Toronto Raptors 104 FinalRecap | Box Score 110 Houston Rockets
Amir Johnson, PF 34 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, SF 49 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, C 30 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, PG 48 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, SG 53 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, PF 9 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, SF 15 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, SF 9 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, C 0 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, PG 15 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, SG 28 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. This game made no sense at all.
  • DryDry

    Refs: F-

    For calling a video review with :09 left in the 4th and still missing Gay’s shot clearly hitting the rim .

    Should have been Raptor ball with time to go for the win.

    Instead, a ludicrous jump ball call.

    • The Sandman

      At this point in time, after years of watching the Raptors, what more should we expect? I don’t know if it’s pure bias but it seems like we’ve been getting the bum end of calls for years.

  • tyson

    I understand where you’re coming from with not liking Demar’s game tonight – but come on, the guy relentlessly drove to the basket when his shot wasnt falling, took some hard “no- call” fouls, and showed grit that motivated the team – that doesnt show up on the stat line. definitely not an “F” – but thats my opinion as well :)

    • Garrett Hinchey

      He did get boned by the hideous reffing more than most, I’ll give him that.

    • OldSkoolCool

      Jumping over a credit card and flailing doesn’t deserve a foul…and honestly he is so soft with the ball and holds it out in front of him, he legit got stripped every one of those anyways. Trade him, he sucks

      • Statement

        Jumping over a credit card? LOL…awesome.

  • Melvin

    This is a bad number for Rudy and Gay, is it an anomaly? Probably not!
    17/62 = 27%

    On a positive note,

    31/77 = 40%

    which makes you feel a little better.

    • Meru

      But who the heck shoots 37 times and miss 26 of them?!

      • Amigo

        It’s a New NBA Record, that’s why he get a D from the writer

      • Why

        Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant?

    • DanH

      Yeah, except if you are going to look at it that way, you should just use ORTG (use FGA, FTA, TOV, and total points). That puts them at a combined 51 points on 71 possessions used – that’s an ORTG of 71.8 – approximately equivalent to a TS% of .359.

  • jclaw

    point 5 makes the most sense of all. even better that it is the 5th of 4 points

  • IMO

    F is just harsh. DD was on the end of some terrible calls and he kept driving and driving. Compare his non calls and Harden’s calls, that’s the NBA for you. Those missed FGA and blocks against were inflated because of the non calls. Real aggressive game. He did not harm the flow of the offense as much as Rudy.

  • arsenalist

    11-37?? Are you kidding me? No wonder he’s undrafted in my fantasy league.

  • Tee


  • pran

    lowry deserves an A. Without him finally having the balls to play his game we had no business making that comeback. And almost the second he fouled out we lost this game.

    • guest80

      That’s one side of the coin…the other is the 2 assists he had in 48 minutes, as our starting pg. Jonas had more assists than him.

      • Louvens Remy

        Rudy and Demar missed a combined 45 shots!!!!! There’s your goddamn assists. Game shouldn’t have been close. 45 shots missed between 2 guys!!!! WTF??????????? While we’re at it, whose asking them to shoot so much??

  • Amigo

    Man what a black hole we have, 19 mil dollars and the Coach watching without even vomiting.

    J.Lin 31 point in 17 shats

    Gay 29 point in,in,in,,,,,bl,bl,bl,bl….thirt,thirt,thirt,,,,I can’t I m vomiting ! GTFO

  • Raptorfan15

    I love how Leo doesn’t even mention how bad Rudy was in the 4th and overtime. It seemed like he missed at least 7 shots in a row at one point and not even a “he seems to be struggling right now”.

    • HogyG

      It’s because Leo’s too busy looking for himself on tv every time the camera follows the ball changing ends.

  • AB4EYE

    As bad as we shot It was amazing they even had a shot to win but Houston mentally checked out when they had that big lead and then Howard can’t make FT.

    Rudy missed 26 shots tonight the most he’s every even shot in a game before tonight was 28 shots or just two less than he bricked tonight! His trade value is going down by the clank. Between Gay and DD who may be the two worst two shooters in the NBA we can tank without even making an effort on most nights.

    Playing big teams like Houston kill us because it basically takes Tyler totally out of the game because he’s an undersized PF playing center and Casey doesn’t ever want to use him at his normal position due to small ball.

    He should have got a shot in OT, Amir flat out ran out of gas with the extended PT and banging with Howard and it started to kill us. Johnson got lost on defense a few times leading to offensive rebounds and easy scores for Houston, he missed both of his FT and missed 3 of his 4 shots in the overtimes which makes me feel like his grade was on the high side.

    Plus you know its a bad offensive game when you get 10 assists in a game that goes two OT and Hansbrough who isn’t known for his passing picked one of them up in limited PT.

  • Mugsy

    I hate to bandwagon on the Casey hate, but this has to be his fault. Rudy can be careless and have poor shot selection, but its the coaches decision to keep him in there for 40+ minutes after 26!!!! terribly taken and missed shots. He must have the green light if hes chucking that much. Not even Iverson in the Larry Brown days took this many shots. Casey seems to be missing some basics of offense and ball movement. Work it in and out, run some pick and roll with Lowry and the bigs. JV fouled out pretty early, and Amir isn’t exactly a creative scorer but a combined 19 shots in a double OT game from your best FG% shooters?

    • guest80

      I too thought that he overplayed RG in the end….it’s not like the rest of the team cant run some plays

      • johng_3

        He is being paid 19 millon. Your not going to bench him

  • guest80

    It was great to see T Ross step up his game in various ways. That’s the brightest thing I’ll take out of this matchup.

    • Kujo2020

      Yes, this his best game in ages. Very active on both ends. His defense was tremendous.

    • robertparrish00

      Seeing all the RG hate covers how great TRoss played. He showed some NBA poise and looked like he belonged on the floor. First time I thought he looked like a top ten draft pick.

  • ad

    Well, we already knew this team was going nowhere with gay, dd, and casey. This game is just further proof.

    • ad

      Just to add to that, the tank is picking up steam

      • Adriiian

        On the bright side, we might just be able to get Wiggins. Bring the kid home. Kind of like LeBron in 03.

  • One relaxed fella

    Everyone was so excited about pre season Demar. Now his FGA is 36,2 percent, he made 51 out of 141 shots. Rudy is even worse with 35,6 percent. A lot of fans root for Demar and I just don’t get it. To me he’s just an inefficient, selfish and very limited player, who doesn’t really care about anything else rather than his PPG.

  • Louvens Remy

    There was a lot of Donaghy-ing out there from the refs. I would have given Rudy an F triple minus. He shot 37 times and missed 26. GTFO with that crap! He basically shot his team out of a game they could have won if he hit 40% and shot 15 less times. “Caseyyyyyyyyyy!!!”

  • Louvens Remy

    We could just tweet at Rudy and let em know whats up.
    Also he should go ahead and change his hame to ‘Ill Advised”

  • Adriiian

    Is it me or is this team really hard to watch?

    Rudy Gay is terrible, let’s be honest now. Just like I said last season, just like I’m saying this season. Just fucking trade this guy, but who’ll take him? Colangelo really fucked us.

    EDIT: He’s kind of the new Bargnani in my eyes, maybe a little more skilled, but still overpaid to all hell. I might just boo him on Sunday when I go to the game.

    • Tanks-a-lot

      Unless the trade is good for Toronto it’s better to just let his contract expire and have boatloads of money to spend when the addition by subtracting Rudy Gay happens.

  • Cameron Becker

    Always have felt Terrence Ross had a lot more potential than the likes of Gay and DeRozan. Obviously he’s still inconsistent as anything, but I just hope he can get it all together although it’s hard to be consistent given the random playtime he gets and the terrible offense the raptors have.
    Lol @ Gay. Have really disliked his game for a long while, but this was the worst performance yet, D is so very generous!!

    • Tanks-a-lot

      Did you know that Ross and Lin played on the same highschool team?

      Who would you rather have, Ross or Lin?

  • One relaxed fella

    I’ve just found out an interesting fact: “Toronto registered just 10 assists on 114 FGA in 110-104 loss to Houston. Unprecedented back to 1985-86.” Yeaaahh… These stats alone (10 assists on 114 shots taken) say a lot about Raptors offence and coaching. Horrible.

  • Nilanka15

    Chimney falling apart? Call Rudy & DeMar, certified professional brick layers for all your exterior home improvement needs.


    There’s no house they can’t build.

    • Milesboyer

      Between Rudy and Demar they took 62 shots!!! (and only made 17 of them). Valanciunas took 9. Guess who had the most assists out of those three.

      • Nilanka15

        Or fax your inquiry to 1-866-LONG-TWO

  • Alex Vostrikov

    it has a lot to do with coach when player takes almost 40 shots.
    gay doesn’t listen??? then, have some balls, and bench him for longer stretches. play who ever just to prove your point.
    your play calling??? resign and admit you are an idiot.
    sorry, but there is no way I will continue watching this boring ISO b.s.

  • drfunk

    Somewhere along the way Gay convinced himself he’s Kobe but that high-volume/low-efficiency style is poison to the offence and it didnt even work for Kobe last year…. who has, unlike gay, Kobe Bryant talent. Can we please bench him and give 62 shots to Jonas/Ross/Amir. Even in his interviews after “the shots that usually go in, just werent falling”. He thinks he should be doing this!!!! How amazing would it be if we had a coach who benched gay next game. I know you really cant extrapolate from the preseason but on paper we had awesome ball distribution, a balanced FG selection, demar was benefiting and so was the team. it also took wearing sandals to count our team assists because 10 ASSISTS?!!? can we seriously get the UCON women s basketball coach or at least a WNBA one. Throw the mother!@#$%^g ball to Jonas 20 times and you ll get 8 assists WORST CASE. waaay too many caps for this early in the morning. thank you rudy. i like you but pass the ball!!!

    • Adriiian

      You should have seen his interview. After this long in the NBA, you know what you’re getting with Rudy Gay. I’m paraphrasing. Or in other words, my game is long 2s and no passes, all bark no bite.

  • Sham

    A B for Lowry? “I love the work he puts in on defence” Lin scored 31points on 10-17 are you kidding me and by the way Lowry shot 6-17 and had TWO assists in double OT game. Please dont insult our intelligence, he gets handled by every starting PG you name it… J Teagues, G Hill, Kimba Walker on and on and on

    • pran

      well he had five fouls on him, for a lot of that time. So he couldn’t be as aggressive on defense. And the lowry that played against the rockets, isn’t the one that was on display in the other games. No doubt due to the coaching staff neutering him, and making him play like calderon.

  • Kujo2020

    Jeremy has his best game in like 2 years against the Raps. LOL!

    Rudy Gay, man, what else can be said. He’s the worse black hole in the NBA. Kudos for sending the game to OT with that clutch shot, but he’s just brutal to watch. DD, so much for hope of him becoming more efficient, and having a break out season. Same ol’ DD.

  • Rap fan 2

    Firstly, great defensive effort. Defense kept us in the game. The defense went into another couple of gears. The line up of Jonas, Rudy, Demar, Terrance and Kyle matched up well with Houston. This might be a great starting line up if they keep playing with that high defensive intensity. Let’s do it. I think Jonas was able to match up well to Howard. He’s definitely improving. He’s doing well improving on his face up jump shot. As he uses it more he’ll draw out the defender and give him the option to drive to the basket or pass out to a cutter. Great effort by Terrance Ross. He’s understanding how to be effective in the flow of the game. Yep early in the season the numbers for FG% and especially the assists totals reflect room for improvement on the offensive side of things. It’s not necessarily a Rudy Gay problem of taking tough shots but more a team problem of allowing too many isolation plays. Maybe you can limit isolation plays to one third or end of clock scenarios. Rudy made an effort going to the basket more but Howard is a great help defender and he’s kind of living in the paint. Leo Rautins made a great point during the broadcast, Rudy is more effective and successful when he get’s into his shot quicker after getting the pass. Holding and playing around with ball allows the defense to reset. I think the bench players do a better job of moving the ball and looking for that open guy. Again I keep going back to Miami with FG% of around 51% and average assists total of around 28, it doesn’t hurt to try emulating what they do offensively to become more efficient offensively.

  • golden

    In defense of Gay and Derozen, there is no way in hell they are actually THIS bad, offensively. What we are seeing is the full effect of Dwayne Casey being able to coach ‘his way’ AND without the safety net of Jose Calderon to provide some level of basketball IQ to the offense. Apparently Lowry and Casey don’t see eye to eye – I’m siding with Lowry.

  • johng_3

    We had our chance to beat a Houston team that was battling the flu and we still lost. Damn we suck

  • Raps2015

    Wow, I was surprised to see this much negativity from the author and the comments. The Raptors faced a great team that just came off two losses and forced them to double OT. There were clearly more bad calls against the Raps than for. The Raptors defense after the first half was awesome. Great pick and roll defense and rebounding. Some amazing help defense blocks by Gay and Acy. There was a lot more movement on offense than usual, but still a few “watch Rudy” plays. They’ll make the playoffs if they play like that for the rest of the season.
    By the way, it looks like asst coach Nick Nurse is drawing up a lot of the out of bounds plays, so direct your disdain towards him for that.
    FYI: this was their fifth game in 7 days.

    • SR

      FYI: Of the NBA’s top 40 scorers at the moment, DD and Gay possess the two worst FG%’s. The talent on this team is playing bad enough to miss the playoffs, but not bad enough to land a top 5 pick. The worst-case scenario for this season is playing out right now. It is that bad.

      • Tim W.

        You’re focusing on the wrong thing, here. The Raptors have TWO top 40 scorers! That’s awesome!

    • Tim W.

      Houston played poorly and still won. They couldn’t hit their free throws in the clutch and still won.

      Watching the Raptors play didn’t make me feel optimistic about their roster.

  • Statement

    The funny thing is,
    This teams’ defense is pretty good. Holding Houston to 110 points in double-overtime on the road is not easy.
    They obviously have the pieces and scheme to be a good (great?) defensive team. They just need to redistribute the shats and they’d win more. That’s a coaching thing, IMHO. If they redistributed the shats, they’d be at least .500 (likely 5-3), given that they have a positive efficiency differential.

  • toronto tanks

    i didn’t notice in the comments if anyone had posted re: rudy’s crazy turnaround-fade away jumper that happened late in the second half? I know that is a vague description. Obviously rudy takes a lot of poor shots but this one was particularly strange. He was in an iso (probably against t. jones), on the wing, just inside the 3. He was BTB, then faced up, crossed over and then fired a 360 fade away from just inside the arc. something like that. it happened in a split second. it looked like he was in a video game being controlled by someone that had never played the game before so he/she decided to randomly push buttons to figure the gameplay controls. it’s like he was shadow-boxing and the defender stood there for second wondering if gay was having a seizure or convulsing like the chicken lady on kids in the hall (for those who care/remember that skit).
    casey is either terrible or the raps are letting rudy and demar iso all day in the hopes that it improves their trade value. casey/nick nurse cant be that terrible. they run it through jonas in the first and do well (real raps ball). then play hero ball the rest of the game (try to up trade value of rudy/demar). terrible basketball. the raps havent won a game yet. 3 games they didn’t quite suck as much as another shitty team. their bench is a d-league self destruct button that will be pushed soon. masai has veiled a facade for his “basketball karma”. one more month before the other shoe drops. tank for randle!
    ps. the positive is that i like what i see from ross. his stroke is sweet. athleticism doesnt make the player alone but i’ve seen him make that put back twice now. he had one last year too. it’s special. he snakes a long the baseline and jumps from under the rim and does a 180 dunk. he reads that play well. too bad his iq isn’t stronger in other areas. he’s taken the game more to heart now it seems. i actually hope he doesnt play too much until rudy/demar is gone. keep their value higher.

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