Toronto Raptors 113 Final

Recap | Box Score

96 Atlanta Hawks
Amir Johnson, PF 36 MIN | 4-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 6 BLK | 1 TO | 11 PTS | +22Those 6 blocks were the only thing keeping the Hawks from running a lay-up line on the Raptor defence early on, and, by the time the rest of his teammates woke up and started playing D, the game was already close to out of reach. Another excellent performance from him tonight, as he dominated against Atlanta’s decimated front line. Also, he hit a three, which was fun.
Rudy Gay, SF 27 MIN | 9-14 FG | 1-1 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 22 PTS | +15Tonight, he was DeMar lite, finishing with an extremely efficient 22 points on 9 of 14 shooting. The only reason he gets a lower grade than DeRozan is that his early defense on Korver left something to be desired, but when your team wins by 20 that’s just picking nits.
Jonas Valanciunas, C 33 MIN | 4-5 FG | 5-6 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 3 BLK | 4 TO | 13 PTS | +7Still needs to work a bit harder to protect the ball when he rolls toward the hoop, but tonight was a great statement game for Jonas on the national stage. He absolutely tore Johan Petro apart on both sides of the floor, as he should, and even finished with his left hand tonight, something I’ve criticized him for in the past. It was great to see him return (surprisingly) to finish out the season and not look like he’d missed a beat after sitting out all last week.
Kyle Lowry, PG 27 MIN | 2-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 11 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 8 PTS | +17Those shooting stats aren’t great, but he was a major reason the Raptor offense worked so well tonight. He’s a much better player when the drive-and-kick becomes option 1 for him, and tonight, he ran it to perfection, finding his wing players anytime they were open and throwing up a few highlight-reel alley-oops for good measure.
DeMar DeRozan, SG 28 MIN | 11-17 FG | 5-6 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 30 PTS | +13He’s been on fire lately, and his hot streak continued tonight. I loved his shot selection for the most part – he posted up Devin Harris early and didn’t force up nearly as many jumpers as he usually does, instead getting them through the flow of the offense. That might be partially due to a listless Hawks defense, and partially due to a suddenly rejuvenated Kyle Lowry, but, even so, it sure was nice to watch.
Quincy Acy, SF 22 MIN | 2-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | +7I’m still loving the hustle and energy, though he clearly needs to work on his jump shot this offseason to keep defences honest. I’m not so sure that he won’t end up being one of Colangelo’s best draft picks, as he’s clearly proven that he’s got the ability to be a rotation-level NBA player as he continues to develop.
Landry Fields, SF 9 MIN | 0-2 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 1 PTS | -3Came in for garbage time and ran around without much of an end-game in mind. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t have a chance to do much else.
John Lucas, PG 21 MIN | 4-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 11 PTS | 0So, if Anderson is the poor man’s Kobe, and Lucas is the poor man’s Anderson… Does that make Lucas the homeless man’s Kobe? In all seriousness, he played very well when the game was in doubt in the first half, running the second unit offense excellently – and then decided to try and shoot every time he touched the ball in garbage time. Yuck.
Alan Anderson, SG 19 MIN | 1-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | +2Shots, shots, shots shots shots shots… EVERYBODY!
Terrence Ross, SG 18 MIN | 3-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | +5Here’s hoping that ankle injury isn’t serious, as he’s finally seemed to pick up his energy level and is looking much more like the promising talent we saw for stretches mid-season. If it does sideline him for tomorrow’s game (I’d assume it will), at least he got one last highlight-reel dunk in, on TNT no less, for good measure.
Dwane CaseyMade the right decisions with his lineup, got his guys up to play what was essentially a meaningless game, and showed up a playoff team on TNT. Tonight, I have no complaints. Well, I have one complaint: why the hell is Anderson playing over Fields? Am I missing something here?

Five Things We Saw

  1. Tonight’s game was broadcast live across the U.S. on TNT (the first time for the Raptors since their playoff series against Orlando in 2008), and the young Raps clearly took this opportunity to showcase their talents to heart, playing some of their best offensive basketball of the year. The Hawks? Well, they sat Al Horford. So… yeah.
  2. Because of Horford’s unexpected scratch, as well as Jonas Valanciunas’ unexpected return to action and Josh Smith only playing 13 minutes due to soreness, the Raptor frontline was far more loaded than the Hawks, and it showed – the Hawks had difficulties getting past the Raptor duo of Amir and Jonas all night (9 blocks combined), while the Raptors essentially ran their own offense through the lane, driving and kicking with reckless aplomb.
  3. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: ball movement is so key for this team, and tonight, the unselfishness was absolutely apparent. The Raptors finished with 24 assists on 40 made field goals, but that number doesn’t encompass the amount of beautiful first-passes that led to easy Raptor field goals. One in particular stands out: a beautiful Ross to Amir to Acy play on a fast break in the 3rd quarter that led to an easy dunk.
  4. The biggest red flag tonight, if there was one, was the amount of turnovers committed by the Raptors (18 in total). Quite a few of these were on deflected drives (Jonas and Rudy) or passes that were just too crazy to be made (Lowry). It’s hard to ignore 18 turnovers, but the fact that the Raptors still managed to put up 113 points on 51% shooting (which was over 60% until garbage time) gives you some idea of just how efficient they were when they managed to run a play without giving up the ball.
  5. With this win, the Raptors have at least tied Hollinger’s much maligned 33-win prediction to start the season, and have a chance to surpass that number (and cap a 7-2 April) tomorrow night against the Boston Celtics, who will certainly be playing with heavy hearts. I’ll be skipping a traditional post-game tomorrow morning to make room for the pre-game Celtic coverage, so, as my last word for the season, let me end with this: for all the sense it makes to tank, it sure is nice to see a group of guys who want to win – I mean, REALLY want to win – every game they play. We might not have the talent, not yet, but we certainly have the character. In other words: at least we’re not the Kings.
  • pran

    casey deserves an F. Solely for the fact that tonight I discovered through TNT commentary that him and lowry have come to an agreement where lowry runs the offense 60% of the time, and casey the other 40% of the time.

    Seriously it took him the whole season, and our playoff hopes to discover that Lowry is NOT JOSE CALDERON. The stubborness of casey, and his unwillingness to adapt pretty much cost us the season.

    oh and Valanciunas should not have gotten an A, he was terrible at both ends. And was a turnover machine.

    • ben

      it’s actually the other way around, reggie just got it wrong all night

    • disqus_EIIH8F1jq0

      Raptors win by 17 and you’ve got your panties in a bunch. Chill out, take a toke or two

      • pran

        I think it’s BECAUSE we won by 17 that I’m so mad. We could be in the playoffs right now if we changed our style of play sooner.

        • disqus_EIIH8F1jq0

          You assume change brings immediate success, fool of a took

        • sleepz

          No way. This team is not a playoff team this year or next year.

          • smh

            Next year is when other teams tank, which is also when the Raps make a playoff run

  • Destro

    smh @ anything the last month being a statement

    • smh

      yes? oh, so true. We’ve seen this movie before.

  • Leftovercrack

    I hope this isn’t just another Raptors’ late-season tease. Demar’s play the last two games and the fact that he is hitting threes is potentially very important, as is Lowry’s 11 assists in 27 minutes of play. The urgh! is that now with Fields firmly stuck on the bench, we are committed to paying a deep-bench player $15 million of the next two years.

    • Bouncepass

      I’d be happy to replace Anderson’s minutes with Fields. There are some positive signs with DeRozan and Gay. Some good off-season work for DeRozan and a full training camp and they might be okay in the next couple of years.

      • The Rub

        The only way replacing Anderson with Fields would work is if T Ross becomes a legit bench scorer next year and we get a good passing backing PG, because otherwise the bench unit will get zero points outside of fast breaks and garbage putbacks.

    • higdale

      Hopefully there’s a way to trade Fields. He has been used only as a utility player and because he’s had to play the 4 his minutes has been cut. His ability to make meaningful cuts and players who are either unable or unwilling to make the pass ( I’m leaning to unable ) shows that we don’t have the kind of players who have a IQ suited for the team concept. Our big 3 core players have made themselves better but not those around them. Gay leads us in shots taken scoring and turnovers. Demar has hit jumpers this year but his 3 point % sucks and while Lowry has been our assist leader as it should be his assist have mostly gone to Gay or Demar on jumpers. We’ve become a jump shouting team with some touches given to Val in the post from time to time. We have shooters, shooters, shooters and no playmakers not even on the second unit. May be we could include Fields in a trade to get more rebounding inside because I don’t know of too many players who would be willing to come to the Raptors and think they will be on a winning or playoff team with guys who make the game harder than it is and who rarely talk about team or seem to play for one and other under a coach whose not creative or doesn’t have creative assistants.

  • muhdik

    fucking stupid ass craptors….winning meaningless games and ruining the possibility of getting a top pick….now our pick is guaranteed to go to okc………..every damn year we do this…..fucking losers playing well when nothings on the line…our team is garbage.bargs was right and should be lauded for calling it the way he saw it.

    • Ryone

      Good only means they can’t get the 2014 pick where all the good players are!

    • wes mantooth

      i dont agree with the pick, we wouldve had to give it up anyways, but i do agree with bargs saying what he said when he said it. they were 4 and 19 and he didnt exclude himself from the statement which is why i dont understand the hate on him..
      the TNT guys were so disrespectful to the raptors and even the nba lastnite ! theyre making ‘bad tv’ worse. there were a lot of nba fans that were pretty excited to watch there team on tnt lastnite and finally hear what these gurus might have to say and they chose to be above the whole thing like a bunch of snobs. i love there show but lastnite was low. get over yourselves. reggie miller however is a class act . made the most of it understanding what it meant to those fans

  • muhdik

    we do this shit every season.our losers play well when theres no pressure and nothing to play for…..bargs is the only guy who doesnt care about meaningless games while the other jerkoffs pad stats and thump their chests.