|Amir Johnson, PF 32 MIN | 2-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | +2His offensive sins aside (0-2 from behind the arc including a missed game winner…why Amir is shooting the ball with the game on the line is a totally different conversation), made Blatche looked like a legit All-Star; letting him get his whenever he wanted.|
|Rudy Gay, SF 32 MIN | 3-12 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 7 TO | 9 PTS | +2He only took 12 shots; for that we can be thankful. Clutch three at the end, played good enough defense on Pierce. Whatever, I’m done being a Rudy Gay apologist. That drive and kick to Amir was the right play, but he should have recognized that it was Amir, and not anyone else on the team, and taken that shot; I almost would have preferred that.|
|Jonas Valanciunas, C 22 MIN | 3-6 FG | 1-1 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 7 PTS | -5I don’t know how to grade him tonight. The guy played well when he got minutes, but like, not the future of this franchise well. It should be alarming how easily he goes into invisibility mode when he’s not fully engaged on offense; defense was solid though. The bottom line is he needs minutes and isn’t getting him, but also clearly not earning them. The question to Ujiri is what are we doing here? Is this a meritocracy and JV isn’t earning his playing time in practice? Is this team is trying to win games? Is Casey just developing this kid poorly? Or is Casey just a brutal coach? My guess is the last two.|
|Kyle Lowry, PG 38 MIN | 8-15 FG | 6-6 FT | 0 REB | 6 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 24 PTS | +6I’d normally be harping on Lowry only out for his tonight, but he understood enough to know that if he couldn’t get the ball to DeMar, that the team was better served in letting him try to make something out of nothing. Really appreciated seeing him playing hard till the very end.|
|DeMar DeRozan, SG 39 MIN | 9-15 FG | 5-5 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 27 PTS | +4Probably the best game DeMar has ever played. He kept the Raptors in the game in the 1st and 3rd (along with Lowry) when the Nets tried to make knock-out punches, and didn’t lose focus or aggression the whole time. It’s scary to think that this type of production is slowly becoming his norm.|
|Tyler Hansbrough, PF 18 MIN | 2-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | +1Not the player this team deserves, but is the player it needs. Mixed it up in the paint, rebounded the hell out of the offensive boards, and played within himself. Hard to knock him for a couple choice shots when he gives so much effort and does a lot of the dirty work.|
|Landry Fields, SF 3 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -6Wasn’t fair to throw him out on the floor cold during a pivotal period, but he also managed to semi-force a shot…there was that.|
|Steve Novak, SF 23 MIN | 3-6 FG | 4-4 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | -2Nobody floats around the perimeter hoping for a kick like our grimy, Movembered-up Stevie boy.|
|Dwight Buycks, PG 6 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | 0Hit an important three with the Raptors trailing, and gets a C for hitting it cold.|
Poor lineups, minutes allocation, execution out of timeouts, execution in the half-court, play-calling, playbook, everything. With the Raptors down 5 early in the 4th, he trots out a lineup of Augustin, Fields, Hansbrough, Novak,and Ross for 3 minutes quickly pushing that deficit to 11. That lineup went -6 in 5 minutes of action, lols.
Five Things We Saw
- I don’t get this NBA schedule: you get 3 games in 4 nights one month, then a five-day stretch between games in another. Casey needs to make these guys run two-a-days next time they have a long layoff.
- DeMar and Lowry were the only Raptors who came out to play, scoring 51 of the Raptors 100 points between the two of them. Why Casey didn’t ride them for 42+ minutes when no else seemed interested in making a move, is beyond me.
- Speaking of Casey, wow, that was one of the worst coached games we’ve been subjected too in quite some time. Between his minutes allocations, suspect lineups, train-crash of a playbook, it was lost that Kidd out-coached him in this one (this is especially upsetting since Pierce called him out after the Timberwolves game). Just a thought, but maybe having Casey as coach actually IS the plan; the Raptors winning, and their late-game run to almost win it, has been in-spite of his coaching inability.
- The Nets scored 48 points in the paint. What upsets me more is that Andray Blatche went 10-16 from there; 24pts 5reb from a guy who seems like he’s more interested in wearing robes and running NBA 2K13 tournaments. Seriously, if he actually cared and worked on his conditioning and game, he’d be a legit player in the league.
- On the plus side, I appreciated how the Raptors weathered two KO attempts in the 1st and 3rd quarters by Nets, and how they made that run with 3+ minutes left in the game to cut a 16 point deficit to 2, with a chance to win it at the buzzer. All it’s problems aside, this team really plays hard and doesn’t roll over. As a fan of the game, you need to respect that.
- Open Gym: Kyle’s House (trailer)
- Dwane Casey Comments on Last Play, Approves of Amir Three (GIF, Quote)