Somebody had to win. The Raptors turned it on in the fourth to snag the victory.

Toronto Raptors 95 FinalRecap | Box Score 83 New York Knicks
Amir Johnson, PF Shot Chart 27 MIN | 3-6 FG | 1-1 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 7 PTS | +18Uncharacteristically lethargic at times, but he was great in the fourth quarter. Made a really nice pass to Jonas under the basket (led to a lay-in from JV) and had a huge tip-in to seal the game for the Raptors. The numbers are a bit on the low side but he was clutch. Played some really nice defense on both Bargnani and Chandler

Jonas Valanciunas, C Shot Chart 36 MIN | 7-11 FG | 2-4 FT | 18 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 16 PTS | +10Welcome to the spotlight! After a few sloppy turnovers to start the game, Jonas dominated the Knicks frontline. Lowry hit him for a couple of nice screen-and-rolls which was just manna from heaven. Nobody on the Knicks could handle him on the glass. Had a key dunk with around 2 minutes left to stretch the Raptors lead to 10.

Kyle Lowry, PG Shot Chart 38 MIN | 4-10 FG | 5-8 FT | 4 REB | 11 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 15 PTS | +6What a show-off. Lowry gave the tortured Knicks fans a peek at what competent point guarding looks like. He did a great job facilitating all night long. Missed free throws are a bit uncharacteristic as he was shooting 97.7% on FT in December coming into the game, but it was another great game from Lowry tonight. Caveat: being covered by Udrih helped.

DeMar DeRozan, SG Shot Chart 36 MIN | 7-13 FG | 9-14 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 25 PTS | +16Sparked the Raptors offense in the second half. He repeatedly drove to the rim and was rewarded with FT. Decent shot selection. He’s looking much more comfortable as the safety valve for the offense. He looked calm and collected with the ball tonight. A bit shaky on defense as he was consistently taken out of the play by screens, but it was a mere blemish on a solid effort.

Terrence Ross, SG Shot Chart 23 MIN | 4-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 11 PTS | -10He knocked down open looks and he played some decent defense. Lost minutes to Salmons down the stretch once again because Casey seems to trust Salmons more but Ross did what he was asked to. Scored 8 points in the third to keep the Raptors afloat.

Tyler Hansbrough, PF Shot Chart 13 MIN | 0-2 FG | 4-4 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | +4“He fouls a tonne. He’s scrappy. He’s all arms and legs. He gets rebounds. He gets fouled. He provokes opponents. He backs down from bigger/scarier players. He’s a pest. He’s our pest.” – Copy and past for all subsequent blurbs for Hansbrough

Patrick Patterson, PF Shot Chart 20 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 2 PTS | -8Just an awful game. Passed up a bunch of good looks and missed badly on the shots he did take. Terrible defense in the post as he let Bargs “go off” in the first half. Worst game for Patterson in a Raptors uni.

John Salmons, SF Shot Chart 30 MIN | 4-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 11 PTS | +16Great on-ball defense in the fourth on the Knicks’ wings (mostly JR). Hit a three to give the Raptors the lead in the fourth. He had a weird stretch where he opted to go ISO on two straight possessions but he was instrumental in tonight;s win.

Greivis Vasquez, PG Shot Chart 16 MIN | 1-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | +8His jumper was off. Had a lot of good looks and just couldn’t sink them. Hit one of his patented floaters in the lane for his only basket.

Dwane Casey
I would give him a higher score but his team came out flatter than a Bargnani jumper to start the game. Otherwise he was solid. Managed time-outs and rotations very well in the second half. Made the decision to roll with big lineups against the Knicks’ smallball lineups which was really smart (also JV forced his hand by being so good tonight). I know people will be mad with his decision to play Salmons over Ross, but the man is mandated to win first, develop talent second.

Five Things We Saw

  1. SO. MANY. TURNOVERS. Both teams combined for 15 TO in the first quarter. It was disgusting. Here’s a Amir throwing a bullet pass to the ref. Here’s professional basketball players playing professional basketball. I know the Raptors haven’t played since Dec 23rd, but this was ugly.
  2. Bargnani looked like he was going to have his #RevengeGame tonight. He came out on fire, piling up 10 points, 5 rebounds and 2 fantastic weak-side blocks in the first quarter. Annnnnnddd then he turned back into a pumpkin and finished with 18/12 on 6/17 shooting. #TakeThatMasai!
  3. It was very weird to see the Raptors “turn it on” in the fourth tonight. They played like crap for 3, but they outscored the Knicks 29-12 in the final frame to earn the victory. I had no idea that the Raptors could shift it into gear for winning time. I thought only good teams could do that?
  4. Iman Shumpert’s jumper is broken. He looked extremely hesitant to shoot it and he bricked a whole array of open jumpers. I don’t know what happened to him. He’s was so productive over the last two seasons.
  5. Also, the Knicks point guards were Udrih and Toure’ Murray. Yup. You’re telling me that the Knicks WON’T give up a 1st and Shump for Lowry? Okay. Have fun when Melo leaves.

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  • Age

    That was a tough one to watch. the knicks are BAD and if that Raps would have played a quality team tonight, they would have been down much, much more than the 9pts they were down tonght. Great game JV

    • arsenalist

      I was actually contemplating dropping JV from my fantasy team tonight because he was going up against Chandler. Go away bad thoughts, go away!

      • cesco

        Chandler stunk the joint last night and JV was being defended a lot by the guards due to switching .

        • ckh26

          Good on us for exploiting errors by the kinicks

  • Ian Reynolds

    Looks like Colangelo is a few months away from giving Shumpert 3/18 to draw Steve Nash over.

  • SuperRapFan

    Please welcome Your Atlantic Division leading Toronto Raptors, we’re coming for that 3-seed.

    • FREEJV

      Al horford tore his pec he ll be out like 6 months #3rdseedbaby

    • StrikerAI

      This team has no chance at tanking anymore, might as well start cheering for the Playoffs. Atleast we know we can win a Playoff series against Charlotte, Washington or Detroit.

      • FREEJV

        bro noone catchin milwaukee in the tank race

      • DrFunk

        i feel like charlotte always beats us the past 5 years

  • SuperRapFan

    Please welcome Your Atlantic Divison Leading Toronto Raptors, we’re coming for that 3-seed.

  • Adriiian

    Another great comeback road victory. Jonas is turning it on. DeRozan could have played a little better. He’s been missing a lot of threes. Lowry playing on another level, maybe we should keep him. Amir and Salmons contributed when it counted. Ross hitting shots when needed as well.
    Glad we got the W. Things are clicking in TO.

    • GetLicks

      DD was more efficient and was 2/5 from 3, same as Lowry. Only thing he missed a lot were FTs. Great game overall though

      • DDayLewis

        Yup, and two of those missed FT was right after he got shaken up in a collision.

        • Tanks-a-lot

          he got a knee to the back of his head on that play.

      • Slick

        Some people think guys will go 5/5 at three every game. Derozan had a solid game. Will continue to get better.

  • arsenalist

    I thought Patterson had some moments on defense. The Raps basically used PP and Salmons to pressure the PGs, especially J.R Smith in high screen situations. Worked out well because J.R can’t think.


    Sorry but Amir doesnt deserve an A this game he got outplayed AND OUTREBOUNDED BY BARGNANI are u kidding me amir….

    • arsenalist
      • FREEJV

        we wouldnt be in that situation if he didnt let Bargnani outplayhim early on but we ll see how he responds tmr

      • AB4EYE

        We would have won without that play as NY scored 2 fewer points total than what we had when he made the play. While I’m not sure we would have won if Casey didn’t bench Amir down 11 just 4 min into the 3rd with Bargnani already owning a Double-Double of 16 and 10 on him like he did.


    3 more injury news today guys: Beal, Westbrook and Horford. thank god we got Alex to take care of our players strength and conditioning

  • robertparrish00

    Whats the over/under on Chandler killing one of his teamates this season?

    • cesco

      Best thing he could do is kill Woodson because Dolan would not do it ( fire him ) .

  • Rick

    Overall great article and grades!

  • jjdynomite

    What’ll happen first: FLUXLAND coming on to say that he was predicting JV was a wasted draft pick only to motivate him from afar… or TIM W. coming on to announce that his prediction for the Raptors dismal record is null and void after the Gay trade?

    /dumbass defeatists should get off the Raptors bandwagon.

    • Tanks-a-lot

      Isn’t it nice to have a quality offensive center that also gobbles up boards for 4th quarter defense and is a great option to finish with scores down low.

      • mountio

        More importantly, isnt it nice to see him get minutes in the 4th … “Vets win games!”

    • Bill

      If 1+1 = 2 and you take out one of the 1s for a 10, does it still sum up to 2?

      • ckh26

        It does if your the NDP finance critic..

        • Bill

          LOL. Well played.


      Are you all excited about his numbers vs a NYK team that shot under 40% and vs the corpse of Ty Chandler?

      /dumbass blind homer fanboys should watch the game and pay attention against who he’s putting up “monster numbers”

      • matty

        how about you watch how he hung with tim duncan of the spurs or with perkins and ibaka of the thunder. you need to pay attention, and realize that bigs don’t usually develop as fast as JV is, and that his weaknesses (communication on defence, good positioning on offence) are improving at a rate that Coach Casey is comfortable with, which is why he has earned his PT in the 4th quarter over the last 2 weeks.

  • rtzyyz

    I would finally give casey a decent grade for two reasons.
    1) he finally let JV play some decent minutes and the guy had a monster game. Which is great for my fantasy team.
    2) I was waiting for the wtf moment where casey decides to put in Novak for JV or fields for lowry…but it never came…so I find myself having a different kind of wtf moment…casey finally didn’t screw it up…but he should still be canned.

    Lastly, I said it before and I will say it again…I’m enjoying watching the raps again after suffering for so long. Great fight in this team and fun ball.
    #go raps

  • Colonel_Hapablapp

    “Lowry has been playing well lately. Maybe he wants out of Toronto!”
    Never liked Mike Breen, but this quote during the game made me despise him.

    • moe

      when your team is sad as the knicks, i would also insult my opponents to help with my deflated self-esteem

  • ad

    Man, the knicks are soooo bad. Like REALLY fucking bad. Its like beating up on a dleague team. I Still think making playoffs is fools gold this season.

    • ckh26

      If we don’t trade kyle… and all we have to beat is the likes of the Knicks and Celtics why is fools gold to think we could win the division and make the Playoffs ?

      Its sports.. when you have your opponent in a position where you are able to take him out…. you do it.. hard… then kick him again to make sure he doesn’t get up off the floor and do it to you.

  • Louvens Remy

    We came. We saw. We conquered. On to the next. 2 in a row coming up. Closer to .500
    Let’s do this. Pile up them wins.

  • AB4EYE

    I don’t tend to say much about the grades but that Amir and Tyler grade should be swapped at least! Tyler got 4 points on one shot, the score keeper claimed 2 shots but he credited one of Patrick Patterson misses to Hansbrough as shown here in his video stats reel.

    He also picked up 7 rebounds in just 13:17 of play which is just under a 19 rebound PER36 pace and most importantly he changed the flow of the game. Amir got benched with 4:06 gone in the 3rd for letting Bargnani beast a double-double on him. We were down 11 when Hansbrough was at the table and then all momentum flipped and he checked out at the end of the 3rd down just 5.

    If we aren’t going to tank here to hoping DC stops playing his fellow Kentucky player Patrick Patterson so much because he’s tanktackular with one of the worst plus/minus on team since coming over while guys like Tyler and Salmons on his same unit always are having solid +/- showings.

  • Hassan Mehmood Khan

    Monster game by the future allstar JV

  • Amigo

    No Man’s Land again.
    The GM had the opportunity to blow the Team and get a Top 3 draft pick while developing those few young players. Instead it will end with at best a 1st round exit, Lowry leaving for nothing and DD asking to be traded.
    But knowing Raptors luck, 9th spot here we come !

    • ac1011990

      Pro mediocre better pray Lowry doesn’t get injured. This team will be completely useless without him. You know your team is in a bad state when your relying on salmons for vet presence and making plays down the stretch. I liked Masai’ first few moves, but he really messed this one up. Now if he blows things up people are going to go into a frenzy thinking we were a legitimately good team. Your right back to no mans land we go 🙁

  • Cameron Becker

    I’m content with him playing Salmons down the stretch (Even though Salmons has done very little for years, it was quite obvious Casey would fall in love with him and play him all the time), as long as he keeps starting Ross and plays him 24 or so mins a night, sometimes he’ll get more. I can live with that.

    • cdub

      the problem I had is Ross scored 8 pts in the 3rd including the last 5 before getting yanked for the rest of the game, never saw the floor again and there was about 15 minutes left in the game at that point. Not sure what kind of message that sends him. If Ross is playing bad then by all means but Casey benches him regardless drives me nuts.

  • mountio

    Good win .. the Knicks stink (especially without Carmelo) – the fact we had a chance to lose is embarrassing.
    Pretty generous on the Amir grade – if we are all buying into the whole “hes our best player, I wouldnt trade him for a top first round pick next year” stuff – then 6 and 5 doesnt cut it for an A-. If you properly rate him as our 5th best guy .. then maybe it does.
    Also, for the “theres no way were tanking now!” crowd … lets not forget that despite the best winning streak I can remember around here in a long time, we are 12-15 … hardly fantastic. If we want to finish bottom five, its still very doable

    • ckh26

      As a fan with my heart on my sleeve I don’t want to do it. (tank) I really don’t . Its great to see the W’s mount up especially against the likes of the Knicks and Celtics. I want to see the Raps in the playoffs and into round 2.

      But my head says that we are going to sell uber high on Kyle (there is the DNA of BC out there in other GM’s who will do the ready fire aim thought process to make a deal for the sake of making a deal) and when that trade happens the W’s will begin to space themselves out. Kyloe makes this thing go right now. Without him the others will struggle. GV won’t be as bad as what we had but he won’t be “Kyle on a roll” that we have right now. .

      Why sell out ?. We pretty much have to sell out as Kyle can walk for nothing at the end of the year. Getting a 1st and a player for a rental is just too much to pass up. We could could pass it up it the decision gets made to resign him this year to an extension. If Ujurui arrives at that particular conclusion then strap on the belts for what could be a great ride into the post season and some serious finger pointing and mudslinging between the Tank and anti-tank forces in raptorland..

      • mountio

        Agree completely that Lowry has been our best player the last little while and the reason we have won these games, but if we have no plans on resigning him (knowing what it will probably take – $10m/seasonish) – then we should absolutely trade him for whatever we can get in return. It just doesn’t make sense at all. The DD argument is a totally different one … I can see not wanting to trade him because you have several years of potential benefits to come (if you buy into his potential). But KL is very clear – either plan to sign him long term or trade him now – nothing else makes sense.

        • ckh26

          OK.. GM Mountio.. your on the clock…. its your opinion so you can’t be wrong.

          Offer comes in from team “x” for Kyle. Its a first round pick that would be in the 11 to 14 range and a young player still on his rookie deal that would be a 3rd to 5th guy off the bench.

          You have the budget to sign Kyle and his agent says he will would take it … Its a 4 year term at 34M or a cap hit of 8.5M per year..

          Which one do you do… ?

          • mountio

            You are asking the right question … and its not an easy one to answer as that would be a really tough decision, especially assuming KL was dedicated to staying in TO and excited about the team (which would presumably mean JV, DD and TR have developed nicely).
            As much as it hurts short term (especially as we sit here at half time in a very well played half against NYK, especially by KL), I would make the trade. Its just the right thing to do long term and a draft pick next year (along with our own, which would be higher if we trade KL now) create a nice nucleus with DD, JV and TR (and AJ as a glue guy). AJ and DD provide enough experience – dont need more than that.
            Also, an alternative would be to trade DD and keep KL if you got a first rounder for DD – id be ok with that too – but dont need to keep both at ~$10 mm / year.
            Also – small footnote, but I think your relative values are very close, but its probably gonna be more like $10 mm / year and probably more like a pick in the 15-25 range that we can get

            • ckh26

              OK…. I’d do it if it was in the 10-15 range (iether 2014 or 2015) and a rotation player in a postiion we can upgrade.. If not.. I’d be ok with 10M only if its 3 years and team option on a 4th.
              This after the dismantling of the Knicker-suckers.

  • Red Baron

    We are watching JV’s game finally start to mature. He’s almost too hyper/amped-up each game this season trying to cram 36 minutes of production into 18 and looking over his shoulder every time he made an error. Now that he realizes he’s earned coaches trust and is going to log major minutes, he is starting to settle down. I see the most growth coming on the defensive end as he isn’t getting torched in pick and rolls or missing help rotations like he was early on. If he and Ross continue a gradual upward climb this season we’ll be in great shape. Also, abit sad to see Fields sink completely out of the rotation. Even against his old squad he didn’t get a single minute. I might be overly optimistic when it comes to Landry, but I still think there is some rookie-season Fields still ready to breakout in his game, though the way Salmons and Ross are playing, I don’t see any minutes coming his way. Need this 2nd one against NY tonight as @Chicago/vsIndiana is tough back-to-back (even with Chicago beat-up, you know they will be looking for some payback0.

    • mountio

      Unfortunately, for a SG/SF, shooting the ball outside of 4 feet is a necessary requirement of the job. Thus. I dont see LF getting minutes any time soon barring injury…