Toronto Raptors 113 Final
Recap | Box Score
99 Cleveland Cavaliers
Ed Davis, PF 24 MIN | 2-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 4 PTS | -1Was pretty invisible and missed a few easy buckets. 4 rebounds in 24min is not what we have come to expect, even against a strong rebounding team.
Jonas Valanciunas, C 19 MIN | 3-6 FG | 2-4 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | -2Had a typical Jonas game, doing “the right things” and occasionally being rewarded with a whistle or a bucket, while also occasionally flashing his inexperience.
Jose Calderon, PG 33 MIN | 10-15 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 6 AST | 23 PTS | +7Carried the team offensively in the early going and it honestly felt like he had ALL of the points at half (really just 15). Kyrie got his, of course, but what do you expect? Yet another stellar performance from Jose The Starter.
Mickael Pietrus, SG 16 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | -6Very empty. The “rush” of joining the team has worn off and he is likely at risk of losing his role with Double-A and Fields back, Ross growing, and Kleiza apparently being relied on as a key offensive contributor.
DeMar DeRozan, SG 36 MIN | 4-9 FG | 8-8 FT | 5 REB | 4 AST | 16 PTS | +15A relatively quiet 16 for DeRozan, he did well getting to the line against wings that have no business guarding him. He also helped keep the returning Waiters in check.
Amir Johnson, PF 29 MIN | 6-7 FG | 5-5 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 17 PTS | +16Great performance for Amir, who worked hard out of the pick-and-roll, did a nice job defensively and also showed a nice passing touch on high-low feeds. Struggles on the D-glass were the only wart.
Linas Kleiza, SF 21 MIN | 2-6 FG | 6-7 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | +5The Lithuanian Bomber wasn’t hitting from outside (typical) but managed to exploit an odd match-up situation to get to the line frequently as a small four.
John Lucas, PG 15 MIN | 4-7 FG | 1-1 FT | 1 REB | 5 AST | 11 PTS | +7Great performance for Lucas, who once again added a handful of assists to his point total. I still like him better as PG3 but he’s turned a corner since his horrid start.
Alan Anderson, SG 32 MIN | 6-12 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 18 PTS | +20Kobe! Anderson probably still shoots too much, but after an 0/8 Friday he has been on fire for two straight, mixing in threes with free throws. Slow your role a bit and you can be a valuable bench piece.
Terrence Ross, SG 15 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | +9Pretty invisible playing time for Ross, whose minutes will likely be in flux even more with a full complement of wings now available.

Five Things We Saw

  1. Sorry this is brief. I ZOOMED through the PVR since I was only able to half pay attention to the game on my first viewing (meeting a friend’s baby). Tomorrow’s post-game will be after a more thorough viewing.
  2. I don’t LIKE seeing John Lucas on my screen, and he’s too wild for my tastes, but when he has it going he’s a real spark plug.
  3. Every mediocre game Ed Davis has is risky for him, since eventually, you’d think, Bargnani will be back and minutes for him and Amir will again be at a premium. Can’t squander this opportunity.
  4. Three Cavaliers with face masks is hilarious. BTW, John Krolik’s assessment of Tristan Thompson as someone who does some things well but a lot of things poorly was on full display in this one.

  • hateslosing

     Ed Davis had a bit of trouble tonight, but Varejao does that. I don’t think you can ignore the assists he’s starting to get though. It’s been a long time since we had a good passer in the post (actually it may be never) but Ed is starting to show some of that. Amir too tonight so maybe it’s a system thing.

    • Danny De Vito & Co.

      Ed Davis got a bit of a wake up call tonite, mate. Brrrrrr a Top 10 PF in the  League, I love all this Internet GM (no euro I suppose)

      Kyle Lowry got a bit of a wake up call tonite as well. Do you know what I mean, bro ?  Brrrrr

  • Dc

    I swear if casey starts king bargs when he comes back he deserves to be fired. He should only get about 15 mins per game if that, and needs to be traded for a box of rocks if BC had the balls to do it. This team is playing way way better without that lazy ass mofo. Good game from the raps tonight looks like caldy is trying to play his way back into a pg controversy. Dude plays better if he has legit competition. 

    • NyAlesund

       “This team is playing way way better without that lazy ass mofo………….AND LOWERY.

      You have to finish the sentence correctly………….man……….

  • Vanlivin

    LOGIC. You have a player that anyone who isn’t infatuated with sees as first maybe even second big off the bench for a good team.  You start that guy with major minutes out of stubbornness.  By doing so you are leaving yourself no opportunity to be a good team, you can only be a bad team.  After a quarter of the season in a dirty hole.  Managements poor decision.  Still paying child support.  Not necessary.  Maybe finally that circle is broken.

  • Daniel

    Lucas is blossoming now without Lowry in the line-up. He played the same role to perfection in Chicago. How could Colangelo have been so stupid and trade for Lowry? How does he feel now? A bunch of mostly underdogs are playing hard defense and beautiful offense without Lowry, Andrea, and Fields, his franchise player and 2 off-season signings. How can this man have a job in NBA?
    Jose is getting better with age. His court vision is amazing, his passes are unbelievable, his confidence is off the charts. He seems at peace with himself and he plays in a state of complete serenity. His teammates love playing with him and have a lot of confidence. We are 5-6 with Jose/Lucas combination. Lucas is a streetballer like Lowry however he knows his role and he plays it to the best of his abilities. The second unit is thriving with him at the helm.

    • KJ-B

      Cool to hear you being positive, losing is trying for all of us in the Republic… +1

    • NyAlesund

       Lucas III/Lowry. The first knows his role, the second feels like the franchise player. This is the problem.

      BC is not a good GM. I am not dscussing about the talent, Lowry has a lot of it, but the chemistry and the ability to build the team with the right guys. You can’t think that everytime 2+2 is 4. Simply Lowry is not the right one in this team.

      What is scare me is the fact that in BC’s mind the post of pg would be compose by Lowry and Lucas III. OMG

      Ed Davis
      Another performance as role player. No more than this. We want to trade AB, ok, but that is what this guy can do. One good game with other under the bar. Role player.

      I am also convinced that he is a big resource for us, but now, I am expecting some things from BC. That scare me the most.

  • KJ-B

    The beautiful thing about tonight’s game is that it crystallized for me the time I started watching NBA Basketball some 30 years ago as a little kid in the 80’s…THIS is the WAY they played Basketball: ‘the right way’…

    Denver played one way, Dallas another, Milwaukee another, Pistons another and of course my Lakers vs the Hated Celtics on a WHOLE LEVEL!  But no matter who, whether it Fat Lever or Mark Aguire or some one only the hoop heads, each team had players like Amir Johnson, Jose Calderon who cared more for the unit than themselves…

    Basketball then was about fundamentals, not flash, not SportCentre hilights — or enormous contracts — you played caused you Loved the Game. Point Blank.  It was one for all + all for one…those were the things that inspired my dad to put up a hoop in our yard all de way down in the Caribbean :)  It’s the way I played as a high schooler back in the 90’s a starting pg in Canada averaging like 6ppg 8 rbs and million steals and assists per game–EVERYONE played their role to their heart’s content…

    My only hope is that Coach Casey, a baller of Kentucky fame from back in the day, protects the purity of what is happening on this team–It’s a time honored principle: Less IS more… Let the Basketball move and it gets a contagious energy + then you have harmony and this Amazing flow–The Spurs know that feeling.  The Pistons rediscovered it some years back + even with lesser talent it’s wonderful to see it among this year’s version of the Raps!!! FINALLY The Game gives back… GO RAPTORS!!!!

    • KJ-B

      Let me edit this–my apologies…waaay too tired…G’Nite + go Raps!!!

      Denver played one way, Dallas another, Milwaukee another, Pistons another and of course my Lakers vs the Hated Celtics on a WHOLE other LEVEL!  But no matter who, whether it was Fat Lever or Mark Aguire or someone only the hoop heads knew, each team had players like Amir Johnson, Jose Calderon who cared more for the unit than for themselves… DeRozan getting there too!
      Basketball then was about fundamentals, not flash, not SportCentre hilights — or enormous contracts — you played caused you Loved the Game. Point Blank.  It was one for all + all for one…those were the things that inspired my dad to put up a hoop in our yard all de way down in the Caribbean :)  It’s the way I played as a high schooler back in the 90’s as a starting pg in Canada averaging like 6ppg 8 rbs and like  a million steals and assists per game–EVERYONE played their role to their heart’s content…

    • Daniel

      I started playing in the 70’s. I played SF. I wasn’t a very good dribbler because I didn’t need to: my coach made us move the ball, set screens, cut to the basket, playing “the right way”. The game at all the levels had fluidity and skills: hook shots, pin downs, great post passers were quite common. I can’t stand today’s isolation game and “New Age” PG’s with no vision or passing skills. They changed the rules to make the game more palatable to the masses who are, for the most part, streetballers. I loved the hard-nosed defenses in the 80’s and 90’s. Basketball used to be a man’s sport, today it belongs to primmadonnas. I would love to see a Rodman or Cooper playing defense on LeBron or Durant.
      Anyway, it was depressing to see 96% of RR’s readership liking the Lowry trade. I thought this blog had, relatively speaking, quality posters (not writers, they must be journalists with no knowledge of basketball). I was wrong.

      • Danny De Vito & Co.

        As per quality this place has no residence. I just pop in to have a bit of fun . 

        Writers are crap as the majority of fans, the difference is they fart louder and no one remembers….


      • onemanweave

         My recollections of the Celts go back even further.  They had the Jones Boys — Sam and KC at guards. No one even talked, back then, about point guards and shooting guards. They were just guards, but KC did the ball handling, played defence, was in fact, the point guard. Sam shot the lights out, including some intentional bank shots —  if he was lucky, he was lucky on a consistent basis.  Satch Saunders rebounded and played d and Russell held it all together.
            They beat some incredibly talented Philly teams who has players like Wilt, who was the real deal, don’t kid yourself and Hal Greer.
           Anyway, it was high level basketball.  What I’m seeing from our beloved home town heroes the last three games is NBA basketball. Forget the wins, they’re nice but not necessary.
           That road trip, for the most part, looked like a Saturday morning game at the YMCA — shirts against skins.  I’m not into investing time to watch it.  I played high school ball — badly; am not sharp on x’s and o’s and systems — but I know real pro basketball when I see it. Hope we see some more.

        • KJ-B

          ” No one even talked, back then, about point guards and shooting guards. They were just guards” — lOVE that — 

      • Schtnknhmr

        It must be so dificult and as you say so depressing to see that only 4% of contributers here can see things as clearly as you do. How do you even go on? 

      • KJ-B

        It so true Daniel!!! They call LeBron “1 thru 5” in Miami…well certainly NOT 1 through 5 like Rodman was able to guard!

        And when people compare Kobe/LeBron to Michael Jordan it’s disgustingly laughable…I mean, Michael Jordan could do it all…HE COULD PASS the heck outta  the ball, dribble, penetrate, shoot–THE BEST ON BALL DEFENDER ON THE WING IN HISTORY (Right next to his teammate Pip)…

        Kobe is respected.  LeBron is liked/admired. MJ was FEARED.

        Was truly a different time…hopefully what’s going on with the Raps can last–hand checking: I know, I know…man’s sport indeed! 

        I bought into Lowry trade but after a game or 2, I saw why I McHale traded him calling him then Mike James 2.0 and got blasted–total head case with visions of grandeur who grew up in Philly in the shadow of AI being “the man” but he was actually “The Man With No Rings”…

        • Daniel

          MJ would have never been MJ without the Bad Boys’ experience in ’89-’90. Man, those players hated each other and had a competitive drive that today’s players can’t even understand. Today it’s all about offense, athleticism, and frienship. LeBron wittled when defended by a Bruce Bowen: imagine him defended in the 80′ or 90’s! Imagine my Bulls’ favorite Pippen defending LeBron or Durant! Durant is even a sadder case than LeBron as all he does is jump-shooting. I’m biased for “my game” from the past so when I see throwback players like Jose or Amir I value and enjoy them. I love the Spurs however they don’t play good defense anymore. I like the Grizzlies as they ressemble an old-school team except Gay. I hate the primadonna teams like Heat or the Lakers.
          I hated AI with all my power and I was afraid that he would become the future of the guard position which actually it did happen. The death of the big man in a game for bigs is a sad development for basketball. I grew up watching great bigs (I loved “The Dream”) and to watch today’s bigs being stiff and having no skills it’s very depressing. 

        • Daniel

          One more thing: I couldn’t stop laughing when I read last summer about the comparison between the ’92 “Dream Team” and the 2012 whatever-its-name-was. Even allowing for the age of some of ’92 players, there is no freaking comparison! If the game would be played under ’92 rules, the ’92 team would win 130-60. If the game would be played by 2012 rules, the ’92 team would win 160-90.

          • KJ-B

            Sometimes you just gotta stay quiet and laugh silently as folk like Kobe embarasses himself in his life long pursuit of the horizon that was MJ before him–Shaq was the best player on his first three championships–Kobe’s been to more finals and still has “only” 5–great accomplishment but really tho???

            • knickz

               kobe is nothing more than a cottail rider. be on all star teams his entire career. when he didn’t have that luxury he wanted to be traded

        • Tinman

          Sorry but I watched Jordan play. Lebron deserves to be mentioned in same breath. He is bigger, stronger and faster than Michael ever was.
          Lets have this discussion again in 5 years

          • KJ-B

            But he can’t close like Michael– 6 Finals, 6 MVPs… 

            It didn’t matter the score, the situation, the clock.  Everyone knew that Mike was gonna find a way… Nobody displayed that will to win like he did–especially considering it covered the Golden Age of hoops into the “New School”…

            LeBron James physical abilities maybe out of this world–his mental game is NOT… “90% of the game is 50% mental”…

            Good luck to James winning more than a couple more rings–Wade is starting to fade and Bosh will be a victim of the luxury tax.

            James cannot control a game on the defensive end like Michael + he can’t shoot like MJ–MJ had a 50% career fg% and HIT CLUTCH Free Throws!

            Look Again…

            • FAQ

              Bring Back Bosh (Vince too)..???

              • KJ-B

                Actually think he might go to Chicago–Booz will prolly get amnestied at that time–even tho Booz is balling we know that he has never stayed healthy overly long and although strong, the longer in the tooth, the more being 6’7″ will become a problem at the 4…He could win with Noah, Deng and Rose + possibly get more rings than his more famous teammates in South Beach–just conjecture at this point tho…

              • 511

                Still Vincenhonking. Lol. 

            • knickz

               what do you mean he can’t close like jordan? it fucking drives me insane to hear you morons talk about “lebron isn’t clutch.” when the game is on the line i honestly want the ball in lebron’s hand because i know he’s going to mkae the right play, not force some wild shot while being doubled team. disgust me that a guy gets ripped on for being a team player in a team sport.

            • knickz

               oh and btw, going into last season lebron was the active leader in 4th quarter scoring.

              • KJ-B

                LeBron never had to close against the Knicks or the Pistons or the Jazz of the 90’s…it was waay more physical and you could legit get hurt going to the hoop–you look at James and he gets two ft’s and usually clangs one of ’em–great talent, getting better but Jordan closed every chance he got in the Finals and won ALL 6–have you forgot???

                Reg. season is fine and all but your make your fame in the Finals…Who do you think History will remember Jordan, 6 for 6 OR James 1 for 3???

    • FAQ

      BC will direct DC to start Bargs, Kyle and Fields because all this
      winning is undermining his grand plan for the lottery picks.  You didn’t
      think that BC wanted the TRaps to win so many games?! 

      • QAF

        What lottery picks – it’s going to be OKC pick not raptors so your analysis is wrong.

        • FAQ

          Don’t be such a snotty lil’ nit-picker who is devoid of recognizing sarcasm…!

      • KJ-B

        Uhmm–it’s kinda like watching those Sports movies in real time when you see an owner wants to move/sell a team like in Major League (I think?) and the team goes on a winning streak without its stars…HILARIOUS!!!

        • FAQ

          You got that right… it is HILARIOUS!!!

  • Brandon

    Just think how great the Raps will be when they get Andrea Bargnani back! I mean a stretch 4 must be great if he gets a Primo commercial!

  • Scottbbaird

    I dont think Ed was so bad… Maybe your pvr zooms too fast

  • ghost

    It’s gonna be interesting to see if Casey starts AB or KL when they’re healthy. Remember BC is in the last year of his contract, so if the teams keeps losing he’s gone, which may give him the balls and incentive to have both players come off the bench. On a similer note, Fields didn’t even play tonight even though he was dressed. Maybe he”ll allow Casey to play the best players as he see fit. We’ll see.

    • cesco

       I can see Andrea accepting to come off the bench because he is not a prima donna , never was , never will be . Lowry on the other hand is a prima donna , he will play 1 against 5 if he is demoted , a la Ford .

      • sleepz

        Andrea could never be a prima donna could he?

        Typically those guys shun hard work, physical contact, don’t develop their game outside shooting cuz hey, this ain’t rebound ball. They typically think they are the best player on the team no matter how awful they play, are cold with the local media but are happy to speak to ‘other’ reporters about the true state of the team and just generally feel that playing ball is a right not a privilege.

        Andreas not that type of guy is he?

        I only speak for myself but once your ‘team player’ is traded you won’t be missed round these parts in the least.

        • cesco

           Sorry to disappoint you but I intend to continue following the Raps if Andrea is traded . I found interest in Amir , DD , JV and TR and now AA . I am sure that with their continuous development the games will be more enjoyable to watch than it is now . After watching Davis offense last night , I have little fear Andrea will be traded any time soon . One indication that all the haters are afraid to mention is that Casey has not used him ( Davis ) in the fourth quarter , that is an indication that Andrea will finish the games but may be not start them  .

          • sleepz

            You’ll be gone. That is one thing I’m sure of.

            To clarify, are ‘haters’ now officially fans who like Ed Davis or feel he should get more playing time or simply those that think Andrea Bargnani doesn’t fit this team?

            We’ve seen what happens when Andrea finishes games. The same as when he starts them.

            Enjoy your remaining time my friend.

      • Statement

        I agree with you cesco,

        Although in my opinion Bargs is what is wrong with this team, I don’t think he’s a prima donna.  I think he will play whatever role is required, no questions asked.

        Of course, scrubs should always have that mentality. 

    • ckh26

      If the Raps keep close to .500 pace without Barney in the lineup then Casey has what he is looking for. They can win without him. So Barney then either buys into Casey’s system and we get some mileage out of him or gets the quick hook and sits and they continue to use Davis and Johnson going forward. This gives the team options. You can look to trade Barney but in my opinion his trade value is likely low on getting a draft choice or a not quite ready for prime time player. Colangelo will likely wind up with a my problem for your problem trade. Or we could amnesty him and pocket another 10M along with Jose’s expiring deal and have some money for that elusive SF. 
      Its good to have options. We will either get some mileage from him when he comes back, trade him for something, or simply write off the asset and buy something new. 

  • knickz

    as a ed davis fanboy i was very upset with his play tonight, how can you let a scrub like tristan thompson school you like he did? like what allan anderson is doing but this guy needs t know his role and stop trying to force shit

  • knickz

    I wonder what our record would be without the horrible officiating? I ripped into the nba account on twitter after i realized these refs were trying to hand the cavs the game who were fav by -4.5

    • KJ-B

      I KNOW eh, Lucas couldn’t even whisper at Kyrie… Was funny though, cause every time Lucas subbed in, Irving would dribble down the court, Lucas would give him space to guard against the trey + Kyrie would sink a pull up 3!!! 

      The Raps though, overwhelmed them with their depth… The guy who was killing the Raps was actually Daniel Gibson whom Scott benched “inexplicably” after kiling the Raps in favor of Waiters (I understand but the Raps are susceptible to outside shooting/perimeter D)– Boobie Gibson could be an amazing backup “stretch pg” in TDot. lol!

    • FAQ

      I believe the NBA reffing is allowing a lot more contact this season to make the game go faster for tv.  Previous seasons they were giving too many fouls and the games dragged on too long.  Now they are letting the men play and the boys whine.

      I like this more physical game because it allows the players to be more aggressive, particularly under the basket. Also, gonna be more flagrant fouls and technicals. 

  • FAQ

    Something strange happening in the NBA….. $100 Mil+Luxury Tax Lakers barely won by 2 points against the $58 Mil Bobcats … and Lakers were down by as much as 16 points!

    TRaps without their big salary players Bargs, Kyle and Fields, passed the ball like whirling dervishes and trounced the Cavs in Cleveland. Tomorrow they play in Detroit.

    Excluding Jose and Demar, the rest of the team are nominal role players with little to no trade value… yet they provided a teamwork synergy that has not been seen before.

    What’s changed? These blue collar role players are fighting to extend their NBA careers with or beyond the TRaps. They are limited talents but hungry and desperate to prove themselves and now they have the opportunity. It must be a shock to both DC and BC… as it is to me!!!!

    We are witnessing the emergence of a new team culture… and will this culture still flourish with Bargs, Kyle and Fields?  Fields was benched, Kyle may be ready soon, and Bargs is out for several weeks more.  Gonna be interesting.

    One thing for sure, Jose’s agent is going to push BC for a juicy 3 year contract… since BC was rumoured to have offered Nash a near-max contract. Is Jose > injury-ridden and decrepit Nash???  Lakers could have sure used Jose against the Bobcats!!!

    (p.s. With only a $59 Mill team salary, the TRaps are gonna make a lot of $$$$ for the MLSE!)

  • Jigglyboo

    Does anyone notice how much the raptors needed Alan Anderson in order to win? 3 – 0 since his return and that guy is making shots. He is just the 6 man needed for this team.

    • onemanweave

        I think defence and ball movement had a lot more to due with the wins that AA. However, he was playing well before he got hurt and he’s playing well now.
        I think because he came via the Jamairo route many fans tend to discount him automatically.  He seems to have a lot better head on his shoulders than Moon who was athletically gifted but systematically challenged.
         As far as Anderson ‘forcing’ shots — a lot of those ‘forced’ shots are going in. Yes, he should try and work it inside and move the ball, but that seems to be happening, for now, anyway.  I don’t see anyone else on the current Raps, I’d rather see shooting the three.

    • KJ-B

      “The Everywhere Man” indeed…

  • ibleedpurple

    The current team with Calderon at the helm is a system team. They run an offensive set and take shots when the rebounders are ready or when pick and rolls are run.

    The only issue I have with Lowry is the quick jumpers early in the shot clock. This generally results in a reverse break as our bigs are slow in getting back. Pastasauce has the same problem. He jacks up shots early in the clock causing difficulty for his team members to get set on O or D. Pastasauce should be nailed to the bench if he does recover from his injury. Lowry needs to play system ball.

    • Statement

      + 1 million.

      Pastasauce is a chucker of the higest order.  I’m not giving up own Lowry, but there needs to be a signifcant change to the offensive system if he is the go to guy versus Calderon.

    • FAQ

      Doubtful it will happen.  Bargs must take a lot of long shots to establish his shooting touch.  If it’s not there and he’s struggling on defense; bench him.

      Lowry may not mentally capable of playing “system ball”.  His shoot first mentality is revealing itself, as was prolly recognized on the other teams he played for.  Also, he goes idle when the ball is not in his hands; he just stands there waiting to get the ball back. He’s also a lousy passer which is common for ball hogs.  Too short and too lazy to be a SG.  Another challenge for Casey.

      This is a bunch of disparate players trying to jell into a viable team.  Let’s see how the sweathogs do against top teams even if they lose… it’s how they lose.

  • Tomsawyer

    when Kleiza hard fouled Varejeo the game changed and the fight went out of him. He did relatively nothing for the rest of the game. Somtimes Kleiza gives things we hardly see.