Indiana Pacers 82 Final

Recap | Box Score

95 Toronto Raptors
Amir Johnson, PF Shot Chart 32 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 6 PTS | +4Played hard-nosed defense against the formidable Pacers front-line. Didn’t put up big numbers but he didn’t have to.

Jonas Valanciunas, C Shot Chart 31 MIN | 5-10 FG | 3-4 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 13 PTS | +12Went toe-to-toe with Roy Hibbert on both ends of the floor. Got schooled a bit early on, but he got Hibbert to rack up fouls (he eventually fouled him out). Showed some poise in the paint. He was huge.

Kyle Lowry, PG Shot Chart 34 MIN | 4-9 FG | 4-4 FT | 4 REB | 14 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 13 PTS | +19This dude is going to get paaaaid this offseason. Look at those assist numbers. He did a great job facilitating, getting the ball into the right hands at the right time. Also drew two key charges, including one on Hibbert that resulted in him fouling out. Amazing.

DeMar DeRozan, SG Shot Chart 39 MIN | 9-24 FG | 8-9 FT | 9 REB | 3 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 26 PTS | +11Demar did his best Rudy Gay impression. He was crap through 3 quarters, missing makeable shots and settling for jumpers, but he hit some huge buckets in the fourth to help the Raptors pull away. Shooting percentage looks ugly, but don’t hold it against him tonight. He’s exhausted and he was guarded by George.

Terrence Ross, SG Shot Chart 38 MIN | 6-12 FG | 4-4 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 18 PTS | +8He’s playing the best ball of his career right now. He’s so confident in that jumper of his. He also did a beautiful job covering Paul George tonight, limiting the budding superstar to 5-14 shooting and 6 TO. Why isn’t there an A plus-plus?

Tyler Hansbrough, PF Shot Chart 16 MIN | 2-2 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 5 PTS | +3Rebounds, hustles, misses chippies at the rim, gets his own chippies at the rim, gets fouled, hits some of his FT, stomps around angrily, picks up a tech, draws a tech, fires up the crowd. Embrace him – he is your Toronto Raptors personified.

Patrick Patterson, PF Shot Chart 16 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 3 PTS | +7Missed the shots he was supposed to make but he generally played some solid defense. Held the Pacers in check along with Hansbrough which allowed JV and Amir to stay fresh.

John Salmons, SF Shot Chart 19 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 5 PTS | +7Ehh, I don’t know what to say. Played some good defense at times but he has ugly ISO-ball tendencies. Didn’t hit his shots tonight, but he will keep taking them in the next game. Ross took his minutes tonight.

Greivis Vasquez, PG Shot Chart 14 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | -6Whatever he gives you on offense, he gives back on defense.

Dwane Casey
Is he turning the corner? He ran a couple of very nice plays tonight. Pin-downs for Ross for spot-up jumpers? More of that, please. Also called some timely TO’s tonight. I’m at a loss for words

Five Things We Saw

  1. I said it earlier, but I have have to say it again: Jonas Valanciunas went toe-to-toe with Roy Hibbert tonight. Hibbert is arguably the best center in the NBA. He exercised the “principle of verticality” and challenged many shots at the rim. So much potential!
  2. The Pacers came out of halftime with a mind to kill, but the Raptors simply wouldn’t go away. Casey called a quick timeout after the Pacers went on a run and righted the ship. Every time the Pacers looked like they were about to pull away, the Raptors would have an answer – a Ross three, a JV in the paint. They fought tooth and nail with the Pacers and outlasted them.
  3. Ballsy move by Casey to keep Lowry on the bench until 4:30 left in the game. Vasquez was slow as molasses and Indiana was able to exploit his lack of quickness. Could have gone bad but Lowry looked fresh when he re-entered.
  4. Demar was so clutch tonight. It wasn’t the most optimal shot selection (a smattering of long-twos), but he hit them so what can you say? He scored 10 points in the fourth and buried the Pacers. Maybe he can close games for the Jays this summer?
  5. My game notes for tonight’s game

  • Junior Qamar

    Raptors r for real

  • doncity

    stank nation knows zip about basketball – tank you very much please tip your waitress

  • tweed8

    Both teams off back to backs. That was a legit win tonight! Beautiful game!

    • tonious35

      And, Indiana had NO INJURIES, even Granger came back and is putting on his Kevin Martin impression. Matched up with the win from OKC.

      • tweed8

        It’s a beautiful thing. No one can say Indiana was hurt or too tired -both teams played back to back, both teams had to fly in- or that they were just bad tonight and that’s what makes this win so damn special.

        • BobLobLaw

          Well, the Pacers were bad tonight. That doesn’t take much from the Raptors, they were still healthy and there are no excuses. But the Pacers defense was crap. They are NBA’s best transition defense in many years, and they were giving up transition after transition after transition last night. Lance Stephenson was getting stuck on every screen, and George didn’t look good on D either.
          Why that happened, I don’t know.

          • tweed8

            Meh. The Raps still played hard and earned that win. I don’t like looking at every Raptors’ win with the eye that the other team merely played bad… That’s a little unfair for a team playing their hearts out.

  • Tinman

    Well what do we do now.

    • hotshot

      keep it going baby just win!!

    • tweed8

      Sip some grape drink.

    • Tinman

      I guess we wait for Tim’s inevitable article about why these last stretch of games is the worst thing to happen to the Raps since Rob Babcock

  • Age

    Gotta give credit to Casey and targeting Hibbert into foul trouble. That was the key to the game as we were able to drive to basket and take the lead in the 3rd qtr.

  • Louvens Remy

    Amir deserves an A.

    • Age

      Amir always deserves an A. Always showing heart in his play

    • webfeat

      I think he’s being graded on a different scale. He has so many great nights, his A nights look like Bs.

    • Maputo88

      I gave everybody an A+. We beat the Pacers!!

  • Louvens Remy

    I’m giving all credit to Drake and OVO. #Rapz

  • JRedmond14

    Couldn’t tell if T Ross became Paul George tonight or not ?!?!

    • Louvens Remy

      T Ross is our 8th grader.

  • DarkGhettoNight

    I JUST WANNA LIKE EVERYONE’S COMMENTS! GO RAPTORS GO!

    • GoingBig

      No, you can’t – it’s the internet. There is only hate :)

  • Tanks-a-lot

    Hibbert had only 3 Rebounds

    A+ for JV

    • tweed8

      He also seemed to shut down Tyson C. could this kid really be that good? Time will tell.

      • Tanks-a-lot

        He’s an all-around valuable Center.

        • Bryan Colangelo

          Yeah. He’s not particularly talented, but he’s young, big, mean and athletic. He’s more of a neutralizing force out there capable of making other bigs a non-factor. Which is very, very valuable.

          • Louvens Remy

            He needs to go over his left shoulder to add some variety. Also shoot the goddamn jumper sun!

            • raptorstand

              He just outplayed the best center in this league. All I have ever wanted from Coach Casey was for him to fall absolutely hopelessly in love with Jonas. Finally I think that Jonas has a coach that will trust , defend , and use to the best of his ability every night, there is a god.

              • FREEJV

                nah best Center is Dwight go check the stats.

                • raptorstand

                  I stand corrected

                • Tanks-a-lot

                  I wouldn’t want to have Howard on my team to try to win the Title.

                • FREEJV

                  thats why you re not a GM

                • Tanks-a-lot

                  I guess we’ll see this year if Howard is a playoff Stud, or Dud.

                  I think the player that Howard is causes such a team imbalance that the Rockets can be repeatedly exploited and ultimately knocked out by better balanced playoff teams.

                  Ultimately you are depending on Howard to have the ability to take the team on his shoulders from time to time and will the Rockets to win.

                  I don’t see that.

          • Tanks-a-lot

            Is he a Center that is the type that wins Championships by outplaying the other team’s Center every night?

            that’s all that matters.

          • tonious35

            If he becomes a staple on this Franchise just like J. Noah of the Bulls that’s fine with me. If he becomes and All-Star it’s up to him and it’s supremely tasty gravy to me.

      • puffer

        Check JV’s plus/minus versus the other centers in the last 4 games. Hibbert, Noah, Chandler. Others in minus territory, JV in positive, sometimes by a large margin. Time for him to start getting respect.

  • Sorry BC

    Kyle Lowry >> signed by Bryan Colangelo

    D Derozan >> drafted by Bryan Colangelo

    T Ross Boss >> drafted by Bryan Colangelo

    Amir the Great >> signed by Bryan Colangelo

    J Valanciunas >> drafted by Bryan Colangelo

    ========

    BC Sucks, MU is a genius

    • G- Rap

      This team sucked because it had two cancers on the roster, BC sucks because he was the only one in the NBA not to realise that, MU is a genius because he got something for them.

      • Sorry BC

        MU is a genius because he traded Lowry to NYK but Dolan killed the agreement between GMs. Wake up man, he has no idea what to do

        • G-Rap

          Had that trade gone through, we would have another pick, another young asset and be in a full on tank, that’s a pretty decent scenario.

          • Sorry BC

            Nope because was agreed on MWP + Felton + 2018 1st. Now you will miss in a great draft for some gold fool

      • StabbyRaccoon

        Well said. And also the starters were never the problem except for Rudy Gay not fitting in with the others earlier this year. It’s was the bench. Trades Jose Calderon and Ed Davis for Rudy Gay because Kyle Lowry and Amir Johnson are good starters. And what are they going to do when they’re not the court? Uhhhhh????

        Granted the 3 guards Masai got in the offseason didn’t really help the problem, but Coangelo started the problem and Masai just solved it.

    • tweed8

      If BC was still here:

      Rudy Gay would still be here.
      Bench would still really suck.
      Bargs might be gone but, we would have gotten worse than nothing.
      BC would be telling Casey what to do.

    • tweed8

      PS. I still agree with you. lol

    • DryDry

      Traded for Jermaine O’Neal SO GENIUS

      Signed Jason Kapono SO GENIUS

      Traded for Turkgkgklou SO GENIUS

      Lost Bosh for sweet deck all SO GENIUS

      Signed Landry Fields in some stupid ploy to try to get Nash whose body is crumbling as I type SO GENIUS

      Signed Bargnani to a 50 fecking million dollar extension SO GENIUS

      • Bryan Colangelo

        I know. I’m the man, yo.

      • Feather Ruffler

        Geez I can’t believe I forgot about Kapono!

      • Chewwy

        Add in all the unnecessary draft picks BC would add to every trade

    • Hound

      Hired DC as a coach as well and that isn’t looking too bad now either.

  • AB4EYE

    The Tank is dead.

    I still think we should have tanked this year and still feel its going to cost us in the long run but this is a great win beating the leagues best team in a game we honestly didn’t even play all that great against.

    The team is light-years better without Gay and with the terrible East its going to be next to impossible to miss the playoffs unless MU gives in and dumps our players, but at this point that would be some major bad publicity.

    Do we always get rookie refs doing our games? This game was called like the first game of preseason where they call every single thing in the book by the book, but with that said it played into our favor.

    The Pacers aren’t that great without Hibbert, if he ever goes down with an injury they’re screwed with Mahinmi who can’t score and Scola who can’t play defense getting forced to get more PT. They were smash-mouth before but now they’re more a finesse outside of Big Roy holding down the post.

    Nice night for Lowry to get his season high in assists and Terrence Ross is going to be better than DeMar DeRozan and might already be.

    Patrick Patterson is massively overrated by DC and several Raps fans here and elsewhere online. He’s shooting the best he’s ever had from distance with us and can stretch the floor but that’s about all he’s doing. Can’t rebound and doesn’t play much defense and when he ends up playing center its big time bad news. He’s Steve Novak if he was athletic. If we’re going to keep Kyle and go for it this year then Casey needs to flip the PT between him and Tyler who can rebound, draw fouls and get in the others teams heads.

    DC said he wanted to see the Tyler and Chuck Hayes front court when we made the trade so come playoff time he may need to get over his love for Pat and use the tougher unit or we need to move Hansbrough for a real center.

    Another thing with Pat backing up things I feel Amir Johnson has taken his foot off the gas after getting his spot back. He was beasting but in the last 5 games he hasn’t reach double digits in points or rebounds with several TO a night.

    • Louvens Remy

      We should try to trade Fields for an interior presence. I like Psycho on this team for now.

      • AB4EYE

        We can’t trade Fields for anything but another bad contract.

        • Louvens Remy

          Well it could be a useful bad contract.

          • AB4EYE

            It it was useful it wouldn’t be a bad contract.

            • Louvens Remy

              Useful as in player dog. Contracts don’t play basketball.

              • AB4EYE

                I know what you meant, but useful players don’t tend to be considered bad contracts. Fields is owed 8.5M next year which would be 2nd on the team to DeMar so that’s more or less unmovable right now unless we give up something good to entice a team to take it.

                • Louvens Remy

                  Fair enough. I was thinking like somehow fleecing Zaza Pachulia for Fields. I can’t believe i used fleecing in reference to Zaza. The Bucks have had some injuries, so maybe they would bite??

                • AB4EYE

                  He’s playing bad but they wouldn’t take Fields for him.

                • Louvens Remy

                  Only need him for about 6-8 mins off the bench. I don’t know why I am arguing in favour of Zaza. Anyway, maybe because I think him and Jonas would be hilarious together.

                • AB4EYE

                  I would take him but they aren’t going to give him to us for Fields. His PER36 numbers are about what they were in Atlanta even with him shooting 11% worse so I’m sure they will ride out the shooting slump.

          • Tanks-a-lot

            Playoffs reduce the chance that a scrub can play to nothing

            pointless move unless it’s about getting a shorter contract.

            • Louvens Remy

              i just said to get another big man. Jeez. relax. We need another Centre.

              • Tanks-a-lot

                Just sign a decent one in the off season

                • Louvens Remy

                  Sure. I was trying to see if we could get something for Fields.

                • Tanks-a-lot

                  I can’t imagine anyone giving up a center for a wing that can’t score.

                • Louvens Remy

                  They might if its for a center that can’t score. LOL. Ya, who knows. Fields is happy. He’s got a hot wife and nice seat to the game. He can become our human victory cigar.

                • Tanks-a-lot

                  I don’t understand the fascination with that chick.

                • Louvens Remy

                  She’s got boobies.

                • Hound

                  I DO

                • joel

                  I like fields as insurance for Salmons. He can do everything salmons can except his shot is gone. I still love his attitude. I love Novac’s attitude as well. Two guys you love to have on your roster. I know fields has a bad contract but you aren’t trading him for anything other than a bad contract. Great character player. He’s off the books after next year, maybe, with some luck he can get his nerve issues figured out and be our first back-up wing next year, as Salmons is sure to be bought out to save 7 million.

                • webfeat

                  Yep, I bet Novak is doing the player-coach thing during practice.

                • Blackn3ss

                  Why don’t we Trade Novak and FIelds for Bynum thats a good thought!!

                • Tanks-a-lot

                  No. Cancer

                • Blackn3ss

                  yes i know but we have an option to release him his contract isn’t guaranteed.

                • Blackn3ss

                  then we could shop for some bigs in Free agency.

                • Louvens Remy

                  You don’t want him anywhere near this team.

                • Blackn3ss

                  i think he should probably Retire instead of scamming teams

    • Tanks-a-lot

      Maybe PP is being showcased ???

      Seems to be a good place to do so, off the bench

      • AB4EYE

        Well I hope someone takes him but I doubt they would unless its us giving him to them with him owning a 4.3M QO next year.

        • Tanks-a-lot

          That’s good for what PP brings to the table.

          He’s just got to fit in where his skills can be used best.

          • AB4EYE

            What is his skill? He can hit a mid range jumper but that literally is about it. Very poor defender and doesn’t really rebound unless its right to him.

    • Hound

      Did you get beat as a kid? Reluctantly, now admitting this team is okay and then bitching about a pretty decent pickup in PP. Definitely an asset and I like him better than Psycho because he can score and spread the floor. Embrace this team. You say we should have tanked, but how would of we? We traded Bargs, we got better, we traded Gay and got better. I never once heard you say we should have kept AB and RG so that we would lose more games and get a better pick. How exactly would of you accomplished this tank?

      • AB4EYE

        Winning this year may be fun but its not good long term. Rather than deal away players we are going to be forced to add, then we’re losing out on added picks for those guys and we’re going to ended up with a bad pick in a super loaded draft.

        For long term health of the franchise losing would been best, since none of our secondary players and some of the key ones are going to be here when its time to be a real winner plus the east isn’t going to always be this weak.

        Pat sucks and is mega overrated and isn’t better than Hansbrough. He has a worse contract on top of that. His lone skill is he can shoot OK from deep and that’s not even a consistent.

        • Louvens Remy

          Dude. Don’t worry. We’ll get Wiggins….when he’s 35! lol.

        • Hound

          The question is: How would have you tanked? What moves would you have made, that would have ensured a tank?

          • AB4EYE

            A start would be not ask the moon for Lowry just removing him keeps us out of the playoffs since he makes everything click. After that play only guys who we can flip at the deadline and guys who will be here in 3 years.

            Someone would give us picks or a good young player and a 2nd for Kyle but is going to be hard to get everything like MU is holding out for. But this team takes a massive hit by losing all the ball movement and open looks Kyle brings plus his points.

            • Hound

              so the problem is we were asking for a reasonable return for our good players? So, we should traded Gay for a worse return? Being a GM is simple, if all you do is get rid of your players for nothing and then hope to lose. Point is, I never heard you say we should keep Gay and Bargs so that we would be worse and get a better pick. If they both started for us, we wouldn’t be 15 – 15. We didn’t you advocate that. THAT would have got us to the lottery, both high picks!!!

              • AB4EYE

                No we aren’t asking for a reasonable return which is why he’s still on the team. He’s trying to shoot the moon and he’s only been able to do that to a pair of teams in his career and both are considered the worst run franchises of this generation. Also we did trade Gay for a terrible return!

    • Bryan Colangelo

      It was pretty shocking to see how flustered and vulnerable the Pacers were with HIbbert out to the equation.

      But can you imagine this team without Lowry? There’s no way we would beat a team like Indiana without him.

      • AB4EYE

        Lowry has won us most of our wins this year GV and one of the other 2 PG we used earlier would lead us to tank city even if everyone else stayed.

        • Hound

          Then why don’t we resign Lowry?

          • AB4EYE

            I’m sure they will try to bring him back if the price is right even if they trade him. But the bad thing he’s playing himself into a big time payday and will be chased by teams who can be title contenders.

  • Louvens Remy

    “I think we should trade everyone and get a high lottery pick, BECAUSE YOU CAN’T WIN WITHOUT A SUPERSTAR!!!!.” hahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

    • StrikerAI

      Win long-term…As in a championship. If you think the current roster can win a title, your delusional. But hey, we have no chance to tank anymore, might as well get to the Playoffs, beat Washington, Charlotte or Detroit, go to the second round and play a tough series against these Pacers.

      • Louvens Remy

        Who said anything about championship? I’m down with the longterm plan of development and winning. A 2nd round exit would be great for development and the mental psyche for this organization.

      • Dr. Dread

        They can win a championship. Next year if not this year. They need playoff experience. Which they get this year. JV is awesome. DD and company need time to grow into an awesome team. There is so much upside. Everyone is so fucking blind that wants to tank and get a draft pick when our current draft picks are getting the job done!

      • Tinman

        No-one is thinking championship.
        But we look at the youth and see a future

    • Minks77

      lets talk in May. Gloating in January shows a lack of foresight and a tendency to jump to conclusions too soon.

      • Louvens Remy

        I’m the G.L.O.A.T

        • Minks77

          I’ll admit it’s a lot more fun to cheer em on to W’s than to pray for L’s

  • raptorspoo

    Screw it. We have no future anyways. Let’s live in the now.

    Go Raptors GO!!

    • ac1011990

      Lolz i think ive converted back, i’m just hoping now all the 2014 picks turn into busts or else its going to hurt lolz. Whatever lets enjoy this and see how long it goes.

  • Louvens Remy

    All hail the Global Ambassador. #torontOVO

  • Andre Julian Ward

    The way the Raptors played tonight was beautiful. Ball movement and everything. Just beautiful … :) Oh yeah, I nearly forgot. Take that Tank nation; take that ….

  • unknown

    If I could nitpick one thing – Dwayne Casey leaves his starters in all the way through the end of games that are clearly over. Happened tonight, happened against the Knicks, happens too often.

    The instant Vogel wholesale changed out, Casey should have done the same. Indiana could have easily been prickish and hammered one of our starters, considering they have a rematch in a few days.

    Other than that, some phenomenal basketball being played up here. Great to see after so long…

    • Andre Julian Ward

      Nope, we want to pound and destroy every opponent we face into dust. No mercy; even at the end of a won game !

    • DryDry

      Nope. Let them enjoy the delicious victory.

      • webfeat

        Agreed. This was a special win.

    • Tanks-a-lot

      You don’t do that because you don’t want some sort of miracle happening by putting out cold scrubs ‘just cause’ they did it.

      • unknown

        Reggie Miller retired long ago. With 75 seconds left, I’m not too worried about Rasual Butler going off on us.

        • Tanks-a-lot

          you never know, so you don’t take any chances

  • moe

    rip tank :(

    • ac1011990

      Lolz tank is gone but meh whatever im going to hop on this ride and enjoy it. I guess i’m drinking the kool aid again. Its a pretty fun streak going on right now, kind of hard to pray for losses at this point. Lolz its going to hurt next year, especially if a few of the players turn out good but hopefully Masai has a few tricks up his sleeve to keep improving the club.

      • Louvens Remy

        Its only gonna hurt because the Lakers are gonna get the first pick. Also, most of those teams that get those guys are gonna suck anyways. We’ll just beat up on em.

        • ac1011990

          Lolz now im hoping the picks turn out to be busts :)

        • Tanks-a-lot

          I don’t think the Lakers are going to be heard from again until Kobe retires and gets the fuck away from the team

          • Louvens Remy

            I know you wouldn’t be surprised if the Lakeshow got the first pick though. That’s how the NBA rolls.

  • golden

    Great win! These last few weeks have been like a Viagra commercial.

    • Andre Julian Ward

      What? …… =/

  • Phat AlberG

    Terrance Ross wow! I know the team played good but Ross was scary good tonight on both sides of the floor. He basically lock off Paul George and got his numbers as well A++

  • Tee

    Was that DeRozan draining shots all over Paul George in the 4th?

    Wow.

  • Vino

    Was at the game, lost my voice!

  • Feather Ruffler

    I really think that an important reason for the success since the trade is that Toronto finally have bench players that recognize that they are in fact bench players and thrive in that role. There’s a hierarchy that has been established in this last stretch and it’s spawned a system that has stimulated and encouraged leadership characteristics from our young core in Ross and JV. An Atlantic win and a deep push in the Playoffs will only add to their development going forward. This is something the Raptors have lacked for a long, long time; a winning culture that demands accountability from it’s young players.

    • dc

      Player development, instead of player turnover, is important – as is learning how to win.

      • Feather Ruffler

        Can’t agree more. I look at an organization like the Wizards as a prime example, you have high potential talent in Wall/Beal and yet their entire careers they’ve been mired in such a depressing, losing atmosphere that they don’t really know what winning feels like. It’s not another talent that changes that culture, it’s a taste of winning, wanting more of it, and the subsequent hunger for nothing else. To change a culture, you have to change hearts and minds, and I really believe that’s what Ujiri has brought to our team.

        • Ghotte

          The team is still very young. Even though Salmons had an off game due to TRoss’ play, having some impact vets might be another area for upgrade.

          • Feather Ruffler

            Great point. I`ve always thought Dwyane Wade turned into the professional he`s become because he had a guy like Eddie Jones around in his formative years, now I`m not comparing Ross to Wade or Salmons to Jones, but I totally agree about the impact of a good vet.

    • Steve Lam

      i’m still concerned about GV. of course it has to do with limited minutes but hes not living up to being the assist machine hes supposed to be. he’s also playing too much streaky hero ball for my tastes. but hey, can’t argue with the overall results so far.

      • Feather Ruffler

        Good point, I’ve noticed that too, but I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and say he’s taking what the oppositions defense is giving him at the moment.

      • Mexiballer

        I agree. Im not at all sold on Grieves beyond this year. He seems to anticipate what hes going to do on offence instead of reacting to the defence. Maybe Casey can help him figure it out.

      • AB4EYE

        His problem is that he thinks he’s a scoring PG when he’s a good passer. He always talks about how he could be a scorer in the league in all his interviews and once he got here he’s shooting it about 6 more times PER 36 over what he did with the Kings.

    • AB4EYE

      None of these guys think they’re bench players. Salmons started some this year and all of last year, Vasquez started like 100 games in a row before coming here and Hansbrough wanted off the Pacers because he wanted more PT and will asked to be traded from here someone time between now and the summer and Pat has and wants to start.

      • Feather Ruffler

        Firstly, my argument was that they recognize their roles on THIS (capitalized for emphasis, not to be a dick) team, not any of their past teams. And secondly, I mean come on… Vasquez started for three seasons in NO/SAC and they weren`t exactly powerhouses, Hansbrough signed with the Raptors knowing full well he would be the first/second big off the bench, not a starter, And let`s be real, the Pacers brought in Luis Scola to UPGRADE that position so he didn`t exactly “choose“ to leave. And I don’t know in what world a Tyler Hansbrough could ever demand a trade. Patrick Patterson started half a season for the Rockets that had nothing but rookies (Jones and Montelajunas if I recall) in that PF spot. All these players may WANT to start, and that’s great, but like I said, a hierarchy has been established and they`ve bought into their roles off the bench on THIS team.

      • Feather Ruffler

        And just to cement the point: “No one on this team is selfish; everyone accepts their roles,” Patterson told reporters after the Raptors outslugged Paul George, Roy Hibbert and the Pacers to kick off the New Year. “No one wants to get more shots, no one wants to do more of this, no one is jealous of another player … we all understand what we have to do in order to make this machine keep rolling smoothly.”

  • ad

    As a pro tanker, I cant rationalize tanking this year anymore. MU has no choice but to let these guys play and try to add at the deadline. Damn, call me crazy but if he can add a legit star SF or PF, I think this team can be really, really, good. How he will do it I have no idea.

    • GetLicks

      YES! If ad is onboard then this team must be playing special. Just enjoy the tough wins man

      • ad

        Yep, cant remember the raps ever playing so well against a tough team like that.

        • CJT

          The most important thing is the right legit talent. We don’t seem to need a go to option to win. With so many players chipping in and contributing every night I am not sure how we would incorporate another star power type player.

    • StabbyRaccoon

      Great to hear that, and I agree. Back when things looked bleak tanking was a perfectly reasonable stance, but now it would be the saddest thing ever and it probably wouldn’t yield a sufficiently high draft pack to rationalize the heartache. Masai also might get death threats from deranged Torontonians…

      If the team is pretty good at the moment he can build on it by somehow signing Kyle Lowry and the other players who deserve it, and using all of that cap space to get a pseudo-star and some strong bench players. But yeah, I’m not exactly sure what that will mean. But it’s really fun to watch this at the moment 😀

      • ad

        Yep, MU cant possibly dismantle the team at this point. The optics would look terrible. This team is turning into the phoenix of the east.

      • rtzyyz

        Our bench is scary bad…can’t score.

        • StabbyRaccoon

          at least Vasequez can get hot and Hansbrough can slug his way to some freethrows, but yeah it’s a serious weakness.

    • ac1011990

      Lolz i think all of us pro tankers converted today lolz

    • Louvens Remy

      Pro tanker. Lol.

      • ac1011990

        No we’ve been fans of losing for many years, things actually are starting to look good now. We all want the Raptors to do good, just had different ways of achieving it.

        • Feather Ruffler

          Well said.

          • ac1011990

            Thanks :)

    • Duke

      Wooo I love it, my man AD

    • rtzyyz

      I agree with you…and I think the person we need is a star SF. DeRozen should come off the bench and play against second unit guys….He would be lights out.

      • Jeffrey Yau

        Think if anything, Ross would come off the bench again.

    • Ghotte

      Can we get a partial apology to Casey? C’mon. You can do it.

      Even though it is more than likely too much credit when they win and all the blame when they lose, there’s a good argument to be made that he was waiting for JV and TRoss to “get it” and display that on a nightly basis rather than putting them in situations where they could fail.

  • Steve Lam

    i was a pro tanker all season. i said i’d change my mind once they hit .500 ball. well guess what..i’m a believer now.

    • Atothe

      No lie, no way raps aren’t making playoffs if lowry and amir aren’t traded so I have to root for a 3rd seed in the playoffs. Lets go RAPS

      • Steve Lam

        its kind of hilarious when we first landed at the top of the atlantic everyone was laughing at the potential division title giving them 4th seed. and now our ACTUAL RECORD legitimately gives us the 4th seed anyway.

    • Feather Ruffler

      It’s fun right! I’m looking forward to every game and I can’t tell you the amount of abuse I hurl at my TV for 48 minutes! Love this team!!!

  • Harold Parker

    That line on Vasquez (what he gives on O, gives back on D), you lifted that from Zach Lowes’ twitter feed. BUSTED

    • Louvens Remy

      Ya, I saw that too. But I gave the kid a pass. LOL. The great ones always duplicate.

    • DDayLewis

      I did see the tweet, but I didn’t plagiarize. Tough to word it any better though.

      • Louvens Remy

        Zach Lowe just read your mind. HE STOLE FROM YOU!!!!
        lolz

        • DDayLewis

          Alright alright. I’ll link to the Zach Lowe tweet, but I really didn’t plagiarize.

          • Louvens Remy

            I actually don’t give a shit. Its just a tweet. Twitter aint nothin. Steal away.

  • Blackn3ss

    Raptors are no longer Tankers, Raptors are now in position to become a top 3 team in the Eastern Conference, especially with the loss of Al Holford of the Atlanta hawks. I see the hawks dropping to the 4th spot and Raptors going to 3rd.

  • raptorstand

    Here lets give all of our stank nation brothers a hand up on the bandwagon.

  • Feather Ruffler

    RAPTOOOOOOOOOOOORS!!!!!!! I’m still buzzing from the win. What a great way to start the New Year! Bring on Miami!! I genuinely believe this team can stick with anyone right now. Exciting time to be a Raps fan.

  • Saskatoon Raps Fan

    Great great win. This is the most excited I’ve been about a raptors game in a long time. Hopefully no let down against Washington. Lets start solidifying our home court positioning for the playoffs

  • Adriiian

    Agree with you word for word on Vasquez. Plus, every time he takes a shot, I cringe. Luckily he made a few tonight.

    Otherwise, great all around win. Must keep Lowry here in Toronto. He’s turned me into a fan, the dude can ball.

  • The Blue Falcon

    Oh Timmy W…..? What was that about the upside of this crappy team again?Blow me.

  • Reformed Tanker

    All the hate for the former pro tankers is a little ridiculous. We always wanted what was best for the team long term. We are not bangwagon jumpers. No one could have predicted the way this team would turn it around. I’m glad to cheer for wins again. This team looks poised to challenge for its first 7 game series win in franchise history. You can’t throw that away.
    I was at the ACC tonight. It gives me goosebumps to see the crowd into a game like that.
    GO RAPTORS GO!!

    • ac1011990

      Lolz most of us have stayed during some hard times i don’t think that’s called bandwagoning. Your right we all want them to do good, this was a great game, especially from Ross and Jonas.

      • raptorstand

        Everyone that stood and said that tanking was wrong and not the way to go was ridiculed on here mercifully , no elite talent , no beasts Jonas is not a elite talent, just ran this team into the ground and anybody that actually watched this team knew what we had . Nothing wrong with the tankers eating a little crow.

        • ac1011990

          I still dont think this team has elite talent, its just that as a unit their playing really well, Lowry is still a really really big factor for that. I also dont think this team is a beast yet, if they sustain this level of play over the course of the season then your on to something. At this point its easier to cheer for them because A) they are playing good, fun unselfish basketball, and B) the tank dream pretty much died. I still think Raptors could use that one elite player on the team to make them something special. I guess that’s Masai’s problem, not mine. Lolz its more of a personal pride thing on this site when they play good or bad, depending on which side your on. right now the anti tankers feel good because you guys can rub it in our face. Either way anybody who watches the raps or comments on here just wants them to do good, we just had different ways, no need to take it so personally.

          • raptorstand

            Seems to me that your the one taking it personally I think our starting five are elite talent that are incredibly young for this league and by playing together are going to be very good. If you don’t think Jonas and Amir are beasts and are shutting down the elite players in this league , your not watching the games. Casey has these guys playing really tight on their man, causing the refs to call early fouls but then the refs get used to the tight d and let it go in the second half. Coach Casey won a championship with a similar team . We have an elite coach to.

            • ac1011990

              Lolz no i’m not taking it personally, i dont really care, its not a competition to see who’s right. I think both are good players, Valanciunas will turn out very good, elite though im not sure. To be honest at this point i’m more excited about Ross, hes turning out to be very very good, the ease the game comes to him is amazing and he does it all with the most confident face ive ever seen. But no i don’t think Casey is an elite coach, people are weird on here, they bash a guy for 3 years and over the past 10 games hes suddenly become elite. Calm down, enjoy the ride if it lasts over the coarse of the season then we have something. I know you dont agree with me so lets just agree to disagree.

              • raptorstand

                Coaching is about repetition and buying in. Showing who has the power. I can give you minutes or I can take them away. You want minutes I have them. I really think that it wasn’t his team for the last two years and I feel they had to be showcasing Gay and this might be going a little long but showing the young guys what hog ball was really all about , and for them to understand that that is not the way. These last ten games are the real Casey, and I think the team has finally bought in completely to what he has been selling. They get it. Now its learn how to win, and improve.

            • mike, prague

              I wouldn’t say that our starting five are elite talent, but I could believe that our starting five as a unit is almost elite, well at least depending on the sample size play that we have seen since Aaron Gray went to Sac-town. Casey is not elite. He has been coaching well… but elite? Like really?

              • raptorstand

                yea really buddy, this is just the beginning have fun its gonna be a heck of a ride lolol

          • AB4EYE

            This team sucks if we move Kyle gets mover or he gets hurt.

            If he keeps playing like he has someone will pay him more than we can afford to sign our core guys in a few years and all the secondary players all will be gone soon and all we have to show for it is maybe a second round trip, maybe.

            We beat 2 great teams when they were on the 2nd day of back-to-backs and both had us down big at one point before fading and people want to think we have arrived as a NBA power.

            • raptorstand

              ab4eeye you seem to think this is the old Raptors , with Andrea . or Rudy , or alan Anderson, This son if your paying attention is a starting five 27 and under. that has a supporting cast that is learning how to win. If you don’t wake up your going to miss a lot of fun. Schlep come out of the rain buddy its warm inside here.

    • B-rocula

      Agreed and I do like a lot of the core It just would have been better to see one more high potential piece like wiggy grow with this raptors squad. A championship should be the goal but I guess I can live with a first round win

    • AB4EYE

      Tanking was still the right way to go just no real way to get there at this point after potentially a 5 game win streak. I just hope everyone enjoys this while they can because its a lock to set the franchise back long term espcailly if we give up assets at add at the deadline to improve or chances of advancing on top of not dealing our pieces away.

      • raptorstand

        schlep rock dancing to the oldies

  • doncity

    Stank Nation hoping we don’t see them moonwalking onto the Raptors bandwagon lol – so y’all fans now? Better check your advanced stats before replying…

    • ac1011990

      Most of us have been fans for many years what do you mean now? Glad these wins make you feel proud of yourself. Congrats you’ve done a great job lolz.

      • doncity

        I think I’m doing a better job of being a loyal Raptors fan than you pro-stank morons, who were ready to trade away the whole team for a draft pick because you all know So Much About Professional Basketball (i.e. read Bill Simmons)… If you people weren’t so high and mighty, plus condescending and insufferable, I’d let it pass but you know what? I don’t expect much of anything other than the usual snivelling response from your ilk.

        Let me break it down for you. You had no faith. The team wasn’t even that bad. It was easy to see there was some talent here. For some reason you saw a way to pile on people with a positive attitude with your cynical tanking strategy and you were all having a great time until reality taught you a lesson. Now you want to act like we’re all on the same team. Not my team buddy. Not mine. You play to win the games and when you try, great things can happen like tonight’s win. Don’t ever forget it.

        But whatever. I’m certain you’ll find some way to justify your lack of faith in the team. Fair play and good faith mean nothing to you which is why you would have had us lose on purpose so you could lecture us all about how a true fan enjoys the process.. All I have to say is this. You win as a man and you lose as a man and you accept every consequence. You fairweather internet warriors need to understand that. I’d say more but I’d better zip it before any of you accuse me of cyberbullying.

        • raptorstand

          Doncity , I stood up and saluted after I read your post. You should be writing articles on this site. A positive Oakleyish attitude about what sports is about and what it means to be a fan. Your the type of fan I could sit and have a beer with. If I had to sit and have a beer with a tanker , I could see us having a problem. If cyberbullying means telling the truth , cyberbully away my friend.

          • doncity

            Thanks, pal – I don’t see why we can’t just cheer on the team we have and hope it grows into something special instead of trying to lose on purpose while acting like that’s the honorable thing. It’s not and I’m glad you and Masai agree.

            • raptorstand

              you must have been very politically incorrect on here many times I suspect, fellow politically incorrect people need to stick together, sticks and stones baby , words can never hurt.

        • ac1011990

          Lol I really hope the raptors call you in and have a party for you, you’ve been such a great fan. I salute you sir, you are the epitome of what a fan should look like, I bow in your presence. Jeez man it’s like a pro tanker stole your car your girlfriend and then kicked you in the ass on his way out. You being loyal to the raptors proves absolutely nothing. They played like shit for 5 years for crying out loud. The people on here nor I need a pass or approval from you. We aren’t a team, I don’t know you, nor you me. This is a game I watch for fun, your acting like this is the cure for cancer that we were denouncing the whole time. Calm down they won a few games were all having fun, I still think they should have tanked, they still don’t have an elite talent, things are going good, their playing hard but they haven’t won anything of actual meaning yet. This rant isn’t only happiness from the win, you got some things to work out dude Lolz.

          • raptorstand

            waaa

            • ac1011990

              What does that even mean, is that me crying or what?

              • raptorstand

                what ?

                • ac1011990

                  You wrote waaa, does that actually have a meaning because I’m confused as to why you wrote that.

                • raptorstand

                  You attack people for no reason, you get weird when you know you are wrong , have been continually wrong and seem to want to continue to be wrong for some unknown reason. This is my opinion, you have watched so much bad basketball and listened to so much bad opinions about how to improve this team , that you are now incapable of understanding you are going to witness something few sports fans in Toronto have ever watched. Very young players working and growing together to take out some much needed revenge on teams that have continuously beat the crap out of us. With a little luck and the right moves , championships down the road. By not tanking.

          • doncity

            We won, so why you mad, son? Aren’t you a fan? You seem a little bitter tonight for someone who claims to love the team, don’t you? But I guess I should take your word that You’re Not Bitter. Still sure we “don’t have elite talent?” Even after Lowry’s show tonight? I guess we’ll have that when someone from ESPN confirms it for you, right? Do you even watch the games? And no one on this site stole anything from me or kicked me anywhere least of all you, pal. We both know I wouldn’t allow that. I’m not saying you’re a crybaby with these asinine responses to my posts but your mascara is running…

            • ac1011990

              From doncity to Cameron Becker at the speed of light, now at least I know who potentially could have been on my team Lol. It’s fun talking to you, you keep thinking that I need some sort of approval from you. You don’t need to take my word, I don’t need to explain what my feelings are for you to consider me a fan. But not the amount of hatred you got for pro tankers is for sure caused by something, I don’t know you enough to rule out the possibility a pro tanker taking your girlfriend, there’s just to much hate to rule it out Lol. Anyways Cameron, no I don’t care what ESPN tells me or doesn’t, Lowry is not an elite talent. If you want to think otherwise that’s cool.

              • doncity

                Who is Cameron Becker? You’re obviously taking this rather personally I see, if you’re mistaking me for people you may know. As for the rest of your post what are you babbling on about? I’m reading a lot of wishful thinking that has no basis in reality.You are the one who responded to me, so I’m not sure where this vitriol is coming from. I’m done with you. I’ll enjoy the win, you keep coming up with scenarios, ok?

                • ac1011990

                  No you responded to me, and like my name on here is ac1011990 yours is Cameron Becker. And this is getting weird now so ya lets just end this.

                • doncity

                  It is getting weird, I agree… you do realize everyone can see the order of posts… but I guess that’s how you pro-stankers think. Now maybe I’m starting to understand. Happy new year.

                • ac1011990

                  Lolz happy new year to you as well :)

        • Mihkel Bafter

          Wow, some Raptors fans react like they won the championship after beating the Pacers.

          • doncity

            Need I remind you that in order to win the championship a team first needs big wins like tonight…

            • Mihkel Bafter

              Actually in order to win a championship, a team needs elite and superstar talent. Something I doubt the Raptors have. The evidence clearly bears it out.

  • GetLicks

    Looks like the rock they’ve been pounding for the last few years is finally starting to crack, I’m enjoying the ride

  • Quest

    if terrence ross can keep up this defence, than the raps will be scary

  • Public_Enemy101

    Whatever happened to Riggin’ for Wiggins, DAMNIT?!!

  • Al

    That was an awesome game! Really tough win but they earned it tonight. I felt the rotations and awareness on help defence looked so good tonight. We beat the Pacers with our D!! I hope we can keep up the intensity! The depth of the roster has really helped us out lately but I think another guard might be needed to get DeRozan’s minutes down.. A solid scoring sixth man the compliment Salmon’s ‘D’? Maybe trade Landry Fields for another underachiever with an expiring contract? Just a thought..

    • Public_Enemy101

      I suspect Landry will be shipped out this summer. Not going to knock the dude because apparently he’s a class act, but who the *$#* is going to pick up that monstrosity of a contract!? Lakers maybe?

      • GoingBig

        It might be something like the Rudy trade where Sacramento was stuck with bunches of longer term contracts. They were likely to pay large contracts over TWO years. With Rudy they got someone who would finally fill their SF position – a long-term nightmare. And got rid of people who were not functional or disliked in Sactown.
        For the Raptors, you’d have to reverse it.
        We’d have to take on a big contract – maybe for a great talent – and then throw back several contracts and talents plus Fields to balance it out. Probably a team that’s past their prime and are divesting talent for the downward plunge.

  • Bryan Colangelo

    It’s it just me, or is this the first time the Raptors have had athletic, two-way players at every starting position?

    None of our starters are elite at their position, but none of them have any glaring, exploitable weaknesses either. There’s no matador defense at the point, or an Oakley to set a bone rattling pick at one end while missing a breakaway lay-up at the other.

    They’re all talented enough to score and athletic enough to run and defend. It allows the team to throw out a lot of different looks and adapt a variety of styles.

    • raptorstand

      I don’t know if you have watched the games at all but Jonas carried Tyson Chandler up and down the floor and out hustling him at every turn and never let up . Jonas just outplayed the best center in this league, and hes just average. I just don’t get it. What do these guys have to show for people to realize we have elite talent that is buying in and coming together . Wake up people !!! We have something really good staring us right in the face. The Oak man would fit right in with this line up. Stop the madness. The age of this team is scary and they are just going to get more eliter. Now if tanker nation would show this team of elite talent some respect everyone can get along a little better. Here is a hand up , jump on while the going is good.

  • FREEJV

    if we can beat washington friday and try to get one of the next 2 after that then it ll be a successful trip

  • Cameron Becker

    Great win Raptors! To beat the pacers at their kind of game is quite impressive.

    Side note, I give an D- to Jack Armstrong. Constantly nitpicking TRoss’ defense even though for the vast majority of the game he blanketed Paul George.

  • tonious35

    Roy Hibbert Vs. Jonas was like watching Pacific Rim. An ass-kicking Robot scraping the ground with a ridiculous monster.

  • Jeffrey Yau

    RIP Tank Nation. You had a good run.

    • AB4EYE

      Tank Nation is in hibernation for a year or two until we find out which side had the right idea.

      If we can win now and can still be good over the next few years then this was fine but if we fall back as the East regains its strength then people better keep these games on the DVR and avoid this place because all the win now bragging is going to get it back in force for a far longer period than this good run a play lasts.

      • raptorstand

        ab4eye, im sorry man your the Schlep rock of this forum. Everywhere its sunny, but right over your head its raining. There is nothing good enough nobody good enough and bad wins against bad teams is a bad thing and we will live to rue the day. Stand down son , we all get it.

  • tonious35

    This video pretty much depicts our fandom after this game: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SZk3ynPFlY

  • mountio

    Great, great win.
    Ive been saying it forever, but its nice to FINALLY see the young guys getting real minutes and you know what? They are actually producing!
    Who would have thought, our 8th overall pick from last year is actually better than scrap heap options AA or John Salmons?? Shocking.
    Or our 5th overall pick from two years ago is a better option in the 4th quarter than TH or going small ball with LF or RG at the 4? Mind-blowing
    To me the path forward with this team has always been simple. Play the young guys (who btw are, and always have been our most talented) and see what happens. If you lose a lot because they make mistakes, so be it – you tank into a high draft pick and they gain valuable experience. If you actually win (Ill admit, I never though they would play this good, this fast), then even better, Im the happiest fan out there.
    As a Casey basher – I will give him credit where credit is due. Rotations are much better, good timeouts, playing the young guys. Better late than never, I guess …

  • Kujo2020

    T-Ross is impressing the hell of out of me. I was so down on the kid, but his confidence is sky high right now (basically since the Gay trade). I was most impressed with his defense.

    Look, I was a member of a tank nation, but I’m putting all that behind me right now. Just trying to enjoy this team for what it is right now. A raptors team hasn’t looked this good in years. This is team is fun to watch right now.

    I’m not sure how MU trades Lowry now.

    The sloppy play/turnovers by the Pacers surprised me (part of that was due to the Raptors great D (best D I’ve seen all year imho). No doubt Hibbert getting in foul trouble was a huge turning point as well.

  • Mike

    funny thing is we are pretty blind to not see the chemistry with this young team…. terrance ross and JV are 21!
    they not even close to reaching there potential if they stay healthy… what happens when JV finally adds that 15 foot shot… terrance ross figures out how to drive on consistent basis? lights out!

    • raptorstand

      Some Toronto Raptors fans could see the chemistry ,but we were being drowned out by people that wanted our team to lose and lose often and keep on losing and trade every player on the team and lose some more and then hopefully we get a first year university student that has nobody to play with and we would have to wait another five years. Some of us knew what we had.

  • Phat AlberG

    Fluxland what do you have to say about Val? You said he was playing inferior competition against Tyson Chandler, so what do you have to say now!!!! hahahah this guy couldn’t comment today, he must be home crying his ass off because Raps laid the hammer on the Pacers hahahahahaha

    PS:FLUXLAND YOU DON’T ISH ABOUT BASKETBALL