Amir Johnson, PF36 MIN | 7-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 14 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | 14 PTS | -1Had to fight very hard against Hibbert right from the go, and managed to contain the Pacer big whenever he was assigned the duty. The offense didn’t come as easy as it has in the past few games, mainly because the Raptors pick ‘n roll game was dead in this game, what with Lowry and Lucas not bothering to run any. Showed some cahones and clock-awareness to lay the ball in at the buzzer in regulation. Fouled out in OT boxing out West, great game overall.
Rudy Gay, SF44 MIN | 9-25 FG | 5-6 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 5 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 23 PTS | +2Struggled mightily to start the game on offense, partially because of the length of George. On the other end, did well against George in one-on-one situations, but lost him whenever the Pacer swingman received the ball out of dribble penetration in catch-and-shoot positions. A rather anonymous game until the early fourth when he rattled off six straight points to make Indiana’s 9-point lead disappear. The Raptors went to him in iso-situations as expected and was delivering at about a 50% clip, and then finally he delivered one-on-one against George to seal it. Killer!
Aaron Gray, C14 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-2 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | -9This guy trickles production whenever he’s in the game. The positional defense has always been solid and he’s learning to be productive on offense with a vulture-like attitude on the glass. On a night like this, all he’s got to do is clog up space and clog up space he did.
Kyle Lowry, PG34 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 6 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 2 PTS | -4When he looks bad, he looks really bad. His reaction to when things don’t go his way is detrimental to the team because it stinks of negativity and petulance. He ran the offense like had a blindfold on, and simply gave up on defense against George Hill at times. Get a hand up, man. Also, can you run a simple pick ‘n roll without doing something silly? It says something when the coach decides to play Lucas ahead of you for an extended period. Sucks at setting screens.
DeMar DeRozan, SG41 MIN | 7-17 FG | 7-9 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 22 PTS | -2Probably the only guy who showed up for the full 48 minutes. He started off in traditional manner by pinning his man on a down-screen and nailing a jumper, and later, when it became clear the officials weren’t calling anything for the Raptors, started taking it to the rim with good effect. Had 15 at the half, and with Gay struggling in the first, was the primary supplier of offense against Stephenson.
Andrea Bargnani, C29 MIN | 7-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 14 PTS | +6Lovely stuff again if you ask me. Coming off the bench he’s a focused scorer, and other than a couple long-twos that made you wince and a defensive possession or two where he fell asleep on help D, his night was nothing but solid. Provided his offensive in context of the team, hit his jumpers and even played commendable man-defense on West in stretches. Dare I say, he even frustrated West at times with his physicality, and I loved the smack-talk at Hibbert. Got the nod, rightfully, in crunch time and delivered.
Jonas Valanciunas, C26 MIN | 6-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 13 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | +2The reason this was a tight game. A great stint in the first half where brought the interior presence that was missing, and followed it up with a tremendous third quarter where his defense, rebounding, and offense kept this from getting to be a blowout. Got winded in the first half according to Casey, but looked much fitter in the second. Got knocked down by Psycho T, who should be suspended. He got picked on by West in OT after Johnson fouled out, but that’s on Casey for creating that matchup.
John Lucas, PG19 MIN | 3-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | +6I hate this guy. I don’t recall a single possession where you could say that he ran the offense with any sort of continuity. The early-jacks, the questionable passing, and the over-dribbling, all staples of his game. I understand him taking shots in a blowout, but when Gay, DeRozan and Bargnani are also on the court, you shouldn’t be shooting. Period.
Alan Anderson, SG4 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | +5Limited minutes. Took a terrible three early and Casey heeded the warning and benched him.
Terrence Ross, SG18 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | +5#LetRossInTheGymAndMakeHimShoot1000JumpersADay
Dwane CaseyRefused to play small ball against Indiana . Said so at halftime, and you have to say that it worked because the Raptors were in it against a good team. The benching of Lowry for Lucas is also reasonable considering how awful Lowry was. Cut Jonas’ minutes in the first half, and an explanation towards it was given as the Lithuanian was fatigued. Rightfully benched Anderson. No idea why he was late in putting Bargnani on West instead of Jonas in OT. All in all, he made the right calls.
Four Things We Saw
The Raptors didn’t shoot a FT till halfway through the second quarter. The refs didn’t call anything in favor of the Raptors, despite several obvious fouls on drives. Don’t give me this “Indiana is physical” BS. A foul is a foul.
The rebounding in the game was even, and that was probably the biggest concern coming in. Credit to the Raptors bigs for showing up tonight and making a game of this.
The rebounding didn’t end up being a factor, and that was probably the biggest concern coming in. Credit to the Raptors bigs for showing up tonight and making a game of this.