Jonas Valanciunas holds it down in the paint.
Boston Celtics 87 Final
Recap | Box Score
93 Toronto Raptors
Amir Johnson, PF 24 MIN | 6-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 13 PTS | +10

Ran the lanes nicely in transition. Clutch hook in the post in crunch time in a tight game. Timely three to give the Raptors a bit of a cushion, but took 3 treys too many. Also put in a Bargnani-level effort on the boards. Better than his showing in the pre-season, but we expect more from him by this point.

Rudy Gay, SF 34 MIN | 8-18 FG | 2-3 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 5 TO | 19 PTS | -1

Took a couple bad shots, but was totally clutch in the 4th quarter; I have full confidence in the guy with the ball when the game is on the line. Looks like the eye surgery helped (8-18). Would have been an ‘A+’ had it not been for the 5 turnovers.

Jonas Valanciunas, C 31 MIN | 4-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 11 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | 8 PTS | +5

I counted three blocks, but he got credit for two. Bit rusty from the field, but he played very well on the defensive end and on the boards. This team can use much more of what this kid has to offer.

Kyle Lowry, PG 35 MIN | 2-8 FG | 7-12 FT | 3 REB | 8 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 11 PTS | +2

Sloppy decision making in the 1st quarter, horrible from the field, mediocre from the line. Made up for it by distributing the ball well, but if the finger is hurting, than rehab it, dude.

DeMar DeRozan, SG 40 MIN | 6-19 FG | 0-2 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 5 TO | 13 PTS | +6

Brutal 40 minutes of action. He missed as many shots (13) as he scored points (13). Forced a lot of bad shots in iso, was invisible on defense, didn’t crash the boards…brutal.

Tyler Hansbrough, PF 25 MIN | 3-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 12 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 3 BLK | 0 TO | 7 PTS | -3

Player of the game. Willed the team to the win in the 4th when no one else on the floor wearing a white jersey was hustling. You wont get creativity or pretty out of him, but fundamentals and effort are solid. We’ve needed a guy like this since Reggie Evans was here.

Landry Fields, SF 18 MIN | 4-7 FG | 0-1 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | +2

Moved very well without the ball: getting to open spots on the floor, or running down the ball.

Steve Novak, SF 7 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | +4

Hit an open three from the corner off Augustins penetration and dish. That’s it; dude did his job tonight. Nice change from his predecessor.

D.J. Augustin, PG 13 MIN | 2-7 FG | 1-1 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | +4

Stat line didn’t show it, but he did a solid job of running point off the bench. Truth be told, I preferred him to Lowry tonight.

Terrence Ross, SG 12 MIN | 2-3 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | +1

Doesn’t bode well for you when you only log 12 minutes against the Celtics on a night where DeRozan had a brutal game. That’s all I’m saying.

Dwane Casey

Raptors won in spite of his coaching. Had it not been for that TV timeout in the third, the game may have slipped away. Didn’t call any offensive sets in the 4th and was totally out coached by Stevens in his NBA debut. The only right decision he made was to ride Hansbrough as long as possible in the 4th.

Five Things We Saw

  1. Casey picked up where he left off from last season with respect to not calling timeouts in a timely fashion. I don’t get it, when you’re up by 16, and the opposition starts to make a run, you call a quick timeout. If they continue after the timeout, call another. It’s not like you are ever going to use them up when you savour them like you do. This game was closer than it needed to be.
  2. 17 – 15 … turnovers to assists; that was the Raptors tonight.
  3. The 3rd and 4th saw a lot of iso 1-on-1s and jumpers, and very little actual set plays. You wonder how the Raptors gave up a 16 point lead in the 3rd?
  4. Raptors won this game on the glass, straight up. They pulled down 19 offensive rebounds, scoring 18 points of them. Jonas and Hansbrough are going to be a handful for teams this year. Very tough to keep under wraps.
  5. Great to start the season with a win. Raptors earned a hard fought victory over a very well coached, and disciplined team that is short on talent.

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  • Adriiian

    Tyler Hansborough AKA Amir Johnson 2.0.

    I think Amir is feeling a little toooooo comfortable. Seriously 2 3’s in the clutch? I know he made one, but, if he didn’t…. oh boy.

    a W is a W.


    • Phat AlberG

      At least spell the man name right lol its Tyler Hansbrough, but if you’re from Scarborough I will forgive you!

      • Adriiian

        Aight. First game, won’t make the same mistake twice.

      • youngjames

        Let me guess you are from Missshitsauaga!!!

        • Phat AlberG

          Dude I rather shoot my self in the face than live in Missshitsauaga

  • Stu Jackson

    Ross played well he got a couple steals, a three what else do you need

    • Moe

      Probably talking bout how Ross played just 12 mins, clearly Casey still doesn’t trust him

      • leftovercrack

        Ross is splitting backup minutes with Fields. Not a lot of them to go around. Not sure what Sam meant by that, did he expect Casey to put Demar (who is one of their key players) on the bench because he got off to a cold start?

        • Sammy

          I did, or at least not play him 40 minutes.

          • leftovercrack

            Casey always seems to talk up Ross and his potential in interviews, but only gives him limited minutes in actual games. Don’t know what this means; if he doesn’t trust Ross and is playing head games in interviews, or if he really believes in Ross just thinks he has to earn the minutes

            • Guest

              Potential doesn’t mean PT. Ross has to earn his burn by paying his dues. Ross will get his moment when an injury occurs to one of the wings, that’s how most rooks in Ross’ situation do it.

          • WhiteVegas

            This right here. Lets play Demar 30-35 minutes and give some more PT to Ross. Especially on nights like last night where DeRozans shot isn’t falling.

          • youngjames

            You can’t do that – this is not a fantasy team!

        • FLUXLAND

          Cold start? Nah, that’s just him “toying with defenders”, he can get it anytime he wants; no one can guard him!

  • Guest

    Not sure shooting 8 for 18 is particularly praise-worthy, but then again, I’m one of those efficiency dweebs that knocks on Rudy for that kind of thing. Like his rebounding numbers though.

    • A Guest

      It was sarcasm I think.

    • Ghotte

      Rudy was clutch but still too many long 2’s.

      And when the game is on the line the players have to take the ball to the hoop rather than settling for outside shots. That’s not on Casey; that’s the players.

      • youngjames

        Wrong – its on Casey to make sure his play are uniformed, organized and ready to run a play HE created. Instead, it’s “willy-nilly” all the time with him and the players pick and choose the offense

    • Amigo

      18 shats for 19 points and 5 TO to get an A. Oh boy, homers writers are the worst

      • WhiteVegas

        Watch the game.
        Making comments based on the box score is stupid. Rudy was more or less forced to take a ton of contested shots because no one could get anything else going on offense and Casey couldn’t draw up a play to save his life. We would seriously just pass the ball around the perimeter until the shot clock was at 5 seconds and then pass it to Rudy who would have to shoot a ridiculous fade away jumper over a defenders hand. Luckily for us, he still hit about 50% of these extremely difficult shots.
        If we had been able to run any successful set plays then Rudy could have taken better shots and less shots. That’s why you need to watch the game, so you have actual context, instead of just reading a box score and talking out your butt.

      • what the

        maybe i can get a job on the raptors coaching staff, just shouting out to rudy gay ” stop shooting because you’re taking 18 shots to get 19 points” come on man thats what he’s paid to do it’s not like he’s taking shots away from # 7

      • youngjames

        Melo’s line last night: 16 shats for 19 pts and 3 T/O’s – very similar to Gays night…I guess Melo deserves a D- too, eh Amigo!

    • Rudy went 1-3 in the last three minutes of the game, so I’m not sure the clutch label really makes sense, either. I do agree he looked great on the boards, though.

      • Casey Sherman

        The game was pretty much out of reach by then. The “clutch” shots he made were the ones to put us up for good midway through the fourth. Clutch is probably not the right word, but he made key shots in this game.

        • WhiteVegas

          This. A few of those Rudy mid range jumpers absolutely saved us and kept us in the game. Rudy basically bailed out Casey by putting the offense on his back when Casey couldn’t draw up a damn play to get some easy points.

  • leftovercrack

    They shot 50 percent from the three-point line and Demar had an off-night, or else the margin of victory would have been greater. A win’s a win, but I certainly wish they would have pulled away in the 3rd quarter instead of imploding and letting a weak team rebound and take the lead

    • leftovercrack

      urgh, 50 percent from the free throw line, I mean

  • johng_3

    They got to throw it in the post a little and play from the inside and out. Mix the offense a little up so that it isn’t predictable.

  • Mugsy

    Didn’t love Lowrys performance tonight either but I think it shows maturity that with a hurt hand he got to the line instead of settling for jumpers. Missed quite a few, but hey – he got there. Took 8 shots in 35 minutes, versus DJ’s 7 in 13mins. DJ chucked a few tonight

  • Bendit

    Expected better against the Celtics. Casey was brutal with his game management (timeouts and subs) again. But its game 1 and the adrenalin must have been high for the boys all day…so we give them a pass.

  • Red Baron

    Got to agree re: coaching…despite losing Celts seem more cohesive and organized…we seem to have no plan whatsoever…Casey has mentioned an inside-out approach on offense but I didn’t see any attempt to run a single set thru Jonas….sloppy.

    • consmap

      I agree with going for the inside-out approach, but JV was not able to do that well against Favreiani (however you spell it). The Brazilian guy (I’ll call him that) did a good job of keeping JV at bay whenever he was in the post.
      At the same time, it would have been good experience for JV to have more touches to gain more experience in that kind of situation.

    • Ghotte

      What I saw was the wings looking off JV when he flashed to the middle. That’s gotta change.

      • Casey Sherman

        That may be, but JV was just bad in the post today. Straight up. Great on the glass though

    • Mugsy

      Jonas needs his touches and minutes no doubt about it. However hes still very raw and regularly makes mistakes. If your a fan and someone looking at it long term- hes got to get his to develop. Even for this season if the Raps want to avoid an embarrassment in the playoffs (if they get there) they’ll need him to be productive down low. On the other hand if your Casey, you have to balance that with worrying about letting a few early games slip and losing your job.

      • thegloveinrapsuniform

        JV was Faverani’s bitch last night.

  • FreeThrowsWinGames

    52% FT? REALLY? That’s what I’m most pissed about.

  • Kujo2020

    Very disappointed in DD’s performance. It was brutal. I expect a break out season. It’s only one game, will not overact, but was disappointing.

  • Ghotte

    The Sam Holako “Jose Calderon” Award of the Night goes to DJ Augustin!? While a C is a fair grade, to say he was better than Lowry is to completely misread the game. Augustin barely had an impact on the game.

    And Jack mentioned the good play calling by Casey on a couple occasions. (Guess Holako was grabbing Doritos.) Casey has got to get them collectively going strong to the hoop.

    • Sammy

      Lowry had more impact on the game, but DJ provided nice coverage with the time he got. The grades are a reflection of an individual contribution, not in relation to other Raptors. A couple good play calls when the Raptors had 60 or so possessions a good coach does not make

      Also, the Doritos went down nice 😉

      • rong

        I miss doritos……… Good game though; and I think Sam nailed the analysis……

      • Nilanka15

        FWIW, I actually thought Augustin looked sharper than Lowry last night as well.

      • youngjames

        Lowry put up loser Calderon numbers and played like him (again) last night – Hope he is gone soon, he is our weak link! The team needs a new starting PG and PF – Amir is the ultimate back up player/spot starter, he is not an 82 game a year starter on winning team.

  • Sam Hunt

    It took a while for them for the raps to get their game started, but once they did, it was exciting to watch. Demar had an off game, Rudy hit some ridiculously hard shots and i found out that Augustine might actually be a decent backup point guard. I think Ross’s grade is too low, even if its only referring to the 12 min played. He was active on D, made some good decisions in not blasting up the court on the fast break and hit 2 nice shots, one being that corner 3 in the dying secs. Fields also played really well, I mean, look at the guys cuts! his off the ball movement is incredible!! i hope to see more of this from him this season

  • truuth

    regarding lowry, it’s a torn tendon you need surgery. Do you want him to have surgery and take the whole season off for one finger, no you fucking play through the pain.

  • rc

    JV + TH = Put back partners

  • TheR3dMenace

    Psycho T is going to blow this city up! Toronto Hero.

  • Pong

    – Way too many long jumpers again from both rudy and demar. Aside from Lowry, none of our guys wanted to attack the paint.
    – Not sure what happened to the post game we saw from demar in the preseason. Was that just for shits and giggles?
    – Got to give credit to Novak for staying his ground when he somehow got Jeff Green as his defensive assignment in the post
    – Really liked how Green attacked the rim and picked his shots (Rudy can learn a thing or two from him). When he was matched up against smaller guys like Ross or novak, he posted them up. On the other hand when Rudy got Bradley on him, he decided to shoot over him. It went in still, but it’d be nice to see some of the post game moves he picked up from Hakeem during the summer.
    – I know this is only the 1st game of the season, but our offense was terrible. As many have said already, there’re really no plays being called, just iso’s from DD and Rudy. I don’t think there was 1 pick and roll where the rolling big man received a pass.
    – We still won, but I miss the days where Calderon and Amir ran the pick and roll to perfection. It just goes to show how well Calderon’s playmaking made DC’s offense look. It’s going to be a looonnngg season if we’re going to watch our wings run isos 80% of the time

  • Andrey

    Demar tried to draw fouls but calls didn’t come. aww yes regular season. Celts were doubling him everytime he got into post and played like a driver (gave him space, dared him to shoot) He got shot down plain and simple.

    • Nilanka15

      DeRozan will likely be guarded that way all season. Double him in the post (to test his passing ability), or back off him on the perimeter and dare him to shoot.

      • Ghotte

        More reason to have active cutters when he’s getting double teamed. The flow/motion on offense has to increase

        • Nilanka15

          Maybe more minutes pairing DeRozan with Fields would help.

      • what the

        this is where rudy gay comes in [‘we don’t care bout stats’]

    • what the

      that is why we have rudy gay (*we don’t care bout stats’]

  • Good start

    Ill take that performance from Lowry everyday of the week. He missed some shots that he’s going to make most nights, but I thought his compete level was awesome. His defense looked much improved and he actually is noticeably quicker this yr. (for once the “he’s in the best shape of his life” narrative isnt just preseason fluff)

    • thegloveinrapsuniform

      agree. the guy was bullcharging on almost every possession. i actually thought augustin was the one who was out of sorts. after he brings down the ball then passes to one of the wings, he embeds himself in one of the corners, when the wings get double teamed, he just stands there. PG should recognize when the ball is in a tight spot and should go to whoever has the ball, take it and set up a play.

      im already seeing the problem gay and demar will have. while one is going on ISO, the other one just stands there. they have the exact same game and same mentality, which i think will be an issue later on. gay was also showing some frustration, couple of times when he popped out to the 3pt line expecting to get the ball, but demar has already decided to attack the basket. i think for them to coexist, demar has to be the 6th man. let rudy do his thing in the 1st qtr, get his groove going then bring demar in along with the 2nd unit.

  • HogyG

    While there were a few nice plays that I could give coach Casey credit for, like the last play of the first half (if memory serves) where DeMar was at the top with everyone else down in the corners to allow an ISO, he drove and dished to Lowry who passed it underneath for the easy basket as the defense collapsed on him. I thought to myself that maybe Casey has grown as a coach over the off-season.

    Then the third quarter happened.

    When a 16 point lead turned to 12 and the Raptors looked sloppy, I calmly said to myself “Okay coach, call a timeout and rally the troops.” After a flurry of turnovers and the lead being cut to single digits, I was screaming at my television pleading with the pixils on the screen to call a timeout for him. By the time the score was tied at the end of the third quarter I was left wishing I never gave him credit earlier for growing during the off-season. With only 2 and 1/2 to go in the game they showed he still had two full timeouts along with a twenty sitting in the bank, left unused.

    I don’t know much, but I do know my blood pressure can’t handle his lack of desire to stop the bleeding when the other team goes on a run while our boys struggle to find their focus. I’d love to see even one game in the future where he needs a timeout in a close match late in the game, but has used them all up earlier, because he was trying to get the train back on the tracks.

    I believe it was Einstein who said doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is the definition of insanity…and his unwillingness to call a timeout during that run was clearly insane. I know it’s only one game in, so hopefully he can make some adjustments to his style and maybe someone new on the coaching staff can explain to him the importance of PROPER usage of timeouts THROUGHOUT the game. It’s like the man took C-Web’s college faux pas to heart and promised himself he would never fall victim to a lack of timeouts in late game scenarios.

    To the team’s credit, they came out in the fourth, got things back on course and delivered us a WIN! Good on you boys, keep up the effort and never back down.

    I really think HansBro (yes, I know it’s misspelled but I really think he should consider the re-branding) was reason for the “W” when he brought it hard in the fourth, and established the team’s dominance and pace over the Celtics throughout the start of the final quarter. I hope that the team’s 52% free throw shooting tonight is only an anomaly for the season and not a sign of things to come.

    One last thought. While I agree that DeMar’s game struggled some tonight, I feel he wasn’t being respected by the referees at all. I believe he had actually earned some more trips to the line than he was given.

    At any rate, here’s to looking forward to a great upcoming Raptors season, full of excitement and wins.


    • Nilanka15

      Regarding the bench, they’ve been blasted by the media and us fans all summer long, but I think Hansbrough, Fields and Augustin were the reason we won the game. Starting unit didn’t look very adhesive.

    • SR

      That play to end the half was brilliant. Everyone thought it was a DeMar iso and all the Celtics were cheating towards the paint, getting ready to help. DeMar made a nice, very quick pass to Lowry on the wing and Avery Bradley, who’s a very good defender, was so surprised and off-balance from cheating towards the middle that he almost fell down scrambling out to Lowry. In fact the whole defense shifted towards Lowry, and that cross-court pass to Ross in the corner was brilliant.

      I also thought that was the best offensive set I’ve ever seen Casey call (if he drew it up that way). They actually played to their predictability (DeMar/Rudy isos), caught the defense cheating, and got a 3-point shooter a corner 3. Would love to see a lot more of that.

      The third quarter was partly Caseys fault (a lot of DeMar/Rudy isos and long twos) but also the team as a whole – they just stopped executing and hustling, and they all sat back and expected Rudy/DeMar to pull the weight of the whole team by going one-on-one from the perimeter.

  • Phat AlberG

    Dwane Casey D-

  • Ds

    I just love watching Avery Bradley defend. Wish we had him on our team…

    • Nilanka15

      I love watching him shoot. Glad he isn’t on our team 😉

  • Voy

    there should be another field, underneath Dwanye Casey’s name, for Rod Black in order to grade his performace, as well. Ordinarily, he would get an “F”. However yesterday he earned himself an “F-” for comparing the unrealized potential of Tracey McGrady and Vince Carter leaving Toronto to Tom Gugliotta and Stephon Marbury leaving Minnesota.

    • He was referring to Marbury leaving Garnett. Gugliotta was also playing close to All Star level, at the time, so it looked like those three would be a great core for the T-Wolves.

  • sitnonDfence

    Demar had 6 balls that he tipped or full out disrupted passes on top of his two steals. I’d hardly call that invisible.
    Im Casey supporter and he definitely shit the bed tonight.

    • SR

      Way too hard on DeMar here. I really like how he mixed it up and attacked in the paint – he was really physical, took it into the heart of the defense on several drives, and we saw him posting up. All that action makes the defense work hard, shift, help, rotate, etc. – even if it doesn’t turn up in the box score, it helps the Raps offense a pile more than launching long twos with the defense set (and he had a few of those). I like how his game is developing.

      Loved seeing Rudy’s boards and hustle for loose balls. With his height and athleticism, he should be able to rebound like that all the time, and he should be able to develop a post game and initiate much more contact. That’ll be the next step for him.

      Also thought Lowry played pretty well. He played like himself, basically – he attacked off the dribble and forced the D to react. He wasn’t trying to be Jose.

      The biggest minus was for the team as a whole – they got way too sloppy and disengaged after building that 16 point lead. There was zero reason for letting that slip away. Hansbrough’s the only guy not guilty of taking his foot off the pedal during that stretch.