|Amir Johnson, PF 24 MIN | 6-10 FG | 4-4 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 16 PTS | +1
Marred by foul trouble from the start, with some of them being very self-inflicted. We needed him to stay on the court to contend with the physical Memphis front-line and it didn’t happen nearly enough. Decent production while in there and defended Randolph well, but overall, couldn’t keep Randolph’s boards in check. Harsh criticism, I know.
|Rudy Gay, SF 39 MIN | 5-15 FG | 1-2 FT | 9 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 5 TO | 13 PTS | -5
Is it just me or does it seem like he’s playing at 50% effort? Combine that kind of effort throughput with jack-mode and you get a horrid 0-can’t even remember start and a game where it was him against his old team, not the Raptors versus the Grizzlies. Basically, he cost us this game with his terrible shooting, high turnovers, and zero playmaking.
|Jonas Valanciunas, C 18 MIN | 1-3 FG | 4-4 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | -7
Good showing early, but after picking up his third foul (a totally stupid one where he butt-bumped Randolph), got shown the bench and was rarely seen. Still, I thought the Raptors could’ve played him more just to keep the rebounding under control.
|Kyle Lowry, PG 36 MIN | 3-10 FG | 4-5 FT | 7 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 12 PTS | -1
Didn’t disrupt Conley enough for me on defense, and didn’t provide enough continuity in the offense. This one is more on Casey than anything, because our play design is very poor and I don’t recall a single instance where a Raptors big posted up. The court balance is a little off and too Gay/DeRozan-heavy.
|DeMar DeRozan, SG 36 MIN | 1-9 FG | 5-6 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 7 PTS | -7
That sweat you saw on DeRozan’s face belonged to Tony Allen. Got off to a very rough start, no doubt Allen was playing off of the “best two-guard comment”. Settled in eventually when he discovered the free-throw line, but picked a bad night to shoot poorly since Gay was terrible. Some of his fadeaway decisions are playing right in the hands of the defense, and he’s got to know that Memphis will clog the lane on a drive, forcing him to make a play (so pick out options before you even put it on the deck).
|Landry Fields, SF 5 MIN | 1-3 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | -5
Came in for a bit, hit a jumper, drew a charge and sat back down. Doesn’t provide enough of anything to warrant minutes, and now that we’re committed to Gay, can’t see his minutes increasing.
|Aaron Gray, C 14 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +5
I recall him being effective whenever he was in. Defended Gasol well while he was in, and you can easily make a case for more minutes for him against the Memphis frontline.
|Andrea Bargnani, C 22 MIN | 0-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -9
I need to have my head examined for thinking he can be a scorer off the bench. With Johnson and Valanciunas in foul trouble, needed him to step up tonight and he was not a factor. Randolph and Gasol aren’t exactly mobile, Arthur’s a bit better, but Bargnani had to take advantage of those guys whenever he got a touch and he was very passive. Decent defense believe it or not, especially when the Raptors were playing four guards plus him.
|John Lucas, PG 12 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -3
Setup Anderson on his threes in the fourth, but much like Lowry, I was hoping he’d disrupt the Memphis backcourt a little with some pressure. However, that usually comes from the coach.
|Alan Anderson, SG 19 MIN | 6-7 FG | 3-3 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 19 PTS | +1
Fourteen straight points in the fourth quarter to make this a game again, including a four-point play. Provided the spark at just at the right moment and you would’ve thought he had set it on a tee for the “big guns” of Gay and DeRozan to take over. In hindsight, he probably should’ve just continued shooting.
|Terrence Ross, SG 14 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +10
Three-point shooting is what we need for him. Three-point shooting is what he fails to provide. Now that the focus of the season has shifted (rightfully or wrongfully) from development to fighting for a playoff spot, I can’t see him getting free minutes any more. Tough ask of a rookie to produce threes off the bench, but hey, that’s the position he finds himself in.
The insistence of going through Gay even when struggling shows a very thin offensive playbook. For the most part other than Gay, got the team to show up for this one and had them battle back, so some credit needs to be given though. Limited zone tonight since the concern were the bigs inside (both had poor shooting) and not the shooters, and it paid off relatively well. One complaint I have is the way the Raptors “show” the double-team from the guard, while the guard’s man drifts to an open spot. There’s no rotation happening and it leaves Memphis wings open.
Four Things We Saw
- Both teams shot poorly in this game (36% each) and you knew all it was going to take was somebody to catch fire for the Raptors to come back. The difference was execution down the stretch and the Raptors had zero of it.
- Offensive rebounds in the fourth quarter were 6-0 for Memphis. Kind of expected when Bargnani played half the quarter in a four-guard formation, and Johnson being bulldozed by Randolph.
- The Raptors desperately need some passing from their big men because there are many opportunities being missed when Valanciunas, Gray, and Johnson have that ball at the elbow and there’s guard movement. All three combined today had zero assists.
- Points in the paint were 28-18 Memphis, a telling stat of their interior dominance (especially, off the offensive glass).
- Blake talking some Raptors/Grizzlies on ESPN Radio
- Morning Coffee: February 21st Edition