Quick Reaction

Reaction: Raptors 112 Piston 91 – Jan. 8/14

Raptors come out in the 2nd half like gang-busters, and beat the Pistons at home on the second night of a back-to-back to stop a two game losing streak.

Detroit Pistons 91 Final
Recap | Box Score
112 Toronto Raptors
Amir Johnson, PF Shot Chart 33 MIN | 4-13 FG | 2-2 FT | 11 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 4 BLK | 3 TO | 10 PTS | +12

0-7 in the 1st half, 4-6 in 2nd. Awesome team defense with tight rotations that ended with him blocking four shots at the rm. Standard night other than the fact that he needs to realize that that three he took in the 1st, in transition, and early in the shot clock, is not acceptable. It was funny earlier in the season, but we deserve better.

Jonas Valanciunas, C Shot Chart 26 MIN | 7-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 11 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 16 PTS | +7

The only reason I can’t give him an A+ is because his passivity (?) netted Hayes 14+ minutes, at least 7 of which should have been his. The Detroit bigs are defensively challenged, and he took advantage with vicious pump-fake after vicious pump-fake to help give the Raptors a spark in the 3rd and erase the memory of that awful 2nd quarter. That was a horrible 12 minutes of Raptors basketball.

Kyle Lowry, PG Shot Chart 34 MIN | 4-9 FG | 9-9 FT | 5 REB | 9 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 21 PTS | +17

It wasn’t that he shot poorly from the field, because he didn’t, it’s that he started the game shooting poorly from the field, and recovered by taking better shots and hitting key threes every-time the Raptors needed one. An assist short of a 20/10 night while going 9 for 9 from the line is starting to feel like just another day at the office for this guy. Along with drafting Jonas, KLOE has proven to be one of Colangelo’s best decisions.

DeMar DeRozan, SG Shot Chart 36 MIN | 3-15 FG | 13-16 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | 19 PTS | +14

The jumper wasn’t there, but every-time he put it on the floor, very good things happened: layups or freethrows (13-16). Also of note: he moved very well off the ball, crashed the boards, moved the ball around, played fairly good man defense, solid help defense, and yea…he wasn’t terribly exciting but these kinds of games go a long way in cementing his leadership on this team, and raising his profile around the league. Needs to work on his inefficient offense, but if he can get to the line like he did tonight, I’m sure we can all live it.

Terrence Ross, SG Shot Chart 29 MIN | 6-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 17 PTS | +19

I’m going to be a little hard on Ross because other than his catch-and-shooting, solid by the way, he did very little until the 4th where he snagged a couple rebounds. Does a great job of spreading the floor and giving Amir/Jonas room to operate in the paint, but the defense made me shake my head a few times more than he should have (there was one play where Pope pump-faked him from 30ft, got him off the ground, and strolled by him at three-quarters speed for a layup). Might be over-analyzing, probably am, but it seems he’s moving away form using his athleticism and into the direction of shooting more. Vince did that, and none of us needs to see that.

Patrick Patterson, PF Shot Chart 18 MIN | 3-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | +15

Surprisingly, it was his defense and playmaking that made the difference, and not his offense (which he did a great job of keeping his defender honest with shooting, dribble-driving and posting up). I want to linger on his defense (probably the first time that was said about him)…isn’t he an excellent compliment to Amir in the front court? Had Amir’s back every-time Amir rotated into the paint as the stopper; made solid rotations himself, and kept his man (usually Drummond) well in check when he saw the floor.

Chuck Hayes, PF Shot Chart 17 MIN | 2-4 FG | 1-1 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | +6

I’m just not a fan. Yes he played within himself and didn’t do anything crazy, boxed out, showed some feel around the rim, snagged a couple boards, but it feels as though his minutes come at the expense of Jonas’, which is unacceptable.

John Salmons, SF Shot Chart 23 MIN | 2-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 7 PTS | +9

I have to plead for mercy because he did nothing memorable from my perspective to the point where I didn’t even write his name down once in my game notes. Was involved in a lot of the pass before the pass, and hit a three, but at this point I’ll just be trying to divine something from the boxscore and choose to save us all that pain.

Landry Fields, SF Shot Chart 1 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +2

Got a basket. In other news, he will be paid in the vicinity of $8mil next year.

Steve Novak, SF Shot Chart 1 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +2

Got a rebound, lol

Greivis Vasquez, PG Shot Chart 20 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 7 PTS | 0

I’ll be surprised if he is back next season. Brutal defender, and sketchy shooter. That said, and I mean this, he has shown more upside in his first two years than Jose did, which is something to look forward too I guess…it’s just that it’s painful watching him go through the defensive motions for nothing; at least he isn’t a happy clapper…

Julyan Stone, SG Shot Chart 2 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +2


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


Dwane Casey

That 1st half wasn’t his fault, but to his credit he did his best to minimize the fallout from some very ugly basketball played (by both teams for that matter). Not sure what he did at half-time, but this was a very different team when the 3rd quarter kicked off. Other than playing Hayes far too many minutes, did a solid job of calling plays, having the right guys on the floor, and calling timeouts (I’m very sensitive to timely timeouts).

Five Things We Saw

  1. That 1st half was marred with poor defense (Pistons had 45 points in the paint and another 25 on the fast break), but it was the Raptors sloppy offense that did them in, especially in the 2nd quarter where they went 6-23 from the field, including a 5+ minute stretch where they didn’t hit a field goal, allowing he Pistons to go on a 14-0 run. That was as close the Pistons would come, since they suck and the Raptors don’t.

    While that 2nd quarter was brutal, the bench bought the starters about 2.5 minutes more than they had any right to, helping save their legs for the 2nd half where they came out looking like a different team; pounding the Pistons until they rolled over, which bled into the 4th quarter where they started on a 17-6 run at which point I lost interest and started pounding a bag of Cheetos.

  2. An observation about Amir and Jonas, not always, but enough that I noticed: they relied more on their size rather than positioning and boxing-out on the glass than they probably should. Munroe and Drummond combined for 27 boards (7 offensive) tonight; that’s too much. If Hayes does nothing else with the year and a half, and $10mil left on his contract, than teach Amir and Jonas how to box out with that doughboy frame of his, I will be a happy camper.
  3. Felt like we saw two Raptors teams tonight: the 1st half team that played a lot of iso/hero-ball, putting up bricks early in the shot clock and generally taking poor shots (pre-Gay-trade); and the 2nd half team that moved the ball around, took good shots, defended well, looked like they enjoy playing basketball (post-Gay-trade Raptors). The amazing thing is that Casey was able to steer the apathetic team into the engaged one.
  4. The bench was huge: 29 points 19 rebounds 9 assists a block and two steals.
  5. Raptors showed a lot of heart pulling this one out. Even when they were playing poorly, you knew they were going to win. It ended up a standard blowout, and a well deserved one after the challenging week. With 5 of the next 6 games coming against sub .500 teams, the Raptors have a real chance to grab 3rd place from the Hawks.
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