Toronto Raptors 80 Final

Recap | Box Score

100 San Antonio Spurs
Ed Davis, PF 25 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | -6Continued his nicely-developing chemistry with Jose early on, routinely getting open looks on the elbow and even hitting a couple of them. Had a highlight-reel dunk over Tim Duncan in the 2nd and surprisingly looked alright handling the ball on the perimeter, where the Raptors spent most of their time on the offensive side. Had a couple of ugly turnovers, like the rest of the Raps, but continued his solid play for the most part.
Aaron Gray, C 21 MIN | 2-3 FG | 1-4 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 5 PTS | -6Aaron Gray: Made his first start of the season and played up to expectations, which is basically a C grade. He’s an intelligent big who knows his limitations and plays within them, and it says more about the team’s depth right now that he’s starting than anything he’s doing. Was torched by Duncan on D, but it’s, you know, Tim Duncan. Had a decent post-up in the fourth, scored on a sloppy pick and roll in the 3rd, and basically looked like a 12th man getting extended minutes.
Jose Calderon, PG 27 MIN | 3-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 10 AST | 7 PTS | -7Apart from a couple errant passes (and boy, did we see a lot of those tonight), was his usual heady self, taking his spot as the only Raptor who can consistently produce quality looks for his teammates. Was blown by repeatedly by Parker, but did his best to make things tough for him with active hands and a bulldog attitude. Parker only finished with 13 points, for what it’s worth. His tough shooting night was partly the product of some end-of-the-shot-clock heaves, but he didn’t have a great night shooting the ball, in any case.
Mickael Pietrus, SG 12 MIN | 0-2 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 PTS | +1Was passable on defense, but his most memorable moment was on a dunk-shank for the ages (followed by the infamous “pretending I got fouled to cover it up” move) in the 3rd quarter. Not a good sign.
DeMar DeRozan, SG 27 MIN | 3-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | -22Only made his presence felt early in the 3rd, where he seemed to be able to take the ball to the hole anytime he felt like it. This was both ironic and frustrating, as the team could have used this assertiveness amidst the Raps’ collectively poor passing out of the lane and missed long jumpers in the first half. Minus 22 while he was on the floor, which is a really ugly number, even though plus/minus is a flawed stat.
Amir Johnson, PF 24 MIN | 6-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 12 PTS | -11Had a very efficient night offensively, bolstered in part by the fact that he went 3 of 4 shooting that long jumper he loves. Was hung out to dry both on D and rebounding offensively late in the game due to the Raptors’ limited number of bigs, but did his best given the circumstances, and was the only Rap with any semblance of a varied offensive game. In any ugly game, he may have been the best we had.
Landry Fields, SF 19 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | -1Finally making his return to the court, Fields had some issues on defense and wasn’t helped out by the Raptors short-handedness, as he was forced to play the 4 early in the fourth as the Spurs blew the doors off. However, he did show some hustle, contributing a strong effort on the boards (even though he only finished with 2) and hitting a nice floater in the lane in the second quarter. One can only hope this isn’t all we get from him down the line, but I suppose it was his best performance of the season.
Quincy Acy, SF 3 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -3Got his cup of coffee late in the game and didn’t do anything wrong, I suppose. Lots of hustle, though I don’t know if he’s sure where he’s going. I wish he got a bit more run, especially since the game was essentially out of reach after the 3rd.
Linas Kleiza, SF 16 MIN | 1-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 5 PTS | -9Was the recipient of a few bad calls and let it get to him as he looked out of sorts and was finally pulled in the fourth quarter. Couldn’t get his shot going off the bench and still took far too many of them – it wasn’t his fault the Raps lost tonight, but he certainly wasn’t helping matters.
John Lucas, PG 21 MIN | 4-10 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 6 AST | 11 PTS | -13Like Anderson, a lot of his stats came in garbage minutes in the fourth, but played some solid meaningful minutes as well. Matching up with de Colo (and his unassertiveness on offense) allowed him to hold his own on D and he did an adequate job running the bench during their second quarter surge. Finished with no turnovers, which is significant given the epidemic of them that plagued the Raps tonight.
Alan Anderson, SG 20 MIN | 5-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 12 PTS | -15Most of his points came in garbage time with the game out of reach, but he was the only Raptor on the bench who seemed to be able to find his own shot (and make them) with any success. Like the other Raptor guards on the bench, was forced to play out of position late, but continued his solid-if-not-spectacular bench production.
Terrence Ross, SG 26 MIN | 5-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 11 PTS | -8Started out the night with a nice shooting stroke but had some issues handling the ball, making a couple of poor decisions that either led to bad shots or turnovers. He is a rookie and I hesitate to penalize him too much for that on a night when the Raps were terrible on that side of the ball on the whole, but a few of his choices led to some downright ugly possessions. Continued to impress on D, bothering Ginobili with his length and athleticism, though he got a raw deal from the refs on multiple occasions.

Five Things We Saw

  1. Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers. After the first, the Raptors were able to end the first down just 4 despite the Spurs shooting 58% to the Raps’ 38, and that was largely due to their ability to force San Antonio into errant passes with hard-nosed defence on the wing. Sometimes, though, you live and die by the same sword, and the Raptors’ poor decisions with the ball (leading to 15 turnovers in all) swung the momentum in the second and eventually gave the Spurs the game.
  2. The Raptors settled back into their old selves for stretches during this game, particularly early, where their unwillingness to take the ball inside allowed the Spurs to sit back in a soft man and force Raptor jumpers, which were continually missed. Credit the experienced and intelligent Spurs and their coaching staff for forcing the Raptors into their game plan, as well as the Raptors’ lack of scoring punch inside (Davis and Amir can score, but they’re not exactly “low-on-the-block” kind of guys).
  3. I don’t know about all of you, but it sure seemed like the referees were giving the Spurs’ stars, particularly Duncan and Ginobili, the benefit of several questionable calls during the game. I know it didn’t affect the outcome, and this is what happens when superstar players take on a team of young unknowns and the announcers were continually referencing that fact, but I hate it as an excuse for poor officiating. “He’s Tim Duncan” is not an explanation for a bad call. Rant over.
  4. In a season full of semi-questionable coaching decisions, I was pleased that Casey threw in the towel early in the fourth quarter with the Spurs comfortably ahead (though I do wish we saw a bit more Acy). The Raptor starters have all played big minutes during the streak, and the team can’t afford any more injuries – with four winnable games in a row coming up, it was a good choice to throw in the towel and play for the next week.
  5. Well, the winning streak’s over and the Raptors have come a bit down to Earth, but there are still positives to take from this game. A very shorthanded Raptors squad, playing flawed basketball, was still able to hang with the mighty Spurs for the better part of the game, which is a testament to the newfound toughness demonstrated by the Raps in the past two weeks. The next four games are at New Orleans and Orlando followed by home games against Portland and Sacramento, all winnable, so here’s to the start of a new streak to open the new year.
  • AKR

    I think the missed Jonas tonight big time!

    • AKR

       I think they (the Raps) missed Jonas tonight especially the way he played Duncan in Toronto, etc.

      • j bean

        I’m hoping he comes back all charged up.

  • KJ-B

    JL3 was horrible–was stealing in a riot…makes sense with Lowry coming back!

    Calderon’s turnover in the 2nd and quick 3 in the 3rd after the ED offensive board were huge-felt like he was off his game with the time off…

    Not enuff Special Ed–I think Kleiza stained the court really bad 2nite :/

    • KJ-B

      wAy 2 GO Landry!!! Now the lineup “should be better” with him/Lowry replacing Pietrus/Lucas…

  • TheTyrant

    I don’t know how you give Derozan that grade: he barely had any touches!

    And for Lucas? All I saw was a bunch of one and dones.

    I’m giving a C- on the grades today.

  • Dbobb28

    The Linus Kleiza act is getting really old. Second time this season where he has let a non call get him so worked up that he losses focus and then takes a selfish technical. Add in his array of bricks and no defence and you have yourself a player best suited on the bench.

    • Pele

      Hey, he’s fighting for his contract, just like Bargs…making themselves so untradable, BC won’t be able to give them away.

    • BCBargnaniJoseCaseyGots2Go!!!

      Captain Caveman needs to realize that this isn’t FIBA he’s just a bench player in the NBA not a superstar.
      Folks say Kleiza is tough or is he a cheap shot artist that whines to the refs like they really know who he is ie you’re not LBJ, Melo, DWade, KD, etc 

      Kleiza another one of BC’s brilliant free agent acquisitions that’s didn’t measure up & is always hurt…bad karma (BC =’s Bad Carma)

  • FAQ

    TRaps surprised us in the first half… but then the Spurs got their shit together in the second half and walked away with the game.  Oh, well, onwards and upwards.

    It seemed to me that the Spurs were caught off guard by the TRaps scurrying around really fast in the first half, and then the scurrying got disjointed as the Spurs put the clamps on.

    Did the frenetic pace of the first half exhaust the body and brains of our beloved TRaps?

    Gonna be interesting to see how Casey will integrate and assimilate Kyle and Bargs into the New Look TRaps… once they get healthy enough and adequately conditioned to game play…. yup, gonna be interesting.

    • FAQ

      Oh, and I hope Casey has got both Kyle and Bargs running laps around the gym or on an inclined treadmill… and forcing them to use their left hand dribbling and even shooting… since it’s only their right arms that are recovering.

      I wonder how their injuries will affect their shooting touch and for how long.

      If these guys come in and get winded playing on their return they should be traded toot sweet….!!!!

      • NyAlesund

        Do you think Bargs is still Raptors?

        The real problem is Lowry’s use. I am expecting him as sixth man, but Colangelo doesn’t want.

        • FAQ

          If nobody wants Bargs or the trade is rotten, then he stays a Raptor and makes his static contribution in the only way he knows how… park on the arc and wait for Kyle to kick out the ball to him for his ‘excellent’ 3 point production. He can also dribble twice and pull up for a 20 foot jumper… or make a wild charge to the hoop for some kind of scintillating layup botch.

          TRaps big men.. Bargs, JonasV, Amir, Ed, Gray, Kleiza… they are all limited talents and produce an occasional burst of solid play.  What can the coach do with a disparate bunch like this?  Watch their slo-mo deevelopment??!!!

        • p00ka

          marry me? it’s legal here….

          • p00ka

            This is not me.

  • knickz

    so i have to watch aaron gray for the next 4-6 weeks? start amir at c and give acy some minutes.

  • knickz

    is landry fields the worst player in the l?

    • unknown guest

      Nope. I’d still like to see what he can do when healthy.

      • SMJenkins1

        It was a pretty fair question.  Considering his contract relative to his talent, I’d think Fields would factor heavily in the theoretical conversation..

  • John

    What a ridiculous grading system.  How does anyone earn an A when the team lost by 20 and no one even came close to producing a double double or north of 15 points.  All your doing is rewarding what you deem “hard work” and completely overlooking production.  I can make a very string case as to why no one on this team deserved above a C tonight.

    • pran

      you need to calm down.

      • John

        shut up you paki

    • SMJenkins1

      It’s ‘you’re’..

    • BCBargnaniJoseCaseyGots2Go!!!

      The whole grading system is flawed and a very elementary particular based on personal whims.

      It’s Toronto Raptors basketball where BC lowers the achievement bar so low to seemingly make it seem like the team (players, coaches, BC) are achieving something when in reality the Raptors are stagnating in a quagmire of losing via BC’s grand design of building the team around AB post CB.

      Hard work should be a given not a notable.

      Btw- what’s up with Casey’s rotations? Can he pick 8-9 guys and get a rhythm going within the game? I guess that’s what happens when your Pres/GM is calling the rotation shots….BC farts. Casey says- excuse me boss…….


  • DigBick

    Good game by Landry Fields, showed why he’s making the big bucks.

  • ad

    Not a surprising result. This is the same shitty team that was awful before the 5 straight wins. They just managed to beat teams that are just as bad as they are (mostly at home). The spurs sixth man (ginobli) would be the raptors best player if he was playing for them tonight. This was a complete mismatch talent wise when you compare rosters.

    • Theswirsky

      no doubt about that.

      But it doesn’t help that Casey has to keep forcing the small ball.  He left Kleiza out there too long, and when that obviously wasn’t working he decided to go even smaller with Fields at the PF.  Made no sense to me.

      The Spurs are unquestionably a better team, but not being able to imagine a game where we have a PF who can’t hit a 3pter isn’t helping much.

      There is a time to go small, a time to stay big, and a time to mix and match.  Casey has to get out of his mindset of Dallas Mavericks ball.  He no longer has Dirk Nowitzki.  He can’t pretend he does.

  • grizzly73

    Grades are too high to the upside and vice versa to the down. But realistically, they are only there to create disagreement and discussion.

    Ed Davis can dunk but he simply can’t shoot the j. I wouldn’t even call it a stroke – more of a spasm than anything.

    Nobody stepped up tonight  – disappointing.

  • Ppellico

    wow…again…continued insanity.

    the “reasoning” used makes me wonder that people get to post things using the internet as a license to idiocy.

    Gray matched Amir stat for stat…other than those feeds he gets that Gray doesn’t…and one gets an A…one a C.
    Open Gray doesn’t get fed by his friend. Jose.
    Gray is left crying for a ball.
    Do you know how many opportunities were let untaken by not sending the ball in to Gray at times?
    I saw 3.
    Amir is NOW praised because he takes the open outside shot…a sign of the poor team offense…and he is praised.
    You are praising Amir for taking these shots!.
    No…your not holding a team meeting and asking the team WHY he is having to do it…instead like monkeys you’re clapping.
    THING…again! Amir is your outside shooter!!!!

    • Theswirsky

      Amir can hit those 18fters and he only takes them when they are wide open.  There is a reason Pop called 2 timeouts after Amir was left wide open and nailed jumpers.

      As of right now Amir is averaging roughly 2 shots per game from 10ft and out.  This is hardly a problem for the Raptors or its offense.

      I agree Gray isn’t getting enough minutes, and as I mentioned above I don’t understand why Casey has such a narrow view of having to go small so often.  There was no reason that he shouldn’t have run more Gray + Ed or Amir and why Gray shouldn’t get the odd post up in hopes of an easy bucket or drawing a foul.

      But lets not pretend like Gray comes anywhere near Amir’s level of play.  Gray is a big body to throw around, grab some boards and hit some people… and thats got its own value.  But Amir brings alot more to the table in every aspect of the game.

      • robertparrish00

        I think quite a bit of last night was the insane offensive schemes.  How many times did Gray have the ball at the top of the key with 10 seconds left on the clock?  He even had a look of…why do I have the ball here.  Meanwhile the rest of the team is doing some strange basket weave without the ball….and the result time after time is the centre (at the top of the key) handing the ball back to the point guard. 

        Gray should be under the hoop banging, picking up rebounds.  Plus he should be playing every game.

        Amir needs to learn how to wrap up a player when he fouls, because every game opponents score an easy And 1 off of him.

        Come on Casey space the floor!  Let someone drive to the rim. Oh and bench uncle LK when he doesn’t have it going.

  • Ppellico

    what love of fans
    what reality.
    Look at all the stats on the NBA Raptors.
    Gray…DNP Coaches Decision.
    Game after game after game after game.
    Now…he gets put in against on of the top NBA teams and gets hit due to playing a “C” game.
    What idiots.
    What armchair. sandwich and drink in hand dumb ass fans.
    Who are you to judge and yet not know anything about what is going on?
    You have NO idead what coach has set for the game.
    You have no idea if coach tells Gray what he can…or cannot do.
    Plays are set up for everybody BUT him.
    Players are paid millions more per year and play worse.
    Yet he gets the hard pen.

    • unknown guest

      Whoah. Relax. Did you have a good holidays? Nice drink of scotch?

    • Bboca

      Yeah watch out for that hard pen.

  • mountio

    Lets call a spade a spade here .. we got beat by a much better team on their home floor in a game we should have lost (and should have lost badly).
    Its one thing to pull a few rabbits out of a hat without KL/AB against inferior teams at home, but without JV also and on the road against SA? Not happening
    Im still perplexed with the minutes. As ppl have mentioned above .. in a game with no AB, no JV, both ED and Amir should be getting 35+ mins barring foul trouble. Going small with LK to mix it up is fine .. but to mix it up, not as our default lineup. 
    Also, T Ross played great in the first half .. 14 mins and didnt leave once he got it. Yet, doesnt see the court in the 3Q at all when we were struggling big time to score? Doesnt make sense. By the time he gets in (30 secs left of something in the 3rd) – the game is already over. 

    We probably werent winning this one anyways, and maybe casey was resting guys .. but a lot didnt make sense tonight … 

    • unknown guest

      5 game win aside, the Raps have never been good during the holidays or off a long lay off. Had this been at the ACC I’d be upset at losing by a wide margin, but this was a game over the holidays that the elite NBA team, the Spurs, are expected to win.

  • Bboca

    I was surprised they held in there as long as they did. They were able to keep within eight points most of the game but a couple of sloppy turnovers that led to easy baskets and missed threes in reply and zap it was out of reach. 

  • Cal S

    Some thoughts on the game:
    Pietrus is not an effective starting 3. As stated in the article, his defense is passable but that is just about the only thing he brings to the table.  He loves to look for his 3 although he is not consistent with it.  He is not active on offence in that he does not cut hard/move around.  He essentially just sits right outside the arc waiting.  I understand that Landry Fields did not have a stellar game, but I feel that he brings more to the table than Pietrus, ie. iq on offence, rebounding, assists, decent defense. Once Landry get his legs back I have no doubt he will start, with AA and Kleiza/Pietrus getting the bench minutes at the 3.

    We almost have too many wings and not enough minutes to go around.  TRoss needs to continue to get burn but the question is how? He should get all of the remaining minutes at the 2, but that is not enough, and the plan going forward is to play Ross with Demar.  My solution would be to bench Pietrus/Kleiza effectively and to give Ross/AA the remaining minutes at the 3 with Fields starting.

    I am a huge Ed Davis fan.  It is not just because of the ridiculous dunk or the massive block that led to the missed Pietrus dunk, but more so the little things.  He positions himself well on both offence and defense, he has a nose for rebounds, and his back to the basket game is improving.  He is our only big that posts up, and I think if the Raps feed him the ball in the post it will lead to a more balanced offence.In other words, Fields should start, TRoss needs to continue to get minutes and ED should start even when Barney gets back.

    • Gregast

      We’re singing from the same song sheet. Eddie needs the minutes to get his offensive self confidence up and his certainly no liability on DeFence.

      Landry Fields is the starting 3 who was  injured – he deserves his starter’s job back. Another guy who can D it up. Making smart decisions without the ball – watch him for a possession or two. Then watch Pietrus. 

      • BCBargnaniJoseCaseyGots2Go!!!

        Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitttttttt (Clay Davis voice).

        Landry was a defacto starter because of his contract he didn’t earn anything nor deserves to start once so called healthy.

        Eddie can’t get the minutes because he may look too good (close to if not a double/double average with 35 plus minutes a nite?) and I don’t think AB is going anywhere this season so AB will start once healthy- remember no one can yell at nor challenge Andrea because that would be mean.

        TRoss needs to start over Fields as this season is going nowhere fast despite the recent 5 game winning streak plus DD (AirCom10) & TRoss (Flight31) need to work on their on court chemistry for the future.

        • Gregast

          Is there room for Fields, DeRosen and Ross on the floor at the same time? NO. So the people on the floor should be there primarily because of their defense. When DR uses his “fast feet” to get himself between his man and the basket (like Ross does) then he gets to play his position which is SG. Small Forward belongs to Landry Fields because he is a true cornerman and this team needs that outside threat. PLUS LF can defend – did I mention D fence being the criterion that gets you on this floor???

          NO D, NO Play!!!

          • BCBargnaniJoseCaseyGots2Go!!!

            Outside threat from who- Landry?lmfao

            Do you even watch basketball or just read about it?

            Fyi LFields is more of a SG (one that can’t shoot) than a SF- he played mostly SG in NYC.

            Who signs another YOUNG player coming off of a piss poor season to a near 20 million dollar contract then blames Melo’s ball hogging for his 2nd year stats decline yet the Raptors have Mr 20 shots for 20 points in ball stopper in AB?smdh

            Don’t sell me shit and try to call it steak, buddy…..

            • what the

              u know !

  • Roarque

    ED… “had a highlight-reel dunk over Tim Duncan in the 2nd…”  was my Boxing Day prezzie for sure. I’m imagining TRoss and Eddie hangin out and Eddie tells the kid his high wire act is bitchin’ to which Terrence tells the Boss he oughta try one.

    BUT AGAINST DUNCAN? Timmy’s still wondering wha’ happened?

    Anyway, fun times in beautiful San Antone – wished I coulda been there rather than rainy Vancouver.

  • Jamshid

    What is all the talk about Lowry to NY ? 

  • Overthewall

    Why the F is Kleiza out there?  I want Landry and Ross in that spot all game.  Kleiza, please take a seat on the bench, please!!  No mental toughness at all.

    I wonder what happens when Bargnani returns.  Back to selfish ball with no movement + soft defence, I guess.

  • Gregast

    Is it too soon to commit to the 9 men in Dwane’s rotation?

    Amir, ED, DDR, LF, Amigo, with TRoss, AA, JV* and KL off the bench.

    See you in Game 60.

    * who can sub for JV until game 50? Perhaps Dwane showcases Il Mago ’til trade time.