Raptors outlast the Mavericks to grab the huge come from behind victory.
|Amir Johnson, PF Shot Chart 31 MIN | 4-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 9 PTS | +10
He’s back! The energy! The excellent positioning and rotations on defense! The pick and rolls with Vasquez and Lowry! He even hit a three pointer in crunch time! Can you tell I’m excited yet:?
|Terrence Ross, SF Shot Chart 19 MIN | 1-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | +2
Classic tale for Ross. Shot wasn’t falling, which means he had little else to offer on offense. Casey trusted him to be his designated stopper, matching him on Monta in the first half and Calderon in the second, and he didn’t disappoint. This will be a key development in his game — he’s got to find a way to contribute when the shot isn’t falling, and tonight, he did that.
|Jonas Valanciunas, C Shot Chart 26 MIN | 3-6 FG | 6-8 FT | 10 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 12 PTS | +2
How you like me now, Hayes? Casey rolled the dice and put Valanciunas in to close the game and the Baltic Giant didn’t disappoint. He controlled the glass down the stretch and was a reliable option in the post. It’s a work in progress, but it’s going to come eventually.
|Kyle Lowry, PG Shot Chart 35 MIN | 0-10 FG | 3-4 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 3 PTS | -5
I was really surprised when I pulled up his boxscore midway through the game to see that he was scoreless. Turns out he had the flu and was sick all day, but in classic Lowry fashion, he found other ways to contribute. Contesting rebounds, moving the ball, drawing charges, grabbing steals, and bullying his way to the free throw line. He’s the heart and soul of this team.
|DeMar DeRozan, SG Shot Chart 38 MIN | 15-22 FG | 9-14 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 40 PTS | -5
Move aside Durant, there’s a new sheriff in town. Okay, not really, but Demar had it going all night long. He was money from midrange (take that, stupid writer who penned this piece) and he beat his previous career high of 37. Could have had more if he sunk those two FT with the game out of reach, but dude was gassed. Honestly, Phelps should say that “We out here like Demar Derozan” tonight.
|Patrick Patterson, PF Shot Chart 19 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 6 PTS | -6
Moved his feet on defense, collected rebounds and hit the occasional jumper. Had a nice little play where he stepped out and gave Demar an outlet which resulted in an open jumper for 2Pat.
|Chuck Hayes, PF Shot Chart 17 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +18
Outplayed Jonas through the first few quarters, especially on the defensive end, but the young buck stepped up so Hayes stepped off. There’s no shame in that. Solid effort as always. Sets some pretty mean screens for Vasquez. They’ve got some good chemistry.
|John Salmons, SF Shot Chart 22 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | +3
Let’s not kill the vibe. He’s probably still suffering from the lingering effects of his back injury. Looked really rigid in the first. Got better as the game went along, but the two-PG lineup of Vasquez and Lowry, combined with Derozan’s scoring thankfully sent Salmons to the bench.
|Greivis Vasquez, PG Shot Chart 34 MIN | 5-13 FG | 4-6 FT | 2 REB | 7 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 17 PTS | +21
Here’s my second crack at a nickname for Vasquez: Gravy, because everything he gives you feels that way, no? I mean, I know this is Toronto and this is where the gravy train stops and everything, but I think it’s an apt nickname, especially with the gravy muncher on his way out of town. Anywho, Gravy was hot tonight and aside from his usual heat-check here and there, he was great.
Boom! He plays JV in crunch time? Check. He goes with his best line-up in Vasquez-Lowry-Derozan-Amir-Jonas down the stretch? Check. He makes adjustments and uses Ross’ quickness and athleticism to hinder the Mavs’ best perimeter players? Check. Kept Derozan fresh for the fourth quarter? Check. Four check gets you an A. Well done, sir!
Four Things We Saw
- Vince Carter went into the Delorian and went back to 2004 with a one-handed jam in the lane! On a related note, Matt and Leo spent all night pimping the return of Vince, which I’m fine with in principle, but don’t make it out to be this huge deal and ram it down our throats every 3 minutes. There was a great game on tonight!
- I love Lowry’s tenancity. His shot clearly wasn’t falling, but he didn’t let it affect him. He was everywhere on defense and gave the Mavs guards hell to contend with. I know his numbers look awful but he was instrumental in the fourth quarter comeback.
- The bench unit brought the Raptors back into it tonight. The starters fell behind by as much as 21 in the early going, but Vasquez and co. brought it back like bright nylon tights, and the Raptors went punch for punch with the Mavs until they finally tired them out down the stretch. There was no quit in the boys tonight.
- One more time for Demar’s career night. I clearly picked the wrong game to chastise his jumpshooting tendencies. Hey, if he could hit it like he did today, fire away!