Kyle. Lowry. Over. Everything.
|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.|
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
- A Ross-Johnson pick-and-roll!
Check back in 20 minutes when I have a gif of the playfollow 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?