans in the first quarter and along with Davis, was the main reason for the Raptors’ advantage. He showed us some hook shots, some dribbling, and even some fairly refined finishing (for a rookie big). Did his job in the zone setup as well. How he doesn’t play the entire fourth quarter is mind-boggling.
|Jose Calderon, PG 40 MIN | 4-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 15 AST | 10 PTS | +6
Deron and Jose did the ‘ol switcheroo here for the better part of the game, with Jose looking like the All-Star and Deron like the pile-on. I watched last night`s NYK/BKN game and can tell you Williams was equally bad in that one as well. All in all, solid game for Jose as he performed in the classic usurper role and fed his big men from a trough.
|Mickael Pietrus, SG 28 MIN | 2-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 5 PTS | +8
Missed his threes early, committed a god-awful foul on a three-pointer, and failed to track ANYONE on the court. One of his worst games so far.
|DeMar DeRozan, SG 44 MIN | 5-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 11 PTS | -1
I’ll buy the “he’s not forcing it and letting the game come to him” argument for the first half, but not in the fourth. We needed him late and he got lit up like a slow-burning spliff by Joe Johnson. Poor game when the team needed his scoring, not only didn’t he not provide that, he gave up critical points on defense. Could Casey have switched Pietrus on Johnson sooner? Probably.
|Aaron Gray, C 17 MIN | 2-4 FG | 3-4 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 7 PTS | -7
Played well in the first half where he seemed to be Johnny-on-the-spot, regressed in the second when Brooklyn decided to take this game a little more seriously and collapsed and pressured Raptor bigs.
|John Lucas, PG 19 MIN | 4-10 FG | 1-3 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 9 PTS | -16
Show me something that’s beyond your talent level, will ya? Did hit a couple shots in the fourth and I would’ve liked to see him play alongside Jose to pump up the firepower, but Casey understandably didn’t go there with Joe Johnson lurking at the two.
|Terrence Ross, SG 21 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 7 PTS | -6
Ineffective to the point where you wonder if he`s ever going to find that stroke. Highly questionable shot-selection from a guy who can`t get anything to drop right now. The usual course of action is to look for easy hoops to get your confidence up, not long, contested twos. Nice dunk in transition, though.
Five Things We Saw
- Gotta love Leo Rautins ripping Andray Blatche and Joe Johnson for lack of effort when we got Andrea Bargnani on the team. Who he should be ripping is the coach who, for some reason, let one of our hottest players in JV ride the bench way too long in the fourth.
- At one point it looked like Deron Williams would singlehandedly win us this game. He was 3-11 in the first half and gave me an idea of what fans of other teams think of Bargnani when he`s firing the Raptors out of a game.
- Brooklyn was 6-8 from downtown in the third quarter which is when Joe Johnson and C.J Watson came alive. They also hit their first two shots in the fourth as the game slid away from the Raptors. Those two had a combined 39 points.
- Very slow-paced game which favored the Raptors for a while, but then talent took over (not lack of focus). It sure is nice to have a guy you can dump the ball down to and at least get a high-percentage shot and/or get a double-team going, eh? That’s how the Nets used JJ in the second half.
- Crowd started booing in the fourth which was a bit uncalled for. The Raptors dressed 9 players and played 8, and gave a good effort. All this on the first game back from the west coast. Sure, the Nets were entirely uninterested for the better part of the game, but the boo birds needed to keep quiet and instead chant a more appropriate “Fire BC” chant.