|Amir Johnson, PF Shot Chart 28 MIN | 1-4 FG | 7-8 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 9 PTS | -4Had to run around to check Taj Gibson, found himself suffocated offensively but his length bothered Boozer (who is terrible). New Year’s Eve Plans: Visit local sweatshop to promote new Nike’s.|
|Jonas Valanciunas, C Shot Chart 38 MIN | 5-10 FG | 5-6 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 15 PTS | +8He needs to take that jumper because team’s are now just giving it to him, tonight they fell for the fake just once (a play he dunked on). Didn’t get enough touches in the first half but managed to keep himself busy with Noah by limiting him, including on a close-range play with 27 seconds left. Connected well with Vasquez in the fourth where he also got some touches. Must be nice to play the fourth quarter for a change, eh? Injured his arm a bit, not sure what’s up with that. New Year’s Eve Plans: Neighbourhood butcher shop bake sale.|
|Kyle Lowry, PG Shot Chart 32 MIN | 4-10 FG | 2-4 FT | 4 REB | 6 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 13 PTS | -10Kept the Raptors in it by hitting timely threes. Only sour moments game against Augustin, but showed leadership on the court, bigged up his teammates, and was very vocal. New Year’s Eve Plans: XL Poutine|
|DeMar DeRozan, SG Shot Chart 36 MIN | 3-12 FG | 5-7 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 11 PTS | +4Lack of vision on drives was apparent today, he needs to be way more cognizant of where his teammates are and what the passing angles need to be when he drives. Got frustrated with the officiating (which was brutal) but didn’t give them enough reasons to respect him tonight. New Year’s Eve Plans: Anger Management Class.|
|Terrence Ross, SG Shot Chart 29 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 6 PTS | +6Had his troubles with Deng in the first half and the ball seemed to get stuck with him too often. Ran the channels nicely on the break a couple times, but overall a weak game against similar-types. New Year’s Eve Plans: Jump shot practice.|
|Tyler Hansbrough, PF Shot Chart 7 MIN | 1-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | -6Got in there and managed to not kill anyone. Hit a mid-range jumper at some point but Casey just didn’t feel comfortable with the Gibson matchup (which didn’t work out in the second quarter). New Year’s Eve Plans: Stare in mirror, twitching.|
|Patrick Patterson, PF Shot Chart 23 MIN | 4-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | +14I’m loving mini-John Wallace, his mid-range game is what Ed Davis lacked and he seems to be a Brandon Bassish-type guy that pops up out of nowhere to score key baskets, which he did in the fourth. Most surprisingly, I’m loving his defensive effort. New Year’s Eve Plans: Plant a petunia at the local community garden.|
|John Salmons, SF Shot Chart 31 MIN | 4-8 FG | 0-2 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | +2Hated his second quarter when he took a lot jumpers out of the team context. Fared better in the second half included a key three from the corner. Was more consistent defensively in the second half, forcing Deng and Hinrich into uncomfortable situations and contesting Butler nicely late on. Didn’t present himself well on a key inbound play which the Raptors turned over on, and blew two late FTs which, thankfully for him, didn’t come back to haunt anyone. New Year’s Eve Plans: Local Pantomime Theater|
|Greivis Vasquez, PG Shot Chart 16 MIN | 4-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | +16Had the quarter of his life in the fourth. From pull-up threes to pick ‘n roll play that’ll make John Stockton blush. Even saw a double-team which he negotiated for a Salmons three. He built that early fourth quarter lead, it helps that Hinrich is slower than molasses and that he wasn’t matched up with Augustin in the fourth. New Year’s Eve Plans: Tango dancing on the north side of Chicago.|
I love the fact that he’s learned when to call a timeout and actually play Jonas Valanciunas. The zone he deployed in the third was very effective, and so were some of his out-of-TO plays (except that Amir one late on).
Five Things We Saw
- Raps bench outscored Bulls’ 10-5 in the first, but got outscored 5-20 in the second. Taj Gibson really hurt them along with D.J Augustin.
- Jonas Valanciunas is getting the short end of the stick on a lot of calls, credit to him for still playing defense. Lots of guys lose focus in those situations, he doesn’t.
- Kyle Lowry and John Salmons are, at times, defensive rocks on this team. If both those two guys are on the court, you kind of know that the wing defense is taken care of.
- We saw lots more pick ‘n roll action in this game, and the most effective combo had to be Vasquez and Valanciunas. I thought the Bulls sort of screwed up in the fourth by not putting Augustin up against Vasquez and sticking with the slower Hinrich. It was a game-changer.
- Loving the grit of this team – coming back from down 9 late in the third quarter to win. Chicago aren’t world-beaters, but they’re a good defensive team that make you earn everything. The Raptors easily could’ve folded, but chose to hang tough, contest the paint on every drive, and not get discouraged by some questionable officiating. They’re not tanking. Happy New Year.