Toronto Raptors 97 Final
Recap | Box Score
89 Boston Celtics
Amir Johnson, PF 22 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 4 PTS | +5

Played a bunch in the first half and was active as usual. We saw a 21-foot jumper and some great help defense on driving point guards. Played a bit of center too and didn’t pick up a single foul in his entire shift. Good start.

Rudy Gay, SF 23 MIN | 7-11 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 17 PTS | +13

A colder start than a Breaking Bad episode, but picked up once he decided to drive instead of settling for the fades. The bulk didn’t show much, but the approach in the second part of his shift was entirely drive-first. Some of those scores came against Gerald Wallace in 1v1 situations which is always tough.

Jonas Valanciunas, C 27 MIN | 5-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 10 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | 10 PTS | +6

Efficient, professional, and extremely unlucky to pick up six fouls. Looks way more confident in the post and releases the elbow jumper with no hesitation. He fought for the offensive rebounds and had good success. Sure, the Celtics frontline isn’t anything special, but you can’t pick your opponents.

Kyle Lowry, PG 23 MIN | 2-4 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 7 PTS | +8

If distribution is what you want from your PG, then Lowry delivered (assist for Gay, assist for Johnson). You can tell by the speed at which he changes ends that he’s in better shape and you’d be pleased to know that instead of reaching and gambling, he was closing out guys, and that too multiple times per possession.

DeMar DeRozan, SG 24 MIN | 6-12 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 13 PTS | +6

Had a couple of big time moves in the post and in transition, on one occasion driving left for a tough lay-in. Two of the biggest knocks against him is that, 1) he can’t shake off guys and tonight he showed success against some athletic defenders, 2) he can’t finish at the rim in traffic, which he did well tonight. The three let him down. That needs to go in for him to take the next step, otherwise defenders will sag.

Tyler Hansbrough, PF 21 MIN | 5-8 FG | 7-8 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 17 PTS | -6

Never seen a guy hustle this much in a pre-season game. Had two back-to-back put-backs in the third which restored the Raptors’ confidence when the Celtics were making their run. One of the reasons Valanciunas had such a good game was directly the result of the attention the defense has to pay to Hansbrough when he’s aiming for the offensive glass.

Austin Daye, PF 13 MIN | 1-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | +1

Does not work at the PF – way too small. Didn’t see any quickness so not sure where he fits in the lineup. He needs to be hitting his threes to be productive because he will rarely, if ever, have an advantage in any individual matchup.

Landry Fields, SF 20 MIN | 2-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 6 PTS | -5

Had two drives to the rim, and one score in transition. Overall, a player like him should move without the ball a lot more than he does. I’ve always likened his role to a Mo Pete, but he’s simply not as active as the former Spartan.

Aaron Gray, C 9 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | +8

This was not a matchup for him. The Boston bigs are athletic dudes who can eat him up by taking him outside, and are mobile to get around him on the glass. Gray has his role on this team and it’s not against a team like the Celtics.

Dwight Buycks, PG 15 MIN | 1-2 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 3 PTS | +6

Welcome to the NBA, looks a lot different than summer league, don’t it? Not a great game, looked rattled whenever he did get by his man and every pass had a touch of nervousness in it. Defensively, he was mediocre and looked generally shaken.

D.J. Augustin, PG 18 MIN | 0-5 FG | 4-6 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | -4

The only positive thing I can say about him is that he can go left and right without any hesitation. Defensively, he couldn’t hold his ground against Green and failed to spark anything on offense. To his credit, he did drive every opportunity he got which is a sure fire way of getting into Casey’s good books.

Terrence Ross, SG 25 MIN | 6-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 4 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | +2

Three excellent drives for scores, one huge dunk in transition, and played a bit of point-forward at times. He pushed on defense and even sparked a couple fast breaks, this was the type of game that’ll get you thinking that there’s something here.

Dwane Casey

The team has an interior focus and defense does come first, so what he’s been preaching in training camp showed up on the court. Played the starters for half the game which is a good idea if you’re running two-a-day practices. No idea why Acy and Wright didn’t get in the game, I thought Acy would’ve been perfect for this game.

Five Things We Saw

  1. Tommy Heinsohn is out to lunch, we know that, but now he refuses to see video evidence-based facts, like when a guy is on the circle he can’t pick up a charge. At one point he called Valanciunas a flopper despite having his head sawed off, also called him ‘small’ and compared Olynk to Dirk.
  2. Raptors got out-assisted 25-19, but shot 52% compared to Boston’s 40% to make up for it. Oh yeah, they were +20 on the boards as well!
  3. DeMar DeRozan, Jonas Valanciunas, and Rudy Gay are easily the top three players on this team when it comes to scoring. Sorry, but Lowry isn’t there yet because he can’t generate high percentage looks on his own. Not that he’s supposed to. What the Raptors now appear to have is an option to start their offense from the block or the wing, the former option they haven’t had since Chris Bosh.
  4. The Raptors generate some clean looks from three but only knocked down 2-11. I think this needs to be rectified for this team to have any sort of success. Kind of surprised Novak didn’t play because the threes were out there to be made, Casey probably thought of the defense (or lack of) he would bring and opted out.
  5. It’s good to have the Raptors back :)

  • KazanTheMan

    Missed these.

  • ckh26

    In no particular order here’s one Fanboy’s view on what I liked
    and what I just gaze skyward on.


    Rudy Gay with a pretty good night.
    No make that a very good night.

    A one game sample size but I just
    love the bull in the China
    shop outing put up there by Tyler Hansbrough. Great on the offensive glass and
    just LOVED him running over that preening tub of excrement Jared Sullinger . Boston sort of “relaxed”
    after that. Yes we have a banger that we
    desperately need.

    JV with an awkward double double..
    Still it’s a double double.

    Terrence Ross really looked like
    an offensive threat tonight. Plays were called and plays were finished.

    DJ Augustine handling the game
    better than his predessor John Lucas. An upgrade.

    Austin Daye can’t play a lick of
    defense at 200LBs but he can shoot a bit and that will come in handy down the
    road. See Headscratchers.

    A bunch of very nice inside moves
    by DD for points in the paint.

    Head Scratchers:

    Under the slightest pressure from
    Avery Bradley DD handled the ball like it was a grenade. Its year 4 for him.
    Its not going to change.

    Absolutely zero 3 point shooting. Boston must have hit 10.
    We probably hit 2 or 3 and that’s not good.

    We still don’t have an inbounds
    play after 3 years of Casey. This may just be me. But we had to call a time out
    in an exhibition game to inbound the ball. Yeah its early. But we’ll scream
    when we cough one up late in a game in the regular season. Boston TWICE got the
    ball in bounds (with less than 3 seconds left on the shot clock off a good
    defensive effort) and twice got an uncontested shot.

    Where Oh Where have you gone Kyle
    Lowry ? No leadership on the floor and
    19 first half turnovers. Yes it’s the first exhibition game. No its not all on
    you. Yes I am still nervous.

    Amir Johnson taking the night off.Aside from the comments above I just didn’t notice him out there on the floor.
    Not like Amir. Maybe he was just filling minutes.

    Aaron Gray still has the touch of a
    blacksmith and if JV has foul trouble this is going to hurt in the regular season..

  • DDayLewis

    Tommy Swinesohn.

  • Charles

    Novak didn’t play?

    • Casey Sherman

      He’ll play next game for sure. I think it’s a case of DC wanting to play him and Daye like 16 or whatever minutes in one game instead of 8 in both.

  • johng_3

    Man, Terrence had a VC-like moment with that dunk

  • Hassan Mehmood Khan

    I can see jonas being a top 3 center in this league

    • Nilanka15

      Do you mean this season, or one day in the distant future? Cuz right now, it’s hard to see Jonas surpassing 6 of the following any time soon.


      • youngjames

        Gasol and Chandler are on the down side of thier careers with bloated contracts (but that is another topic). Hibbbert and Noah are good but they have hit thier ceiling, the only way for them to improve on thier game is to start winning now – what see is what you’ll get from them. JV is just as good as Horford and Lopez today – JV has a better mind, basketball IQ and dedication to the game then Cousins. JV is also more coachable…who is better out of the two? Time will tell.

        • Sig

          Pretty sure he meant Marc

          • Nilanka15


        • Hassan Mehmood Khan

          Howard has also passed his Prime IMO

        • Tim W.

          You think Valanciunas is as good as Horford and Lopez today????? You realize both are All Stars? I’m a big fan of Valanciunas, but he’s still a ways off from being in those two player’s league.

          I would say Hibbert and Noah are more than “good”. Both are game changers on the defensive end. Valanciunas has potential, but he’s not a game changer at either end of the floor just yet.

        • DDayLewis

          Chandler is one of the best bigs in the league and he’s getting paid like Bargs. He is NOT overpaid.

          • ItsAboutFun

            One player, Bargs, has nothing to do with whether Chandler is overpaid or not, but he isn’t “paid like Bargs”. He’s being paid considerably more.

            • DDayLewis

              Chandler: 14.1 million, Bargs: 11.9 million.

              Chandler is not overpaid.

              • Tim W.

                And Chandler has a HUGE impact on the defensive end and scores efficiently. He was probably the second most important player on the Mavericks Championship team and is about the only reason New York is not one of the worst defensive teams.

              • ItsAboutFun

                So a $2.2M difference is “paid like” to you. Okay.

                I didn’t say that he was overpaid, but challenged your reasoning and facts commentary, neither of which you apparently have a relevant response to.

        • jb

          I wouldn’t say Hibbert has reached his potential. The guy is listed as 7’2″ and at this point only grabs 8 rpg. He should be at least at 10rpg with that height and is likely a function of positioning imo. Plus he’s only 26 y.o. Noah like has hit his potential. But how is JV even close to Noah? Considering he averages almost a league best in 4 apg (for centers) and amongst the top in blocks and rebounds. Noah’s numbers have been consistent for the past four years other than improving apg and blks per game.

          lol saying he’s just as good as Hoford and Lopez today is simply laughable. But hey I’m all for getting on what you’re on (pass the dutchie to the left)…

      • Hassan Mehmood Khan

        sorry I meant in the the future when he is in his peak ., Also I think Jonas is a better player then cousins right now and will be in the future. Yes cousins is very talented and has a lot of ability but the work ethic is just not there

        • Nilanka15

          Agree on Cousins’ work ethic, but he’s talented enough to put up 20 and 20 in his sleep.

          Can’t say that about Jonas…..yet.

      • Van Grungy

        Lets see what happens head to head this season.

        I look forward to the matchups with Hibbert

  • Minks77

    to be fair to DD two of the 3 triples he took were end of clock, way behingd the line types. One with Krisseys arm up in his face too.

  • Phat AlberG

    Tyler Hansbrough was very impressive tonight, he was all over the boards. Toronto fans are going to love him!

  • RapthoseLeafs

    After a game of Tommy & the Boston Monotones, I knew I needed a long walk to shake the crystallizing going on in my brain. Short dock did the trick.

    Was happy to see Ross start off well – albeit, it is preseason. More notably though, is how much moxie Sullinger showed tonight … albeit, again, it’s that preseason thing going on. Never-the-less, he was impressive. And Boston or not, I really hope Canuck Olynyk has a good year – good to see Northern talent out there.


  • Ian

    Very good game from Valanciunas, he looked confident and was effective whenever the offence went to him. Terrence Ross actually looked like a basketball player tonight, hopefully he builds on what he was able to accomplish tonight and continues to get better. Overrall what was most troubling came in the form of PG dribble-drives, where Lowry and Augustin went to drive and kick only to find that we didn’t have too many outside threats on the perimeter, which resulted in a number of those 19 turnovers. Lets hope that if we actually have to play Daye, Novak etc. that they can be open on the drive n’ kick, otherwise we’ll let tanking teams with rookie head coaches like the Celtics stay in the game. Good to Olynyk healthy and playing well.

  • ahoang

    Love to see these postings again.

    You know its early in the season when all the love is flowing with A+’s.

    Didn’t catch much of TRoss or JV, but Psycho T definitely deserves it. Filling his role nicely and maker it easier for the other big.

    Go Raps! So excited for this that I was watching this more than the Monday nighter.

  • DryDry

    Tommy Heinsohn = biggest homer announcer on the planet. He is such a clown it’s hilarious to listen to – especially that blocking foul with the feet obviously in the circle and he’s interpreting reality an entirely different way.

    • Kujo

      Was just going to say the same thing. It’s hilarious

      Only saw small samples of the game live, but Psycho T was impressive

      Olynyk, and Sullinger look really good. I didn’t see Olynyk play much in college. I didn’t know he passes that well..

  • Milesboyer

    I hate to say it but I think Boston may have a brighter future than the Raptors. Olynyk, Sullinger and Bradley are all valuable assets with room for growth and then there is Rondo. If they finish low enough this year to grab a top five pick and the Raptors don’t, I would give them the edge in the coming years.

    • Kovalainnen

      My prediction – Celtics will finish above at least two of these teams: Washington, Milwaukee and Cleveland, so they’re not gonna get a top 5 pick unless they’ll get lucky in the lottery (if they won’t make to a playoffs :) )

  • Marz

    No mention of the turnovers? They seem incredibly high!

  • GoingBig

    The Shot chart
    Corner 3’s – looks like the Raptors tried them only a few times – and on just one side(the left) – will likely change with Novak entering the line-up versus Minnesota

  • ppellico

    ok…so we are back to this grading system again. offense and then offense…its all that counts. you give fields a B and gray an f…and tyou talk as if you know something about team basketball….
    really, now.

    • DDayLewis

      Did you watch the game? Aaron Gray did absolutely nothing out there. Fields moved the ball well and repeatedly attacked the basket.

  • robertparrish00

    Augustine, Ross, Fields, Daye, and Hansborough was the worst NBA lineup I have ever seen. Kudos Casey, you have 1 upped yourself. I know it is preseason but wtf.

    • Nilanka15

      C’mon, it’s preseason. You acknowledge it AND ignore it in the same post.

      • robertparrish00

        The bulk of our wins come in preseason. This is the most enjoyable time of the year to be a raptor fan.

        • Nilanka15

          lol, true

    • Pong

      Not sure why you’re complaining about ‘line-ups’ when you know it’s a preseason game.

  • DanH

    I like this player by player format. Nice post.

    • tross_31

      They’ve had this for a very long time – always good to debate the grades, wait till Lowry gets an F. That’s when sparks will fly.

      • Casey Sherman

        There’s nothing more frustrating in life than seeing player grades I disagree with. I think they gave Rudy like a B when he scored 34 points on 13 for 18 shooting one game (in a loss, not a blowout), I was like wtf come on

  • Pong

    He’s no reggie evans on the boards, but TH is much more athletic and a better offensive player. As soon as i heard about the signing i knew we got a good role player. His ability to draw fouls shouldn’t be overlooked (not talking about ‘flops’ but legit attempts at the hoop).

    And if you think about it, it’s been a while since we got a decently sized 4. Ed Davis has yet to fill into his frame, Amir relies on his athleticism and quickness but he’s not that big, reggie evans/acy/pops mensah bonsu are all short for 4s.

  • johng_3

    I think Lowry weighs more than Daye. The guy is so weak. I hope he doesn’t play at the 4 off the bench this year. A pretty good shooter though

  • youngjames

    Fun to read, but the evaluations seem to built around offensive numbers only! – What about some in game play? Stuff that doesn’t show up on the score card?

    • DDayLewis
    • ppellico

      offense stats always have held center stage. infact, this is my entire bitch against most fans. they talk a big game defensively…then completely go stupid when the evaluation begins. then is all aboutthe scoring.
      never mind block outs. never mind holding positions and giving others opportunities…you ain’t nuthin without the O stats.
      Its like the lines in football…no glory…just the play by play hard work for the glory boys.
      but i think the team knows…as well as most pro observers.
      nothing ever changes.

  • crazycello

    Rudy Gay was working pretty well within the flow of the offence. I’ve never been a big fan of the trade but he looked good last night.

  • Kovalainnen

    It hurts to see Gray playing. Better let Acy at C, or Hansbrouh or Amir with Acy at PF and play small, especially against team like this season’s Boston – imo that was the biggest mistake by Casey, but in overall good coaching game. I was surprised the way the Celtics played, they was better than I thought they’ll be :)