Reaction: Raptors 99, Celtics 97

Toronto defeats Boston in a total snooze fest. Landry Fields and Terrence Ross led the Raptors in scoring (no really). Read on to find out how they did it!

Toronto defeats Boston in a total snooze fest. Landry Fields and Terrence Ross led the Raptors in scoring (no really). Read on to find out how they did it!

Boston Celtics 97 FinalRecap | Box Score 99 Toronto Raptors
Amir Johnson, PF 12 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | +5The boxscore said that Amir played 12 minutes in today’s game, but he played zero minutes in my mind. His defense wasn’t really needed given Boston’s lack of front-court scoring. I’m glad he’s conserving his energy for the regular season.
Rudy Gay, SF 12 MIN | 4-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | +5Aggressive early. Took the ball to the hoop a couple of times against Jeff Green. (Uncle) Drew a double team and almost found Jonas open under the basket, but JV fumbled it out of bounds. Only one long jumper on the day (from the elbow, sunk the shot). Rested for the entirety of the second half.
Jonas Valanciunas, C 27 MIN | 2-2 FG | 6-6 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 10 PTS | +18He had an Aersosmith game; he didn’t miss a single thing. He put up 10 points on 2 shots and 6 free throws. He was given some extended run in the second half with the bench guys and he set up shop on the right block on three occasions. He drove towards the middle all three times, was fouled twice and finished once with his patented right handed hook shot. Some solid blocks on defense as well.
Kyle Lowry, PG 12 MIN | 4-5 FG | 3-3 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 11 PTS | +5Three of his four baskets came in transition. Finished well at the rim. Grabbed a steal. Last year, there was a lot of him crashing into the lane, bouncing off dudes and drawing contact. Today, he was quick enough to avoid the contact. Maybe this is a result of him dropping the extra weight? Either way, it should help him to stay healthy, which is good because his backups are horrendous (see below).
DeMar DeRozan, SG 13 MIN | 1-3 FG | 4-6 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | +7Repeatedly attacked Jordan Crawford in the post. On one occasion, he backed him all the way under the basket and drew the foul. Celtics made the switch and put Avery Bradley on him. In their last matchup, Bradley owned DD, forcing turnover after turnover, but Demar had the upper hand today. He didn’t work too hard to fight over screens which left Bradley open for a couple of jumpers. He twisted his right ankle in the first, but he looked okay and stayed in the game.
Tyler Hansbrough, PF 18 MIN | 1-5 FG | 4-6 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 6 PTS | -8He played 18 minutes? Wow. He was energetic, but that’s about it. Wasn’t really that effective, especially because the Celtics bigs really placed a premium on defensive rebounding. He didn’t look great finishing at the rim (his FG% at the rim was 8% lower than the average power forward). He forced some contact and drew some fouls. Get used to this.
Austin Daye, PF 10 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | -6This whole Austin Daye at the power forward needs to STOP. The following Celtics players destroyed him in the post: Olynyk, Sullinger, Bass, Faverani. Who? Exactly.
Landry Fields, SF 17 MIN | 5-7 FG | 3-4 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | -3He made a three pointer! He also did a decent job handling the ball and distributing. He generally made some “high IQ plays” out there. He even busted out a Euro-step in the lane in transition. This was Landry Fields at his best. Hopefully we see this more often this season.
Chris Wright, SF 3 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -8He was on the court with 1 minute left and the Raptors up 3. I hate preseason.
Quincy Acy, SF 23 MIN | 1-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 3 PTS | +11After today’s terrible shooting performance, his TS% will definitely dip below 100%. Come on Acy, preseason stats matter!!!

On a serious note, he looked fine. His one field goal was a long jumper that he sunk with ease. A big who rebounds and sinks the jumper will never lack for work in the NBA.

Aaron Gray, C 3 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -8Should I even touch this one? Probably not. I don’t want to get spanked for what I say about him.

He committed a turnover on his first play of the game, and it was a crunch time scenario. Let’s add him to the list of players who aren’t clutch. Slide over (a lot) Lebron James! You have some company! (this was sarcasm I love LBJ).

Dwight Buycks, PG 21 MIN | 2-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 6 PTS | 0He’s got a scoring touch and he racked up 5 assists. Watch your back, DJ Augustine!
Julyan Stone, PG 25 MIN | 0-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 2 PTS | +7Great size, can distribute, can defend 1-3. If he could score, he’d be a pretty useful piece. He’s definitely the favourite to win the 15th roster spot at this point.
D.J. Augustin, PG 18 MIN | 2-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 5 PTS | -16Well, at least this didn’t happen to him today
Terrence Ross, SG 26 MIN | 7-14 FG | 4-5 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 19 PTS | +1Scored an impressive 19 points on a medley of dunks, jumpers and a layup or two. He missed a bunch of wide open three pointers. It wasn’t the prettiest of performances, but it was effective. Look for the highlight reel tomorrow to see some of his dunks. Didn’t give a good effort on defense.
Dwane Casey

Positives: Gave Amir Johnson, Rudy Gay, Kyle Lowry and Demar Derozan’s a lot of rest after the first half. He also gave Jonas some minutes and touches in the second half.

Negatives: Okay, this might be purely anecdotal, but in the first half, Brad Stevens called a timeout, and the Celtics’ ensuing play was a nice down-screen to free Green up for an alley-oop. Casey’s turn to call a timeout; Raptors end up with a turnover from Buycks who was driving aimlessly into three defenders along the baseline. Casey has struggled drawing up plays.

Five Things We Saw

  1. The Raptors’ biggest problem in the preseason? They were handing out more turnovers than your local deli (as Paul Jones likes to say). They committed 21 turnovers tonight. No, it’s not just that the Raptors are working on developing new plays (the offense looks more or less the same as last year’s), but it’s sloppy ball handling everywhere you look. I miss Jose Calderon.
  2. Actually, there has been one change in the offense thus far; where have all the pick and rolls gone? There aren’t nearly as many pick and rolls with Jonas and Amir Johnson. The starting lineup’s offense is now squarely centred around Demar’s post game and Gay’s slash/shoot game. The pick and roll was really good for the Raps last year. Hopefully they’re just shelving it for the home-opener against these very same Celtics.
  3. This whole Austin Daye at the four thing is not working. I get the concept; his defender has to respect his shot while he’s out there so he spaces the floor. However, there’s no penetration to speak of with the second unit, so this threat is neutralized. He’s horrific on defense and he can’t even deter marginal big men like Breaking Bass (fantasy basketball team name idea?) or Jared Sullinger. It’s time to put him back at the small forward or better yet, on the bench.
  4. Jeff Green and Terrence Ross turned an unwatchable preseason game into…well it was still hard to watch, but their massive dunks were appreciated. Again. look for the highlight reel tomorrow. There were some goodies.
  5. The Celtics are really bad. They were missing Humphries, Wallace and Rondo, but even with them back, I still don’t see this team, as currently constructed, winning over 30 games. In Rondo’s absence, Jordan Crawford and Avery Bradley have tried to shoulder the playmaking abilities, but it is simply not there. Their future looks bleak. Olynyk looks pretty nice though.

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