Oklahoma City Thunder 104 Final
Recap | Box Score
92 Toronto Raptors
Ed Davis, PF 34 MIN | 2-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -15

Easily his worst game since becoming a starter. The overall length and quickness of OKC took away the high-low pass that he feasts off of. 3 rebounds in 33 minutes from our PF was supposed to be a thing of the past. Odds are Ed bounces back from this with a big game.

Amir Johnson, PF 38 MIN | 8-11 FG | 3-4 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 19 PTS | -18

One of the lone bright spots on this afternoon but his real calling card, defense, was not up to his standards. That outside shot is starting to look better and better.

Jose Calderon, PG 31 MIN | 4-8 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 REB | 11 AST | 10 PTS | -12

Jose’s defensive shortcomings and passiveness tend to be overstated by many, but today they clearly stood out like a sore thumb. He usually gets up for big games but Russell Westbrook took him out of the game very early on and he got intimidated, plain and simple.

DeMar DeRozan, SG 33 MIN | 4-16 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 11 PTS | -14

Has not shown much against elite teams this year. Apparently he was being keyed on, but still lacks the court vision and ball skills to make teams pay with the assist. Also provided high-end avatar content for Kevin Durant fans worldwide when he got crossed over badly, not once but twice on the same play.

Mickael Pietrus, SG 16 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 3 PTS | -18

Why is he in the starting lineup?

Landry Fields, SF 15 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | 0

Minor hiccup after stringing together some solid performances. What scares me is why he still isn’t trying to take a three when his elbows supposed to be all patched up. He put up one shot from the baseline that looked awful.

Kyle Lowry, PG 23 MIN | 3-8 FG | 2-3 FT | 2 REB | 8 AST | 10 PTS | -7

Gutsy effort, did not impress, but is showing why he needs to be inserted back into the starting lineup. He contained Westbrook as well as one can and was instrumental in the Raptors second quarter run.

Alan Anderson, SG 33 MIN | 10-14 FG | 3-3 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 27 PTS | 0

Why isn’t he starting in place of Michael Pietrus? Possesses the type of skill required to excel against a strong athletic team like OKC. Has outplayed DeMar DeRozan when given the minutes. It’s not just the outside shooting, it’s his sneaky first step and ability to make decisions on the drive that have made him valuable.

Terrence Ross, SG 12 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-2 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 0 PTS | +12

This kid is too athletic to not take the ball to the rim more than he has thus far. Wondering if that 3-point barrage from a couple of games ago messed with his head. Not a recipe for sustained long-term success.

Dwane Casey

He should continue to get a D as long as he has Pietrus starting for this team. Going to back to the 2 PG lineup was a horrible idea, as it usually is, but especially against a team like OKC. Just grow a pair and take Jose out of the game if he’s not doing the job.

Three Things We Saw

  1. OKC’s defense was a thing of beauty. This is a team clicking on all cylinders. They took away passing lanes and closed out very well.
  2. This starting lineup is going to get killed against better teams. The ball invariably ends up in Jose’s hands with the shot clock winding down, and there are no playmakers to get the ball to. Don’t say DeRozan is a playmaker, Alan Anderson is better in this regard. Lowry needs to be in there.
  3. This just in: Kevin Durant is really, really, really good. He just adds more to his game every year. This will be his league sooner than later.
  • SukaTori

    play Acy as a starter and send double double machine to the bench

    • Gregast

      Who are you? Is this my sister from Alaska blogging to really piss me off?

      • SukaTori

        what’s wrong man !!
        I just said that Acy deserve more minutes, then it’s time to send double double machine (3 rebound 3) to the bench … nothing less nothing more.

        opinion free.

        even didn’t know about the sister from Alaska ….

  • et-man

    Agreed with all of your grades. Its starting to get a little old listening to Matt and Jack make excuses for Demar and Davis. No objectivity. We all know if other certain players played as bad we would have heard all about it.

    Davis is getting an opportunity of a life time and I just haven’t seen what others see. He was getting more rebounds and scoring more coming off the bench. That could be that as a starter you play against other starters. Most of his stats come against second team players.

    Anyway, OKC is an elite team. Didn’t expect a win but a better effort out of the raptors best players. AA was terrific tonight.

    One game at a time.

    • NyAlesund

      What do you really expect from Matt and Jack? Objectivity? Currently, they are emphasizing every single good play and minimize every bad game. This is because they are the heroes in Toronto and until they don’t play really bad for a while there are a lot of excuses ready for them. It is their job. They did this with AB in the past.

    • Sinatras

      perhaps we have 3 PF.s on this team that should come off the bench? That means the Raps need a starting PF! Trading 1 or 2 bench PF’s seems logical. The Raps need a couple of starting bigs including a starting C until JV can gain experience! The Raps may be bringing JV along to quickly and expecting too much too soon!!!

  • ad

    Was at the game. Obviously not a surprising result.
    My grades: Anderson A- (WTF!)
                     Johnson B
                     Lowry B-
                     Rest of Team: F

    Anderson had the game of his life and will probably never have a game like that in his career. Johnson was steady but hes not skilled enough to start on good nba teams. Lowry was lowry. Was furious calderon started over lowry AGAIN and played more minutes when its clear lowry is the better player and a better matchup vs. westbrook. Hes the only player on the team that can create his own shot as far as im concerned but he cant do everyting by himself. Anyways, derozan was awful and this is all the evidence the haters need to prove he is not a core player to build around. Same goes for davis. Got to keep val and lowry and find other pieces to build around. Everyone else is expendable. Been saying that all season.

  • BCBargnaniJoseCaseyGots2Go!!!

    Amir has had a consistent ft line elbow jumper since 2 seasons ago stop acting like its all brand new….wow… Alex English worked with him on that plus a running half hook (which Amir used to defeat OKC a couple of year’s ago at the buzzer).

    MPeitrus shouldn’t even be on the roster…..and Casey is starting him….BTW LFields has no jumper healthy elbow or not- thought you knew..smh

    Casey needs to pick an 8-9 man current healthy roster rotation and stick to it.

  • mountio

    Was at this one. A few things
    – OKCs D … especially on the perimeter .. but all over, IS a thing of beauty. We should take notes. No pass is easy, no passing lane uncontested .. just awesome to watch. 
    – Was interesting to see KD and RW take on the biggest challenge of the night (stopping AA) and really give a shit about it. Loved their intensity for a nothing game
    – I take back everything Ive said about AA (and Ive said a lot thats not very positive) – this guy was great. Not so much because of the results, more because of the attitude. He basically said “Im not scared of these motherfu**ers .. give me the ball”
    – DD was playing like a bitch. Scared. JC too. MP is just inept. Ed was scared. It took AA to come in and show them how to play like a man. Very, very, very impressive. 
    – As much as I love TR, he was scared too. The only three guys in the gym that could hang today were Amir, KL and AA. 
    – totally agree with the point on jose .. maybe he should start, maybe he shouldnt, but this is a TERRIBLE matchup for him .. so at least get him outa there when hes struggling – it was so obvious from the first RW steal
    – MP has to go . At least if we have KL / TR (or AA) against an athletic team, we have a chance to score
    – All in all, we got beat by a great team (I would pay to watch OKC over Miami or any other team in the league 100 times out of 100) who played HARD and played their starters a lot. Thats supposed to happen, so I cant really complain … 

    • unknown guest

      Agreed. Raps looked like they didn’t think they would win–too scared.

  • FAQ

    Ratpors badly need Bargs, JonasV, Kleiza…. sooooo obvious..!!!

    • KJ-B

      Kleiza-not so much.

      -7 if and when he “feels” like playing…we all know when he “feels” it he’s deadly.

      Jonas–that’s the injury of the season right there…the dream called playoff ended today.

      How many more summers before DeRozan gets his mind right and develops some lateral quicks…there are actually drills one can do to improve this–and not all conditioning should be done on a basketball court–there are other sports like football (soccer which Kobe picked up) to improve in that area…

      ALL IN ALL GO BACK TO THE BASICS BUD: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GL0OUJc6n7g “Pistol Pete Square V Dribble” … the skills coaches on the raps, what can I say–DeRozan dribbles too upright, does not bend, which is why he has issues exploding to dunk on folk and… I could go on and — Go through the whole “Homework Basketball” series by the best ball handler of all time…

      THese Raptors…………

      • KJ-B

        My rant continues: Quick strong hands http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWxOVioYR3E “Ball Handling” out of “Basketball Homework” by Maravich…

        It’s just wrong that the Raps have not been able to develop young, raw talent over the years.  OKC.  San Antonio–they get ’em late 1st and 2nd Round.  Raps 1st round after 1st Round.  It has to be coaching.

        MLSE spends $3mil a year on a GM and prolly $1mil for Triano/Casey… NOT Right.  

        Last point as per learning from other sports MJ played shortstop in baseball as a youngster–as a result if you study Mike’s ball handling, he GOT LOW for a guy 6′ 6″ on his dribble drives before exploding… You look at Durant playing flag football and all other types of training with LeBron and you can’t help but wonder that our young guys are missing “it” when a bulk of their development is in the shadow summer ball at the Drew League in LA playing against Chris Brown, The Game and others…just NOT cutting it!!!!

        • channel 511

          KJ-B – clicked the link and then a few more learning about Pistol Pete. Could HE ever handle the ball! His mad passing skills – a grainy youtube video that was also there – were incredible. Many thanks. 

          • Dakj-b

            mos DEF my pleasure–PETE was THE Man… 

            Just think something’s amiss in Raptorville… The only player who looked perfectly comfortable in his role and skill set today was Alan Anderson–starting to wonder now if Bargs’ development, DeRozan, Ross etc. even back to Bosh and his ball handling have to do with our coaching “up here”…I remember back when Mark Cuban assigned one assistant/skills coach per player + developed a sound basketball culture from the ground up in Dallas that eventually resulted in Championship vs the “flashy” Heat in 2011…

            Maybe it’s not having a majority-owner who is hoops mad, I dunno but Westbrook was as raw as DeRozan when he came in now he’s a perennial ALL Star…All the weight lifting/fitness cannot replace FUNdaMENTAL Basketball skills……..

          • KJ-B

            I know channel 511: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLNy6Q-EDDU — learning not to telegraph passes–Basketball 101…just most of the Raps haven’t taken that class!

    • Sinatras

      2 of those 3 may not be with the team in 5 weeks!!!

      • SukaTori

         looking forward to know which team are interested in JonasV and Kleiza

  • Ppellico

    relying on Amir to take the offense and long shots and stay out of foul trouble by not playing defense is a sure sign for stupidity and insanity.
    And showing the absolute stupidity of Rap fans…they LOVE it!

  • NyAlesund

    3 rebs in 34 minutes!!! Bargnani’s syndrome?

    I am joking, but we can’t be hard on him. He is a role player, hence we can expect this kind of performances.

    AA the best of the game.

    • Cirano de Bergerac

      3 reb in 34 minutes !! not that lazy pasta man who chucks shats. We want  Boss Davis, aka Spechal, aka top 10 PF, aka PF starter, aka great potential, aka double double machine, aka superman. Wait, he look like DH12 only the “mini me” version.
      Come everyone forward with some excuses for the imbarassing 3 (THREE !) fuc#&ng rebounds in 34 – big fat – minutes, please !

      Hey, on top of the cake ,no offence at ALL, whats new in Raptorland.

      I would call it, like the movie ” The strange case of Eddy D ” 

      • NyAlesund


      • SukaTori

         aka 3rebound3 sound appropriate

  • DM

    This is why demar will never be anything special, his stupid disappearing acts that happen more often than not.

    • arsenalist

      C’mon now.  Take a look at who was guarding him, its not easy for any 2-guard when they go up against OKC, let alone DeRozan.  Joe Johnson went off on Sefolosha the other day, but generally its a difficult time.  Harden went 6-17 and Mayo 1-7 last week.

      We need to check our expectations of DeRozan and not consistently measure him up against his contract.  He might become the top two-guard in the East in time, but to make conclusions about his ceiling is premature.

      • Jamshid

        “We need to check our expectations of DeRozan and not consistently measure him up against his contract”
        Are you suggesting that he is not measuring up to his new contract ?

      • SukaTori

        Well said, this is a good point of view, we need to watch the same point also for others players not only for Demar
        there are people here that usually don’t

  • Canadian Paul

    I love how everybody dumps on this player or that player after a loss, especially one against the potential NBA champ.

    A better team with better players, better interior defence and better perimeter defence, and to top it all off, they got the benefit of the refs’ calls for most of the game.

    Just move on and stop being pansies.

    • Mango Y Papaya

      Ed Davis 3 rebounds is on Bargnani, no excuses there.

    • fanboy day

      it’s not everybody just the PUNANI fangirls keeping hope alive for #7

  • Bronasvalanciunas

    Don’t forget about Quincy Acy and his career high in points! We could be looking at a superstar in the making here.

  • Danny De Vito & Co.

    A – Dumb, you should start pumping AC/DC ACY PER36, you know….like your friends did and do (sometimes,just when helps their theories) the Hollinger karma….if he scores 6 pt in 3 min as a PF, and our PF starter BOSS ED DAVIS  4 points in 34 (??!!), who deserves to start next game?

    I know, ED is a good rebounder, I know, just check his PER36 !

    • Canadian Paul

      You must have waited a long time for Ed Davis to have a really crappy game to pump yourself up.

      I think I’ll feel better myself if Bargnani starts again, so I can dump on him EVERY game. :)

      • cesco

        Anyone who want Andrea to start so that he can dump on him is a LOSER big time .

        • pran

          unwavering support for a player just because he shares the same ethnicity as you is equally pathetic. 

          • Marek

            What’s pathetic is retards like you that can’t tell the real cesco from the fake cesco. 

            • POINTS

              hi POOKIE

    • Rebounds

      At least he had 3 more rebounds than Bargnani would have gotten.

  • EmarErozan

    Rough night for Emar but best dunk of his career on Ibaka. Wish he went tomahawk in traffic more often.

  • Doc

    Anderson is still shooting under 37% from the field this season so calm down. He had a good game but is not better than DeRozan and is he will get as ice cold as he is hot eventually.

  • Gregast

    When I watch the Thunder I think to myself, ‘There’s a team that didn’t buy their current status like Miami and NY Knicks’. The Thunder DEVELOPED their team from the ground up and now they’ve got a real contender. I watched the NBA Finals last year and I was SOOO disappointed that the Thunder didn’t beat the Heat. Their big center Collison must have some great stories to tell about being there as this team became great. did I mention they’ve got Toronto’s lottery pick this Spring.

    Wow, that is impressive General Management skill.

    • SukaTori

      There’s a team that didn’t buy their current status …. ask here


    • Nilanka15

      What are you talking about?  They bought their team from Seattle :p

      • SukaTori


        Nilanka, i
        know that “They bought their team from Seattle ”

        but my
        point of view is a little bit different

        bought the Seattle’s
        team” there were (and still are)

        a solid
        fans base, a long time Sonics fans ….

        behind that
        team there were (and still are) people with heart and passion

        NO businessmen can BUY their passion

        Seattle deserve their team.

        For the
        same reason i don’t like the noise about the Kings moving to Seattle/Anaheim or
        whereever you want. No team must move if it hurts people. Only a few reasons justify such a change (failures / disinterested people or something like that)

        In my opinion
        even here on RR if this exist is because of passion your passion
        and no one has the rights to come and move it elsewhere


        I haven’t
        doubt about the quality of the Thunders as a team

        (there are
        nice young players) while the OK City deserve my simpathy

        that comes
        from fact that i’m a Flaming Lips fans from the beginning   😉


        Gregast is
        right when he says “a team that didn’t buy their current status like Miami and NY Knicks”
        it’s the reason why i spent my nights watching teams with  small % growing up step by step  (too easy to be Heat fans).

        usually i
        like to enjoy when the loser become shining gold.


        Maybe is
        the time that the League make some change

        i don’t
        know how

        but these
        city i mentioned up here plus some others like Las Vegas

        probably ready for a league team extensions

        (i don’t
        know if is better play 3/4 time against the same team every season or home/away
        with more different team ….)


        only one
        thing is sure : in life never do the bad

        so no
        reason to get fear

        before or
        then everything in life suddenly turns in the right way




        from an old
        foreign BB fans

        • Nilanka15

          I was just kidding around with my Seattle comment.

          But you’re right, OKC built from within, and that type of team earns my respect much more than a manufactured team like Miami.

  • Hound

    After some up and down games here are some observations:

    – AA should continue to come off the bench to provide a lift (scoring or defense or both)
    – Gray should only play in desperation situations and garbage time
    – Pietrus should continue to start until LK is back, then LK or LF should start and Pietrus should be let go.
    – Bargs is still an asset to this team
    – Ed Davis still has a long way to go. He is now getting some attention from other teams who all realize he goes left, has no range and can be moved off the block. Until he realizes he has two hands he will be extremely limited. As well the extra minutes, especially in the 30+ range make it difficult on him to continue his hustle.
    – Amir is a solid back up type of guy, who brings a lot to the table (hustle, mid range, baby hook, team player etc.) but will never be more than a rotation guy.
    – Casey must insist on better defence in return for minutes on the floor.

    All in all, a fun couple of weeks. Let’s see if we can get a couple more wins before we hit the road.

  • grizzly73

    Please all I want for New years is a big trade.

    • Hound

      Be careful what you wish for. Does Jermain O’Neal or Hedo ring a bell?

  • RapthoseLeafs

    Kevin Durant is an amazing player. And OKC should be in the Finals, when all is said and done.

    As for the Toronto Raptors, they’ve been entertaining and fun to watch – going 8-2 over that stretch. But, they still have a long way to go. In the short term though, some issues need to be worked out.

    1) The SF position is crying out for help.
    2) Who will be the Starting PG in … say – 10 games from now?
    3) Is Ed Davis a Starter? Or the ideal energy PF off the Bench – more suited to lighter Bigs?


    In the Last 10 games (before OKC), Raptors have had some great numbers – albeit, partly due to the competition.

    As per HoopStats http://www.hoopsstats.com/basketball/fantasy/nba/home/13/1-6-1  Raps had the:

    – Top BackCourt
    – Top Bench
    – 2nd place in PG position
    – Top in Assists
    – Top in Assists by PG position


    As can be expected with injuries, our Front Court is having a tougher time (ranked 25th). Getting back one of Jonas or Bargs – wherever there role should be – will hopefully help matters. I still believe that Ed is out of his element, as the Starting PF. I also believe it could have consequences. That also goes for Jonas, who I wish had started the season on the Bench.

    The bigger question for me, and its’ not Andrea, is what do Raptors do next for the PG position. Do they continue as such, or flip the roles? Raptors going 8-2 was a function of PG play – top in assists – and the Bench. If Raps can get the Front Court settled sufficiently, they will have the tools to make play-offs more realistic. IMO though, that Front Court will have to involve another PF (as the Starter), a Bargnani who will buy into the recent change (off the Bench or as a Starter), a suitable (and Starter material) SF, along with a stronger and more game experienced Jonas.


    This team is how I imagined it before the start of the season. Team ball and strong Bench. If we can adjust for our issues, play-offs is still a feasible opportunity.

    Next year is another matter.


  • http://profile.yahoo.com/2Z4DEOXG2HZCBL5FVKZ5FVRJV4 Bomax

    Man. It was all going pretty well until Casey messed up the rotation and went with the 2 point guard scenario.   In my opinion it messed up the whole flow of the game for the Raps and handed the game to OKC.   It doesn’t work!

  • Dr. Dread

    Where is Acey’s GRADE?! He played and did more than most of the raps in his 2 mins!

  • JHP

    The missing equation is the injuries.  If you took out Durant and 3 other players then it would have been totally different.  Let’s see for the upcoming game AB + JV + Ross + Gray + Kleiza probably will not be playing.  Then throw in the fact Pietrus has bad knees.  Lucas and Acy hardly ever play and now your down to 7 players and really no big’s. I would say the next stretch will be rather rough.  When the GM fills out the end of the bench with 3/4 role/scrub players they leave them selves open to stretches like this.  

  • fanboy day

    A lot of  PUNANI fan girls on here today missing there hero Andrea Punani the Raptors best player, who Coach Casey can’t wait to have back in the starting lineup come hell or high water cause he’ll give us those 2 rebounds per quater that the coach ask for plus knocking down shots from anywhere on the floor like he was doing before he went down, don’t worry fanboys Punani will be back soon to lead his team to the playoffs …I also love watching cheering his team on and waving a towel every game