A fun game between two members of the Atlantic division. I’m serious!
|Amir Johnson, PF 37 MIN | 8-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 17 PTS | +19Amazing game from Amir. Recipient of excellent passes in the first quarter. Hit two outside jumpers tonight (including a three). Worked the pick and roll with Vasquez and hit the boards. Played awesome defense in the paint tonight, providing excellent help defense while also stymieing Hawes in the paint. Just a fantastic performance from Johnson. The Gay trade has done him wonders.|
|Jonas Valanciunas, C 32 MIN | 3-10 FG | 6-6 FT | 13 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 12 PTS | -7Pretty quiet double-double, but he had his moments. The team looked for him early and he drew two fouls on his first two possessions in the game. Schooled by Hawes on a few occasions (blocked twice on one play), but he held his own. A sight for sore eyes: scored off a screen-and-roll in the first with Lowry.|
|Kyle Lowry, PG 34 MIN | 2-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 11 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | +21Didn’t shoot the ball all that well, but he did a wonderful job facilitating the offense tonight. Pushed the tempo when he needed to and got the ball to the right players. Helped the Raptors jump out to an early lead with 5 assists in the first. I’m really going to miss having him in Toronto. He’s not the ideal point guard, but he’s damn good and I wish him well.|
|DeMar DeRozan, SG 40 MIN | 9-19 FG | 7-9 FT | 5 REB | 6 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 27 PTS | +24Hasn’t really missed a beat since Gay’s trade. Remember all that talk of “oh, Demar will turn back into a pumkin when opposing defenses gameplan around him instead of Gay”? Yeah, didn’t happen tonight. Had the whole
|Terrence Ross, SG 34 MIN | 10-16 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 24 PTS | -2Season high in points. Money all night long from the right corner. He looked great in the starting unit and was the recipient of a couple Demar Derozan drive+kicks. If he can shoot the ball like he did tonight while providing energy on the defensive end, maybe the Raptors don’t need Shumpert/THJ.|
|Tyler Hansbrough, PF 9 MIN | 0-2 FG | 2-4 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | +4Not the greatest showing tonight. Looked a little hesitant to bang bodies in the paint given his injury. Still drew fouls and looked like a maniac. Also, terrible haircut.|
|Patrick Patterson, PF 19 MIN | 1-5 FG | 3-3 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | 0Jumper looked off, slow on defense, ground-bound. Hoping for more out of this guy, but early returns are not positive.|
|John Salmons, SF 20 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 3 PTS | -3Why did he even play? Looked decent handling the ball, but didn’t do a whole lot. I sincerely hope he’s not going to be stealing minutes from Ross going forward.|
|Greivis Vasquez, PG 17 MIN | 5-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 12 PTS | -16Say hello to your latest point-guard controversy. Greasy Baskets looked great tonight. Every time he initiated the offense, it was a pick-and-roll/pop. Hit two threes to help the Raptors pull away. The assist totals are a bit low as the Raptors missed some open shots. I’m excited for this guy.|
No matter what grade I give this man, people still complain in the comments, but here’s an explanation anyway. The good: He cleared the “iso-wing” plays out of his offense, and ran a whole bunch of PnR for Vasquez (and even Lowry). The bad: putting Amir on the bench in the fourth (which let Philly back into the game), giving some of Ross’ minutes to Salmons.
Five Things We Saw
- Greivis Vasquez is all about the pick-and-roll. Jonas and Amir are going to love playing with this guy. He’s not the fastest, but he has a subtle, yet effective change of pace game. Crowd loved him tonight, and rightfully so. I wouldn’t mind if the Raptors resigned him at a reasonable price to play back-up.
- Amir Johnson has come alive since the Gay trade. He’s averaged 20 ppg on 74% shooting from the field in his last four games. He’s moving well without the ball and he’s putting himself in good position to score. I know people will want to ship him out to accelerate the tank, but Amir Johnson is a very good player on a very reasonable contract. Masai, if you’re reading this, don’t trade him. Please?
- In other trading news, the Knicks lost AGAIN to the Celtics and the Knicks guards had a combined 12 total points. Yes, they played 6 guards tonight.
- This was easily the best game I’ve ever seen from Terrence Ross. He looked very confident shooting the ball, both from spotting up in the corner to pulling up from midrange. If he continues to perform like he did tonight, the starting SG/SF slot vacated by Gay is his.
- Apparently a twitter war has broken out amongst members of the New York Knicks media over whether or not Masai Ujiri won the Bargnani deal. Lulz.