Andrea Bargnani, PF24 MIN | 4-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 9 PTS | +7His mini-resurgence continued, as he showcased a versatile offensive game early and stepped up his man defense in the second half (Phoenix’ depleted front-line didn’t hurt). Nine points on 10 shots isn’t spectacular, but he took those shots in the flow of the game and scored in a variety of ways – driving to the hoop and hitting a nice 3 early on.
Rudy Gay, SF23 MIN | 2-7 FG | 1-1 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 5 PTS | +11Really didn’t have it going tonight – forced up a ton of contested shots and rode the pine for most of the second half. Normally, I’d be more critical, but to say he was the only disinterested looking player on the floor tonight would be the understatement of the year.
Jonas Valanciunas, C20 MIN | 3-5 FG | 4-5 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | +3The more I see him, the more excited I get for his future with the Raptors. His work effort is unparalleled, and he showcased some excellent offensive recognition tonight by rolling hard against bigger checks and posting up the smaller Luis Scola. Casey finally let him check in late in the fourth, to the relief of most Raptor fans who had gotten used to seeing him buried on the end of the bench.
Kyle Lowry, PG21 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | +5Solid, but unspectacular, save for a couple of nice alley-oops to DeMar and Gay early in the game. Didn’t get a lot of run tonight due to the blowout and Telfair’s excellent night. No turnovers on the night, which is notable given the insane amount committed over the course of the game by both teams.
DeMar DeRozan, SG30 MIN | 7-13 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 5 TO | 15 PTS | +17His shot was falling, but a 5 turnover game is never anything to write home about, and some of the passes that led to them were downright ugly. His first quarter was excellent, but you could feel his effort level wane as the game went on.
Amir Johnson, PF28 MIN | 5-8 FG | 4-4 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | +24Had a difficult time guarding the interior early on, but picked up his game after the first with his trademark hustle. His rebounding numbers don’t really tell the story, as he was the only Raptor big on the floor for a good stretch of the game and wreaked enough havoc down low to stop the Suns from getting any second chance points.
Landry Fields, SF15 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | +13He came, he saw, he bricked a couple jumpers. Good effort on both ends.
Sebastian Telfair, PG27 MIN | 5-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 7 AST | 4 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 13 PTS | +22The best player on the floor tonight. Played disruptive D on Dragic and clearly had something to prove against his old team. That said, when he’s clearly the best player in an NBA game, that shows you what kind of night this was.
John Lucas, PG6 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | 0Had a cup of coffee late in the fourth but spent most of the game on the bench due to Bassy’s eff-you game.
Alan Anderson, SG25 MIN | 3-6 FG | 1-1 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 10 PTS | +16Went 3 for 3 from downtown for a very efficient 10 points, though I’m not happy about those four turnovers. It was that kind of game tonight, though.
Terrence Ross, SG21 MIN | 3-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 10 PTS | +17Continues to look lethargic on D, as he got downright destroyed by Jared Dudley a couple times in the first half, but made up for it with a strong effort on the glass and a few nice shots, though all those turnovers are problematic. It was nice to see him finally get some run with Jonas, albeit at the end of a blowout.
Dwane CaseyThe rotations were strange (basically rolling the lines like a hockey team), the rookies were put in too late, the Raptors still won by 30. One of the sloppiest blowout wins in recent memory, but a blowout win nonetheless – tough to criticize the coach when the box score is that lopsided.
Four Things We Saw
I’m not kidding when I say this was one of the sloppiest blowouts you’ve ever seen – the Suns looked more disinterested than any team I’ve seen this season so far, and it was only the superior effort level of the Raptors that pushed them so far past Phoenix on the scoreboard. Honestly, it looked like a really low-level All-Star game – no defence, all offense, and a bunch of players who don’t mesh well with one another.
Turnovers. I mean, a lot of turnovers – 50 on the night from both teams combined. Yikes.
How the heck was Phoenix on a 3 game winning streak?
I do want to end with one positive, so let’s go with this: only one team was interested in winning tonight, and it wasn’t the home squad. No matter how sloppy they looked at times, or how uncohesive their units can look, these guys truly care about one another and about winning games. So, when things seem bleak, just remember: at least you don’t root for the Suns.