Somebody had to win. The Raptors turned it on in the fourth to snag the victory.
|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.|
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
- 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.
- 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!
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.