Boston Celtics 90 Final

Recap | Box Score

114 Toronto Raptors
Amir Johnson, PF 23 MIN | 2-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | +18AMIR JOHNSON AVERY BRADLIED AVERY BRADLEY! I can honestly say that tonight was the first time I saw a big man steal the ball off of a point guard in a full court press. The timing on his help defense is so nuanced; his veteran play makes it easy to forget that he’s still only 25 years old. Valanciunas and DeMar have given Raptors fans a reason to feel optimistic over the last few weeks, but Amir has been doing it all season long. It’s been a tremendously underrated year for Amir Johnson, who has easily become my favorite Raptor since He-who-shall-not-be-named.
Rudy Gay, SF 26 MIN | 6-14 FG | 3-3 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 19 PTS | +15“Get ready for next year. Hope to see you next year.” That was Rudy’s address to the crowd on fan appreciation night tonight. I’m going to leave that one alone. As long as we’re just talking about tonight though, there is no reason not to praise Mr. Gay’s very solid performance. Gay had 19 points and 9 rebounds with relative ease, and if he can do that while being efficient in his shot selection next year, I promise to be his biggest fan. Rudy Gay continues to show how valuable he can be in an offense in which he is a cog instead of the key to.
Jonas Valanciunas, C 29 MIN | 6-10 FG | 6-8 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 3 BLK | 4 TO | 18 PTS | +20Jonas hammered the early offensive boards and controlled the first quarter of the game, showing why big men have such a value in this league. Jonas drew a foul with a rarely seen pump fake at the 8:06 mark of the first quarter. He busted out that pump fake another couple of times afterwards looking very agile for a man his size and getting fouled, or a good shot as a result. I understand that it’s silly to be excited about an NBA player demonstrating that they can do a pump fake. I don’t care. Dominating Chris Wilcox, Shavlik Randolph and Fab Melo doesn’t make you the second coming of Shaquille O’Neal; but man, it is an absolute joy to watch. Boston gave Valanciunas a few open mid-range jumpers, and he looked confident and comfortable in taking them. Jonas was working his hook shot tonight. His release on it is stiff and overthought. But the ease with which he steps into and creates space for that shot shows that he’s only a few hundred hours of practice away from being very good at a shot that is impossible to defend.
Kyle Lowry, PG 22 MIN | 3-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 8 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 9 PTS | +17Two weeks ago, I summed up Lowry’s performance by addressing an open letter to him asking where Kyle Lowry, bona-fide NBA starting point guard, had gone. We watched him play tonight. In these last 2 weeks since, Lowry has averaged 8.9 assists, 9.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.3 steals in just 32 minutes per game. Point well made Kyle; I’ll shut up and go away now. Lowry acknowledged his own disappointment in his play this season and what needs to and will change for next year. I very much respect and believe that.
DeMar DeRozan, SG 29 MIN | 8-13 FG | 5-5 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 24 PTS | +23DeMar has undergone a visible change in demeanor over the last few months. A more relaxed DeMar took a step up after the arrival of Gay removed the weight of the franchise from his shoulders, and he’s been nothing short of fantastic since the Raptors were eliminated from the playoffs. I would love to see if DeMar could be this player again next year when the pressure is back on. The continued freedom from double-teams, increased post-up opportunities in next year’s offense and a summer he’s promised to spend finding his range from 3 (he’s shot 75% from 3 over the last 3 games, no big deal) is reason to believe that good things lie ahead for DeMar and, by extension, the Raptors.
Quincy Acy, SF 25 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-2 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | +9I see you Quincy Acy. If Landry Fields and Amir Johnson hadn’t already demonstrated the possible value of a second round pick to you, surely Quincy Acy’s late season stretch of improved play made the point. Toronto has traded away their second round pick for 3 of the next 4 years. (Pardon me for a moment while my head explodes.)
Landry Fields, SF 28 MIN | 4-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 11 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | +10Landry Fields has shown us in games like these why we’re happy to start fresh with him next year. Of course, this deal is predicated upon the understanding that his PlayStation Vita commercials that were so inescapable during Raptors games this year will be less painfully unwatchable in the future. I’m not blaming Landry here; it’s the awkward gimmick, not Landry that’s the problem. But he needs to understand how impatient and irritable a fan base can be when they’ve been tortured by “Primo pasta and sauce” for years.
Aaron Gray, C 14 MIN | 1-1 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 3 PTS | 0Aaron gay shot 100% from the floor tonight, proving once again that you simply cannot stop Aaron Gray. You can only hope to contain him.
John Lucas, PG 26 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 7 PTS | +7I continue to throw things in anger whenever I think about how we traded a second round pick so that Sebastian Telfair could substitute John Lucas as a backup point guard for 185 meaningless minutes. In Lucas’ defense, while his often ill fated drives to the basket really like to get blocked, his right corner 3-point shots really, really like to go in.
Alan Anderson, SG 19 MIN | 5-10 FG | 4-4 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 16 PTS | +1The Alan Anderson experience has been a hell of a ride. He’s proven to be a valuable irrational confidence guy at times, winning a pair of mid season games on his own. He’s also the captain of the ‘I-refuse-to-even-look-at-the-wide-open-roll-man’ all-stars. Anderson took every possible shot that he could tonight, but he salvaged his bad selection by grabbing his own rebound and putting it back in on multiple occasions in a game where Boston wasn’t particularly concerned about doing much of anything. It’s been swell Alan, I feel confident in speaking for Raptors fans who wish you nothing but the best, and will fondly remember those 4th quarters you owned.
Dwane CaseyCasey has gotten his team to play hard, embrace their short-comings, demonstrate a team mentality and develop confidence in themselves. The team’s front court defence has been impressive down the stretch, and adding a focused and determined Kyle Lowry and Rudy Gay to that team defence next season could finally be the unit that validates Casey’s reputation as a great defensive mind. It’s a tough sell to get your team to perform in a manner that gives your fans reason for optimism after you’ve been eliminated from the season. Whether or not that was a good idea in terms of all but ensuring that the team will now miss it’s first round lottery pick, it’s an impressive feat, and one that I’ve enjoyed watching.

Five Things We Saw

  1. As Herb Coon stated on behalf of the Raptors: Tonight, we are all Boston fans.
  2. Jonas Valanciunas has Toronto fans almost even more excited than when they get 100-point game free pizza. —Almost.
  3. Paul Pierce is immune to travelling calls. Whether or not this is the result of some sort of charm, spell, cloak, amulet, incantation or rare Magic card, I’m not sure. But the ref’s are clearly not aloud to call him on it.
  4. Kevin Garnett got the night off for rest. While everyone hoping to watch his cagey defense and slick mid-range jumper were disappointed, I’m sure that the towel kids and Vim mop-up guys were happy to not to be sworn and yelled at just for standing there by the ‘veteran’.
  5. Reason for genuine optimism. Gosh, ain’t it nice?

Andrew Thompson@marmaladeJacko

  • Paul Stevens

    Looking forward to next year.

    • Jerry Garcia

      Peace Love Raptors

  • Adriiian

    Damn. It’s fun to watch Rudy when he’s hitting.
    Hope next year we can build on this.

    Do the players just go home now? I wonder if any of them chill in Toronto during the off season?

    • Sig

      Jonas is staying

  • HolyCraptors.com

    Aaron Gray scored his 1000th career point tonight. He’s now approximately 37,000 behind Kareem on the all-time NBA scoring leaders list.

    • Jerry Garcia

      Hope to see Aaron competing for the Raps next year….
      I like him

  • Jamshid

    Now that the season is over, lets look at the myth that Amir Johnson has improved significantly this year. Based on the numbers that are in NBA.COM, his average is the same ( taking into account his increased minutes) in RPG and APG and BPG , His FG% and 3PT% have both decreased and the only area that he has improved is his FT% and has 2 PPG ( 2 more points ).

    • WhiteVegas

      If you look at advanced stats he had his highest WS ever by far. His offensive WS was equal to his career high, and his defensive WS was his highest ever by a good margin.

      • Jamshid

        Advanced Stats !!! What is your source !!! I am looking at pure numbers !!! numbers that matter during the game.

        • WhiteVegas

          http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/j/johnsam01.html

          Win score is calculated using “pure numbers” “that matter during the game.”

        • ben

          you’re a fucking idiot, you don’t deserve a logical argument.

          • Jamshid

            Hahahaha, The herd is angry and can not handle the TRUTH !!!!
            Look at the numbers and you can see Amir Johnson is the same player that he was last year and even maybe regressed in some categories … Keep yelling and …. it will not change the TRUTH :)

        • kameko

          wow way to show how little you know about basketball.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jacob.richards.370 Jacob Richards

      How could his 3pt % have gone down this year? i know hes 5 for 12 this year don’t see how he could be any better last year than that.

      • jamshid

        Just check the nab.com under the player …

    • DumbassKicker

      Learn the game, watch the game, learn the game,,,,,,,,,,,, and shove naked stats……..

      A prime example of just how dumb your “analysis” is: you’re babble about 3P%. He took all of 5 shots last year, and all of 12 shots this year. Meaningless babble.

      Having said that, I don’t know that any knowledgeable fan has spoken of the “myth that AJ has significantly improved this year”. IMO, he was excellent last year too, but his different role this year helped both his performance and his durability. Perhaps some people, who don’t know what they’re talking about, are suddenly realizing that Amir is worth more than they had been thinking for years, but that’s not Amir improving significantly over last year, that’s on them cluing in to Amir’s value.

  • http://twitter.com/AlexHPLai Alex Lai

    “Cagey” defense? Was that an intentional pun lol

  • http://twitter.com/MarshalVic Ron R

    Fantastic finish to the season. Yes the competition was missing some key pieces, but when did the Raps turn into an offensive juggernaut???

    Mighty fun to watch these past couple of weeks.
    PIcturing what this team could be like with 3 solid veterans on the bench, and a new GM.

    Ahhh, summer time is the BEST time to be a Raptor fan…

  • Jamshid

    Anthony Davis vs Big Val … Some fans here suggested that Big Val can be better than A.D. when the season started ( Nilikia being one of them). Numbers are out and it is not even close !!!

    • DumbassKicker

      “Numbers”……………LOL. Hey, I guess numbers serve a purpose for some to feel they at least “know” something, but do you have a clue how many different factors make comparing the “numbers” of these two players meaningless?

      • robertparrish00

        Agreed, AD is their number one option. JV is Casey’s 10th option. Can’t get your numbers sitting on the pine.

  • Ion66

    What’s changed and impressed me about Amir this season is the consistency. There was a time when he’d have a few good games, and a few bad ones. Maybe it all averages out somehow. Maybe he was a bigger part of the offence or defence in past seasons when Bargs was on the floor or something and that skews the #’s? I don’t really know. I’ll take a guy that is good/very good, and consistent, over one that’s better but more random in terms of production any day.

  • Fresh_Prints

    It would be nice if they played like this at the beginning of the season when it mattered. Who would have thought that Quincy Acy was the missing piece of the puzzle? Go figure.

    Overall disappointed in the season but have actual optimism for next year.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Van-Grungy/100000069253213 Van Grungy

    Head explode reference that’s better suited
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klVhwlwHhY4

  • ppellico

    this site always has such illogical grades.
    Sooo once again, Gray is treated like a idot has been after thought…
    C plus for having played only 14 minutes with 3 assist and 3 points.
    I dunno…just seems like nobody really cars or even wants him around.
    So keep ally your true loves and simply trade him.
    you want big time scorers and nothing else. defense means shit, really.
    Just get your own and we will love ya.

    • ppellico

      not JUST a c plus…the added cynical remarks show the sophomoric mental attitude of the writer.
      Clever writing is really what this is all about…nothing to do with anything we can use

  • ppellico

    can’t believe anything remotely argumentative with the author gets your post deleted.
    pretty poor and petty.
    get some guts
    a dissagrement with your gray grade and its deleted…wow.

  • ACG

    You spelled “allowed” wrong when criticizing how Paul Pierce does HIS job. I love 99% of what you’ve had to say, but come on, that was a big credibility knock when I know you’re above that. And as a Canadian born-and-bred Raptors fan living in California, it hurts me to see our Canadian writers slipping up on that stuff. Tighten up and do the job I know you’re capable of. Thank you, and keep up the good work.