Houston Rockets 96 Final
Recap | Box Score
103 Toronto Raptors
Ed Davis, PF 26 MIN | 6-9 FG | 1-1 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 13 PTS | +12

Excellent defense all game, unbelievable 3rd quarter. Game would have been over earlier if they had him out in crunch time. Maintaining effort is a talent, and along with his length and quick hops, Ed Davis is turning into a beast before our very eyes. He should be the starting PF even when you-know-who comes back.

Jonas Valanciunas, C 14 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | +12

Played good D on Asik. Match-ups dictated the quick hook, not his play. If Arvydas Sabonis thinks he’ll be good, you just fall in line and agree.

Jose Calderon, PG 37 MIN | 6-12 FG | 5-6 FT | 10 REB | 14 AST | 18 PTS | 0

The only reason Ed Davis has an A and not an A+, is because it would be doing a disservice to this man. You give Jose a traditional basketball team, with bigs flashing to the net like bigs should, and you see how effective he can be. He can easily handle the extra offensive burden due to Lowry and you-know-who’s absence. He does it way more efficiently too. Way more. Hard not to root for the guy, he leaves it all on the court.

Mickael Pietrus, SG 21 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | +8

Alan Anderson happened to Mickael Pietrus. Looks like the adrenalin of being back in the NBA is starting to wear off.

DeMar DeRozan, SG 35 MIN | 8-19 FG | 2-2 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 19 PTS | +7

Played in control, made plays when needed. He was a good rebounding guard in college, so it’s nice to see the 7 rebounds. Didn’t do a great job when on Harden, but overall a good effort.

Amir Johnson, PF 29 MIN | 4-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | -3

Seems to be buoyed by playing big minutes with his Young Gunz counterpart Ed Davis. This is the pre-contract Amir Johnson who tries to block everything with enthusiasm. He was a big part of that third quarter run with his stellar defence.

Linas Kleiza, SF 19 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 2 PTS | -8

Tried to replicate the 3-point magic of last game. What actually hapened is called “regression to the mean”.

John Lucas, PG 12 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | +11

The main expectation for him this game was to hold the fort until Jose got back into the game, and that he did, although it was really the next guy on this list to sparked the bench in the second half.

Alan Anderson, SG 25 MIN | 6-12 FG | 9-9 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 24 PTS | 0

Never thought I’d say these words: We missed you Alan Anderson.

Along with Jose, it was he who carried this team offensively. Big threes in the fourth. Great baseline and1 at the end of the game to put that final punctuation mark on what may have been his best game as a Raptor.

Terrence Ross, SG 23 MIN | 4-10 FG | 0-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 9 PTS | -4

Offensively OK, had a couple of nice plays in the fourth. He is long and athletic, which is why he needs to take the ball to the hoop more. Every time he does, he looks fantastic doing it. Once again his man defence bumps up his grade.

Five Things We Saw

  1. Boy how many indirect shots did Jack Armstrong take at Bargnani today?
    “Now this looks like a Casey coached team…You don’t have to have a stretch 4 to have a good offense…They’re getting a lot of assists and playing as a team!”
    You know the writing is on the wall when the MSM homers start to bark.
  2. Ed Davis should have played in crunch time in the 4th. He’s not a typical, lumbering big. He’s actually perfect for guarding a small-ball lineup, and he’s proving not to be a real liability offensively either.
  3. Linsanity is a distant, distant memory. Jose Calderon chewed him up and spit him out. How does a player become that bad that quickly? He really hurt his team today.
  4. Maybe it’s the beard that adds to the effect, but man does James Harden get a lot of calls for running right into players. I liked the old NBA where guys tried to go around defenders and not into them just to get a call.
  5. Was it just me or was this the first game in recent memory that you were really, really into? I found myself going through a rollercoaster of emotions that I didn’t know I had after the last couple of seasons. Amazing how much easier it is to root for a team that scraps, hustles and plays team ball. Great game.
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