Toronto Raptors 106 Final

Recap | Box Score

94 Los Angeles Lakers
Amir Johnson, PF 36 MIN | 14-17 FG | 4-4 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | 32 PTS | +22The easiest A+ we’ve given out all season. Kind of fell off in the fourth when the team stopped looking for him down low, but he absolutely eviscerated Pau Gasol tonight and turned a lot of the Raps’ more questionable possessions into buckets with some great rebounding. Finally got to play a big part in the Raptor offence and made the most of it.
Landry Fields, SF 31 MIN | 0-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | +9Got the start in place of the now-departed Mr. Gay and promptly took (and missed) three 3s. The defensive effort was solid, and he was effective on Kobe, but, then again, everyone was effective on Kobe tonight.
Jonas Valanciunas, C 28 MIN | 2-6 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | +9Kind of hoped he’d have a big game tonight with Robert Sacre (seriously, WTF?) starting opposite him at center, but, for the most part, he looked lost out there. I was disappointed the second unit didn’t look to feature him more. On the plus side, showed some nice passing and was literally right beside Amir for a few of his put-backs, which would have boosted his stat line a bit.
Kyle Lowry, PG 37 MIN | 8-13 FG | 6-6 FT | 5 REB | 8 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 23 PTS | +19I won’t give him an A+ out of respect for Amir’s career night, but he was the straw that stirred the drink tonight. Got his hands in the Laker passing lanes over and over again, started the fast break with some excellent outlet passing, and even got in on the offensive rebounding action. Oh, and he only missed one shot from inside the three point line.
DeMar DeRozan, SG 41 MIN | 8-19 FG | 10-11 FT | 5 REB | 5 AST | 3 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 26 PTS | +22Not the best shooting numbers, but he showed he can still succeed with the defence keying on him as the number-one option. Kind of hit a lull in the second and third, but settled down the offence in the fourth when it looked like the Lakers were going to close the gap with some nice floaters in the lane and a bunch of key free throws.
Steve Novak, SF 28 MIN | 1-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | -9Steve, I’m sorry. From here on out, you’re getting a grade from me based on your stat line from behind the arc. 1 for 9 gets you an F. Every. Time.
Julyan Stone, SG 11 MIN | 3-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | -7Much, much better than his effort last time out in Phoenix. Got his assists by looking for Amir Johnson every chance he got, which was an excellent decision tonight, and keyed the only real run the bench had in the fourth quarter with a couple of nice drives (one he finished with a monster dunk in traffic). One of his best games of the year.
Terrence Ross, SG 28 MIN | 4-9 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 11 PTS | -5Have a rough game shooting from outside (missing some wide open threes), but he was super-active on the offensive glass – those three boards could have been way more if he got a few bounces his way. Played reasonable D and banked in a half-court 3 at the end of the first for good measure.
Dwane Casey
I almost want to give him an F for the sake of continuity/hilarity, but he gets a pass tonight after one of the most fluid offensive games the Raps have played all season. He had a tough job tonight with a severely depleted lineup due to the trade and Hansbrough being injured, and besides one head-scratcher of a lineup late in the third (Stone/Ross/Fields/Novak/Val) that nearly let the Lakers back in the game, he handled it well.

Four Things We Saw

  1. Full reaction for the Rudy Gay trade tomorrow morning from the RR team (or look here or here), but the proof was in the pudding tonight – the Raptors’ ball movement was as good as it’s been all season, and the pick and roll was highlighted tonight more than we’re used to seeing, especially in the first half. Were it not for some awful-even-for-the-Raps three-point shooting (they went a horrifying 4-26 as a team), this would have been a blowout.
  2. In his return, Kobe Bryant looked more than a step slow – often, his passes looked telegraphed and got picked off numerous times and some of his shots were absolute bricks. That said, it’s great for the NBA that he’s back, and he showed enough of himself tonight that I’m confident he’ll return to some semblance of his old form once he gets his legs back under him. #MambaNation
  3. In his last three games, Amir Johnson has gone for 16 and 10, 22 and 7, and now 32 and 10. If the Rudy trade is the first step towards a tank, expect Masai to bring Amir into his office, and for him to go down with a suspicious injury sooner rather than later. He’s still getting better, which is incredible.
  4. This happened. And it was glorious.
  • AB4EYE

    Trading Rudy is no doubt bad for the tank, teams actually have to respect all 5 guys on the floor might attempt to score rather than just look to limit Rudy and DeMar and know they can win. Amazing what no Rudy bricks and a shorter bench even with lesser players can do for a team. Unfortunately I’m sure once the full roster returns Casey will go back to using too many bench players.

    Kobe sucked in his first game back but still to have bad bench play and get nothing from the starting SF and Center and go into LA and win by 12 should have the Kings looking to void this deal.

    Amir had a great game but the bad news was it was at the expense of Valanciunas who looks to play far better when paired with Hansbrough so if he’s out for a long time they need to get it ironed out because JV needs to up his game and isn’t going to happen getting 6 shots and playing less than 30 MP.

    • Tanks-a-lot

      JV made Amir’s game possible. It just happened that Amir was super hot as well.

    • Jamshid

      There will be more moves to come. Don’t worry, UM is on a mission to tank. Now, instead of having 1 huge contract to move, he has small traceable pieces that he can move by themselves or by attaching them together. He has many pieces to play with now and get to his goal.

  • Red Baron

    I saw more pick and roll in tonight’s game then the rest of the season put together! Masai for mayor!!

  • Colonel_Hapablapp

    It’s funny. We talk about how the pick-and-roll offense is key to our success, and the first thing that happens when Gay is gone? We have a pick-and-roll offense.

    Great game from Amir. Can’t wait for General Grievis to suit up for the Raps!

    • Nilanka15

      Haha “General Grievis”! Nice.

  • FREEJV

    I wonder whos going tmr lol is there another trade tmr or what masais got me all mindfucked :S

    • AB4EYE

      We moved 3 and got 4 so some type of move will need to go down just to get back to 15 players.

      • FREEJV

        yea i wonder if theres another trade or someone just simply gets waived

        • Louvens Remy

          One of the Stone or Augustin gets waived in my opinion. or maybe Salmons.

  • Jamshid

    Is Amir’s contract non-Guranteed for next year ? How much of it is guaranteed ?

    • Adriiian

      its all guaranteed, i’m 99% sure.

      • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

        It’s a team option for next season. That means it’s not guaranteed.

        • DanH

          It’s not a team option. It’s a partially guaranteed contract. If he is waived, he is guaranteed for 5M of the 7M he is owed. No reason at all to save that 2M.

  • SuperRapFan

    All Hail Raptors Savior Masai!!

  • Amigo

    -Official: JV is a bum. I doesn’t have it. Send him to OKC with Novak and get Adams + reggie Jackson in return

    – Fire Casey and take a serious Coach for the next 4 years

    • FREEJV

      lol df is wrong with you….

      • Amigo

        JV is not good enough, IMO, that’s all. I don’t see any Star in him. Tonite he was bad. He has no enough IQ to be really good. Adams is already better

        • FREEJV

          calm down with that…….

        • Scott Baird

          Ola, amigo… you’re talkin loco…

    • jacobd4

      Adams and Reggie Jackson? Dream big amigo..

    • IMO

      Adams and Reggie for JV… is it Boxing Day sale for Presti already?

    • Tanks-a-lot

      lel
      trolling for comments

      JV is part of the reason Amir had such a good game. JV gets keyed in on by the best interior defender thus freeing up Amir to be his awesome self.

      It’s tough sometimes battling down low and this is the first game where real basketball has been played this season.

      • Amigo

        I m not trolling man. I watched enough games of JV. I don’t see a great player. Decent offensive player but he is terrible on D. Before he got benched tonite he was allowing the come back from LA

        • Tanks-a-lot

          “allowing the come back”

          I hope you pay attention to who he is playing around when you see things like that.

          Pay attention to the points in the paint battle and see that having a real center is the important thing, not whether or not he’s the next Sabonis in awesomeness.

          • Amigo

            @WolstatSun
            As I noted in that piece, nobody’s safe anymore. Ujiri willing to deal anybody for right return. No more untouchables.
            11:30 PM – 8 Dec 2013 –

            I have nothing personal with JV. He is not what everyone hoped to.

            • desktom

              Amigo- The kid is 21 , hes seven foot athletic good free throw shooter and either Casey hates the kid or is coaching him hard. Hes in a different country doesn’t know the language real well and I think he might be able to learn defense, in my estimation we should give him a pass on the not what we hoped for thingy. I just want one coach in Jonases life to absolutely fall in love with him and stand for him no matter what. Same with TR

            • FREEJV

              Can you give me Amirs numbers in his second year in the league…. oh wait did he even step on the court nvm

              • Amigo

                Amir Johnson numbers

                as a sophomore aged 19 15 min 54% fg 4.6 reb 5.9 points

                3rd year aged 20 12 min 56% fg 3.8 reb 3.6 points

                ==============
                so far Valanciunas 27 min 47% fg 1.6 TO 0.9 BLK 0.7 ast
                with a PER 13

                offensive rating 99
                defensive rating 103
                efg% 47
                usage 17%

                • Alex Vostrikov

                  amigo… you are like real estate agent now days. Comparing finger to a “peeeenis”.
                  PLEASE, compare same number for both players. and don’t forget that Val is new in north America. by himself… playing with grown ass men. he will be fine down the road.

            • One relaxed fella

              No one should’ve been untouchable in the first place. It’s bad for the player who is regarded that way and for the rest of the roster. Anyone except top 3-5 players can and should be traded if the right offer comes in. Same thing is with JV, although you’re being too negative about his game. Try to find another starting center (I mean at this point and lets forget the previous draft misfortunes) to replace Jonas. There isn’t one. No team would trade their starting C, unless you’re ok with guys like Plumlee or Robin Lopez. Be more patient. The guy’s ignored by Casey and the rest of the players all the time. First of all, lets see whether the ball actually starts to move or not.

              • Amigo

                You need to trade him before all GMs will notice he is not good enough. His value today is only based on “potential” and to my eyes is fading.

                Adams is one name, Hickson is another. You could trade Nene from Washington sending JV + Novak and having a pick back.

                7 reb in 27 min and bad D is not on yours teammates.

                • One relaxed fella

                  First of all, he is a sophomore, which means he will remain an exciting prospect through his entire second season in nba (if he at least can play like he’s playing now and unless he gets injured), especially because of his position.

                  Second, Adams is worse than Jonas and I believe that OKC would be very much interested to get a long term solution at the C.

                  Third, Hickson is not a natural C and he plays better at 4. I also wouldn’t say he’s that much better than Jonas, although I always kinda liked Hickson.

                  Fourth, Nene is 31 years old PF (again) who can play at 5. But his natural position is PF. He also gets a lot of money (13 mil this year) and personally I think he’s overpaid.

                  Finally, I think that if Raptors will trade Jonas now or later in the season he is a great trade chip and can be used in order to get some very good talent back. But no way I’d go for Nene or Hickson to be your starting C.

        • gradgrind101

          True JV is decent offensively and true he is bad defensively. Problem is he shouldn’t be starting. He needs time to become a better defender. If he was a lazy player who didn’t work on his game I would be worried. He really needs to come off the bench and not start.

  • rtzyyz

    1)what do you do with a one trick pony when he can’t do his trick any more? Take him in the back of the barn and shoot him. Sorry Novak… better find that shot or your fate is sealed.
    2) Casey should get an “F” he did everything in his power to lose this game. Wtf was that line up at the end of the third?
    3) love the ball movement sans gay. Enough said.
    4) I said it before. Trade lowry while value is high. We got Vasquez coming. A pass first PG. Send lowry out while he is playing best ball of his raptor life. I heard Chicago is looking for a PG.
    5) masai is showing that he is really all he was cracked up to me. Bargs then gay… Tommorow fields for a first rounder then he will balance the budget and convince Rob Ford to go to rehab.

    • Tanks-a-lot

      “We got Vasquez coming. A pass first PG.”

      apparently he can’t defend anybody in the NBA at point.

      • Louvens Remy

        Neither can Nash or Calderon, or Jennings or kemba walker and etc. The list is long. Point guard is really hard.

        • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

          There are degrees of poor defense. There’s struggling to defend and being a pylon. Steve Nash in Phoenix struggled to defend. As a Laker, he’s a pylon.

    • FREEJV

      relax guys Novak is still a top 3 shooter in the league hes just off rythm right now

  • Louvens Remy

    I think Kobe is done. He’s never gonna b close to his former self because he’s 35 and tore his Achilles. He’s gonna get old overnight.

  • tonious35

    You know that feeling that is just irritating you and weighing on you for about half of your day and you know you have to go to the bathroom for a major dookie, but some minor things are delaying you for over 3 hrs of the due time. Then you get this window of opportunity for about 2 minutes and you run for the toilet. You sit on the can and let go about 5lbs of a s#$t-storm that you cannot describe, but feeling is like winning a $100,000 lottery.

    That is what the Gay trade-away feels like and how this Raps team looked when they played tonight.

  • Tanks-a-lot

    I like that they won this game. The Raps had not won a game in LA since 2001.

    But now we have 3 more wins than Utah.

  • Raptor_rebel_416

    Man o Man this trade is exactly what the raptors needed sooooo long Rudy

  • ad

    Thats was the most entertaining and unselfish brand of basketblal they’ve played all year. Still a very flawed (and hopefully tanking) team, but its always good to beat the lakers in LA.

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  • FREEJV

    derozan after game: “HEY KOBE TELL ME HOW MY ASS TASTE!”

    • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

      Kobe to DeRozan: “5 Rings, 31, 617 points, 15 All Star games, 1 MVP Award and a first ballot Hall of Famer. Who are you, again?”

      • FREEJV

        Derozan: “im the next kobe”

        • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

          And everyone breaks out laughing.

  • beastmode

    Totally agree with Amigo, JV sucks guys, he’s so slow, so weak, cant back down robert sacre for crying out loud, he’s useless, we should trade him now, while people think he still has some potential…

    • FREEJV

      i bet hes faster than you even as a 7 footer lmao

  • Withnail

    Why even give Casey a grade? Ball movement and offensive flow improved cause we didn’t have Gay the black hole sucking all team chemistry into the NBA nether-regions.

  • TheSpiceTyrant

    If the Lakers had Kamen it would have been very different for AJ. Sacre was bleu’n outta the
    water. TRoss was a C+… nice spin move and half court shot, but otherwise… meh…