Brooklyn Nets 80 Final
Recap | Box Score
96 Toronto Raptors
Amir Johnson, PF Shot Chart 32 MIN | 1-6 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 3 PTS | -8

Not Amir’s best game, not Amir’s worst game. He played well on defence and had a monster block on Plumlee. He wasn’t good from the floor on the offensive end, but he did the dirty work of setting screens and fighting for position that helped enable others to score. Lunch pail game.

B-
1
Jonas Valanciunas, C Shot Chart 22 MIN | 2-9 FG | 4-6 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | -22

Valanciunas’ field goal% isn’t always awesome, but he’s developed quite the knack for calmly tipping his rushed shot misses back in. I love Jonas’ attitude; he doesn’t need to be the focus of the offence in order to not sulk and check out like DeMarcus Cousins, he just wants to be involved. Give him a couple post ups, a pass when he seals his man well and rolls to the rim off of a pick and giving him the opportunity for a short jumper when he’s left open. Just let him be on the team and he’ll hustle hard up and down each end of the floor and grind. I’ll take it.

B
150
Kyle Lowry, PG Shot Chart 35 MIN | 4-11 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 12 PTS | +10

Kyle Lowry though! The internets has ablaze today with reports of the Raptors deciding that they’re content to keep Lowry for the rest of the season and compete. It was awful nice of Kyle to show up tonight in a way that makes all of us Raptors fans feel pretty good about that choice. Kyle has cleaned up his gambling habits on defence and rediscovered his elite defensive status. He held his own against the much larger Pierce, Joe Johnson and Alan Anderson tonight. There are not many point guards who can guard those 3 names, and even less of them at Lowry’s height. His ability to hit a 3 from the top peel of the arc whenever this team really needs one is uncanny.

A
149
DeMar DeRozan, SG Shot Chart 37 MIN | 9-18 FG | 7-8 FT | 7 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 26 PTS | +7

DeMar DeRozan got angry in the 4th quarter of this game when it mattered and it… was… awesome! DeMar is embracing his role as a leader of this team and is seemingly growing more confident with each passing week. He’s slowly learning to utilize his athleticism on defence, but even as that lags, the impact he’s making in transition out of a bolstered team defence is a big weapon. A DeMar who is engaged on both ends, gets to the line and shoots 50% is a very good NBA player.

A-
177
Terrence Ross, SG Shot Chart 34 MIN | 4-10 FG | 3-4 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | -7

Terrence Ross 3-pointers have quickly become one of the best parts of my day. His jumper is so pretty that it seems like something isn’t right whenever it doesn’t go in. It felt like there was a constant glitch in the matrix last season. It’s exceptionally satisfying to watch the ball almost go in as much as I expect it to now.
Ross has been embracing the rebounding role of the small forward position. It’s hard not to hear a “boing” sound effect in your head whenever he floats up for a defensive board. He’s not playing like a super star, but I’m pretty happy about not selling any of my T-Ross stock yet.

A
121
Patrick Patterson, PF Shot Chart 28 MIN | 5-12 FG | 3-4 FT | 12 REB | 1 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | +40

Nothing gets sports colour commentators and analysts more excited than when good bench players go off. And Patrick Patterson gave Devlin and Armstrong everything they needed to have a 4th-quarter-long on-air celebration of Patterson.
Patterson is an awesome bench big man. He’s poised, big enough to be a proper 4 and rebound but has enough of a 3 pointer to stretch the floor. Most importantly though, he’s really embraced his role off the bench and thrived in that lane. Terrific night for PP, proving that he’s good enough to play crunch time minutes when he’s on (and guarding a big man duo of Mason Plumlee and Mirza Teletovic, but still).

A+
140
Chuck Hayes, PF Shot Chart 14 MIN | 1-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | +22

Does anyone know if Chuck Hayes has a good sense of humour? If I call him Chunk Hayes, do you think he’d be upset? Do you think he would do the truffle shuffle? Too far? You’re probably right.
Chuck Hayes didn’t do a lot in limited minutes. He got himself in a helpful offensive position to get 4 points, but he also gave up a pair of wide open corner 3s to Teletovic because he couldn’t close out to the corner fast enough.

B+
113
John Salmons, SF Shot Chart 24 MIN | 5-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 13 PTS | +32

It’s difficult criticize someone much when they don’t miss a single shot. Casey has shown a lot of trust in the grizzled ole’ vet, and did so again tonight by subbing him in to finish the game with a super small lineup with Patterson at the 5. Again, it’s tough to criticize results.

A-
113
Steve Novak, SF Shot Chart 1 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | 0

Do players resent getting subbed in for the useless final 60 seconds of a game that’s already over? Seem’s like an embarrassing pity compliment more than anything else.

B
60
Greivis Vasquez, PG Shot Chart 13 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | +6

Old Man Pierce made General Greivis look like he was stuck in slow motion twice during a 2-minute stretch of the 4th quarter. If you were wondering if Greivis Vasquez is fast, he is not. He is, however, really good at hitting the rolling big man with a perfect pass. While an improvement at backup point guard, I still get antsy when the 4th quarter starts ticking by with Lowry on the bench.

C+
98
Julyan Stone, SG Shot Chart 1 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | 0

Julyan Stone exists.

B
52
Dwane Casey

Give Dwayne Casey props, he had a huge athletic advantage over the Nets and thats the game-plan he employed. They used their speed and explosiveness on defence and pushed the ball in transition. The Raptors circled the ball through a series of quick pick and rolls on offence to keep the slow footed Nets moving and finding the open man behind the arc and rolling to the rim. This is a team that is showing sensational character, poise and effort on both sides of the floor. Casey even got daps from Drake for his solid suit game. That’s an all around A+ evening for Coach Casey if I’ve ever seen one.

A
97

Four Things We Saw

  1. I love Drake, but I feel like he can do better than being the Ryan Seacrest of the Toronto Raptors. I’m not saying I have a better idea of how to use him, but there has to be one, right?
  2. Brooklyn plays the most old man NBA game ever. Every third possession is a slow iso back-down into the low post.
  3. Dick Bavetta looks an awful lot like someone who chose his cup unwisely in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. I’ll admit it; I had a “is it a good idea that Grandpa is still allowed to drive?” moment when he called a foul on Lowry for getting elbowed in the face by Paul Pierce right before half. But moving on from my petty comments in jest, if I can move up and down the floor all night like Mr. Buvetta does at that age I’ll be thrilled. Good on you Sir.
  4. Why couldn’t the extended Drake interview have been during the completely irrelevant halftime show instead of during 2nd quarter play. Devlin and Armstrong flat out ignored ten minutes of the game for a conversation with our boy Aubrey about… I don’t even remember what. And neither do you, because you were trying to watch the game and it was more distracting than interesting. The minute Drake took off his headset someone with courtside seats got hit with the ball and spilled his beer everywhere and that was it for Devlin and Armstrong even pretending to notice their was a game going on for the next five minutes. In their defence though, can you imagine anything more interesting than one fan’s reaction to having his beer splashed all over him? The slow motion replays, camera’s repeatedly checking back in on him and a detailed discussion of the virtues of having a lid on your plastic beer glass are totally justified. That’s just great television.

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