Toronto Raptors 108 Final

Recap | Box Score

98 Philadelphia 76ers
Amir Johnson, PF 25 MIN | 3-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 7 PTS | 0I liked that he didn’t shoot threes in the 1st quarter, but put the ball on the floor and attacked the defense. Early foul trouble got him yanked in the 1st, and never let him recover. Pretty invisible tonight other than a big block on MCW on 3-2 break.
Rudy Gay, SF 36 MIN | 6-16 FG | 4-5 FT | 8 REB | 8 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 4 TO | 18 PTS | +17Had as complete a game as you could possibly ask of him. Didn’t shoot the ball well, but also looked to hit the open man with the pass more than we’re used to seeing. Rebounded very well, played solid defense…will take this from him every night.
Jonas Valanciunas, C 22 MIN | 1-4 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | +2Nobody looked to get him the ball in the post, and it’s not like the Sixers had anyone down there to give him many problems. You could see how pissed off he was in the 2nd half when Ross missed him wide open under the rim. One word of advice when your big man is working hard to get position on the low blocks: GIVE HIM THE BALL FROM TIME TO TIME!
Kyle Lowry, PG 38 MIN | 4-12 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 10 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 13 PTS | +15My problem with Lowry isn’t that he didn’t have a good game, because he did. My problem is that he doesn’t make the guys around him better. Weird saying that when he drops 10 dimes, but how much of that was just that the Raptors were hot from three? Think about it.
DeMar DeRozan, SG 38 MIN | 10-19 FG | 10-12 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 33 PTS | +4Put on a clinic in the 1st half from the perimeter with a combination of hot shooting and smart decision making on and off the ball (curls, drives, cuts to the basket). Defense was there as well, but did very little else. Fortunately that’s all he needed to do. Way to keep the recent hot play going.
Tyler Hansbrough, PF 22 MIN | 1-5 FG | 3-5 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | +7Crashed the boards and made things uncomfortable for the Sixers front court. Shot the ball a few times more than you’d like him too, but when he snags 4 offensive rebounds in 22 minutes, you need to reward him with a few of those.
Steve Novak, SF 16 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | +6Meh
Dwight Buycks, PG 10 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | -6Made an impression in limited minutes; not a big impression, but his three was timely and stopped a minny run in the 4th.
Terrence Ross, SG 32 MIN | 7-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 17 PTS | +10Picked up in the second half where DeRozan left off in the 1st. Crashed the boards, played excellent defense, and really made us remember that he was originally drafted for his shooting, and not his athleticism.
Dwane Casey
Best game he’s coached all year by a large margin. There was a game-plan (more below), and the team stuck to it for a full 48. That’s all you can expect.

Five Things We Saw

  1. Heading into tonight’s match, the Raptors were dead last in assists/game in the league. Tonight? 24 assist leading to 36 field goals. We saw better shots, and less ISO plays on the perimeter. This I can get used to. This is the type of basketball we would all like to see. How much easier is it to swing the ball around until someone has a good luck than backing your band and jacking up a fade-away with a second defender running at you? A lot, that’s how much.
  2. Raptors really showed composer in the 3rd, making timely plays every time the Sixers mounted a mini run to cut the lead. In fact, the way the Raptors closed out the 3rd quarter was impressive: 8-3 run capped off with two wide over threes by Ross and Novak from text-book penetration and dish plays.
  3. The one down side was that the Raptors didn’t play good transition defense (24 fast break points), or protect the paint particularly well (40 points). Seemed like every-time a Sixer cut to the basket aggressively, he was rewarded with a pass and either turned it into a basket or a trip to the line (31 attempts). This is what kept the Sixers in the game until the end of the 3rd quarter.
  4. Raptors take possession of the Atlantic division for he first time since in six years. Not sure that this is a good thing or not, but I’d rather see them compete, win, and try to avoid being a treadmill team than tank and not land a top 3 pic.
  5. This was the first game in a very long time that my frustration didn’t show itself with a deep sigh, rolled-eyes, or a pursed-lip-disapproving-head-shake. I can really get used to this team if they can figure out  a way to continue playing this brand of basketball AND getting Jonas more involved. We’ll leave them figure that part out for the next time they have two days off between games.
  • Hassan Mehmood Khan

    must get jonas the ball i feel for him he gets into good positions in the post and no one passes him the ball , he has good touch around the rim so i know he can score we need to use him more to develop him why doesnt casey realize he is our only potential allstar player

    • jkwasia

      because casey isnt/doesnt kno how here to develop players….plus Val needs to work on his post defence/help d if he wants more time

  • 204 pegcity

    No jonas for the complete 4th quarter smh this coach is terrible. I know it’s a win but against a bottom team like the sixers they should be playing jonas just to build his confidence that the team trust him. I honestly hope that there just show casing the assets cause this team ain’t a great brand to watch. To stop myself from ranting good game t-ross keep up the D.

  • AB4EYE

    The team either needs to eat at someones house before each game or Casey needs to stick with his shorter bench because just like in Memphis it worked great again resulting in a much better passing game a cleaner game.

    The lone negative is they did take their foot off the gas and fell in love with the jumpers with limited passing again after they built that big lead up in the 4th and it let the Sixers back into the game and was a little careless but managed to hold on and hopefully learn from it but they could have blew it if Philly got hot.

    Our big guys missed a lot of bunnies tonight and have been doing so a lot of late but they should heat back up soon and if we keep this rotation and Rudy keeps looking to pass they can get some wins.

    The 14-16 shot Rudy Gay can be a good player but the moment its starts going over that window things start go bad fast.

  • Tanks-a-lot

    If Gay passes more he will appear like a Superstar because the Raps will win more games.

  • dr funk

    correct me if i’m wrong but wouldnt ’24 assists leading to 36 field goals’… be 36 assists?

    • Aaron

      That just means of the 36 field goals 24 were assisted on.

      • Sammy

        Thanks. This is a better way of saying it.

      • dr funk

        aaaah i get it, gracias

  • drg

    It was a good win but its time to get a win against a top team.

  • c_bcm

    That 4th quarter was way too sloppy. I put that on Casey for not establishing more discipline with this team. Many times it looked like the only thing maintaining a semblance of a basketball game was the 4 boundary lines. It was tough to watch. I would like to see Casey call some time outs and correct the reckless play style that can happen in these situations.

    • Sammy

      Agreed, but it’s tough to maintain full intensity when you’re up double-digits. Very rarely do we get the chance to give Casey the benefit of the doubt; so he gets it tonight.

      • c_bcm

        No doubt it’s not easy, especially if the players aren’t expecting to be held accountable. It doesn’t have to be chastising. But just a simple time out to break the tunnel vision and remind the team about how they are supposed to play. Sometimes just a break from the action is all that is needed.

        • Ghotte

          He called two time outs.

  • Aaron

    Maybe Casey thinks that this is a good time to rest Jonas? Considering he had a busy summer and expects to be using him a lot more down the line for their playoff push?

    • StabbyRaccoon

      It would make sense, they didn’t need him to play more in this game, and I know that Casey thinks that it’s important to help him develop this season. Also when the wings are actually moving the ball and playing like they have an offense, it might just make sense to roll with it.

      That game against the Heat was a bad decision though.

    • Tanks-a-lot

      The Raps are in the middle of a 2 week stretch with only 4 games.

      Your argument doesn’t happen to make sense considering the current lull in the schedule.

  • Ion66

    Good road win. Odd to see us do to the 76’rs with the 3, what Portland just did to us. Nice to meet another team that doesn’t/won’t defend the 3. I’m wondering what’s up with Fields sitting out? Doghouse? Resting? Matchups? Are Rudy and Novak taking all his minutes? 2 of the bright spots of the year to me are/were the improved play of Ross, and Fields.

    • c_bcm

      I think it was match ups related. It no secret philly can’t defend the 3, so seems obvious to give Novak some time. Likely won’t happen against teams where fields defense is needed.

  • rtz

    Screw A+ for Casey, More like F-. actually I’ve created a new grading system cause F is too high for Casey…I give him an H…He for horrible…so just above that. The guy can’t coach. Coaches should teach the young guys to play. The future of the franchise is in the hands of young guys like JV yet he buries him at the end of the bench. Doesn’t get him involved when he is on the court. Every other rookie or 2nd yearis getting burn to get them to be better but our guy gets practice warming bench…
    CASEY SUX. ..HE IS NOT A COACH. Fire his ass.

    • dr funk

      he got benched A LOT with the national team so I assume he makes mistakes we dont understand, big league stuff??? i have no other explanation. GIVE JONAS THE BALL. he was like 7/9 or something the other night. always in the first half then NOTHING. im sure lithuania appreciation night makes up for not rewarding all his effort….

      • rtz

        I think at this stage of his career and the season the coach should be teaching JV not benching him. WTF??? Then he rats hard work with a seat on the bench cause I guess he is 22 but with Tim Duncans body…
        fire cssey

      • Tanks-a-lot

        The Lithuanian National team had a crap load of Senior Players that pushes young Valanciunas down their depth chart for that tournament.

        Old farts need their chance at glory first.

  • thatpeterguy


  • ad

    The raps may have won the battle but the sixers are very likely to win the war. Damn, this team cant even tank properly.

  • TheR3dMenace

    They shelled the Sixers from 3. It was ridiculous! I know we probably wont shoot as high of a percentage like that every game, but we need to see Lowry and Ross take more 3 balls from now on. Both are above average 3pt shooters. If they can get attempts like did tonight Raps will win more games. Even DeRozan’s corner 3 is looking great. Those are shots that can come at the expense of a handful of Rudy Gay jackups

  • Phat AlberG

    I’m glad we won, but Casey get’s under my skin! Jonas should be touching the ball at least 3 to 4 touches on the block. But as soon he’s on the bench, the first play 2 plays they call was Rudy Gay in the post. I understand we won, but for Val get 4 touches against Spencer Hawes is ridiculous. I am happy they won, but they need to figure a way to Jonas the ball. But is this a coaching issue or players issue?

  • ezz_bee

    I usually don’t nitpick grammar or spelling when I know what the writer is trying to convey. However I have no idea, what is meant by this….

    “How much easier is it to swing the ball around until someone
    has a good luck than backing your band
    and jacking up a fade-away with a second defender running at you? A lot, that’s how much.”

    Not being a dick, just would like to know what you meant by “has a good luck than backing your band”

    And the Raptors showed some “composure” not “composer”. But I knew what you meant there, so it’s not a big deal.

    Thanks for the post :)

    • ML

      Agreed, for a minute I thought those were ball expressions I wasn’t aware of…I guess it was “has a good LOOK, backing (down) your MAN”. Maybe??

      always enjoy the posts here so no biggie, but it seemed like this was typed on an iPhone and the auto-correct went wild!

      • Sammy

        iPad actually; the grammar was just me being stupid.

  • mountio

    TRoss was the difference. Low and behold when you actually give the kid some mins, he can perform!! TR and JV should both be 30+ mins every single night. No excuses. JV at 22 tonight is inexcusable.
    Tonight was an example of how we can actually look like a real team from time to time with some decent spacing. With TR and SN hitting from three and DD shooting well also (plus KL) – this team has weapons.
    People are asking about LF. Even though his game has looked better this year, Im a much bigger fan of giving his mins to TR or SN – LF with DD and RG just doesnt work at all due to lack of outside shooting.

  • sitnonDfence

    Jonas isnt doing himself any favors. The paint is getting demolished by a crappy team that he is supposed to be able to control. His transition defense is poor at best, usually the last one back. And hes jogging after his own miss. Play defense, rebound , and then worry about your touches. Not to mention its still not very often he completely seals off his man and has unchallenged position. I wouldnt throw that pass.
    I have to agree with his lack of playing time on the national team as well. Give the old guys some burn i get it, but if he was worth his weight in gold, they would have played him.

    • John Pinsky

      Here’s a few problems with your argument:
      1. Young players are notorious for checking out of games, especially on D, when they arent getting to touch the ball, let alone shot opportunities
      2. Playing C is the hardest position to learn in the NBA, and takes the longest. Casey must learn to live with his mistakes, because otherwise JV will never get enough PT to properly develop, and until he develops, he’s going to male mistakes
      3. Considering JV offensive abilities and the expected defensive lapses, his presence on the court is absolutely wasted if he doesn’t get offensive touches, as that is one positive contribution he could be regularly making. Instead, JV starts chucking up shots in the 2nd and 4th quarters as the team starts to completely forget about him, so he shots whenever he gets the chance (check out Bleacher Report’s article on his slowed progression, which features a quarter by quarter breakdown of his game stats. You’ll see a significant drop in his efficiency and FGA in quarters 2 and 4)
      3b. If part of the issue is his positioning in post (which I dont necessarily beleive) why not feature him more often in the Pick n’ Roll? JV proved last season that he was an efficient option in those situations, but since Calderon left, the team barely uses the PnR at all for anyone let alone JV, but simply utilizes sceens to get the D to switch on the ball handler, who then goes into an inefficient iso play

  • Ghotte

    We win with a good game plan and morons are still calling for Casey to be fired. JV had an off game (missed gimmies) while TRoss had one of his best contributions. Yet people are finding ways to rant and snatch defeat from the jaws of victory?! It takes a special skill to find something wrong in every situation. Congrats

    • Dr funk

      Good post. I can root for last nights team. Keep gay under 20 FG and get big V a little more involved. Hopefully were finding our identity, still haven’t had that much time together.

  • rapierraptor

    I am as big of a JV fan as anyone and I think it will be an absolute travesty if the underutilization and mismanagement have a negative long-term impact on his career but Brett Brown & the 76ers play at the fastest pace in the league. Coaches around the league have consistently been throwing small-ball lineups against them. The other night Rick Carlisle started Jae Crowder over Dalembert against them (only time he’s done that all season). Just one example. Not defending the failure to feed JV when he’s working hard or the lack of minutes, just saying it’s the trend around the league to run small-ball lineups against Philly.

  • elkabong

    oooooooo look at us we have a .417 win % but we are in 1st place! i couldn’t believe the amount of time they spent yammering on about that last night or the amount of play it’s getting in the media. all it says is were are the top piece of crap in the crappiest division ever assembled does it not?

    as for A+ for Casey count me in the crowd that can’t believe how he’s handling JV and why is he not getting a lot more criticism for what’s going on in this regard? this is already the 5th game out of 12 that he’s been stapled to the bench for the 4th quarter so how the heck to you develop your future? how’s he gonna learn if you don’t let him play through some of the issues he has? how’s he gonna learn to move without the ball,position himself better for rebounds,set a proper screen etc if you don’t let him try these things during game speed and crunch time especially? for me if small ball = no JV then small ball = incompetent coaching but by all means give him A+ for getting us to 1st place