Amir Johnson, PF34 MIN | 4-10 FG | 2-6 FT | 11 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | -9Holy crap, does this guy ever work hard. Had some difficulties with the size of Houston’s front line when he had to play as a small-ball 5, but bailed out the Raptors down the stretch and in overtime as they launched long jumper after long jumper.
Rudy Gay, SF49 MIN | 11-37 FG | 4-4 FT | 10 REB | 2 AST | 4 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 29 PTS | 0I’ll bump him up a letter grade for the reasonably solid D, the ten boards, and the game-tying 3 at the end of regulation. But man, that was the epitome of bad shot selection. He’s a black hole to the nth degree. The least impressive 29 and 10 I’ve seen in a long time.
Jonas Valanciunas, C30 MIN | 4-9 FG | 2-3 FT | 13 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 10 PTS | +12The offensive game gets an A, the defensive, a C+. He’s really showing a nice touch around the hoop, though I wish he shot a few more of those elbow jumpers he fakes so often. On D, he struggled with Howard’s explosiveness, getting simply left behind a few times. Two numbers for you, though: 7 offensive boards, more than Dwight, and he led the team in assists, even though he fouled out in the fourth quarter of a double-overtime game.
Kyle Lowry, PG48 MIN | 6-16 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 16 PTS | +1Fell victim to the whole team’s jump-shot syndrome in the first half, but sparked the comeback with some solid decision making and a couple of key threes late. I love the work he puts in on defence: if a Raptor draws an offensive foul, I just assume it was Lowry, at this point.
DeMar DeRozan, SG53 MIN | 6-25 FG | 10-11 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 4 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 22 PTS | -9Rudy without the rebounds. The two of them went a combined 17 for 62 tonight. This was the DeMar we all thought we’d gotten rid of – his offensive game was predictable, even when he went to the hoop. Key among those 25 shot attempts: he was blocked an almost unfathomable 6 times.
Tyler Hansbrough, PF9 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -7His defensive strategy against Asik and Howard seemed to be to foul often, and foul hard, which was the right one. He looked like a small child down on the block against Houston’s behemoth front line.
Landry Fields, SF15 MIN | 0-1 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 1 PTS | -13Ugly, ugly game stat wise, but that gaudy plus-minus was partially due to the fact that he was seriously miscast as a small-ball four after Jonas got in foul trouble. He was a ball-stopper on offence a couple times, which just can’t happen, under any circumstance.
Quincy Acy, SF9 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -3What can I say? He’s an undersized power forward who works his ass off despite having much in the way of skill. Didn’t contribute much out there, but I’ll give him a C just for this.
Aaron Gray, C0 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | 0Hey, Dwayne, remember me? The guy we only dress when we’re playing teams with really big front lines so Landry doesn’t have to play power forward? No?
Dwight Buycks, PG15 MIN | 2-6 FG | 1-1 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | -7Seems to have solidified his place as the Raps’ backup point guard, and was one of their only sources of offence during the first half. His shot selection is a bit too DD-and-Gay-esque for my liking, but he played solid D (and didn’t take 25+ shots).
Terrence Ross, SG28 MIN | 4-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 9 PTS | +5The stat line isn’t as impressive as it should be. Did a great job on Harden defensively, hit his open shots on offence, and used his athleticism impressively in crashing the boards. When he fouled out, Harden started to go off, which wasn’t a coincidence – and that’s the kind of line we’ve all been hoping we’d get to say about him at some point.
Dwane CaseyFinally figured out his rotations late in the game and made some good defensive adjustments out of the half, but beyond that… Yikes. The lack of clock-management/play calling late in the game is continuing to rear its ugly head. It’s almost Andy-Reid-esque at this point.
Four Things We Saw
Two numbers tell you everything you need to know about the Raptor offence. The first: ten assists, TOTAL, as a team, in a double-overtime game. The second: DeMar and Rudy’s combined 17 for 62. The amount of early-in-the-shot-clock long twos and ill-advised isos was absolutely astounding.
With that being said, the Raptors managed to stay in this game due to some very solid defence, some poor free throw shooting by Howard/Houston (4-12 for the fomer, 29-47 for the latter), and some timely makes. The Raps also had 20 offensive rebounds on the night.
Nobody does 31 points on 10 of 17 shooting quite like Jeremy Lin. Some of his decisions/shot selection makes you cringe out there, but it seems like he gets the job done more often than not.
Jonas and Amir seem to be the two key players when it comes to getting any flow in the offence. That’s great for them, but seriously problematic for the team.