Toronto Raptors 85 Final

Recap | Box Score

79 Chicago Bulls
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.

Dwane Casey
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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  • tmk

    Loving the new visitor voting option you added. I was a bit confused and scared when I first saw it, but I figured it out.

  • KJ-B

    GO RAPS!!! UGLY WINS ARE BEAUTIFUL ON THE ROAD!!! Happy New Year to the Republic worldwide… 2014 keep it going!

    • Slurktan

      Looked like he got his funny bone hit and so his hand went numb. I wouldn’t call it scary.

  • roman

    Nice win! Good luck and happy new year to the all raps fans from Lithuania.

  • Tinman

    Had the feeling when Chicago couldn’t pull away that we would come back. Like the grit of this team. Toe to toe with a tough team.

  • Tanks-a-lot

    A+ for JV because that injury scare proves a point about his value

  • rapfan

    Like the fan rating system! Switch A and A- though should be opposite order.

    • arsenalist

      Nice catch. Will fix.

  • AB4EYE

    Good thing the Bulls played yesterday in a battle and the faded int he 4th, bad news we better make the second round in this fools gold east because we are setting the franchise bad years shitting on our assets especially if we add and let Kyle walk.

    I would bet anything Hansbrough hurts somebody over the next few practices like he did one or two times in Indy after getting just 6:30 the night before he plays his old team, and my end up killing someone if it happens again vs the Pacer. He’s got 3 games below 7 MP already this year in 27 games after asking off the Pacers with only one game below 10 MP the last 2 years or 147 games and that game was sill higher than his 3 low games here at 9 MP What’s funny he would give up all the money owed by the club if the league would allow it just for the Raps to cut him since all he wants is PT.

  • Chewwy

    Well written about Demar. That one on five drive he took late in the game showed the lack of court vision and knowledge he has. It looked like he was in the “I’ve got to get some points for my stats” kind of mood. I love how Vasquez bounces back from poor starts. Love watching Lowry be the most positive vocal player on the bench, even though he is a starter. Good teams win the ugly games and tonight certainly was ugly.

  • Chewwy

    I noticed that the officials seemed to think the game ticket/television caption said ” Live from Chicago, 3 referees and a whole lot of whistles” instead of Raptors at Bulls. Way too much focus on calling the most trivial of calls. These guys were brutal.


    Demar was horrible today hes going back to his old ways of not passing

    • Louvens Remy

      He’s figuring it out. He’s got to have his head up off the bounce to make the pass. He doesn’t always trust himself. I noticed that he moves in slow mo but thinks too fast, thus getting paralyzed. It’s a little hitch but hell overcome it. It’s tough being the number one option great win.Yaaaa!

  • tonious35

    Indiana played tonight as well, but they played Cleveland and dominated them to sh#&… They are not tired tomorrow, we are in for it tough tomorrow.

  • Will

    Great game tonight. I love how I actually have confidence in the Raptors going into the 4th quarter now. I know Chicago is a completely different team without Rose, but they’re still good defensively and coming back from down 9 in the third still deserves praise. They actually got the lead up to 12 in the 4th before Chicago made their late push.

  • Adriiian

    lets go raptors! happy new year. great W. demar has to pick it up. bring that earlier form back. think you were a little harsh on a few of the guys.

  • raptorstand

    Worst officiated game I have seen all year. When somebody doesn’t have it on some nights (DD) really good teams have players that step up and take part of the load. Patterson and Vasquez were those players tonight. Great game by a team that found a way to win. Coaching was excellent , defense was amazing, Jonas with some really key rebounds. When Chicago made the run to get it to 3 this team stepped up and acted like they had been there before. Can’t wait for tomorrow .

  • Zig Biv DeVoe

    Maybe it’s the booze talkin, but eff losing and trading our good players and keep winning, I look forward to meeting the republic in the playoffs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Zig Biv DeVoe

    Oh by the way, HAPPY NEW YEARS!!

  • GoingBig

    “Raptors F Amir Johnson was taken out in the second quarter due to a right knee injury, but returned minutes later after going to the locker room for treatment.” – Yahoo
    Tough game against a tough defensive opponent – no three’s to be had

    • Louvens Remy


  • IdolizingClowns

    Happy New Years Raps Fans!

  • Zubair

    Ahhh I love how we are winning…
    I remembers weeks ago arguing over trivial nonsense on this site with tank nation, why it so crucial to lose this year, the reasons the NBA rewards losing, blah, blah, blah
    We are winning baby and it feels damn good! Keep er up Raps
    So happy to see my boys going to work while I’m on vacation in the Karachi slums, and saving up my pennies for them playoff seats!

    • ac1011990

      Nice way to represent your country, like it doesn’t get enough bad press.

      • Grizzly13

        The guy is happy they are winning. What do you know about how he repersents his country. E-thugs will always make me laugh. Most of the people here wouldn’t dare step foot into those slums anyways. Requires kahunas not found talking useless smack online. Let the guy be happy. Negative rascal you

        • Grizzly13

          knowing your type, yo’ll probably jump at the chance to critique anything and everything. So let me fix my spelling for ya. You can now choose to complain about grammar or the state of the place you know nothing about now. Press doesn’t tell ya anything buddy.

          • Grizzly13


        • ac1011990

          I’m Pakistani so I know there’s more to Pakistan then the slums of Karachi. It’s a beautiful place that gets a bad rap. Ya a lot of bad things go on there but the majority of the people are normal. It also has some of the most beautiful sites and places. I’m not a thug nor do I pretend to have an understanding of how he represents the country, but adding the Karachi slums portion was very unnecessary. Obviously it has it’s problems but there’s more to it then what you see on the news. He’s just adding to the negative way the country is perceived for no reason, have a little pride in the place you or your ancestors were born in. Anyways this is is a basketball site so not really an appropriate place to have this convo.

  • Louvens Remy

    I Zahar and double love the Raptors. We can do 4 in a row, right?

  • Roarque

    “Officials rescinded a flagrant foul against Chicago C Nazr Mohammed in the first half after viewing the replay. Mohammad bit on a pump fake and grabbed Toronto C Jonas Valanciunas by the shoulders, spinning him to the ground.”
    I watched the game without sound and we couldn’t figure out why N Mohammed was not assessed a flagrant on the play – what was the rational to the official’s decision. It seemed like the refs were pissing all over Valanciunis in Chicago. Just what the kid needs.
    Sports & Recreation
    Chicago Bulls
    Toronto Raptors
    Luol Deng
    United Center
    Jonas Valanciunas
    Jimmy Butler

  • tdot999

    awful game to watch but the raps battled through! derozan disappeared on us today

  • Quest

    DD may have been off on offence, but he played very good d on Deng and pulled down 8 boards, which is hugh for a sg.

  • steve fisher

    Great 4th Q defense led to gutsy comeback. KL on offense does so many great things especially clutch baskets. Defensively he was -10 again mainly because of a couple of bad HABITS like gambling on D too much trying to help and neither gets done very well. and often results at him running at full speed at and by his check and sometimes fouling on the way back A bigger problem is his getting picked off his check several times a game. Part of the blame for this can be blamed on his team mates who simply have to WARN him. Communication is improving but still has a long way to go! The wings DD and TR had ONE assist each with AJ at ZERO and the TEAM at a totally unacceptable 16. It seems with some of the younger players as long as they get reasonable O stats and win all is well. When as their coach regularly says they have a lot of WORK to do. GO RAPS GO!!!