At some point this season, there is likely a major change coming for the Toronto Raptors. Whether it is a resignation or a firing or a trade of a core player, this season started too poorly for all of the figures to remain entrenched within the organization. Probably.
“There’s a million different ways to win or lose a game and right now we’re finding the ways to win and that’s the most important thing for our group,” said Casey. “Now we’re believing we can win, we trust each other, we believe in each other, we’re pulling for each other.”
In the same way that the Dinos ended up on the losing end of some bad ones earlier in the year, tonight they took advantage of a Detroit team that couldn’t get anything going offensively beyond Greg Monroe, and eked out a 97 to 91 win.
By holding the Pistons to 91 points on just 41.7 per cent shooting, the Raps have now held opponents under 100 points in five straight games, limiting the Nets, Mavericks, Rockets, Cavaliers and Pistons to a combined 43.6 per cent shooting over that span. The rebounding needs to improve – as does the Raptors’ inability to defend without fouling.
“Amir and I are family,” DeRozan said of his fellow Californian. “We go back since I was a kid and one thing about him is you never have to question or worry if he’s going to play. A lot of people don’t understand when Amir is hurt. Most of the time you don’t even know it the way he plays and plays hard.”
“I think people don’t realize how good a player he is,” Calderon said. “He played good for us last year and good for us in training camp and then he had some bad luck with that injury.” The injury, a partially torn plantar fascia in his left foot, put him out of commission for 15 games.
Emerging swingman Alan Anderson has been instrumental in the win streak, scoring 58 points over his last three games after returning from a foot injury. The veteran had 16 points Wednesday and had fans at Air Canada Centre roaring when he connected from downtown twice midway through the quarter to stretch the lead to 88-77.
While the game against the Pistons wasn’t the prettiest basketball you’ll ever see — aside from Jose Calderon’s 17 assists, including 10 in the first quarter — it was another night where the team played together and found a way to win down the stretch as the Pistons tried to rally late.
Monroe was the game’s best player, and Calderon was important to the Raptors’ success, but DeMar DeRozan and Alan Anderson played very well. After shooting 2-of-9 in his first game against Detroit this season, he scored 23 points on 10-of-19 shooting tonight. Anderson scored 12 fourth-quarter points, including back-to-back 3-pointers that gave Toronto some breathing room.
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