Raptors drop a stinker in Charlotte.

Toronto Raptors 95 FinalRecap | Box Score 100 Charlotte Bobcats
Amir Johnson, PF Shot Chart 17 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -17Something has to be up. It just has to. Aside from his heroic efforts in containing Kevin Love in the Wolves game, Amir has just been invisible of late. Got yanked early, and rightfully so. Where’s the pick and roll? The hustle? The defense? He’s just listless out there.

Terrence Ross, SF Shot Chart 21 MIN | 0-6 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 1 PTS | -17Reminded me of last year’s TRoss. His jumper wasn’t falling, which meant he was a total non-factor on offense. His handle isn’t good enough to allow him to attack off the dribble. Still, that’s no excuse for him losing his man repeatedly when he was defending off-ball.

Jonas Valanciunas, C Shot Chart 18 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -18Big Al gave him a taste of his own medicine by getting Jonas to bite repeatedly on his shot-fake. Horrible game from Jonas. Got benched in favor of Hayes for the second straight game.

Kyle Lowry, PG Shot Chart 38 MIN | 9-22 FG | 0-1 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 21 PTS | -15He tried man, he really did. His shot wasn’t falling in the early going and he looked awkward when he tried to press the issue, but he still got the Raptors to within a free throw make at tying the game with 24 seconds left. Unfortunately, it was Lowry who missed that FT. Valient effort as always.

DeMar DeRozan, SG Shot Chart 39 MIN | 10-23 FG | 4-5 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 25 PTS | -12Question: How do you get the emptiest 25 points ever? Answer: By taking all of the bad shots. I really had to do a double take to make sure that it wasn’t Rudy in a number 10 uniform. With the Raptors down big in the second, Derozan had the gall to take back-to-back turnaround jumpshots. Turned it around a bit in the fourth and made a key steal to bring the Raptors close, but still a mediocre game overall.

Patrick Patterson, PF Shot Chart 26 MIN | 4-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | +15You have to hand it to the bench mob. At least they came to play with a lot of energy. 2Pat crashed the boards and played some very capable defense as the lone big-man in the Raptors small-ball scheme. The numbers aren’t all that shiny, but he played well.

Chuck Hayes, PF Shot Chart 26 MIN | 5-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 13 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 12 PTS | +8See above. People will complain about Casey giving Jonas’ minutes to Hayes for the second straight game, but can you blame him? Hayes was great. Don’t let Jefferson’s numbers deceive you — Big Al had a double-double in the first quarter and that’s mostly on Jonas and Amir.

John Salmons, SF Shot Chart 17 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | 0Remember how the talking point from last night was how the Raptors really could have used Salmons’ contributions against the Lakers? LOL!

Steve Novak, SF Shot Chart 14 MIN | 3-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | +8He was integral to the near-comeback. Hit his threes like he was still discount double-checking in NYC. Wasn’t that big of a defensive liability. I wish he could do this every game.

Greivis Vasquez, PG Shot Chart 24 MIN | 6-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 9 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 15 PTS | +23Huge spark off the bench. Aside from a weird possession where he heat-checked on back-to-back three point attempts, Vasquez did everything within his power to bring the Raptors back into the game.

Dwane Casey
You have to give him credit for trying something. He shuffled his line-ups and prayed for the heart of the cards to guide him, and miraculously, his weird small-ball lineup in the fourth worked. His leash on Amir and Jonas is shortening with every game, but they’ve played like crap, so it’s warranted. He still can’t draw up an out-of-bounds play to save his life, but against this Kemba-less Cats team, it shouldn’t have to come down to that.

Five Things We Saw

  1. Al Jefferson did his best Jared Sullinger performance by hanging 22 and 19 on the Raptors. He had a double-double by the end of the first quarter and really exacerbated the Raptors need for a big back-up center (like Aaron Gray OH NO I SAID IT)
  2. Something has to be up with Jonas and Amir. What was once a strength has turned into a glaring weakness. They both look slow and they’re both getting the quick hook. I wouldn’t be surprised change is coming for the starting lineup. My guess? Patterson comes in for Jonas, Amir slides to center.
  3. How do you like Greivis now? After clamoring for his head and urging Masai to acquire a veteran like Miller, Vasquez drops 15/7/9 and almost led the Raptors to a stunning comeback. Chances are he’ll turn back into a pumpkin soon, but the Raptors could really use his playmaking off the bench.
  4. The Raptors first half shot chart was: GROSS
  5. I have to give half the team the credit for fighting back and making a game of it. Lowry had a chance to tie and his free throw just rattled out. There’s still no excuse for losing the game, but at least they didn’t lay down and let the Bobcats trample them.