|Amir Johnson, PF 24 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 6 PTS | +7Solid when he played, but was rendered mostly ineffective by being drawn out of the paint with Miami playing Shane Battier at the four. Made a sweet pass to Jonas in the first which led to a dunk. Didn’t see the floor for all of the fourth for no reason whatsoever.|
|Rudy Gay, SF 34 MIN | 3-10 FG | 6-7 FT | 10 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 13 PTS | -4Disgusting effort. Aside from a little burst in the third, he was completely over-matched by Lebron on both ends of the court. Did very little to deter LBJ on defense (Lebron abused him in the post and on the perimeter), while throwing in his usual quota of ill-advised jumpers on offense. The rebounding total looks great, but many of those rebounds were of the uncontested variety.|
|Jonas Valanciunas, C 27 MIN | 7-13 FG | 4-6 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 18 PTS | -9Came out of the game like a man possessed. Lowry and Co. found him early and often and Jonas used his size to dominate the interior. Showed great touch around the rim and sunk some impressive shots from the post. He would have played more minutes had Casey not decided to leave him on the bench for most of the fourth while the Heat built their lead. Didn’t do too much to deter the Heat’s offense in the paint.|
|Kyle Lowry, PG 35 MIN | 4-11 FG | 3-3 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 13 PTS | 0Really inconsistent game from Lowry. He missed on all of his open three-point attempts, but he sunk two bailout/end-of-shot-clock heaves. Did a decent job facilitating, made an noticeable effort to get Valanciunas the ball, but the Heat’s superb pick-and-roll defense took away his best offensive weapon.|
|DeMar DeRozan, SG 40 MIN | 8-15 FG | 5-5 FT | 0 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 21 PTS | -7Empty calories. 21 points on 15 shots is nice, but he did absolutely nothing else, other than one sweet pass off dribble-penetration (someone on RR wrote about this recently). Wade mostly contained him on defense, while Demar let Wade have his way with him. This is your average game from DD.|
|Tyler Hansbrough, PF 16 MIN | 1-2 FG | 6-7 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | -2Great energy boost in the first quarter, grabbing rebounds and goading Birdman into silly frustration fouls. Played some really solid defense in the post in the second. Casey rewarded his sparkplug by playing him over Valanciunas and Johnson in the Raptors’ small-ball lineups.|
|Landry Fields, SF 28 MIN | 2-6 FG | 1-3 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | -18Aside from one heady play on offense and a couple of nice defensive possessions against Lebron, Fields was noticeably absent (that’s stupid, those words are antonyms, whatever). Lots of minutes, not too much effect on the game.|
|D.J. Augustin, PG 13 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 0 PTS | -9DJ Augustine is to the Raptors as what JP Arencibia is to the Blue Jays. Looked horrible in this game. Allowed Norris Cole to blow by him in several half-court sets. Committed silly turnovers, including two in the fourth while Miami built their lead. If there was a letter grade worse than F, I’d give it to DJA. Horrible game.|
|Terrence Ross, SG 24 MIN | 3-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 11 PTS | -3Splashed home some threes in the second quarter, prompting fans and bloggers alike to ask the question “Wait, is Terrence Ross good?” Sadly, at this point, the answer is still no, but he did show some flashes of potential. Not great on defense, but his scoring off the bench was nice.|
Dwane Casey giveth, Dwane Casey taketh. Let’s split up the good and bad:
Good: made a concerted effort to give JV touches in the first, smart move by going small in the third which kept the game close.
Bad: Sitting JV at the start of the fourth while the Raptors struggled to find any scoring, not giving more of Gay’s minutes to Fields, poor inbounds plays.
Five Things We Saw
- Attn: Derozan and Ross. You know what’s a bad idea? Leaving Ray Allen open for three pointers. I get that you want to double-down on Lebron/Wade when they’re tumbling into the lane, but if you’re covering Allen, DO NOT LEAVE HIM TO DOUBLE LEBRON.
- The line-up of Rudy Gay + bench guys really stunk it up in the start of the fourth to give Miami the game. The Raptors committed four straight turnovers on offense (two by DJA, one by Fields, one by Gay) while Miami’s lead ballooned to 12.
- However, the starting line-up/the small-ball lineup (Fields at three, Gay at four) played Miami’s starting units very well, fighting tooth and nail in the first and the third to keep the game close. JV dominated early on, and a balanced wing-attack + offensive rebounding kept them going later on in the game.
- You know who is really good? Lebron James. Dude just scored 10+ points for the 500th consecutive game. He absolutely destroyed the Raptors in the post early on, scoring at will while creating open looks for his teammates. I’ll leave you with a fun fact: Lebron has more 50+ point games (9) in his career than games in which he’s scored 10 or less (8).
- Congratulations to Chris Bosh and his family for the world’s latest Bosh-ling. I know he sat out a couple of extra games in his final year in Toronto, but he’s a class act and a fantastic player. I miss having him on my team.