Ed Davis, PF41 MIN | 4-10 FG | 3-6 FT | 13 REB | 2 AST | 11 PTS | -21The only Raptor big that could stay on the court, but couldn’t make the Kings pay even when he had open looks, missing that mid-range jumper he’s been much better with recently and getting eviscerated by the Kings’ bigs on D. Those 13 rebounds look nice, but they’re a big by-product of him being the only forward on the floor for the majority of the game, and he had 10 of them in the first half.
Aaron Gray, C7 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -8Expectations were low(er than usual) matching up against Cousins tonight, and he was forced into some bad situations on offense by bad PG decisions. But 3 fouls, a missed bunny, and to lead the team in turnovers in just 8 minutes of playing time: I’m sorry, Aaron, but that’s an F-grade.
Jose Calderon, PG27 MIN | 5-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 13 PTS | -21Made some uncharacteristically poor decisions with the ball tonight, giving the ball to players like Gray and Acy on the elbows and forcing up some really tough 3s, airballing at least a couple. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt to some extent due to how poor the rest of the Raptor offense was, but it was his poorest game as a starter this season, for sure.
Mickael Pietrus, SG11 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 3 PTS | -12Got his minutes, hit his 3, did nothing of substance. #LetFieldsStart
DeMar DeRozan, SG33 MIN | 3-11 FG | 8-10 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 14 PTS | -24A disappointing night, especially when the matchup seemed so favourable on paper. Seemed hesitant to take the ball to the hoop while the Kings’ bigs wreaked havoc down there, and basically disappeared on offense after the first quarter.
Amir Johnson, PF9 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-2 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -5We needed him tonight with Boogie going off, and 6 fouls in 10 minutes: unacceptable. Was a bit better than Gray, sure, but this team expects far, far more from him than that, even with a tough matchup in Cousins.
Landry Fields, SF22 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-1 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 6 PTS | +8His 2nd quarter spurt helped keep the Raptors in the game early, and he did as good of a job as expected playing out of position at the 4 for the entirety of his minutes tonight. Continuing to improve every game since he’s back, though we won’t really know what we have with him until he can start playing his own position again.
Quincy Acy, SF12 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | +9We saw him early tonight due to foul trouble/general ineffectiveness, and although he did have some real rookie moments (man, is he slow rotating on D), he played better man-to-man defense on Cousins than any of the Raptor bigs. That said, tonight, that isn’t saying much. Blake suggested Acy Slater as a nickname, and I wholeheartedly give it my endorsement.
John Lucas, PG7 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | +6Got his garbage-time minutes and did his garbage-time things.
Kyle Lowry, PG28 MIN | 5-10 FG | 10-12 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 24 PTS | +15Like all the Raptors, made a couple of poor decisions early on, but it was thanks to his play in the second half that the score was even as close as it was. The only Raptor who seemed to be able to create shots consistently, for himself or for anyone else. We even saw the completely warranted return of Hero-Ball as he tried to single-handedly bring the Raps back in the fourth.
Alan Anderson, SG26 MIN | 7-17 FG | 4-4 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 20 PTS | +5A real Jekyll and Hyde game for him – kept the Raps in the game early with his offensive prowess, and then started forcing up shots from all over the floor. Was a big reason the offense stagnated during that putrid 3rd quarter. His only points in the second half came in the fourth when the game was pretty much over. Bonus points for beaking with Cousins at halftime, though.
Terrence Ross, SG18 MIN | 1-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 3 PTS | +3Came down with a case of Bargnani-itis after his big game Wednesday, throwing up way too many long shots early in the clock. Expectations may have been artificially inflated after the Portland game, but you have to learn to walk before you can run. He’ll bounce back.
Five Things We Saw
While the Raps eventually blew the game in the second half with offense, their struggles early on were all defensive. Foul trouble was part of it, but the Raptors were slow on switches all across the floor, leaving Sacramento shooters open on the wings and bigs unguarded (and, especially, un-blocked out) WAY too often. And would it have killed someone to play some help D on Cousins?
Particularly early in the game, the Raptors were uncharacteristically abysmal from the free throw line, shooting just 54% through 3 quarters. At the time, it didn’t seem to matter, but given how close the scoreline became at the end of the game, those turned out to be key points given away early.
Even though the Raps looked off in the first half, they lost this game in the 3rd quarter, where they reverted to their pre-streak offensive tendencies, throwing up shots early in the clock and trying to play one-on-one at every opportunity. This team functions best when they’re playing team ball, and tonight, that just wasn’t happening. Eighteen assists on 30 made field goals seems like a decent percentage, until you remember that all the unassisted attempts were the poor ones the Raps didn’t make.
DeMarcus Cousins is a BEAST. It was both immensely frustrating and very impressive to watch him have his way with the entire Raptor team for the duration of the game (31-20 in just 32 minutes is Shaq-esque). Regardless of his attitude issues (which we also saw tonight), there are few players with that skill in the ‘Association, and for Sacramento to give up on him at 22? Fugehdabboudit.
While winning 8 of their last 10 will give the Raptors the benefit of the doubt that tonight’s poor effort was just a blip in the road, fans have to be concerned that the team tonight looked far more like the one that started the season 4-19 than they did during their other loss in this stretch against San Antonio. Oklahoma City is next up on Sunday, and a strong bounce-back effort (result notwithstanding) will go a long way in assuaging the fears of our admittedly fragile fan base.