Quick Reaction

Quick Reaction: Raptors 109, Mavericks 108 (OT)

A statement win against a superior team. The best one yet this year.

Toronto Raptors 109 Final

Recap | Box Score

108 Dallas Mavericks
Amir Johnson, PF 39 MIN | 5-8 FG | 4-6 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 15 PTS | +11Typical, workmanlike effort, which should probably be called “the Amir” at this point. Didn’t stand out, but played his butt off and did a decent job chasing Dirk around all night. Loses marks for taking 3s on back-to-back possessions, but he did hit one.
Jonas Valanciunas, C 35 MIN | 8-13 FG | 2-2 FT | 13 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 18 PTS | -1Take away his defence in the first quarter, where the Mavs paraded into the lane seemingly at will, and this was his best game of the season. The Mavs dared him to shoot his jumper, and he did with success, showcasing it along with a few nifty post moves. I know he’s a work in progress, but he’s already an elite rebounder – there were a couple possessions tonight that he saved with second and third effort attempts.
Kyle Lowry, PG 41 MIN | 7-16 FG | 3-3 FT | 5 REB | 6 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 20 PTS | -7The straw that stirs the drink. Carried the Raptor offence in the early going, taking the ball at Jose repeatedly. I love his effort level both on the defensive end and rebounding, especially offensively.
DeMar DeRozan, SG 42 MIN | 6-18 FG | 2-3 FT | 7 REB | 9 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 6 TO | 15 PTS | +1Jekyll and Hyde kind of game for him. Some of his shot attempts were just terrible, he had six turnovers, and that 6 for 18 line sure is an ugly one, but he was effective in spite of that by distributing and being active on D. It’s a sign of his maturation that he can have gross games like this offensively and still merit a B grade – last year, a 6 for 18 would almost guarantee a D or F.
Terrence Ross, SG 30 MIN | 5-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 15 PTS | +10A great shooting performance – he looked comfortable from outside the 3-point line, and knocked down a few key ones. If he can keep this up, he’ll thrive in the new pass-happy Raptor offence. I would have liked to see him in the game late instead of Salmons, but I guess you can’t argue with the result.
Tyler Hansbrough, PF 5 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -4Didn’t get much run, but didn’t hurt the team when he was in there. Didn’t do much for the team either, though, hence the C.
Patrick Patterson, PF 25 MIN | 3-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 7 PTS | -6Had a rough time defensively in spurts, but I do like the different looks he brings to the team offensively. Had a few nice moves around the hoop, reminding us that he can do things other than shoot from long-range.
Chuck Hayes, PF 2 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +2He came, he saw, he missed a bunny and that was all the run he got. Jersey’s looking good on him, though.
John Salmons, SF 32 MIN | 2-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | -4The defence was solid, as usual, but I’m not a fan of the way he falls into hero-ball a couple times a game. The two shots he did hit were key ones in the fourth and overtime, though. Casey trusts him late in games because of his D, and to be fair, he seems to play more within himself when the game’s on the line.
Greivis Vasquez, PG 15 MIN | 6-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | +3Rebounded nicely from a dismal shooting performance against the Bobcats. Was key early in the fourth with a string of heat-check shots, but he quickly went cold and got rightly pulled before he shot the team out of the game. I’m still not sure whether I like the two point guard lineup that Casey seems determined to stick with.
Dwane Casey
The best coached Raptor game of the year, and it’s not really even close. Made excellent adjustments as the game went on, allowing the Raptors to climb out of their early hole by refocusing the interior defence and shifting the Raptor O to be more pick-and-roll heavy. The only decision I didn’t agree with was playing Salmons over Ross in the fourth and OT, but hindsight is 20/20 and the Raptors won.

Three Things We Saw

  1. A gutty effort by an outgunned Raptor squad tonight. It’s their first win in overtime this season, as well as their first – finally – against a team with a winning record.
  2. Dirk Nowitzki is still so, so good. Every time he puts up a shot, you think it’s going in. A throwback game from Jose Calderon as well, who paced the Mavericks late in the game with some unreal 3-point shooting.
  3. Tim will address this more fully in his post-game tomorrow, I’m sure, but this game was a great indication of why the team is so much better off with their new distribution-heavy playing style. Playing hero ball through the first 20 minutes of the game had the Raptors down 19, but they refocused and managed to scratch and claw their way back into the game. I wouldn’t say it was a standout game by any single Raptor, but as a team, this was a statement win. Guts and guile abounded.
  4. Felt like I needed to throw this in here, somehow.
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