|Amir Johnson, PF Shot Chart 26 MIN | 2-4 FG | 2-6 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | +1He and the rest of the front-court turned Jared Sullinger into 1990 Charles Barkley (h/t Braedon Clark of RHQ). It was an uncharacteristically awful game from Amir. Lethargic and pathetic. I’m incredibly disappointed by his performance.|
|Jonas Valanciunas, C Shot Chart 23 MIN | 1-7 FG | 3-4 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | +7There is absolutely no excuse for his performance tonight. His hooks weren’t dropping early so he hung his head and didn’t dig in to collect stray rebounds. The Celtics pick-and-roll defense was smoothering and the Raptors really could have used his presence in the paint.|
|Kyle Lowry, PG Shot Chart 42 MIN | 6-17 FG | 3-4 FT | 7 REB | 12 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 18 PTS | -2He tried, man, he really tried. Bradley is an elite on-ball defender and the Celtics did an amazing job defending the pick and roll, but Lowry really struggled to run an effective halfcourt offense, especially in the second half. He also missed a key free-throw and committed a rare turnover with 1 minute left in the game.|
|DeMar DeRozan, SG Shot Chart 37 MIN | 9-22 FG | 4-9 FT | 8 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 23 PTS | -9While everyone around him was bricking everything in sight, Derozan gave the Raptors a consistent source of offense. I don’t know why Casey left him on the bench for 4 minutes to start the fourth.|
|Terrence Ross, SG Shot Chart 25 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 8 PTS | +13I wish Ross had a better handle. The Celtics did a great job closing out so he didn’t get his usual dose of open spot-ups, which meant he was wholly ineffective. He needs to develop the ability to create off the dribble if he’s going to be anything more than a 3&D guy.|
|Patrick Patterson, PF Shot Chart 20 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 2 PTS | -12We really could have used his pick-and-popping goodness tonight, and he just couldn’t get it going. Piss poor effort on the boards. Not a great game for 2Pat.|
|Chuck Hayes, PF Shot Chart 16 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -15I miss Hansbrough.|
|John Salmons, SF Shot Chart 27 MIN | 5-9 FG | 0-2 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 13 PTS | -6He did his part. He hit his shots on offense and gave the Raptors a capable ball-handler. He didn’t push the needle one way or the other, but if you’re counting on contributions from Salmons to beat a team on a 9-game slide, you’re in trouble|
|Landry Fields, SF Shot Chart 4 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -7Seriously? How did this happen? 4 minutes and not a single tally in the boxscore?|
|Steve Novak, SF Shot Chart 11 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | +13Here’s the thing about Novak — anything he gives you on the offensive end is mitigated by what he concedes on defense.|
|Greivis Vasquez, PG Shot Chart 9 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -8See Novak, Steve|
Why is there no F minus button? What was that? The Raptors were getting killed on the offensive glass, so your move is to go small and play Novak at the four?!?! Yeah he hit two threes but he also gave up a bunch of offensive boards. Also, why did Hayes play so many minutes? He did nothing for you on either end of the floor. And why did you burn that timeout while the refs went to the video review? Why? Horrible rotations.
Five Things We Saw
- I gloated about the Raptors superiority, but they played like crap tonight. Conversely, the undermanned Celtics had a fire lit underneath their seats all night and hustled like crazy. They were the deserved winners of a very hard fought game. I shouldn’t have taken pot-shots at their team in my preview. That was wrong and wholly undeserved. I would like to personally apologize to Sullinger and Bradley in particular as they were fantastic tonight.
- Is it just me, or do the Raptors only have one halfcourt set? If a team can effectively guard the pick-and-roll (like Bradley and the Celtics), the Raptors are forced to turn to Derozan isolation plays to generate offense, which is less than ideal. Part of this can be attributed to the utter lack of shot-creators outside of Ross, Lowry and Derozan, but the lack of variety and flexibility on offense is on the coaches.
- The Celtics were playing amazing halfcourt defense, so I understand why it made sense for the Raptors to try to push the pace, but all the leaking out from the wings really exacerbated the rebounding disparity. You need to grab the rebound before you do anything else.
- Speaking of rebounds, how’s this for a disparity? The Celtics outrebounded the Raps by a total of 58-44. They collected 19 offensive rebounds and Sully had 20 total rebounds all by himself. Also, the Raptors shot 12/25 on free throws. Weird night,
- You know that famous chessboard scene from season one of The Wire? The one where D’Angelo schools Poot, Bodie and Wallace about how the game works? Yeah? The Raptors are definitely the “bald headed bitches” of the NBA.