Toronto Raptors 103 Final
Recap | Box Score
87 Memphis Grizzlies
Amir Johnson, PF 30 MIN | 4-8 FG | 6-6 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | +15

Was dared to shoot his mid-range jumper by Randolph early and nailed ‘em both. Battled foul trouble while checking Gasol and Randolph, and put in a workman like shift. Ignore the rebounding numbers, this was a team-rebounding effort and Johnson did his part of bothering the Memphis bigs enough. The missed three is forgiven as well.

Rudy Gay, SF 42 MIN | 8-18 FG | 3-4 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 5 STL | 2 BLK | 4 TO | 23 PTS | +12

Even when he’s shooting 2-57 or whatever it was, he’s bringing the effort on the boards and on defense (steals are evidence). Same was the case here, and he even peppered it with some great assists to DeRozan to start the game. Hit the majority of his open jumpers and the high-screen drive-and-pull-up was going in, even after Memphis switched Tony Allen on him. Good game from Gay who gets a win on his return to Memphis.

Jonas Valanciunas, C 30 MIN | 1-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | -3

Struggled against the size of Gasol which I had anticipated before dropping him from my fantasy team for the night. Was matched up with Randolph for brief periods as well but did nothing to stand out. It helps when he has his defensive game going before he can get his offense fired up, and the night never quite got started for him. He did use his size well to pull in some rebounds when Gasol was parked at the elbow.

Kyle Lowry, PG 35 MIN | 6-10 FG | 6-8 FT | 3 REB | 6 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 21 PTS | +7

This guy isn’t a ballhog, is a great three-point shooter, looks to distribute whenever possible, and I honestly can’t find much wrong with his game other than that he’s not as quick as drive-and-dish PG. That’s part of the reason Ujiri got in Buycks and Augustin, both are supposed to complement Lowry. As for this game, solid all around game including some stifling defense which forced turnovers to get that lead, and a great drive with 3 minutes left to extend the lead to 14. Yes, Conley had a big game but I’d take that over Conley driving past Lowry and creating for everyone else.

DeMar DeRozan, SG 33 MIN | 7-13 FG | 3-3 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 18 PTS | +14

Using the screens much better especially to start the game and was key to the Raptors hot start. He set the tone and quieted the crowd and Tony Allen early. Defensively, he was switched on, fought through screens well and made over/under decisions in high-screen situations very well.

Tyler Hansbrough, PF 23 MIN | 1-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 4 PTS | +16

This guy worked haaaard, man. The rebounding numbers aren’t great and neither is the FG%, but he was a factor on defense and bothered the Memphis bigs into frustration. There’s no stat for wearing the opposition down but if it was, he’d be leading both teams.

Landry Fields, SF 1 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +1

Came in late to spell Rudy.

Quincy Acy, SF 5 MIN | 0-0 FG | 4-6 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | 0

Brought the intensity along with Ross in that second quarter which got the Raptors going after a dip. He drove off the dribble effectively and got some fouls, but more importantly, he provided the same spark as in Houston. I’m surprised he didn’t get more run.

Aaron Gray, C 7 MIN | 0-0 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 1 PTS | +2

After riding the pine against Houston, Casey remembered that there’s a lumbering 7-footer on the roster that he can make use of against expansive bigs. So it make sense that Gray got the call, albeit briefly, to spell the ineffective Valanciunas. Delivered on his rebounding responsibilities and didn’t look out of place.

Dwight Buycks, PG 12 MIN | 0-1 FG | 4-4 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | +8

Meet your official backup PG. Quick off the dribble, looking to drive instead of settle, and digs in defensively. Even if Augustin was fully available Buycks would’ve been the man to go with. He doesn’t have the feel for the NBA game yet so you’ll see him make a pass that gets easily deflected which surprises him. That part will come.

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

Came in late for some reason.

Terrence Ross, SG 20 MIN | 3-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | +5

Finally decided to pitch in on defense for two games in a row and it shows in the minutes he got. It’s no surprise his jumper looked more confident; once you feel part of the team by contribute (on defense in this case), confidence flows and natural talent comes to the forefront. Technically, Ross is a good shooter, he just never seems to get long enough of a confidence run for the shooting to showcase itself.

Dwane Casey

Did well to mix-and-match his lineups, we didn’t see the entire bench play at the same time. Picked the minutes for Ross very well, and got Acy in at the right time too.

Five Things We Saw

  1. The only dip in the Raptors defense happened to start the second when Memphis started on a 9-2 run and the Raptors looked switched off. Other than that stretch which they recovered form quickly, the perimeter defense was solid and every time the ball got dumped to a big down low, those pesky guards were there ready to swipe at it. Bothered MEM a lot.
  2. Quincy Acy and Terrence Ross did a fantastic job of upping the intensity in the second quarter. Memphis went to the bench in hopes of one-upping the Raptors but these two, along with Buycks, disrupted Memphis and forced turnovers.
  3. The Raptors won three out of four quarters and every time Memphis clawed back, the Raptors counter-punched through Gay, DeRozan or Lowwry. Basically, when we were against the ropes, our big guns delivered.
  4. A complete team rebounding effort – the Raptors were -3 against the huge Memphis frontline but made up for it by everybody pitching in. Credit to Rudy Gay as well for tracking back on defense to help out the under-pressure Valanciunas and Hansbrough.
  5. Rudy Gay delivered in the clutch. Memphis’ game plan seemed to be to concede the jumper to Gay as long as it was contested or from far out, and he made them regret that strategy.
  • DDayLewis

    Giving Gray and A will quell the angry spirit of ppellico…for now

    • ppellico

      actually…i am not an angry fellow. recovered from stroke that almost sent me packing. have become a 4.0 tennis player. love single malts. play guitar and write music….
      …and stand up against all things stupid and demand fairness. just can’t help myself.
      so…if dumb is spoken…gotta raise my hand and call it.
      And I hate cowardly types that roam about the internet from safely behind computer screens.

      • Sig

        you’re on the internet to have fun Paul, remember that

      • FLUXLAND

        +1 on the 4.0 tennis.

    • c_bcm

      pretty sure he is trolling if the only 2 A+ given to players who played 5 and 7 minutes and in no way shape or form contributed to this win.

      • AB4EYE

        A+ is high but they both did contribute to the win. Getting a +2 and 5 points and 5 boards on no shots from our 4th and 5th big men in non garbage time when the refs were killing our other 3 big guys was a nice boost to the team.

      • RaptorFan

        Exactly! Zarar gives Acy and Ross A+’s (which i’m okay with) BUT you HAVE TO give more credit to Lowry and Derozan. Those two played so hard for us last night… give them B+’s is unfair and maybe even disrespectful (in my opinion). Without Demar and Lowry we don’t win this game!!
        I swear these writers on here have some sorta Agenda…..Rudy, Demar and Lowry deserved A+’s for their efforts!! Anyone that actually watched the game (and is not a hater or pro-tanker) would agree.

        • RaptorFan

          My bad he gave Ross A-….my point still remains

        • DDayLewis

          Yes. We RR writers have an agenda to anger the RR readers. Thanks for playing.

    • Nilanka15

      From a Grizzlies blog:

      “I don’t like Aaron Gray as a basketball player. I know nothing about him as a man, but I’ve never cared for him as a basketball player. I don’t think he’s talented. He’s just big. Think Hasheem Thabeet if he ate biscuits and gravy for breakfast every morning.”


  • rapfan

    B+for Casey? Give me a break. This team played better defense but still had no offense. The players today just did things a little better. If Rudy or DD shot this percentage against Houston we win that game too. It had nothing to do with Caseys coaching decisions.
    Give him a C which I think is still kind and only that high because for once he didn’t get out coached and didn’t have to do any late game decisions.

    • ImNotDrake

      Scoring 103 against one elite defensive team doesn’t equal “no offense” in my opinion. Casey also did a good job talking to gay on the sidelines when he was going back into his black hole and got him to snap out of it.

      • Adriiian

        Their defense is not so elite anymore tho.

    • cdub

      he didn’t screw anything up for a change….actually called timely timeouts, short bench better rotations

    • AB4EYE

      I would have given him an A. He tightened up the rotation always kept our big men on the floor and let Tyler be Psycho-T on defense. He puts players in positions to succeeded and they did and that’s all you can ask for from a coach in a game that that doesn’t go down to the wire.

      • Lucas

        To be fair, though, it is still likely a case of him matching what the other team is doing. Memphis has a massive, bruising front court.

        Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy he stayed big, called timeouts, and actually gave Ross some run. I have been really impressed with Ross so far (he looks nothing like the inept player we saw for most of last season).

        Now if he can only continue to do these things, and also stop with the iso-heavy offense, we might actually have a shot at a 6th seed. Otherwise, 9-10th seed here we come!!

    • Tee

      rotations were solid
      time outs were great
      & the defence looks good

    • Ghotte


  • AB4EYE

    Nice win for the Raps there despite the Refs trying to take out top 3 big men out of the game with no calls on the offensive end and then every little thing against them on defense.

    I hope Casey sticks with this shorter 7.5 man rotation long term with others getting some time due to foul trouble. Its a far better defensive unit and it also keeps two of Johnson/Valanciunas/Hansbrough on the foor for the most part at all times and gives up the Hansbrough/Johnson duo which allows Tyler to play his all over the place defense like he did with Indy to blow up screens and disrupt offense while Johnson holds down things int he post to let Tyler get back on his man its no fluke Tyler posted a game high +16 despite the poor shooting night which he got due to the refs letting Miller get away with everything all night on him and JV.

    Like I was saying I feel sorry for JV and Tyler and to a point Amir but he at least got some calls go his way late and shot enough jumpers to put some points up. But the Refs totally killed JV’s and Hansbrough’s offensive nights calling every foul on them while letting them get held, pushed, undercut and every other tactic in the book go against them with no calls. In the first Half Tyler getting mugged inside for no calls every time by Mike Miller. One time got pushed in his back into another Memphis player and he was called for the loose ball foul and on top of that the much smaller Miller took him down to get a weak Double Technical rather than a foul on Miller. JV had the same things going against them and the only shot he could throw in was a jumped and got and got taken down by Miller one himself for no call which was getting absurd.

    Gay came out which a chip on his shoulder after the bad shooting game in Houston and coming back to Memphis and put in some work going with 23 points on a good shooing night for Rudy and adding in a bit of everything with 6 boards, 4 assists, 2 blocks and 5 steals. DeRozan took less bad shots and was extremely effective and Lowry thew in a great game against the team that drafted him.

    We can win quite a few games this year if Dwane stays with this shorter rotation, The team has given away a couple games already this year by playing too many guys so this was really refreshing to see. Also a major factor is Gay/DD to keep taking better shots like tonight which will allow them to shoot better and also keeping our defensive big men in the game rather than going small at first opportunity is a real plus. I didn’t even think of Fields one bit tonight until he checked in at the end so I would dump him to the first team that called and offered any type of asset and just pray coach rolls this rotation out win or lose a while to see what they can do long term.

    • Hassan Mehmood Khan

      I think we should start ross and give demar a bunch of mins of the bench . Ross would compliment rudy and lowry really well with his shooting and DD could takw apart second units and increase his numbers

  • Red Baron

    Did anyone notice that when the Grizzlies started to make any runs and crowd started to get loud, Coach Casey called a time-out and helped settled the troops versus letting things get out of hand? The outcome being Raps weathered every run that came their way and the crowd was a non-factor most of the night. He also maintained good floor balance and we didn’t see any bizarre 5 man combinations/subs for the most part. Very good to see!!

    • Adriiian

      I think Masai sent him a memo.
      “Call some timely timeouts, Dwayne.”

  • AB4EYE

    I wonder if Rudy having all the guys over to his place for a team dinner after a close loss in Houston where they should have never been in the game built up some chemistry among the group?

    I can’t wait to see how we do in the next few games to see if this was the start of something or just a one hit wonder. But it seemed like the team trusted each other a lot more on both sides of the floor tonight, we saw more passing from guys who don’t pass a ton and a group that played like a real team for maybe the first time all year long.

    • KJ-B

      First time they looked like the team that won 5 in a row after the Bargnani’s elbow injury…

    • Bendit

      Maybe Casey and his coaches got together too and they imparted a few nuggets on how to coach the offense and clock management/time outs.

  • Adriiian

    This game restored some hope after that ugly one in Houston. I know it went to 2 OT but it shouldn’t have. This team is watchable when we have the ball moving. That’s the key.

    As soon as Rudy got those first quarter assists, the game started developing a little flow.

  • Phat AlberG

    Rudy Gay & Derozan you see what happens when you moved the ball.

    • onemanweave

      Where is the NBA expert who was explaining to us that RG SHOULD take 37 shots per game, because he has nobody else to pass the ball to? Could we get him a job as offensive guru for the Heat.

      • FLUXLAND

        Funny, no one ever said he SHOULD or that he has nobody to pass to. I understand reading comprehension is difficult for those getting on the short bus.

        • Phat AlberG

          Yeah Mother & Father met on the short bus, it’s in your genes to say dumb stuff.

        • onemanweave

          “Who exactly do you want him to pass the ball to…”. Your words Einstein. The only difficult part of comprehending what you write is when the crayon smudges.

          • FLUXLAND

            Link? I’m interested in the context of the sentence.

            • Tim W.

              I remember that comment. That’s about when I realized you were just trolling.

              • FLUXLAND

                Again, it’s not the notion he is not to pass, it’s that he himself would rather shoot than pass to his teammates, a large percentage of the time. It’s speaking to how he views his teammates, not whether I think he should be passing of not. Hence my comment: Rudy doesn’t see anyone worthy passing to.

                I attempted to make that clear a few times, but you’re def entitled to interpret as you wish and then accusing me of trolling. I don’t even know why you would think I would that much effort into explaining something if my objective was to troll, I am sure I could find an easier way. Again, as you wish.

                • onemanweave

                  Every great mind is misunderstood in its time. Why don’t you talk it over with your other personna, FAQ? He understands you. Why wouldn’t he? Sooo obvious. And yes, 37 shots IS a large percentage of the time.

  • AJBecker

    I didn’t see any of the 2nd half but I know they said that we had more assists in the first half than we did all game against the Rockets, so at least 10. We only finished this game with 14, and no assists from the bench, seems a bit troublesome. But this was a good win, like I said I didn’t see the 2nd half so maybe they were still moving the ball well in the 2nd? The stats say otherwise however..

  • ad

    Well, they beat a good team but this win is meaningless in the big picture. Hopefully the tank gets back on track against chicago.

  • AB4EYE

    Anyone seeing on twitter where Memphis fans want us to forfeit because a roster sheet the Memphis sideline reporter has lists Daye as inactive but he played? But before the game Eric Smith tweeted Novak and Stone as the inactive players.

  • Ion66

    People on Grizz websites are already calling to blow up the Memphis team if they don’t turn things around within a few weeks. I thought that was just us????

    • GoingBig

      This “blow it up” talk can get tedious – especially if it’s mid-game :)
      Rudy misses a mid-range jumper – blow it up!
      Next play – Rudy remembers to pass off! – OK everyone, tanks back into the garage.

      Some of it is just fun-talking but an blow-it-up insta-tank would be a joke with zero returns this early in the season.
      Wake me up around December 15th – if a tank is there, there would be free agents and desperate teams out there. We could get value back in accumulating long-term assets rather than merely getting rid of players we don’t value

  • raptorspoo

    Same old flippin Raptors…

    They’re not going to win enough games and not going to lose enough games.

    Land of Mediocrity… were are here to stay~

  • higdale

    Before you Raptor fans get all caught up in playoff fever consider that Memphis is struggling and struggled in the preseason. They fired one of the better defensive coaches in the league have no bench and only 1 real 3pt shooter. If your ready to give Ross the 6th man of the year award look at the right side of the stat sheet not only for him but anybody who played more than 5 minutes lots of zeros. I’ve seen games that Ross got minutes and had zeros across the board other than points. As far as ball movement goes 14 total assist is still in the basement and Gay still missed 10 shots he only took 18 but that could have easily been 25 if the 8 he made were not falling and he could have missed 15. Casey is starting to play his starters a lot of minutes just like last year and will Ross be the next Alan Anderson only time will tell but the Raptors won’t be playing Utah or a struggling Memphis team every night. Maybe Casey learned something from the Houston game like maybe a timeout can be a good thing especially when you get 30 more shots than your opponent and they miss 17 free throws and you loose by 6. At least tonight in his post game comments he didn’t have to defend his stupidity but he still sounds like an assistant coach masquerading as a head coach

  • mike, prague

    The players played well. But Casey was great! … I don’t think I saw a single mistake!

  • Chuck Johnson

    The ball movement was much better. Did anyone else catch the give and go between Rudy and Kyle. The play got broken up but still… An actual basketball play, I almost fell out of my seat

  • HogyG

    The Team should eat at Rudy’s more often, his mom must have the original chunky soup recipe or something, haha. I thought everyone played great and deserve top marks all around, cause they were passing by the Grizzlies like they got all A’s. Everyone was locked in, the boys made better decisions with their shot selection tonight too. As they continue to improve in that area throughout the season they will continue to find success and wins. In the future, I would like to see the team have a defensive night like this against a more offensively potent team before I call their defense elite, but I feel that there really is something to hang your hat on there. If they can find a better blend of sharing the rock mixed in with their ISOs to keep the defense on their heels, like they did in the first half of tonight’s game, they’ll end up with a whole bunch of wins by the end of the season.

    Go Raptors!

    • Rap fan 2

      Yeah, everyone can use some good home cooking. It’s a great point you made, they kind of went away from that passing game in the second half. I think they only got 3 assists in the second half. It’s a work in progress. Rudy and Demar were more decisive in their shot selections and there was less playing around with the ball. Rudy and Demar had 4 assists each. I think if they set goals to get around 10 assists each the Raptors will have their offensive woes resolved. Another great night on defense. The main breakdown was when speedy Mike Conley was able to get lay ups in the paint. If the team keeps playing this level of defense along with working on mastering the passing game they’ll give themselves a shot at winning a lot more games this year.

  • One relaxed dude

    Good game. Rudy, DeMar and Kyle made good shots, all three of them combined 21/41 shooting and all 14 assists were made by these three guys as well. Good D and pretty efficient O, especially after the game vs. Houston. I’m impressed. Question is, whether Raps can maintain that kind of performance on a constant level or not.

  • mountio

    Finally we seem to be heading more towards Ross as our 6th man. Thank god. Keep giving this guy some run and let him play through mistakes and gain confidence. He has a WAY higher ceiling than LF (or any other wing we have). My only further critique would be to keep getting him more mins and rest DD and RG even more. That will come more naturally as each of them become less of a focus of the offense (in favour of JV, KL and TR). That will even allow us to mix in LF – who I think should get some mins – to change things up.
    I think we are getting closer to something that might work …

  • Ds

    Interesting to wake this morning and notice that the Raps are 9th on offence and 9th on defence? What the hell?

  • Mitchy

    best game of the year i’m thinking. bring that on d all season long please. if anyone’s got time give my game report a look over

  • Nilanka15

    Impressive win, When Memphis went on their runs, loved how we didn’t panic/buckle under the pressure.

    Also really like what I’m seeing from Ross over the last few games.

  • ibleedpurple

    Best game of the season by far. I’ve been watching the Raptors now for more than a decade and can honestly say watching them stifle a team defensively is much more entertaining than watching them score a ton of points (which they did this game as well). Casey coached well calling timeouts every time Memphis made a run. Lowry is really proving himself now and its an absolute pleasure watching him on defense and I have the utmost confidence whenever he takes that pull up 3. I just can’t say enough about the defense. I’ve never seen the Raptors close a team out defensively while maintaining a solid offensive rhythm. A gritty game from start to finish and hopefully a sign of what we will see from the Raptors for the rest of this season (or up until the team is broken up for all you tank bastards out there)

  • RaptorFan

    Kyle Lowry and Demar Derozan deserved A’s for their performance last night. PERIOD.
    Zarar what happened to you? Did all the negativity from this site get to you too??? There is NO excuse for not giving those guys A’s. Casey deserved an A for his coaching as well. This might be the best game he’s coached so far this season. I loved the rotations!! T Ross is looking confident and looks like he’s the 6th man we’ve been waiting for. Demar and Rudy each dished out 4 assists and had 7 steals between them, took WAYYY better shots and led this team. Kyle Lowry is the man right now!
    If Rudy and Demar can continue to share the ball and take good shots…..Watch out! I love this team when they play the right way.

  • rapierraptor

    We’ve been playing solid defense all season but last night was the best in terms of utilizing our ‘ranginess’ and being as collectively disruptive as possible. Good stuff!

  • Nilanka15

    A love how worked up people get over these grades. They literally reflect nothing more than the writer’s opinion, which everyone is entitled to.

  • jackdaniel

    How quickly we flip flop on this forum. One day it’s fire Casey the next is giving him an A. The reality is this, the only thing Casey did was not screw up. He did nothing exceptional. To me an A is if the coach did something great to win the game. He didn’t. He didn’t screw up, that is his job, he did average and he deserves a C. Quite simply if gay or DD shoot 45% like last night we would have won the Atlanta game the Houston game and possibly the heat game. That is not coaching. If this game went down to the wire with 2 minutes left Casey would have screwed it up again, then all these comments praising him would have been out the window. The fact is there is still no offense. There are still no set plays from out of bounds or timeouts. There is still no solid rotations off the bench and to tell gay to stop chucking the ball from the cheap seats is not good coaching, it’s common sense. All of us could have done that, in fact we have been doing it for a while, took him 7 games. So he gets praise for getting common sense? I disagree with all the comments giving Casey kudos. Lastly, yes gay and DD take a lot of long twos but in any game this season they get 2 or 3 more shots in the paint to go in thenwe wwouldn’t be having this conversation. Casey is not a good coach. Period.