|Amir Johnson, PF Shot Chart 32 MIN | 7-11 FG | 4-6 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 19 PTS | +2
He played with this game with 20-lbs of stone tied to each knee. At least that’s what it felt like at times as Love muscled him on the boards with his center of gravity and strength. His length bothered Love enough to neutralize him in certain stretches.
|Jonas Valanciunas, C Shot Chart 23 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 11 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 4 PTS | +18
Forget about scoring against Pekovic, the guy just does not give up space and JV’s not exactly fleet footed. When his pump fake worked, he was too late in noticing that it worked so I’m left to point to his rebounding and defensive positioning as a positive, both of which he did extremely well against some serious size.
|Kyle Lowry, PG Shot Chart 34 MIN | 7-12 FG | 4-5 FT | 5 REB | 6 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 24 PTS | +5
Huge threes that kept Minny at bay. His gambling paid off early as it forced some turnovers but also hurt later in the game against Barea, who got the better of him in that third quarter stint. Always managed to disrupt the Minny set-defense with his penetration by going wide off the high screen and drilling right into the paint. Hit a huge three with 15 seconds left.
|DeMar DeRozan, SG Shot Chart 40 MIN | 5-17 FG | 4-5 FT | 5 REB | 5 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 15 PTS | +3
Questionable shot selection all game long. I don’t mind if they’re not going in but they have to be shots that make sense to take. Fell in love a little too much with the jumper, maybe it was because of the refs swallowing the whistle, but he’s got to keep trying to do the right thing. Paid some of his debts with a drive and a short fade in the paint with the game hanging in the balance late.
|Terrence Ross, SG Shot Chart 39 MIN | 6-14 FG | 3-4 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 16 PTS | +7
Huge. Showed a dribble-in/mid-range game with DeRozan struggling. The three wasn’t falling tonight and in the past that meant he might’ve been a non-factor offensively, but not tonight. We saw a confident Ross taking it off the dribble against Brewer, Martin and Co. with good effect. Encouraging signs.
|Patrick Patterson, PF Shot Chart 21 MIN | 5-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 11 PTS | 0
Massive again in the second quarter, and even more massive in the fourth when he made sure that the 5-7 point lead remained that with Vasquez quarterbacking. His movement is phenomenal – it spaces the floor and ensures that his man is not helping on anyone. The mid-range J was sweet again.
|Chuck Hayes, PF Shot Chart 19 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -10
Was called upon to muscle with Love and Pekovic, and despite being out-sized, played his heart out. Given his talent level, role on the team, his defensive output and energy can only be considered huge.
|John Salmons, SF Shot Chart 10 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +2
Excellent early but picked up a knock and didn’t return after halftime.
|Landry Fields, SF Shot Chart 1 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -2
No idea he played.
|Greivis Vasquez, PG Shot Chart 19 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | 0
Held his own in that critical early fourth quarter which is when Casey calls upon him, including hitting a massive three. Featured in the two-guard lineup with Lowry in the fourth.
His gamble of playing Vasquez in the fourth for extended minutes paid off, Lowry was fresh when he came back and ended up hitting that massive three with 15 seconds left. The Raptors did the little things right here – good inbounding plays against pressure, decent plays out of timeouts, consistent effort on defense. Casey did well.
Five Things We Saw
- Raptors gave up 10 offensive rebounds in the first half which ended on a 9-0 T’Wolves run. In the third, only 1. Adjustment made.
- Raps kept going under the screen for Rubio who struggled making his jumpers and ended up getting benched for Barea.
- Love’s line is 16/12 and Pekovic is at 13/6 – credit JV for Pekovic’s low rebound total. Love’s line is pretty sick, but there wasn’t a stretch in this game where he dominated and led the T’Wolves to any significant sort of momentum late on.
- Key stat: Raps 11/24 3FG, Minny 3/118 3FG. Secondary key stat which the Raptors overcame: Points in the Paint: Timberwolves 56, Raptors 30.
At the end of the day, Raptors led end-to-end for the win.
Kevin Martin – LOL!