Portland Trail Blazers 79 Final
Recap | Box Score
102 Toronto Raptors
Ed Davis, PF 30 MIN | 9-12 FG | 1-4 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 19 PTS | +12

I remember when Tiger Woods fixed his swing and went from good to great. Ed Davis has done the same with his jumper and gone from disjointed to workable. Tonight he was a cow grazing on Calderon’s grass and whilst taking dumps on Aldridge. It’s going to be awfully difficult taking him out of the starting lineup for Bargnani, if that time ever comes.

Aaron Gray, C 9 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | +9

Two quick fouls and a seat on the bench. He wasn’t needed today and at some point I actually entertained the thought of playing him at the three just to throw Portland off.

Jose Calderon, PG 23 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 13 AST | 0 PTS | +15

Listen man, I don’t know if there’s a God or not, but if there is he plays for the Raptors, wears #8 and talks with a funny accent. Seriously though, he is God. Or at the very least Yahweh, or something. He was hunting for Ed Davis on those screens with the accuracy of the Beltway sniper. I say put him on the trade block and ask for LeBron in return. Take it or leave it.

Mickael Pietrus, SG 17 MIN | 0-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | +11

They say the sun even shines on a dog’s ass every once in a while. Tonight was not that while.

DeMar DeRozan, SG 35 MIN | 11-17 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 24 PTS | +20

Hollywood was on game tonight and it didn’t help that Wesley Matthews was operating on a scouting report from 2009. He had more clean looks than me at the front-row seat at the Rail. There’s a sense of calmness instead of the usual anxiety when he shoots now, give the Raptors coaching staff some credit for bringing in the lift and arc to his springers.

Amir Johnson, PF 31 MIN | 7-12 FG | 3-3 FT | 7 REB | 4 AST | 17 PTS | +7

Had a couple nice moments on the offensive glass, got away with a double-dribble and no-doubt tapped a waitress in celebration of the new haircut. I get the sense that when Jose and him hang out off the court they finish each other’s sentences. Overall, solid effort going up against a team whose frontline has often terrorized us.

Landry Fields, SF 20 MIN | 3-4 FG | 1-1 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 7 PTS | +13

Desperate to prove that he’s worth something, he decided that rebounding is the best way to inflate the box score line, and that’s fine by me as long as he’s not creating space for leak outs. Had a couple drives and did enough for Leo and Devlin to drool over his glue-like abilities. I particularly like how, when he was inserted at the four for a bit, Leo brought out how Fields doesn’t complain about playing the four when he’s really a three. Yeah, give me a contract like that and I woulnd’t complain about cleaning the ACC toilets.

Quincy Acy, SF 5 MIN | 0-0 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | +1

Why you fail me bro? Got setup nicely by Anderson for a pick ‘n roll and he blew the layup. That will not stand.

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

Garbage time entry into the ledger.

Kyle Lowry, PG 22 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 9 AST | 0 PTS | +5

You could see he was tempted to shoot more than two shots but given the play of Calderon and how well it was received, decided to play the role of playmaker. Nine assists in 22 minutes is a very Calderon-like stat, and it’s no coincidence because the time on the bench has made Lowry reflect, and based on this game it seems to be the right type of change. It should be said that given how Davis and DeRozan were going tonight, his offense wasn’t needed.

Alan Anderson, SG 20 MIN | 2-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 4 PTS | +8

One of his off games, or should I say a type of game we all expected him to have at the outset of the season. He’s been a nice surprise and I’d like it if he continues surprising me instead of the Raptors counting on him for something. Carry on, Alan.

Terrence Ross, SG 25 MIN | 8-14 FG | 4-6 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 26 PTS | +11

6-9 from threes and looking every bit the shooter the Raptors hope they drafted. Give it some more time and he might be a candidate for sweetest stroke in the NBA. Pepper the line with a few steals, rebounds, and assists and you got a complete game, made all the more fun given the blowout.

Dwane Casey

Decided to play small ball in the first half with Fields at the four and it worked out, with Portland opting not to force the Raptors to play big via Aldridge. Good move on the part of Casey as Portland was on a back-to-back and was not interested in running around too much, let alone playing up-tempo.

  • Gman

    Watched the game and followed the Portland blog on SB Nation.  I’ve never done that before but I had ended up accidentally there earlier today following a Raptors link.  And because they were seriously dumping on everything Raptors I thought I’d check in tonight.  They were still raving and ranting about how much they were going to beat the Raptors by, how little talent the team has, how stupid a city Toronto is and how lame Canada is…

    And then the game started…and they started bitching and moaning like an old women’s knitting circle.  Even when their team was handed their ass chopped and filleted, could they give the Raps a little credit?  Nope…it was just an off night for their team and the Raptors still suck.  

    F*ckin’ babies…

    • KJ-B

      Yuuup!!! That “Blazer’s Edge” nonsense..!

    • ad

       If lakers or heat fans want to diss the the raptors then fine. BUT most of them live in PORTLAND!!! Fucking PORTLAND. The wet shithole of America.

      • Doc

        Portland is a beautiful city. Toronto fans say stupid shit as well so why sink to that level?

        • Philoveritas

          Not much bashing of other teams goes on here. We are all too busy cutting up our own players.

    • CJT

      Why do Canadians place so much importance on what the a-holes to the south think?  I for one am glad that they are underestimating the team and hope they continue to do so.  The only place it really matters if we are respected as a team is here.  Respect and support your team and the rest is useless.  Now having said that, I think there is a very good chance that if we do make the playoffs, we will be invaded.

      • Gman

        I lived in the States for years and can still be surprised by their ridiculous ethnocentric ideals.  Like how about a team that has won 8 of 9 and can’t even get a story up on the front page of NBA.COM…how ridiculous is that.

        As a matter of fact the only viral love we’re getting is the film clip of Amir doing a double dribble…yeah that’s why we’re winning games.  Because of a missed call…

  • enlightenment

    amazing amazing amazing.

    Favorite game of the season. Ed, DD, and ROSS giving us glimpses of a bright future. Can you believe Ed is the oldest of the three at 23 years of age? DAMN SON.

  • Adriiian

    Great game.
    Ball.

  • BoshRawr

    Can’t quite decide which was my favourite game of the season – this one or the last game against the magic. I’d go with this one though because revenge is sweet. Portland however looked sluggish and worn out from the previous night, but a win is a win.  Is anyone else anxious that the raptors are starting to really favor a jump shot heavy offense? Granted they’re extremely efficient right now, but I doubt this kind of shooting can be sustained. Anyway, go raps!

  • KJ-B

    START LANDRY FIELDS. Let him play stretch 4 in the 2nd/4th Qs…

    TROSS…smh!!!

    DeRozan my 1st vote for a Raptor as All Star since Bosh 2day.

    DAVIS – THE BOSS!!!

    • KJ-B

      Best Stat of the Night: Calderon/Lowry 0 pts 22 ast!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • CJT

      sssshhhhhhhhhh.  Let them just keep winning.  Stop complaining.

      • KJ-B

        wasn’t complaining regarding Ross–smh at his Showstopper ability–STAGE PRESENCE!!! TRoss is the Higlight Factory!

    • Saints91

      Also just logged my DeMar Vote. Besides Wade what other SG in East deserves the spot? 

      • Sig

         Ellis

      • Dan

         Wade.

      • arsenalist

        I’d put DeRozan ahead of Joe Johnson this year.

  • hotshot

    I like the insertion of a Coach to be given a grade, its about time.

    • Dan M

      I mentioned that in a comment over a week ago… glad somebody reads these things.  Makes a lot of sense to grade Casey as well.

      • ghotte

        Funny how Casey was getting absolutely demolished over the past month with few giving him any credit – other than for the losses. Even now there’s mainly credit given to Jose but *very little* to the game planning, rotations, motivation, etc. 

        The team as a whole is playing more consistently so that the leads they had earlier in the year are not being thrown away as easily or they are able to change things up and stem a run from time to time. Just familiarity and execution (aka coaching.)

  • knickz

    great win

  • lloyd

    No one should get an F on a night when the team wins. 

    Also, Acy had a nice block that led to a Ross 3, have to take it easy on the rookies, just having him in the game was a positive.

  • Lightninghank

    This was stupendous: “Tonight he was a cow grazing on Calderon’s grass”

    Just got back from the ACC, where the prevailing sentiment was “What happened to this team?”. and also “WHOOOOOOOO!”

  • TheTyrant

    Good. AA’s defense was worth much more than a D though.

  • j bean

    The Blazers must have thought all they had to do is show up and go through the motions since they haven’t lost to the Raptors for so long.
    Surprise!

  • Moco

    Trade Bargnani for Darko (yes I realize Darko doesn’t even play anymore – that is the point). This isn’t even a hateful ant-Bargs comment. It’s just an observation really that we are legitimately better without him. The team is more accountable to each other, they have more fun moving the ball, and the message is consistent (i.e. Casey can enforce a message of ‘effort is needed to get minutes’ and everyone buys in).

    • http://twitter.com/Agimat08 Solo Miranda

      If they traded Barg for Ilyasova I would be ecstatic byt anything for Barg I would do it lol  

  • Ion66

    I’m always waiting for the “These wins don’t count because the other team was (a) on a back to abck and tired. (b) Had lots of injuries. (c) Lousy record and no talent.” I never hear the top teams getting the “Yeah, we’re 20 and 5, but 12 of those wins were against weak teams, so really we should be 8 and 5.” Tired, injured, rebuilding, lousy teams come every teams way, and every record is made up of wins against those sorts of teams. The trick is to capitalize on those opportunities and get those wins. I’ll take these wins over those close losses to solid teams earlier on! 

  • Dc

    Lowderon is a beast 0 points 22 assists. WTF. Ed davis is just a cannon and to think we’ve been wasting all this playing time playing bargina when ed d could of been getting his reps in. Better late then never I guess. Amir is just playing great ball right now and I believe is the heart and soul of this team. And does anyone still think Derozon’s contract is bad dude is balling and is gonna get better. Ross looks real real nice too, him and derozon really complement eachother well. 

    • Pesterm1

       Also , don’t forget that Derozans contract doesn’t even kick in until next season. Right now he is still on the rookie contract and has 1 more off season to make further improvements. I dont see how people can still really hate on it.

  • vino

    great game! I’m ready to admit DD’s contract suddenly does not look bad…

  • kuzzybear

    Can anyone affect a game like Calderon??? WHen a player takes 1 shot ( 1 SHOT!!!) most would complain the team was playing 4 againist 5. However, with that court vision and understanding team BB , he made everyone better. Than Lowry, not to be outdone did the same thing. Having 2 PG who can do this means they will never have to buy dinner when 1 of their teammates is around.

    • ghotte

      Crazy stats but definitely an abberation. When they play against a stronger team (tired, etc.) even though it’ll still be important to share the ball like they did tonight, the PGs will need to be aggressive and create spacing by being a scoring threat.

      • Dbobb28

        Why do you have to say that the Blazers were tired? Last week the Raptors beat Orlando by over 30 on the second day of a back to back. Houston beat the Knicks on the second day of a back to back after we beat the Rockets on day one. There is no excuse so don’t discredit the win buy saying the Blazers were tired. 

  • galvez14

    Raptors are passing the ball well, playing smart defence and taking good shots during many of these past games. Keep it going and a matter of time till’ we grab the 8th seed! 

  • Roarque

    Ed Davis ($2.21 Million), Alan Anderson ( $.885 Million) Landry Fields ($ 5. Million) Kyle Lowry ($ 5.5 Million) and Terrance Ross ($ 2.35 Million) – aren’t the Raptors ashamed at the shitty payroll they’ve negotiated with some of these key players tonight?

    Oh Yeah and who thought giving DDR a contract EXTENSION was a good idea? Waste of money man!

  • Troll

    just imagine how good this team will be when Bargnani gets back? championship team.

  • pran

    my man pietrus deserves whatever grade you can get that is lower than an “F”, man was he bad.

  • ad

     Good game. I now im in the minority on this but i wasnt happy with how lowry played this game. He has a lot more to offer. He doesnt need to play passive like calderon to prove his worth. Luckily, they didnt need his scoring and rebounding tonight but they will most other nights.

    • Jasontenpow88

      Did you actually watch the game?!? Lowry drove and dished all night bc the defence collapsed on him. That is what good pg do. They take what is given to them. Geez. I agree with earlier post tonight no one gets an F. Pietrus is who he is good D and when his shot is falling he looks great. What more could u ask of him? People need to relax and enjoy the wins. We beat portland by 20 pts. Holy Shit!

      • p00ka

        No shit, man, to all. The negative narrative that prevails on here sucks bball i.q. outta brains, I swear

    • Dbobb28

      Why force something when you don’t need too? That was Lowry’s problem in the past. He would force shot upon shot unnecessarily. Now, he plays smart basketball and doesn’t force anything yet your not happy with it. WOW!

    • FAQ

      Poor Kyle… he was straining to revert to streetballin’ but he just stopped himself and passed the ball.   Poor guy must have surprised even himself at this new style of PG play as a facilitator.

      2 rbs, 2 stls, 2 pfs, 2 to’s…. and 9 assts…. oh and 0-2 shooting… the new t.h.f.’s no-scoring hero…!!!!

      He was only outdone by the Great Jose with 1 rbs, 0-1 shooting and 13 assts.. and nothing else.  Oh, and a total of 34 team assists!!!

      Let’s be patient with Kyle’s psychological conversion to PG-ing.

      • unknown guest

        He did, didn’t he. You could almost see him think about pulling up for a shot, then just drive and dish. He does look like he’s having fun, so who knows, it might stick.

    • unknown guest

      He didn’t have to. He played within the team and got everyone around him involved. /

  • ghotte

    The Challenge will be integrating Bargnani into the starting lineup (straight swap with Gray taking his ass to the pine.) Any takers on the effort level Bargs will bring? Does he see how the team is playing unselfishly and try to emulate or does he do what comes naturally? 

    Against better teams the Raptors will need their talent to come to the forefront. 

    (Do any of the statheads know when the team is most likely to have those infamous “dry spells” on offense? Thinks I noticed one nearing the end of the 3rd qtr when the brought in Lowry for Calderon..) 

  • Danny De Vito & Co

    Fire BC Stefanski Casey Trade Calderon Trade Bargnani ,DD cant shoot defend dribble,Gray is the slowest player in NBA,L Fields is a joke, AA a scrub, J Lucas a D Lague,  soft euros, soft whites, lazy italian, lazy spaniard, Jose is my dog name…….. Calderon will be torched by Lillard, T Ross who is this guy ? Why BC drafted a guy who nobody cares of, we lost the flip coin, Drummond instead of T Ross who ? (just becaus is not in Hollinger crappy draft list order, you know what I mean…) , Casey cant Coach, Smitch was better,Smitch is better, Smitch will bench AB, 

    to all the GM around here and there….to all of the “tankers” commanders…..and FIRE BC around there (bloggers included)

    well, F * % # YOU ALL !!!!!!

    • unknown guest

      Wait, what’s wrong with fire BC again? Or Trade Bargnani?

  • FAQ

    t.h.f.’s basking in the glory of their beloved raptors… and deservedly so.

    The Raptors are a blue collar team of no-stars who are playing competitive team b-ball.

    They are also playing smallball and “fastball”… which is rewarding and entertaining. No time to think, only react and perform.  Notice?… no pick’n roll… just ‘motion’.  I like it.

    JonasV will fit in well upon his return, but Bargnani will be a challenge for Casey and staff.  How will they integrate Bargs into this fast pace of play because he will not be able to just hold the ball forever trying to create a shot?  Some kind of post-up presence perhaps just like Gray, and that’s it… because I think he’s lost his ‘park at the arc’ position.  Besides, after his right elbow injury heals, will he still have a shooting touch?

    Gonna be interesting…. eh?!

  • Dbobb28

    Like Sam Mitchell said in his interview today, Bargnani doesn’t have it internally. Both Fields and Lowry have come back from injury off the bench and have changed their styles to play team ball. Look at how excited these guys are when somebody else does something positive. I wish I was wrong but Bargnani will not fit in and Casey CANNOT give him his starting spot back. If he does then he will lose respect from his players. He is preaching a team first system and Bargnani cannot be the first and only player to come back from injury and start. He has to come off the bench and that will give him a fair shot to show he buys in.

    • JT

      Lakers are old. Do they need a big – young – 3 pt specialist? We will take ur first round and spare parts we can amnesty thank you. We have this guy 7 he is awesome and u will love him.

      • Phat AlberG

        Sacre & Earl Clark and 1st round if not Barg’s can sit in a suit for the rest of the season.  

    • CJT

      Fields has not changed his style of play.  He was always a team first, do the dirty work type player.  Lowry has really impressed me over the last 3 games.  I am happy to have been wrong about his ability to adapt and curtail his shoot first style.  Go Raps.

      • unknown guest

        “Fields has not changed his style of play.  He was always a team first, do the dirty work type player. ”

        +1

  • DabbaDon

    It looks like Utah will lose Mo William for a while…….I think we should trade JC and AB for one of their bigs like Millsap, Favors, or Jefferson

    • Pesterm1

       Paul Millsap …. drooooooooool. ( in a home r simpson voice)

      That would be sick.

  • Rob

    Anybody else catch that no-call on Amir’s double-dribble? Even he was laughing about it lol. http://nba.si.com/2013/01/03/raptors-johnson-cracks-up-after-getting-away-with-blatant-double-dribble/

  • NyAlesund

    0 points with 3 shots and 22 assist. That is the key. Pass ball first!!!!!!

    Of course we need points from the PG but their primary mission is pass the ball. Involve every guy on the floor, serve them in the right spot, feed them and magically they produce an excellent game.

    Did they never play in this way 1 month ago?  No. This was the difference. When Lowry was forced to stay out of the game, he saw the difference between the streetballer and the real pg. And now he is doing exactly what is necessary to do for the team. Honestly, I was impressed by him.

    Instead of complaining about AB, we have to figure out how to use his enormous talent before we think to trade him. I am not interested how many minutes he has to play, I am not interested whether he has to play as starter or not, what I want to see is this team with Val and AB on the floor and show their potential. The potential of a playoff team.

    • truth be told

      ‘enormous talent’. I don’t think so.

      enormous potential perhaps, however if it isn’t realized, which it hasn’t for 7 years then it becomes nothing more than ‘potential’ which is squat.

      Time to go #7.

  • Canadian Paul

    Stats for the past 10 games (record 8-2):

    Defensive Efficiency: 103.5 (would rank 9th)
    Offensive Efficiency: 113.8 (would rank 1st)

    The sample size is growing and the stats keep getting more ridiculous by the game.

  • what the

    Buddy, the Mighty Q scored more points than Dribbles,Kyle, MP and Gray how come he gets a F what the

  • what the

    The Raptors are the second team in the nba history to win a game with only 2 starters scoring.

    • mountio

      thats interesting .. but also very telling. 
      Casey needs to get MP out of the starting lineup asap. And get AG out of there too as soon as JV or AB comes back (dont really care who starts between AJ, AB, JV .. just not AG). 
      Right now, our bench is blowing teams away .. get T ROSS in the starting lineup!!!!

      • CJT

        AGreed, we keep getting killed with that line up.  Oh, wait……

        • mountio

          we actually have been .. on a relative basis. 
          Where we have made a real push in almost all of these games on this little run is once we get T ROss, AJ, AA in the game. We are just a far clearly better team with any of these guys vs MP/AG. 
          I give casey credit for knowing to some extent and only playing AG10-15 mins a night and MP at 20 mins ish – but if the bench players are all better than the starters at these positions, shouldnt we be making a change to get TR 25-30 mins every night? and MP only come into give guys rest as opposed to his automatic first 10ish mins of each half? It doesnt make any sense .. 
          AG I get .. we have no choice and you need amir coming of the bench to stay out there when ed has to come off (this will change with injuries) – but the fact that AG needs to start argues even more for an offensive threat like TR in the starting lineup (who btw plays pretty damn good d too…)

          • vino

             I think its just a matter of time until we see Ross start full time; hopefully, sooner rather than later. The kid’s awesome!

          • CJT

            wasn’t the starting unit up 10 or 12 in the first quarter with those guys on the floor last night.  I don’t believe Ross should start at this point, he has settled in to his role very well coming off the bench.  Also I don’t think you would see DD have as much success against threes unless you are suggesting that Ross start over DD.  

            • p00ka

              Typical of many fans in these parts. They see the highlights, but miss the defensive presence that a guy like Pietrus gives to help set the defensive tone at the start of the game. That’s what Casey sees in him, and why he starts him, though not playing typical “starter’s minutes”. Batum did virtually nothing at the start of both halves, due in large part to the MP effort. He gets an F though because his stats don’t impress the uninitiated.

              “When will they ever learn…..” – Pete Seeger

  • Trollarch_23_

    p00ka don’t know $hit about bball and he is BCCaseyjoseBargs beeyotch