Quick Reaction

Quick Reaction: Pistons 91, Raptors 97

Team ball at its finest.

Detroit Pistons 91 Final
Recap | Box Score
97 Toronto Raptors
Ed Davis, PF 28 MIN | 5-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 11 PTS | +7

Got outmaneuvered on the boards but not outhustled, and still managed to get a respectable line. Tried to come back strong in the face of Monroe/Drummond/Maxiell and did well in the end, you can really tell what a difference a traditional four makes in the lineup. It’s all about balance on the court and Davis’ presence around the rim on both ends is just what this team needs. Nice jumpers too, that thing is coming around. No idea why he didn’t play in the fourth over Johnson.

Jonas Valanciunas, C 27 MIN | 5-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 12 PTS | -3

Great movement off the ball and some composed finishing with the threat of Detroit bigs lurking. I really like how he’s developing overall. Did Monroe burn him? No doubt, but at this point you have to measure how he responds to adversity, and his hustle, intensity and desire to make intelligent plays never dipped.

Jose Calderon, PG 36 MIN | 2-8 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 REB | 17 AST | 7 PTS | +7

Laid it up for his teammates, great in transition, awesome in the half-court set and definitely helped by the excellent off-the-ball movement of his bigs. Other than a brief stretch in the first quarter where was asleep defensively, this was another stellar performance where he made his teammates better, and that`s the ultimate compliment.

Mickael Pietrus, SG 22 MIN | 2-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 7 PTS | +1

Wasn`t asked to do too much as Prince is a shadow of his former self, but did chip in with a three from the corner which came off of great ball movement.

DeMar DeRozan, SG 37 MIN | 10-19 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 23 PTS | +1

Had the in-rhythm stroke early and was fed by Calderon perfectly in step for his jumpers. The early threes gave him the needed confidence, and from then on he started taking it to the rim, with ease I might add. Stuckey and Knight tried checking him, even a bit of Singler, but he`s got too much slither for any of those guys, especially when using screens, something he`s getting great at.

Amir Johnson, PF 21 MIN | 1-1 FG | 3-4 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 5 PTS | +5

So-so performance, did win a key jumpball late in the fourth (albeit against Stuckey). Much like Davis, was a bit overhwhelmed by Detroit`s physical presence until he had a chance to regroup in the second half and hold his own.

Linas Kleiza, SF 20 MIN | 1-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 5 PTS | -1

Nailed a three, other than that he was typically bad and was surprised to see him in the game in the fourth over Pietrus. Good thing the small forward wasn`t a factor in this game for either team.

John Lucas, PG 12 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 4 AST | 2 PTS | +3

Came in the second and a bit in the fourth, didn`t do much scoring-wise in either stint, but for once ran the offense similar to the way he did in pre-season. Maybe Calderon`s rubbing off on him, or maybe he`s realizing we signed him to be a pass-first PG, not Mike James.

Alan Anderson, SG 26 MIN | 4-11 FG | 5-7 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 16 PTS | +5

Came up big in the fourth quarter with a couple huge shots at the tail end of the shot-clock. Showing a real knack for taking the baseline when given, and when he`s hitting his pull-up jumpers, he becomes quite useful as 2/3 off the bench. It’s all about role-definition for him and right now it’s defined quite well – bring the defense, hit the glass, and nail the jumpers.

Terrence Ross, SG 11 MIN | 4-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 9 PTS | +5

Lovely stroke tonight, he came off the screens well, drove to his left very well and pulled up for a couple shots which had no shot to go in early in the season, but are falling now. He looks to have finally come to terms with the three-point line and at this point it’s about staying away from the ill-advised shots and following DeRozan’s lead on when to take your jumpers.

Four Things We Saw

  1. The Pistons had a crazy 24-13 (14-1) edge in boards in the first half. In the second, their bigs continued to dominate but the Raptors guards helped out on the boards, which went a long way in evening things out.
  2. Raptors shot 65% in the first quarter, and were shooting 58% at the end of three. The ended the game at 49%. A great shooting night for the Raptors overall, which made up for Detroit’s dominance on the boards.
  3. Detroit’s movement off the ball was exquisite in the first half. Some great play-calling by Frank which had the Raptors befuddled. The Raptors adjusted well, by playing the screens loosely and testing the jumpers of Knight, Stuckey and even Prince, instead of giving them cuts to the rim.
  4. The Raptors had 26 assists on 35 field goals. Just awesome.
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