Kyle. Lowry. Over. Everything.

Orlando Magic 83 FinalRecap | Box Score 98 Toronto Raptors
Amir Johnson, PF Shot Chart 35 MIN | 10-20 FG | 1-2 FT | 11 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 22 PTS | +22Every time he takes a jumper, I want to poke my eyes out. Don’t get me wrong — Amir torched the Magic’s lack of interior defense — but he was looking for the jumper on multiple occasions, and quite frankly, that should never happen. He went to the locker room early with a sprained ankle, but it didn’t look all that bad. I hope he’s okay. Casey left him and the starters out for too long.

Terrence Ross, SF Shot Chart 37 MIN | 4-13 FG | 2-2 FT | 8 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 12 PTS | +14Looked really awkward calling his own number at times on offense. Perhaps he’s just trying to fill Demar’s shoes, but it’s painful watching him create shots. Development sometimes looks ugly, but it’s was a worthy gamble for Casey to have Ross practice against the hapless Magic. Brought it on defense and held Afflalo to just 10 points.

Jonas Valanciunas, C Shot Chart 32 MIN | 6-11 FG | 2-2 FT | 15 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | +14Gobbled up so many rebounds. He looked great in the post against a rusty Nikola Vucevic, dropping hook shots and positioned himself well for easy lobs and layups. I wish that jumper of his would fall once in a while, but he didn’t need it tonight.

Kyle Lowry, PG Shot Chart 37 MIN | 11-20 FG | 5-7 FT | 7 REB | 11 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 33 PTS | +19See cover photo. This guy better be in the All-Star game or I expect every Raptors fan to boycott the game. This guy was so wet in the first quarter that he took a swim just to dry off. This guy was on so much fire that Lloyd Banks got jealous. Feel free to create your own “this guy was” joke in the comments.

Greivis Vasquez, PG Shot Chart 37 MIN | 2-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 6 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 6 PTS | +10Did what he had to. Shaky defense on Jameer Nelson, who somehow managed to consistently get the step on Gravy. At least he provided solid ball-handling, which was really all he was asked to do. On one possession in the third, he came down the court and took a heat check transition three on Lowry’s behalf, which went as poorly as you’d expect.

Chuck Hayes, PF Shot Chart 12 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +7Honestly, I didn’t catch most of the second quarter because I was busy photoshopping the cover photo. Your boxscore says you got lots of rebounds and you didn’t shoot all that well, so I guess that’s what you did. Kudos?

Tyler Hansbrough, PF Shot Chart 6 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -8He’s back! He checked in for a 4 minute trial run between the third and the fourth and he did…mostly nothing. I’m not worried — he’ll be grabbing rebounds and barreling into people in no time.

John Salmons, SF Shot Chart 23 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 3 PTS | +5See Chuck Hayes’ comment. He seems to only show up for the games that matter, and I’m fine with that.

Steve Novak, SF Shot Chart 13 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | -6He gives you everything Jason Kapono gives you, including the three pointers and the lack of defense.

Julyan Stone, SG Shot Chart 7 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -27 minutes? Really? If you say so, boxscore.

Dwane Casey
He’s on a roll. I want to slam him for leaving the starters in for too long (up 18 with 3 minutes left, Lowry-Vasquez-Ross-Johnson-Valanciunas were out there — why?), and it seemed to bite him in the ass when Johnson got injured, but I’ll give him a pass because he was working with an injury-shortened roster. Smart move on his part to make Lowry the off-guard in the 2PG lineups.

Four Things We Saw

  1. A Ross-Johnson pick-and-roll! Check back in 20 minutes when I have a gif of the play follow the link, but it was beautiful. Ross isn’t able to consistently create off the dribble just yet, but he’s showing signs of being a decent passer.
  2. Two broadcasting crew notes: 1) Matt Devlin is trying to coin the phrase “CN Tower hook” for Amir’s hook shot. Just, no. 2) Rod Black described Lowry’s impending free-agency as “the big elephant in the room”. Thanks man, that metaphor would have been fallen apart with a regular-sized elephant in the picture.
  3. Not cool on Jacque Vaughn’s part to keep Mississauga’s own Andrew Nicholson tied to the bench until 3:15 left in the fourth. The game was basically over for all of the fourth quarter and the kid probably bought like 50 tickets for his friends and family.
  4. One more time for Kyle Lowry. Bruce Arthur of the National Post tweeted that he thinks there’s an argument to be made that Lowry has been the best guard in the Eastern conference thus far. Your thoughts?

    Still upset that Ross didnt get in to the rising stars game. How does a guy like Dion Waiters make it over him smh…

    • Quest

      he might get the wild card

      • FREEJV

        what wild card

    • AB4EYE

      Scoring 14.5 PPG off the bench in 31 games since moving to the bench which is 3th in the NBA behind Nick Young and Jamal Crawford among players with at least 20 games coming off the bench.

      • FREEJV

        what is their record again? Ross is playing on a top 3 team….. and how many pts did Ross score against Clippers again i seened to have forgot?

        • AB4EYE

          We are a Top-3 in a down year if we were in the West we wouldn’t even be a playoff team right now so our record is not going to blow them away enough to make any kind of difference when the other guy puts up better numbers.

          • FREEJV

            what conference are the Cavs in again?….

            • AB4EYE

              The East but our good record for the east team but middle of the pack overall isn’t going to push any player over the edge. Its not like we’re the Pacers here.

              • FREEJV

                i think we beat them already…..and didnt ross lock down a superstar (Paul George) in that game… hmmm…

                • GetLicks

                  Not only did we beat them, Ross shut down Paul George. I guess it’s ppg over everything for mr 4eye lol

                • Abused Raptors Fan

                  On the other hand, Ross is so unknown that the professionals on the Clippers didn’t even know he could shot. Everyone’s acting like this is an indictment against Ross and his potential. Its not. Its a money grab game propped up by marketing.

                • AB4EYE

                  Why did he let us lose to the Bobcats 3 times then? He scored 13 points total in the 3 games.

                • AB4EYE

                  We haven’t played Cleveland and who cares if we beat the Pacers we lost to the Bobcats 3 times.

                • FREEJV

                  “who cares if we beat Pacers” but you re the one that mentioned them lmaoooo #wtf

                • AB4EYE

                  I mention them because they have a blow away record that gives players the benefit of the doubt not us who are 24-21. If we had the Pacers record Lowry would be talked about as a legit MVP winner.

      • JRedmond14

        It’s pretty easy for Waiters to score 4 more ppg than Ross with all the shots he takes. He also plays those key 4th quarter minutes against second units after another blowout loss for the Cavs

        • AB4EYE

          Its not his fault is it? Its a numbers based deal and DW has better numbers,

          TR vs DW
          10.2 vs 14.3 PPG
          3.3 vs 2.9 RPG
          vs 2.7

          Dude is one of the better players of the bench in the NBA if he played for us and TR got in over him you guys would be beyond pissed.

          • FREEJV

            not if he scored 51. If waiters had a game like that i wouldnt argue but he hasnt done anything that shows that he can become a star.

            • AB4EYE

              Its one game dude, one game and he shot it 29 times or 8 more times than the most DW has shot in a game this year!

              Without that game he’s scoring 9.3 PPG on 40.2%

              • FREEJV

                “without that game” i can say that about every player in the league so stfu the guy scored 51 go hop on Waiters’ nuts after you re done sucking off Augustin.

                • AB4EYE

                  If one game over even 5 games makes a player then Hans would be our best big man.

          • JRedmond14

            If your going to do an analysis you should include mpg and fga.
            TR vs DW
            25.2 vs 29 mpg
            8.8 vs 13.1 fga

            If your telling me that with 4 more minutes pg that Ross wouldn’t average more rebounds? Are you also telling me that with 5 more shots pg that Ross wouldn’t average more points? Assists can be explained by type of role. Waiters plays more early shot clock and Ross late shot clock making more assist chance for Waiters.

            I will take the guy who plays with a team and plays good defense. Waiters has already developed an attitude as a loser who fittingly plays on a losing team

            • AB4EYE

              Its not his fault he plays more, add up their PER36 P/R/A and the totals are.24.7 for DW vs 20.5 for TR.

          • Abused Raptors Fan

            Numbers are huge with the young stars game because putting up stats gets you attention. Believe it or not, few people know much if anything about Ross other than the dunk contest. He wasn’t a highly touted prospect coming into the league either. While Ross might jave more potential and a higher ceiling than Waiters, his low profile status (didn’t really start performing until The Trade) means DWs current play trumps that potential

          • arsenalist

            You are being a troll. I’m going to be deleting the other one-liners you’ve made on this post and will be banning you. Sign up for a Disqus account.

            • raptorstand

              Its about time .

            • GLF

              OMG PLEASE DO!!!! It has become CLEAR he’s a troll. And if he isn’t he knows absolutely nothing about basketball. Like literally NOTHING.

            • onemanweave

              I’d got so I just scrolled over all ‘discussions’ involving him. It required a lot of scrolling. Thanks.

            • ckh26

              I see him as largely comedy relief. This guy may remind you of that annoying little brat who presses all the elevator buttons just as you get on but to censure him is wrong. Free speech is worth protecting even at the price of an AB4EYE. IMO AB4EYE is just a kid acting out. He craves the attention we give him with his little one liners. You can always just chuckle at his attempts to pull our respective chains with his nonsense and move on.

      • FREEJV

        btw that game is not about whos averaging the most pts its about which young players have the most potential to be a star. Last time i checked 51 points from a 22 year old should have a decent potential…. Waiters hasnt done anything other than get blown out and argue with his teammates.

        • AB4EYE

          That’s one game is he even averaging 10 PPG without that game?

          • FREEJV

            im not trying to talk about how many pts he got. im saying those are the type of numbers a future star would put up but obviously you re still worried about waiters’ ppg #clown.

        • AB4EYE

          BTW Ross turns 23 in a week on February 5th and DW will not be 23 until 10 months later on December 10th

          • FREEJV

            how old is Pero Antic again? #clown

            • Abused Raptors Fan

              Not bad actually. He’s part of the reason the Hawks haven’t fallen into the lottery since losing Horford

    • golden

      Ross over Harrison Barnes, even more so. That guy is overrated, especially by Rap fans who lust after him. His PER is less than 10, FFS. That’s putrid.

      • FREEJV

        nah its cuz hes a role player on that team he played good in the playoffs. If it was based on stats A guy like Antetokounmpo wouldnt be in there.

    • JD

      With Jonas already in the game, and Ross already defending his slam dunk title… I don’t take it as a slight at all. Waiters is actually having a decent year.


    That lineup of Hayes, Stone, Novak, Vasquez and Salmons might be the worst lineup i ve seen out there as a raptor fan. We were basically playing 5 on 3 cuz Hayes or Stone cant score to save their lives.

    • rtzyyz

      Guess you don’t Remember zan tabak, Oliver Miller, Tony messenberg, acie earl and willie Anderson?

      Jokes….yeah…that line up is awful

      • FREEJV


        • rtzyyz

          1995-6 Toronto bench. Those guys make this year’s bench look like the Miami heat.

          • FREEJV

            was too young during that time couldnt even walk yet

            • ozrapsfan

              Ah, that explains it then..

      • mountio

        Or more recently, aaron gray, landry fields, stone/byucks, TH and Daye. That was a Casey special earlier in the year

        • FREEJV

          So we know one thing then. Stone should never play unless its a blowout.

          • Abused Raptors Fan

            He’s not brutal defensively with his length/athleticism. Problem is we don’t have a ball dominant 6th man to take over offensively for our bench units so everyone has to be involved

            • the pain

              mr, casey please have four guys under the basket waiting for the rebound/putbacks whenever GV puts a shot up please and thank you .

      • Vince

        Haha , I wasn’t even born then

    • afrocarter

      And they were running the offence through Hayes. It was brutal.

    • CGarbs

      you’ve probably burned from your memory the year we had milt polacio as our starting PG….so many lineups that year were horrible!

  • Al Asifyouknow

    I do lots of sports articles, I’ve never heard that phrase, I guess I’m just too old to understand what the hell is a HEAT CHECK . Please some of handsome young studs tell me what the hell that is…

    • AB4EYE

      Forcing a bad shot up when on a roll.

    • Louvens Remy

      It should b called the World B. Free.

    • JRedmond14

      Heat Check: Derived for men’s league; when a player is reliving the glory days and puts up one too many shots

    • mountio

      You are so on fire, that you put up a shot that you shouldnt take, just to “check” if you are still that hot. If it goes in … heat check successful. If not …. while, you were so hot, that you at least had to find out if it would continue …

    • FREEJV

      Heat check is basically every shot Ross took against the Clippers in the 2nd half

      • 2damkule


    • Tanks-a-lot

      Video game NBA Jam

      ON FIRE!!!!

      Just checking to see if that flame is still burning.

  • Ds

    Why did Casey bring the starters back in after the timeout?

    • FREEJV

      better safe than sorry

  • AB4EYE

    Great night to have a bad Orlando Magic team in town with no DeMar, Pat and Tyler still not 100% and then only getting 17 points out of the bench plus Vasquez filling in a starting role despite them taking 23 shots and playing just under 100 of the available 240 MP.

    JV and Amir did big time work in the post in the same game in what seems like ages and Kyle took another step into getting a fat 10M per year contract this summer and even more MVP love from people outside of the fans in the ACC.

    Only real complaints go hand in hand with DC not pressing Tyler more to test his bone bruise in game action while up big and also not calling off the dogs until so little time left and it resulting in Amir getting banged up. Luckily it looks like Amir is going to be alright but it should have never happened and next time we might not get so lucky.

    • Abused Raptors Fan

      Props for some game analysis for change. It was even positive haha. Completely agree about Casey too, then again, his assistants probably didn’t get a chance to advise him on those 2 points so you can’t expect much

  • plaid coast

    okay so everyone knows Novak is a “bad” defender. but that joke is getting a little old, I think. I have been watching him closely and I see a lot of effort on that end. for his stature, he played solid team defence tonight and I think we should give him a break.

    • JRedmond14

      His hedging on Williams and Livingston in the Brooklyn was actually superb and very overlooked. He may not have he athleticism most guys have but he does work his tail off which is all you can ask of him

    • Louvens Remy

      Was gonna say the same thing. Novak ain’t great but he’s bought in and he tries. I can see that he’s also a great chemistry guy. Might be here for a long time because he is probably a “coach” type player.

    • Mike

      And unlike Kapono, he will actually shoot 3’s.

      Oh, and he won’t give and-1’s with weak reach-in fouls like Kapono did all the time. Man, he was frustrating.

      • Jerry Garcia

        I think he shows leadership with his effort and consistent on floor communication….I like him !…


    What is all the hype about Afflalo this guy is so overrated

    • Quest

      give ross credit for shutting him down

      • FREEJV

        if he makes allstar over demar or lowry thats just not right.

    • AB4EYE

      That’s why players aren’t judged on one random game. He came into the game shooing 47% scoring 20.3 a game with 4.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists.

      • FREEJV

        congratulations what place is your team in?

        • AB4EYE

          So since the Pacers have the best record int he league Chris Copland who doesn’t play is better than everyone on our team?

          • FREEJV

            yes he is you mad?

      • Abused Raptors Fan

        He’s also got a decent PER for a SG. Then again, DDs is higher

  • HogyG

    Please for the love of the basketball gods, change the Pizza Pizza give away from winning a free slice when the Raptors score 100, to winning a free slice when the Raptors hold their opponents to 95 or less. We have a head coach and team that hangs their hat on defence, so it would only make sense. It’s embarrassing to hear the fans cheer for pizza instead of their team. It’s even uglier when they boo the team, especially in a win, because they didn’t make the century mark. People who do that should be ashamed to be at a game. If a slice of pizza was that important to you, maybe you should have spent the money you had for the ticket on dinner instead. Though maybe it just proves the old adage of “Never get between a Canadian and something for free.” So, if people want to be that crazy over a slice of free ‘za, then lets at least harness that potential into something better. Think of the frenzy those fans would be in cheering on the defensive end, especially as it got into crunch time. I can almost hear it now, it would be empowering.

    • Garrett Hinchey

      This is an excellent idea and something that hopefully gets some serious consideration from sponsors and Raptor brass. Getting the fans to care about defensive possessions, even if it’s for something as silly as pizza, will get them more involved in the game and make the ACC a much tougher place to play.

      I’m all-in on this idea.

      • GrtLicks

        I find the cheering when the fans get pizza annoying, but I get it. But the booing at the end was embarassing. It’s a $3 slice of mediocre pizza that’s been sitting under a heat lamp FFS

        • CJT

          You know what is funny. We have become famous for our cheering for pizza league wide. that is embarrassing. the other night on some panel show, the guys were talking about how people didn’t stick around to cheer T Ross on to his franchise tying 51 point performance. People were leaving once the win was assured, but they stick around and yell and scream if pizza is still available to be won. How’s that for the fan based reputation.

        • Kev

          I think “mediocre” is a big generous when describing pizza pizza. “terrible” – it is terrible pizza.

      • lewro

        should be a small square for kids under 13 and the rest donated to a shelter or an orphanage. this should happen after a win, regardless of the score. small write-off for pizza pizza and mlse should match any additional cost. cheer for everyone winning, not 2pts against an overmatched orlando team.

        • ScottSegal

          You wanna see kids in an orphanage stuffing their faces with crappy pizza pizza?
          Who’s gonna wanna adopt fat kids?

    • Mike

      The fans should also be charged a dollar each time they cheer when a Raptor makes a basket after a whistle. (not talking about and-1’s). It doesn’t count. You should not be impressed to see a ball go through a hoop anymore.

    • RobertArchibald

      I’ve liked this idea for years but don’t see it happening. Think of a blowout like tonight. If the Magic were at 98 points and were down 15 with 30 seconds to go, fans would expect playoff-like D. The Raps would give them the easy bucket (which teams do every game) and the fans would boo all the same. Best thing to do is get rid of any promotion that has to do with in game play. Hell, charge an extra $1.50 on every ticket and give everyone a slice every game no matter what the score is.

      • HogyG

        Fair enough, I never really thought of that before. I guess if someone wants to boo they’ll find a way. Though if they did boo, at least it would be after the opponent scored (a reasonable place to hear the crowd boo), versus after someone on our team missing or holding the ball for the victory.

    • Will

      They should just change it to free pizza for every win. That’s the only milestone that matters.

      • HogyG

        I would love to see that too, really anything to get away from what happens now would be a step in the right direction.

      • GetLicks


      • Saud

        It used to be that you got the pizza when they reached a 100 points. To their credit they changed it to a 100 points and a raptors win. It was really bad when the raptors were losing badly and the fans spontaneously cheered when they hit a 100 points.

      • Jam

        lets not forget the original rule was that if they scored 100, you got free pizza and could claim it that night…which resulted in every single person at the game going directly to the nearest Pizza Pizza after the game ended…….which lost them a ton of money lol. The pizza promotion in general is stupid, but i’m sure it will carry on and if anything get more restrictive. Next year it will be 100 points, a win, and atleast 5 charges taken…

        • jjdynomite

          That’s why Lowry has to be re-signed! :-p

    • Stubby

      Give Raptors fans some credit! I don’t care about the pizza, but I was booing too. There should have been a foul called on that play. THAT’S why people were booing. Or at least that’s why I was booing. Booooo-urns.

    • robertparish00

      Nah, that would be equally crap. Idiots booing the Raptors for bad defence in a blow out/when the game is over. The whole Pizza thing is lame and needs to be scrapped immediately. Boo we beat a team soundly. You paid for a basketball game not pizza.

    • Tanks-a-lot

      I think you have the most original idea. Good for you.

    • Nilanka15

      FWIW, even with the boos, I never once interpreted the fans to be angry at the Raptors. It sounded more like sarcastic boos. The same fans were cheering wildly just seconds later as the buzzer sounded, celebrating the win.

    • Shadow Of Christ

      Um… If you’ve been to a live Raptors game, which I and I’m sure a lot of other posters here have as well, I would think you’d agree that especially when the team is up big, hearing “We Want Pizza” chants adds a whole new level of excitement, whether you think it’s embarrassing or not.

      I for one think that it’s mad funny! I was at the Milwaukee game a couple of weeks back, and some nearby kids were really into the game, but got a bit restless the more the Raptors were up. So I started a pizza chant. That got them reengaged. When we scored 100, they went nuts! Then we started making up new things to cheer for: scoring 110 points, If DeRozan scores… Mind you, I’ve never seen these kinds before in my life.

      Just cause a few fans think it’s embarrassing doesn’t mean that you need to suggest that Pizza Pizza should ruin the fun of fans that don’t think that way. The added caveat that the Raptors have score 100 and win mitigates the pizza chants anyway. What more do you want?

      The players know what’s up. They’re aware of the deal. They wanna send the best basketball fans on planet earth home knowing that they can get a free slice the next day. A new level of player-fan interaction. And if the other team doesn’t allow it to happen, then we have the right to boo them. Plain and simple.

      Also, so far as I know, we’re the only team in the league that has any such promotion. So quit all this mess that “cheering for pizza is embarrassing” and “pizza pizza should change the promotion”. Have some fun for goodness sake!

  • Dex613

    Screw Jacque Vaughn give nicolson some burn don’t embarrass the guy in front of his friends and family.. good game!!

    • Junior Qamar

      Shitty move by him no doubt I went to high school with nicholson an under dog no one expected to make it into the nba really wanted to see him what a dissappintment and yes vaughn is an idiot games like this in ur home city means a lot to a player and to family and friends. Players tend to have big games on their home soil would of been nice to throw the guy out there and see if it works. Really disappointed.

  • JRedmond14

    Kyle Lowry was so hot he was ready to cook the pizza the fans didn’t get tonight

  • Guest

    Man I was shitting bricks watching Kyle Lowry play so deep into the fourth quarter. Not a smart move by Casey at all…

    • Abused Raptors Fan

      It blows my mind when he leaves the starters in for so long. Obviously he’s never comfortable with a win until the games over. Or has no confidence in his bench. Then again, hell leave the 4 sacromento players out there with Ross or jv while the lead slips away ingame…?

      • Adriiian

        How comfortable would you after you’ve blown 20+ point leads, ie Golden State.

        He’s got every right to be cautious.

        • Abused Raptors Fan

          Theres a big difference between that and leaving starters in when youve got a comfortable lead with 3 minutes left against Orlando or Philly. Also, this team is miles ahead of where they were against GSW, its not even a fair comparison between the starters amd especially the bench. It might actually be more about teaching the team not to take anyone lightly, but the risk involved should be clear after last night.

  • pmcc17

    To me Lowry is easily the best PG in the East and one of the 2 or 3 best in the league right now…cant think of anybody healthy who is playing better

    • SR

      No Eastern PG is more complete right now. Lowry attacks off the dribble, shoots at a high percentage from all over the floor, has a much improved asst:to ratio, rebounds, plays very good defense, gets steals, and is taking the most charges in the game. He’s also clearly the team’s leader and the catalyst for the 2nd best record (I think) in the conference since the Gay trade. He’ll give you 30+ points if the leading scorer is out, or he can give you a triple double. Did I mention he plays defense?

      It’s going to be a crime if he’s not in the All-Star game, and it’ll just go to show how crotchety the coaching old boys club is about Lowry’s reputation as a hard headed player.

  • Jonasbrutha

    Man these referees and playing the advantage has got to stop! Specifically, there was a play when glen Davis drove it at Jonas and he went straight up and forced him to alter his shot. I think it was Marc Davis who made the call, but it infuriated me to see that these refs aren’t making the call as soon as contact is established, rather they’re waiting for the outcome of the play in order to arrive at a decision. Happened a couple of times in the game against the nets as well, and it is more so apparent and an occurrence for “superstar” players. Regardless, great game for the raps! Was I the only one who cheered when the fans didn’t get their pizza? Lol at the referees not giving us two calls in a row on purpose at the end there knowing this crowd would go crazy if we got a 100.

  • mountio

    Good game.
    Your point on TR calling his own number being ugly is totally accurate …. but is exactly why he needs to get more time and needs to experiment. Its gonna be ugly … thats what happens with young players
    But – he shows enough signs of being able to elevate near the rim and finish (better than anyone on our team) – that its worth it
    Similar to his 3 pt shot … he clearly had the form all along … just needed the confidence. I hope casey keeps giving him the opportunities, because it will pay off long term

    • SR

      Agreed. Ross has also completed some beautiful passes in tight quarters the last few games. I think he’s got the tools to initiate offence. Experience and confidence are needed.

  • Phat AlberG

    Jose Calderon who? hahhaah

  • ckh26

    What a difference in intensity from the Nets game. Still they went about the business of laying a good old fashioned beatdown of sub 500 team. Augers well for the upcoming road trip. Think we get back with a 3 and 2 record. We are going to get one from either of Portland / Denver or the Clips. My fearless prediction is the Nuggets.

  • Marc

    I wish more bloggers would address to the boxscore like it’s a person

  • Lavi

    To your fourth point, I think we’re witnessing something special with Lowry. He’s been playing as good as any PG in Raptors history. Best PG in Raptors history? Perhaps.

    • Ion66

      He’s playing like he did the first few games with us, but with assists this time. After the hot start, he had that stretch of being too much like Jose for a bit, then dropped off overall. He’s in shape and he seems to have figured it out now, in terms of being a complete package, not just a scorer or just a passer.

      • SR

        He’s finally comfortable with being himself, and he’s gotten to know his team mates, and vice versa. To start with I think everybody could tell Casey (and most of the team) preferred Jose’s orchestrate-the-offence-and-pass-the-ball over Lowry’s aggressive approach. Lowry tried to adjust his game to make his coach happy and fell flat.

        Now he’s just being himself, he’s got the support of his coach and management, and the team’s figured out (or the current personnel is better suited to) playing with Lowry’s style.

    • Tanks-a-lot

      yes, he is a proper point guard that happens to be able to shred for points.

    • mountio

      Perhaps? Its not even close based on the way hes played the last couple months ….

  • doncity

    Listening to the post-game rap-up of tonight’s game on the radio, I’m getting a little tired of the ultra-cynical view some in Toronto still want to have of these Raptors. Just because the conventional wisdom in this city held that the Raptors weren’t very good doesn’t mean that’s what everyone thought. I was always against so-called tanking precisely because I believed there was some decent young talent on this team already that only needed a chance to prove itself. I’m enjoying what I’m seeing this year, but I’m not going to say I’m shocked or surprised – I’m just delighted that it’s all actually coming together.

    If anything is surprising to me, it’s that the team has come together under Duane Casey’s leadership. I admit I wasn’t necessarily buying what he was selling, but it’s hard to argue with this year’s success. Masai’s big contribution was recognizing that we needed depth on the bench and a viable second unit. Again, some ultra-cynical Toronto fans want to play Negative Nancy and claim it was simply a case of addition by subtraction with the Rudy trade, but I think this team would have been a juggernaut from the beginning of the season if we had started with the same bench as we have now along with Rudy Gay in the starting lineup and Ross as the super-sub/defensive stopper coming off the bench.

    At a certain point people need to let go of whatever preconceptions they may have had. Face it – the experts were wrong. Colangelo was right – at least about the starters and the young talent he accumulated. Still, it was Masai’s final evaluation that did the trick. Now that we have the bench depth we sorely needed, this is a first division team in the East period and every win is further proof of this emerging truth.

    Go Raps!

    • Mike

      They’re an above average team. They’re also the weakest division leader – and I’m not sure it’s even close.

      So we’d be a juggernaut with Rudy Gay along with the 3 players we got for him? With Rudy still around does Kyle become the leader of this team? I doubt it.

      • doncity

        I don’t get your point. The “weakest division leader?” Honestly, what does that even mean? We are winning games and beating the league’s top teams consistently. Your view seems like more typical Toronto negativity. I’m optimistic about the Raps because I watch the games and follow the team on a daily basis and not for any other reason.

        And yes, I think this team would have been a clear contender from jump if we had started the year with a decent bench no matter who the players were. In my opinion, Rudy’s and the team’s larger offensive struggles in November were directly tied to the overall lack of depth that Masai ultimately addressed with last month’s trade.

        I would have liked to see how Rudy would have fit in Toronto on a deeper squad like the one we have now. The one thing this team needs today is an offensive closer who can match up with the likes of Carmelo and LeBron shot for shot in the last five minutes of big games. That’s why Colangelo brought Rudy here. Ross just isn’t that guy right now while Rudy brought that game to the table. The jury’s out on DeMar, and maybe Kyle’s the guy we can count on in the clutch. I’m not sure. But we can’t have it all. The future looks bright. Right now, I’m just enjoying the ride. The wins tell the story and the so-called experts will learn to follow that narrative.

        • Mike

          My point was that all of the other divisions leaders are contenders to win the championship. I’m not being negative when I say that the Raptors are not a contender. It means you’re being over-optimistic to think they could beat any of them (except maaaaybe the Clippers) in a playoff series. Even if we magically had Rudy Gay still on the team, JV and Ross would have probably not have progressed and produced as well as they have. And Lowry would not have emerged as the top dog that this team needed.
          You’re right we can’t have it all. But keep dreaming if you want to.

          • doncity

            Tankers die hard I suppose. I don’t know how a team is supposed to go from missing the playoffs one year to a legit championship contender the next. Sports doesn’t work that way – at least not in my universe. Whatever, dude. I reserve the right to be excited about the Raptors success even if they don’t win the NBA championship this year or next. If that makes me a dreamer, I’m happy to dream on.

            • Mike

              Not sure why you lump me in with the tankers.
              To quote you “I don’t know how a team is supposed to go from missing the playoffs to a legit championship the next” I don’t know either. But I gathered that’s what you were actually suggesting. I guess I got the wrong impression.
              I’m as delighted as you are that they’ve finally had some success. I hope they can keep it going.

    • Nilanka15

      Colangelo was partially right. If it were up to him, Bargnani and Gay would still be in the starting lineup….and I can more or less guarantee we wouldn’t be a division leader with those guys eating up 30+ minutes per night.

      • doncity

        lol – if it were up to the likes of you none of this would be happening because we would have already traded everyone away hoping for a high draft pick *rolls eyes*

        • Nilanka15

          Resorting to pointless counter-arguments. Good job! *rolls eyes*

          What I wanted done with this team earlier this season has absolutely nothing to do with Colangelo’s insistence on keeping the above two mentioned players. There’s zero reason to think they would be traded if Colangelo was still running this ball club.

          You want to give Colangelo credit, go ahead. But saying he’s responsible for this winning club is flat out wrong.

          • doncity

            You tankers make me laugh – so damn sensitive about anything positive going on with the team. Especially after wins. Always claiming to be such big fans of the squad but the first to lash out with some strange vitriol the moment someone on the board dares to give the Raptors some credit or the benefit of the doubt.

            The fact is, you were a tanker, therefore I don’t have any reason to respect your analysis or basketball knowledge. Why? Because if it were up to the likes of you none of this would have happened. The great wins would have been predictable blowout losses and all the guys currently stepping up for the Raps would be playing somewhere else, while we would be watching a bunch of stiffs lose by twenty-five every night. Still, I’ll humor you. Who’s giving ALL the credit to Colangelo? Not me. In both of my posts I give the credit to Masai for bolstering the bench the trades and giving our guys the depth they needed to compete at this level. So why you mad?

            Why are all you supposed Raptors fans mad?

            • doncity

              *bolstering the bench with the trades and giving our guys the depth they needed to compete at this level

            • Nilanka15

              Are you dense? What does this topic have to do with tanking?

              Your respect is the last thing I’m concerned about. I’m just pointing out your errors for the rest of the readers.

              Give credit to Ujiri, not Colangelo.

              • doncity

                “Still it was Masai’s final evaluation that did the trick” – my first post.

                “In my opinion, Rudy’s and the team’s larger offensive struggles in November were directly tied to the overall lack of depth that Masai ultimately addressed with last month’s trade” – my second post.

                Who’s the dense one again?

                You’re pointing out my errors, are you? Which ones are those? I’m not the one who advocated blowing up the team in the summer and trading away two potential all-stars for a chance at the lottery… that was your error – but whatever I guess reading is out of style and pointless snark is in fashion.

                It wasn’t Santa Claus that brought DeMar, Lowry, Ross, JV and Amir here… it was Colangelo. He wasn’t perfect but he set us up with some good young talent. But I guess that’s not obvious to you because you’re one of the “experts” that wanted to tank this squad and is probably muttering some nonsense about “fools gold” after every win the last two months….

                The days of proving how big a Raptor fan you are by trashing everything the Raptors do and praying we lose so you can show everyone how dedicated you are over. Let it go.

                • doncity

                  *The days of proving how big a Raptor fan you are by trashing everything the Raptors do and praying we lose so you can show everyone how dedicated you are, are over. Let it go.

                • Nilanka15

                  Haha, please point to where I’ve been trashing everything the Raptors have been doing. Nice work painting every single fan on this site as either a “good guy” or “bad guy”. How extremely simplistic and convenient.

                  You call me the sensitive one, yet here you are crying about radio callers, and raising the topic of tanking where it has nothing to do with the discussion.

                  You said, “Colangelo was right – at least about the starters and the young talent he accumulated”

                  And I said, “Colangelo was PARTIALLY right”. Then you went on your tirade about tanking.

                  The only purpose of my post was to point out that 40% of Colangelo’s starting lineup were players who contributed to losing. You simply cannot ignore that. Somehow, your incredible powers of deduction interpreted this to mean “Nilanka15 hates the Raptors”. Well done.

                • doncity

                  Whatever – my posts are pretty clear. You can believe what you want. You seem mad to me because I gave the Raptors some credit for drafting some good young players when they had the chance and making some smart moves to build a winner. I guess only in Toronto is that seen as whining and crying or going on a tirade.

                  Again, some of you funny style Raptor fans seem to get awful sensitive when we’re on a winning streak. You’re the one replying to my post, not the other way around.

                • Nilanka15

                  I reply to posts that I find interesting and stimulate discussion. Yours did so. Nothing more, nothing less.

                  I’m enjoying this winning streak just as much as you are. Where I take offense is when people like you imply that you’re a better fan than me, simply because we have different opinions on how to build a champion.

                  You’re convinced tanking has been proven wrong, while I’m not so sure….and won’t be sure until 5 years from now and we’re looking back and counting how many Conference Finals appearances we’ve been in. That doesn’t make me any less of a fan.

                • doncity

                  Sorry, but that’s just ludicrous. You keep worrying about “five years from now” OK? I’ll take the fun and excitement of the last two months and the all-star level play of our young guns right now.

                • Nilanka15

                  Fair enough.

                  I expect more….especially after following this team religiously since inception. After all, I can get temporary “fun and excitement” from Netflix 😛

  • raptorstand

    Nice professional win. We were the better team and everyone knew it. Went out there and made it happen. Every win makes this team better and more confident. Seen some things I liked from Tross , two drives to the rim that went down. Going to the rim is hard , everytime he gets there and is successful it will improve him. Jonas is pretty impressive when he knows hes the better player. Hope some of it carries over to bigger games.

  • ih8vasquez

    Ross got the same grade tonight as he did when he scored 51 points lol silly editor

    • asifyouknow

      Oh my GOD! Are you serious? wow isn’t that over…

  • slim

    1. Last 3 quarters were poor offensively, though the raps executed when they needed to. Cruising is a sign of an elite team.

    2. Without vucevic, I don’t think the mag would have got to 70. Outstanding d raps, great return to form at that end.

    3. Since having a slight dig at JB, he’s posted 51-40 last 3 games. Loving it.

    4. Vasquez is extrememy good at making a perfect pass (or handoff) to whoevers hot

    5. Good/bad play really are contagious on this team – raps shot 3/19 from 3 after starting 11/12.

    6 t-Ross’ d is great but needs to exert himself more on O.

  • Ltron

    I’m sorry but the “George Gervin-esque” comment by Devlin anytime someone does a finger roll needs to stop.

    • Abused Raptors Fan

      Matt’s got a bigtime man crush on Amir. Leave him alone. Haven’t you noticed how he’s always trying out some new catch phrase or nickname for him?

  • john

    Is Ross going back to dunk contest this year?

    • DDayLewis


  • tonious35

    For all those people in the past, posting and wanting to trade Demar for Afflalo….Yaaa, sure whatever you say.

    • Tanks-a-lot

      DD can be shut down as well.

      the weird thing is, I am just learning that Michael Jordan never had more than 11 straight games with 30+ points. Due to the recent Durant 12 game streak.

      weird eh?

  • Adriiian

    wish vasquez could shoot. this guy is a fucking clown.
    hits that first 3 and starts gesturing like hes Jordan.

    you’re garbage, greivis.

    • What the

      and that my friend is “heat check”

  • Tanks-a-lot

    I notice that players don’t know how to deliberately get fouled anymore.
    It’s a trick to go to the hoop and have no chance but still get fouled by faking and offering your forearms for sacrifice.

  • OldSkoolCool

    Under the 4 things you saw. Ross has been able to run the pick and roll all season, even pre trade. No surprise really

  • V

    Drake needs to pull his pants up.

    It looks like he’s taking a dump.

  • ScottSegal

    If I felt Lowry was for real, I’d lock him up forever.I just don’t see him maintaining this level of play after he signs a new contract.

    • ckh26

      Even at 80% of what he is doing today which may be a better barometer of a sustainable level of overall play would he be worth signing for 4 years @ 38M in total. Cap hit of 9.5 per year.?

  • Ted Payne

    “Bruce Arthur of the National Post tweeted that he thinks there’s an argument to be made that Lowry has been the best guard in the Eastern conference thus far. ”

    Not only Bruce Arthur, Zach Lowe from Grantland also mentioned he thought Lowry was the best all around PG in the East.

  • Chewwy No Matthew

    I do not understand why Casey leaves starters in for so long when the game is in hand. At the end of yesterday’s game he had two starters (Vasquez and Ross) still on the floor while having Buycks still on the bench. I have noticed this a few times this year and yesterday Amir get’s hurt. I will agree that Casey has really done a great job improving his coaching decisions but this constant error is nor smart. At the end of the win against Indiana earlier this season he had starters on the floor, even after Indiana had cleared their bench over a minute before. Opposing coaches don’t forget this either

    • Andre Julian Ward

      The Raptors are now building a culture of “no mercy.” Stomp your opponent into the ground completely.

      • Chewwy No Matthew

        At the risk of key players getting injured while playing senseless minutes.

  • Louvens Remy

    I’m hungry.

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