Toronto Raptors 101 Final
Recap | Box Score
88 Washington Wizards
Amir Johnson, PF Shot Chart 34 MIN | 8-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | 17 PTS | +4

The Wizard bigs are a handful, and kept coming in waves, but Amir stood his ground and came out the other side with his head held high. He shot the ball from the perimeter very well; executed on the pick-n-roll with Lowry, held down his own on the boards…this was a good night, but would have liked for him to have shot more free throws (0-0) than three pointers (1-2), but even then I didn’t mind the ones he took. Is good!

Jonas Valanciunas, C Shot Chart 29 MIN | 3-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 7 PTS | +9

Couldn’t handle Gortat’s physical play early in the 1st which kept him from getting into any sort of groove for the rest of the game. Had a few nice moments (drew charge on Nene; big dunk over Gortat in 3rd), grabbed some rebounds and really went to war with Amir and 2Pat against the Wizards front line. Would have liked to have seen more, but he didn’t force things when he was clearly frustrated, and should be commended for that.

Kyle Lowry, PG Shot Chart 35 MIN | 7-13 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 11 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 19 PTS | +19

Three point shooting was dead-eye considering he had a pull-up in transition; curled off a high screen out of a timeout; catch-and shoot from DeRozan penetration/kick-out; pull-up off the dribble in the half court #masterful. Ran the pick-n-roll w/ Amir with Calderonian efficiency. He basically struck the perfect balance between scoring and distributing the ball. The Raptors can’t lose this guy for nothing in free agency, that’s all I’m saying…

DeMar DeRozan, SG Shot Chart 36 MIN | 7-14 FG | 6-7 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 20 PTS | +8

Felt like he had a quiet game, but when I went back to my notes, this is what I had for him:

1st
– to the rack off the dribble, sticks it
– comes off a low screen and sticks a baseline j
– draws foul and hits both from the stripe
2nd
– runs floor off Gortat’s missed jumper and lays it up
– pretty step back jumper in corner
– gets to line on the break off a bad miss from beal; hits both
3rd
– deep jumper off the catch-and-shoot +1
– pull up jumper in transition; getting used to seeing that
4th
– demar comes off high screen by patterson and draws foul; hits both from line
– sticks a jumper out of a timeout (actually looked like a play)

Efficient from the floor, used his penetration to setup the perimeter shooters, even got to the line 7 times. I’m thinking he’s set a high bar for judging his play post-Gay, and tonight’s game was above his recent “average.” You can’t see, but my lips are pursed and I’m nodding my head in a slow, approving manner.

Terrence Ross, SG Shot Chart 32 MIN | 5-14 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | +26

Curling off the high-screen for the 18 footer is one of my favourite Ray Allenisms, and I’m glad someone on the Raptors can do that. Wasn’t crazy about his man-defense on Beal, who had lots of open looks and was very active on the offensive boards, but his help defense forced turnovers and got the Raptors out in transition, running the break, and converting. That didn’t go unnoticed.

Patrick Patterson, PF Shot Chart 22 MIN | 8-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 18 PTS | +8

I say GAWDDAMN I was wrong about Patterson’s shooting. Efficient. In rhythm. Didn’t force anything. What a perfect forward for the Raptors to bring off the bench to give their front-court a different look and mix things up. Steve Novak who?

Chuck Hayes, PF Shot Chart 11 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +5

I was surprised he logged 11 minutes; was invisible for 8 of them. C- out of respect, but mostly because I didn’t notice anything he did and thought this was a safe grade.

John Salmons, SF Shot Chart 28 MIN | 1-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | -8

At this point in his career, Salmons needs to be able to hit those open threes every single time he gets them…so frustrating. All his burn tonight was because of his defense, especially at the end of the 3rd and early in the 4th when the Raptors made that spectacular stand.

Greivis Vasquez, PG Shot Chart 13 MIN | 0-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 0 PTS | -6

No chance he was going to defend Wall with any measure of success straight-up (we saw Ross double a few times to force the ball out of his hands), but sadly did little of anything else. Had a chance to shine in his home-town (sorta, he went to Maryland), but put up a stinker. No matter, someone had to have played the bad game, but we still love him.

Landry Fields, SF Shot Chart DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS |

lol

Steve Novak, SF Shot Chart DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS |

LOL

Dwane Casey

Made solid substitutions. Managed minutes and allocated playing time perfectly; especially during that 8:45minute run from the end of the 3rd to the start of the 4th when the Raptors held the Wizards field goaless. Tonight’s win had more to do with the players effort than his in-game management, but the team clearly looked prepared to limit the Wizards offensive chances. For that he gets the credit.

Five Things We Saw

  1. This game was won in the 3rd quarter, when the Raptors didn’t let the Wizards score a basket for the final 8 minutes or so of the quarter. The defensive was TIGHT. The double teams were perfect. The rotations were automatic and on-time. The guards dropped and forced turnovers when the Wizard bigs put the ball on the ground that started breaks (and usually ended in a basket). The Raptors could have easily kept the Wizards under 85 points tonight if they really wanted too.
  2. Coaching: In the 1st half, Wall and Nene combined for 20 points to keep the Wizards in striking distance, but in the 3rd, they only combined for 5 points. We saw a combination of doubles, fronting, and different players banging with Nene, and Wall was just kept off balance with constant doubles forcing him to give up the ball to his teammates who had a perfectly time defensive rotation waiting for them.
  3. It was no coincidence that the Raptors put the game away in the 3rd when they finally started to grab offensive rebounds: 0 in the 1st half, 7 in the 3rd quarter that sparked a 36-16 run. Mind you, the Raptors moved the ball around (10 assists) plenty to get open looks, but the offensive rebounding forced the Wizard perimeter defenders to drop back and help out, opening up kick outs for catch-and shoots.
  4. The Raptors assisted (29) on 75% of their field goals (40)…that’s insane. I don’t know about you guys, but I keep waiting for the shoe to drop, but when the looks are coming off 3-5 passes, and are so clean, basically anyone can hit them at an NBA level. It’s not that the Raptors are shooting the ball so well (50% on the night btw), but that they are putting themselves in situations where they are taking easier shots to stick.
  5. Not game related, but I think speak for all of us when I say that this last month has been bloody fantastic to watch. It’s obvious that winning 80% of your games isn’t sustainable, but this brand of basketball, this commitment to a full-team effort, is all anyone of us ever wanted. It got to the point where my wife asked me if DeRozan (the only player she knows on the team) got traded, because even she wasn’t used to seeing the Raptors play like this.

  • FREEJV

    ANDRE IGUODALA WITH THE BUZZER BEATING 3 POINTER TO BEAT ATLANTA RAPTORS NOW 1 GAME BEHIND OF 3RD 😀

    • raptorspoo

      I think you got your math wrong. That’s two games :)

      • GetLicks

        His math is right. 1 game back

      • FREEJV

        no its 1 game :S

    • FREEJV

      Also we are now 4 games ahead in the Atlantic. Nice to have a cushion going into 2 tough games

    • Tanks-a-lot

      can they keep it up?

      can they survive the playoff?

      stop with your ‘exciting’ comments

      • FREEJV

        go over to the milwaukee site cuz they re the ones tanking and change ur name pls raptors arent tanking bud 😀

        • Tanks-a-lot

          actually, my nick is a reference of a UT2004 online server map

          I chose it before the season.

          • Plus

            Loved that game. :)

            • Tanks-a-lot

              I still play. The Omnipotent’s online Onslaught server is still rocking.

  • Ds

    What a freakin’ machine! Can’t believe these are my Raptors!

  • Meep

    Did anyone else notice that 100% of the bench minutes went to players acquired in The Rudy Gay Trade? MU traded Rudy for the entire bench.

    • Paul

      I noticed this too. Remember when we used to bring in Fields to back up the 4? The bench has been HUGE

      • afrocarter

        Yep, when your power forward substitutions are Fields and Novak, there’s an issue. 2Pat was huge tonight.

    • Rob Rousseau

      One of the really impressive things Ujiri has been able to do is is take Colangelo’s smart picks and signings, maximize their potential, and turn his high-profile failures into a very capable bench unit.

      • TheR3dMenace

        Makes sense. Colangelo’s draft record is pretty bulletproof as far as having an eye for quality NBA players. Don’t believe it? look it up. Team-building was always his fatal flaw.

      • truth be told

        So outside of the bench this team was basically put together by Colangelo?

        • Rob Rousseau

          Yeah, he definitely made some nice draft picks (DeRozan, Ross, Jonas) and some savvy free agent signings (Johnson, Lowry), it’s just that none of his high-profile moves (Bargnani, Jermaine O’Neal, Hedo, Marion, Gay) ever worked out. Ujiri has done really well at working with the good stuff and jettisoning what was holding the team back, creating cap space and a quality bench in the process.

    • golden

      LOL. Gay is a hot commodity now. Teams are going to trade for him, just so that they can trade him again.

      • Raptogram

        Where did I read something like the unsolvable conundrum is how to trade Rudy Gay without acquiring him in the first place? Made me laugh.

  • leftovercrack

    I’m lost for words. I can’t believe this is the same Terrence Ross who couldn’t even put up decent numbers in the summer league.

    • ac1011990

      I think it was confidence issues. Last year either he would miss really bad when he shot or it would look so easy, this year he’s got confidence and is just playing in the flow of the game. I really really love his game and he has the potential to turn into a very special player. I just hope he can start driving to the hoop abit.

      • raptorstand

        I have said before that if T. Ross would drive to the basket the majority of the time and either attack the rim or dish out he would put you in mind of MJ right now his d is solid and the three looks good but man if he ever picks up the attack the rim game he could be deadly. This isn’t some homer talking just my opinion.

        • ac1011990

          Lolz I think he has a ways to go before he reminds anyone of MJ but ya your right. I’m really hoping he starts driving because I honestly can’t remember a time he actually drove to the rim when he was further out. He’s an awesome shooter, driving would help him and the other guys a lot. He’s a super exciting player to watch each time he shoots I feel like it’s going in.

          • raptorstand

            What i mean about MJ is he has the fluidity of MJ , the ease the body movements , if he could attack the rim and have a couple rim shaking dunks a game, all bets are off.

          • leftovercrack

            At first I thought his ceiling was as a 3-and-D wing, but he is developing an all-around game

        • kevin

          Ross is a nice player but has zero handles and hasn’t shown any ability to finish around the rim, outside of a few open lane highlight dunks. Until he can consistently put the ball on the floor and get to the rim, he’s going to be limited offensively. That’s not to say he can’t carve out a nice career as a 3-point specialist.

      • StrikerAI

        I could see him as an athletic version of Arron Afflalo, both of them are good defensively and they can shoot the 3 really well, but Ross is far more athletic, which will make him better on defense and attacking the rim, so if he can improve his ball handling to drive and create shots and his mid range jumper, I can see him averaging around 15-20 ppg.

        • FREEJV

          worst case scenario for Ross: Mo Pete/Shane Battier
          best case scenario: Tmac

          • TheSpiceTyrant

            Patterson could be a Battier lite… Doubt TR could grab as many rebounds. A Mo Pete would be nice.

      • TheSpiceTyrant

        It’s his feet.

        Lately he’s been planting his feet properly and jumping straight up. Guarantee that when he’s jumping vertical, dude is money. Last year the nba speed threw his set and release timing off; but now he’s figured it out. It also helps he’s getting the time to release without worrying about the contest.

  • ad

    Lowry is hands down THE BEST pg in raps history.

    • Feather Ruffler

      Over Mighty Mouse? Dude…

      • ad

        Yup. Although I will admit that I only started following the nba when stoduamire was in portland. He was never the same player once he left the raps. He had a really short peak.

        • Feather Ruffler

          I remember watching Damon in `95 as a kid and just being blown away, he`s the player that made me go from liking the Raptors to genuinely loving them. Some of those assists and crossovers were just bamboozling. Great memories. Yeah he was decent on Portland, had a few good years there but didn`t have that magic like in T.O. But I absolutely love the way Kyle plays. Love it. He might be number three for myself, behind Damon and Jose.

          • ad

            If you want to take damon over lowry, fine. No way jose is ahead of him though. Lowry has a much more all around game than jose ever did.

            • SR

              Lowry just hasn’t sustained it yet. This is a great streak, and he had a nice but also short run in Houston – if Lowry does this for an extended period of time, then he definitely passes Jose.

              I’ve been catching a few Dallas games this season, just to watch Jose in action again.

          • arsenalist

            Yeah, Damon back in the day was pretty sick. He used to make players fall down. I think if the question is which Raptors PG hit a peak in their play with the Raptors, even if it was for only a season, the answer has to be Stoudamire. Overall body of work, I’d say Jose Calderon. Boogie Williams people love for his longevity, hustle, and character but IMHO, he’s below Stoudamire and Calderon.

            Problem with Damon was that he got into weed when he left Toronto (or maybe it started here), and it kind of derailed his career. I think being close to home in Portland had a negative affect, and he had a lot of distractions there. In Toronto, he was away from those distractions and focused on basketball.

            Man, I feel really old typing this.

            • Sam

              I was going to say the same thing. People forget he averaged 19/9 as a rookie with nobody on this team.

            • DDayLewis

              Boss, you ARE old.

            • Raptogram

              Don’t forget T.J. in 06, 07. Worthy of an honourable mention

        • Tanks-a-lot

          Thomas took advantage of Stodumire to make himself look good.

        • Tanks-a-lot

          Thomas is a sack of crap

    • Tinman

      Alvin:”Boogie” Williams

      • ad

        No. He was a fine player but lowry is more talented.

        • SR

          Alvin was a good PG and great Raptor, but he never had a stretch like the tear Lowry’s on right now. What Lowry’s doing right now is top 5 PG material, easy.

          • Minks77

            Disagree. Alvin really rallied the squad when Vince went down in the Hakeem year, lead them to the playoffs with AD and co. And we’re a Chris child’s brain fart away from upsetting Detroit.

            Pure talent is go Damon/tj/Jose/Lowry/boogie

            But in terms if best PG (and all that entails)?
            Boogie/Jose/tj/Lowry/Damon

            Stat wise boogie wasn’t an eye popper but leadership and defence? Lowry hasn’t got him beat in either cat. Yet.

    • frack

      Damon was pretty sick his rookie year. I’d say Lowry is up there.

    • robertparrish00

      Billups was kinda good. Of course forgetable he was even on the Raps.

      • arsenalist

        Billups became good after he left Toronto. He was decent here, but back in the day we wanted him to be a pure PG and he just wasn’t that. Too bad nobody in the franchise recognized his unique talents at the time, opportunity lost.

        • Tanks-a-lot

          Billups was always a good guard.

          He just did not fit in.

          I was happy that he found his niche.

    • tdotgooner

      As a true pg, i think jose was up there. we didn’t appreciate him because of his weak defence. But lowry needs to sustain this level of play before we can bring up his name. Remember he’s looking for his payday so everything he does now should be taken with a grain of salt. He does have the talent and in fact i think we should sign him up long term because he fits the team so well but he needs to sustain his play before we start talking crazy.

      • SR

        Yes, other than the 50% of the game played at your own end of the court, Jose was a fine PG.

        It’s easy to say this is the best stretch of PG play since Stoudamire.

    • johng_3

      One good stretch does not make him the best PG in our franchise. I would still put Alvin and Jose above him.

  • asifyouknow

    Are Greivis Vasquez’s days numbered in Toronto http://www.fannation.com/blogs/post/1687526#.Usd4MLhGka8.twitter … …

    • GoingBig

      He can fill out the minutes and they are not going to use Julyan Stone as PG. Other teams will not trade for anything
      He got a 1 year contract (2.1mm) & then is Restricted free agent .
      As a backup he’s younger and survivable – and maybe teachable

  • RRFanatic

    Miami rematch. Lets go get those bitches.

    • FREEJV

      nah we always lose to them we dont match up well against that team

      • Feather Ruffler

        I have a good feeling, especially with the Heat on a back to back. God optimism when it comes to the Raps…how I`ve missed thee.

        • ad

          Wade might not play. If he doesnt that helps the raps.

          • robertparrish00

            Please let Violet Palmer draw another reffing assignment!

            • Tanks-a-lot

              Isn’t the NBA done with the idiotic gender stupidity?

              Why do female Refs exist?

              Affirmative Action is for retards that want guns to make them normal

              • Tanks-a-lot-Jr

                aka Gender Quotas

              • jeremy whiston

                isn’t the NBA done with the idiotic fan stupidity?

                why do sexist morons exist?

                Affirmative Action is not really a relevant topic anymore and has absolutely nothing to do with who the NBA hires to officiate.

                • Tanks-a-lot

                  PC infects every apolitical business.

                  Are you stupid?

                • jeremy whiston

                  loving the father/son tag-team

                  they told jackie robinson that black people weren’t cut out to play baseball

                  yes, i’m stupid

                • Tanks-a-lot

                  RACE is not SEX

                  FUCK OFF YOU MORON

                • jeremy whiston

                  loving the capital letters. are those shiftys or locks?

                • Tanks-a-lot

                  Your Alinsky does not work on me

            • robertparrish00

              I was just saying she is superstar caller number one. Sorry to spark the hate.

              • Minks77

                Violet is a terrible ref but it has nothing to do w/gender.

        • FREEJV

          pls Orlando is not even a game for them its like a scrimmage

      • StrikerAI

        Normally I would say that, but the Raptors are on one nice hot streak and they beat Indiana and OKC, so beating Miami is possible, likely no, but possible, especially since Miami is going to play on a back-to-back

        • FREEJV

          Orlando counts as a game for Miami? o.O

  • ktotheg

    Jonas needs more touches, and he will get them. As a sports fan, this has been the most drastic mid season change in quality of play that I’ve ever seen. Raps have gone from ball hog boring to consistent team effort in only a few weeks. Raps will win the Atlantic.

    • Tinman

      .wasn’t the night for Jonas. The wings started strong. Tonight was a night in the trenches for the foot-soldier

    • Delabar’s Weighted Balls

      Maybe the most unlikely turnaround was when Drew Bledsoe was in injured just a week or 2 before the playoffs, and the unknown Tom Brady took New England on that magical run, winning the last game of the season to get into the playoffs & then 4 in a row including the Superbowl, all as big underdogs… (pretty sure that’s what happened). If the Raps win the title, it would be just as unlikely and amazing

      • Slurktan

        Well not quite. Brady took over(starting) in Week 3. Still your point stands.

  • Kyle

    I saw the Raptors in preseason and I was floored by TRoss’ defense. He’s so long, fast, and clearly can jump, the ball handler doesn’t anticipate how quick Ross can close on them. So glad this is coming through now!

    Also, Raps are a game out of 3rd place. Have the Raptors ever hit third in the East this deep into a season? Are we approaching a Raptors milestone?

    • slim

      They finished third one year

    • johng_3

      Its sad that the Raps can reach third in the East considering we are one game over .500. Wow the East sucks

      • FREEJV

        raptors had the hardest schedule in the east so far its not their fault

        • johng_3

          But at this point we shouldn’t have a chance to recover with Chicago, Brooklyn and New York free falling unexpectedly from predictions in the beginning of the season.

  • Stahmenah

    So hopefully the Tank Nation will back off now with that crap,

    • ktotheg

      Do you really care about tank nation? They want long term success as much as you do, but have a different view of how to get there. Raps are playing fun to watch ball… just enjoy.

      • lino

        no I don’t care about tank nation, I’m just saying you haven’t heard the last of them. but I do worry about losing a stretch of games and act as the trigger for dealing Lowry because you know he is gonna fetch something, the big Carrot dangling. thus ending an exciting season.

        • Stahmenah

          I agree. I worry also. But why trade one of the hottest pg we ever had?

          • c_bcm

            Sell high. He is playing out of his mind right now and cannot possibly sustain it. Remember this is his contract year. He actually came into camp in shape, unlike the past years where he was fat and oft-injured.

      • ktotheg

        I’m just saying enjoy the raps as you wish. Those that want to tank are still fans… Paying Lowry any more that what he makes today is iffy…hasn’t produced consistently – ever.

    • ad

      Ive been one of the biggest proponents of tanking on this board. I’ll admit that its not happening this year. Too many wins already. Next year? Who the fuck knows. Just enjoy the wins for now and hopefully MU will figure some shit out.

    • lino

      I bet a blitzkrieg of tanks will be coming over the hill after one sight of losing streak.

      I have a sick feeling in my stomach that Masai has his finger on the button and will dump this season for that pick as soon as they start sliding. That’s why I cannot relax and full enjoy the wins because the team might not seem ‘elite’ enough to stop that from happening.

  • afrocarter

    I feel this was as much a statement win as the last. As mentioned on the broadcast, it seemed like the Raps came out determined to prove that the Indiana win wasn’t a fluke. What better way than to trounce the team a half-game back from you in the standings? Great win.

    • Raptogram

      +1

  • Feather Ruffler

    I`m calling a win over Miami right now. I just this minute picked up my tix for the Jan 11th game against the Nets and I am over the moon! It should be an excellent game, and hopefully another sellout!

    • afrocarter

      With each game, the Raps are showing the league that they’re indeed legit competition. Phoenix Suns of the East?

      • Feather Ruffler

        Both teams are a blast to watch, and winning big so why not? Man I wish we had Miles Plumlee coming off the bench behind Jonas…

  • Tinman

    BIG WHEEL KEEPS ON TURNING……………………
    Well we dominated a comparable team in their house.
    Thought Jonas had a tough night. Thought the refs missed a couple of fouls when he was smacked in the head. Credit him, last few games he’s been up some tough completion, and has more than held his own. A fighter.
    THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT

  • Tinman

    ON THE ROAD AGAIN…………..
    another road win

  • mountio

    Great game all around, but 2Pat was just outstanding. Hes ridiculously confident shooting that J. Weird thing is he hasnt been a good %age shooter for his career … and now he looks like a marksman. Hopefully not just a fluke.
    On the other hand, greasy baskets needs to stop chucking up 3s. If he plays his game and tries to set up others on the bench unit, we will be in better shape. On a similar note, while Casey’s rotations are much better, he should still try to keep 2 of DD, TR, KL or JV on at a minimum with the 2nd unit. When we have the all sacto unit + one other, we stuggle on offense (notwithstanding 2pat tonight)

  • Tanks-a-lot

    It all depends on your team

  • Tinman

    DON’T BRING ME DOWN………….
    can’t wait for Tim’s recap

    • Tanks-a-lot

      I can’t believe how many people get suck into arguments with Tim

    • DDayLewis

      I’ve got this one. You’ll like it, I promise.

  • raptorstand

    The defense was so good that Washington had enough after the first half, the rotations were flawless. The wins all look exactly the same, the defense is so good teams are backing down after 30 minutes of it. I have never seen a Raptor team play this good d. The Bargs years are starting to fade into distant memories. Defense can you imagine?

  • Tanks-a-lot

    Lowry is the imagined combination of Derek Fisher and Gary Payton

    please remember that we live in the ZONE era

  • Alex Vostrikov

    who was telling me it doesn’t matter if you watch a game with your team wins or loses? honestly, cannot remember the time when I was waiting for next game.
    also, have no problem flashing $200×2 for home game again….. I almost promised to myself not to spend a single dollar on crap, until something changes in GAME QUALITY.

    • Tanks-a-lot

      Good, get some season tickets and STFU

  • Delabar’s Weighted Balls

    Why wouldn’t you rest some starters up 20 in the 4th?? It’s a long season, there’s injury risk, and give Novak & Fields some run to keep ’em in it in practice, etc. That 4th Q was the very definition of garbage time…

    • FREEJV

      you have to play it safe with the 2 games coming up no game is over until the buzzer

    • raptorstand

      You pull everybody off your showing them up. We have lost a game up 27. Coaching .

    • arsenalist

      Not to me man. When the Wiz were within 15, they had some momentum going. I don’t think this game was out of reach by any means given they got some three-point shooting and Wall to create for them. In the third it looked like the lead was going to touch 30 and then it might’ve been over, but that never happened. Also, remember GSW?

      • Delabar’s Weighted Balls

        I respectfully disagree… you could always put the starters back in but this game was different than G.S.

        WWGPD? (what would Greg Popovich do?) rest players when possible…if guys run out of steam in the 2nd half/playoffs, lessons learned

        • raptorstand

          legit point , this team has to get to the play offs for one , we are really young for another and every minute on the floor is knowledge for this young group 4 years down the road we ease up , but not now

        • Raptogram

          Good point, and I think it would have been the right thing to do in most situations.

          However, this game was important to nail down and put away as a Washington win would have put them even with the Raps.

  • lino

    Raptors have the second best record in the NBA since the Gay trade. thought that was a pretty neat stat.

  • Tanks-a-lot

    I always knew the day would come when the zone destroyed the star

    video killed the radio star

  • doncity

    Another great win tonight. It’s great to see the Raptors just run a team off their home court. Haven’t seen that since the glory days of Vince and the boys.

    Still, why do so many people in Toronto have to focus on the negative? It’s obvious by watching these recent games that it wasn’t simply getting rid of Rudy Gay that caused the surge, it was picking up a capable bench in the trade that did the trick. It gave us a legit second unit and freed up starters minutes for Ross. There’s no way to tell, but I’m sure that if we had this second unit at the start of the season, even with Rudy still on the squad we might be a twenty-plus win team by now.

    There’s a lot of ways to look at things. You can say Rudy was a selfish ball-hog or you could say that he felt the pressure to be the man at all times because we had no scoring coming off the bench. Keep that in mind when negative types start claiming with certainty that we “have no elite players.” How do they know? Everyone in the starting five was drafted and developed in the hope they would attain elite status. All of them have shown in the past they are capable of playing at an elite level. The definition of elite in the NBA fluctuates as some players get older and others mature. It’s very possible that in 3 years we could be saying there are four elite players on the Raptors.

    I don’t understand the need to run our guys down now that they seem to be realizing their true potential. Most of this attitude seems to stem from anti-Colangelo types who can’t admit that he did anything right in his tenure. He made some bad moves but I always thought he had an eye for talent, especially considering the stiffs the previous regime brought in. I’m glad some of his decisions are bearing fruit, even though I’d still rather see Masai in charge consdering what he got for Rudy and Andrea.

    Go Raps!

    • DDayLewis

      People rag on Gay because he was pretty terrible. While he was on the court, he used 30% of all possessions and shot 39% with a bunch of turnovers. Gay was a legitimate negative for this team just like the incoming bench players are positives.

      • TheSpiceTyrant

        Well, I for one, got frustrated to hell watching the double team come to Gay and yet he chooses to shoot a highly contested mid range jumper, as opposed to dishing to a cutting Amir or JV. You could tell our bigs were working hard but not getting any touches.

        And it’s not like he couldn’t pass: he could have very well been a lebron and willfully trust his teammates for the better shot. He has extreme length and would be a brilliant assist machine. But he chose not to play that way.

        Also, note how many off the ball screen plays you see now: we didn’t see as many before. I chalked it up -incorrectly- to Casey’s lack of play making. But seems very clear now is that those plays were being run but whereas DD passes, Gay did not.

        • doncity

          My point wasn’t that Gay was perfect or beyond criticism – my point was that the bench we got in exchange for Gay is the key reason behind the Raptor surge and that our lack of a bench at the beginning of the season might be the real reason why we got off to such a sluggish start.

          I just don’t like it when people try to paint team sports in a personal way – like Gay had some sort of personal failing that made him refuse to share the ball with more deserving teammates. I saw him make plenty of plays when he was here and he seemed like a good guy.

          Still, I saw the same games as everyone else. It didn’t look like Rudy had chemistry with the rest of the team and I wasn’t sad when the trade was made. I just don’t see Rudy as any kind of villain. He did his best from what I saw.

  • Cameron Becker

    At least the fans were smart enough to realize Terrence Ross played pretty damn good defense for the most part of the game (and offense) and did deserve an A for his troubles.

    • Raptogram

      He hustled on Wall, and only lost Beal a couple times, as far as I saw.

      • Cameron Becker

        Agreed. He also lost Paul George a couple of times but that didn’t define his overall performance. Same tonight. Both Beal and Wall had misreable games overall.

  • Ion66

    One trade, 4 average looking (on paper) players, some actual playing time for our recent lottery picks, and all of a sudden, it’s like the Titanic hits the iceberg, and the iceberg sunk instead.

  • Chewwy

    I thought that one important thing happened tonight besides all of the other positive stuff. Jonus has a very bad habit of showing up officials every time he get’s called for a foul. Officials hate this and have punished him for it this year with non calls and ticky tack fouls on him. Today he foolishly did this at Joey Crawford who is the worst and most sensitive official in the NBA. Jonus got teed up for it and even though I hate Crawford, I felt Jonus needed to understand that he is hurting the team. Jonus will not get calls if he continues to show up the officials every time he get’s called for a foul so it’s time he stops the Vlade Divac, Alonzo Mourning whining after every single foul call on him and do like Lowry did, which is hand the ball to Joey and say nothing.

    • TheSpiceTyrant

      Totally agree. Last year he made a point of introducing himself to the refs. Seems like this year it’s the opposite where he’s arguing calls and gripping/whining.

      He needs to focus on what he can control, not on what he cant.

    • ckh26

      Good observation. All part of the sophomore experience for JV. Professor Joey gave him a wake up call. If JV can continue his rapid learning on boxing out and posting up closer to the basket he will also learn to button it up.. keep his head down .. keep his butt in the air and just silently keep moving the pile.

      Then the calls will start coming his way.. just ask Demar.

    • DDayLewis

      So the refs fuck him over with non all. he complains, gets fucked over again with a tech, and it’s on Jonas? Come on.

      • ckh26

        So put in another context William. Your hired into a firm and on the 2nd week of your tenure you walk into the CEO’s office and tell him that his long term strategy is just plain stupid and the last decision he just made to do a stock buy back was wrong.
        Does the CEO
        a) congratulate you on your insight and wisdom
        b) T you up and ask you to take your talents eleswhere ?

        Just askin ..

  • Bemeup

    Stats from Hollinger’s Power Rankings/Playoff Odds: Raptors ranked 9th, just behind Heat, thus if they beat them tomorrow, will be ranked ahead of them.LOL. Raps chance of making the playoffs 100%. Raps chance of winning the title 5.7%, better than San Antonio-Wha?

  • Emaad Qureshi

    RAPTORS!!!!