Quick Reaction

Reaction: Raptors 103, Trailblazers 106 – Heartbreak

The Raptors lost a heartbreaker to the Blazers in Portland. They game back from 19 down to take the lead late, but a late turnover spoiled the night.

Toronto Raptors 103 Final

Recap | Box Score

106 Portland Trail Blazers
Amir Johnson, PF Shot Chart 16 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | -4He’s hurting and playing through it which we all appreciate, and when Aldridge was going at him in the first quarter you almost fell sorry for him. The fact remains that the Raptors are simply too thin up front to absorb any sub-par Amir Johnson performances, and when he’s struggling the team’s struggling because 1) without him the two-man game suffers, and 2) the presence on the offensive boards is reduced to near-nil.

Terrence Ross, SF Shot Chart 26 MIN | 3-12 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | -4He does everything correct right up until he gets to the paint which is when he contorts himself to throw up a low-percentage heave. I thought he’d have a better first half when the game was wide open, but a combination of missed jumpers and suspect defense sort of killed his game. Was tasked to check Lillard in the first half which he didn’t do well.

Jonas Valanciunas, C Shot Chart 31 MIN | 8-11 FG | 2-5 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 18 PTS | -16He didn’t win a single positioning battle against Robin Lopez who kept him on his back all night. All but one of the fouls he picked up was predictable and easy to call. The offensive numbers are nice, and he had his jumper going, but tonight we needed his defensive presence and it wasn’t there.

Kyle Lowry, PG Shot Chart 44 MIN | 7-15 FG | 6-7 FT | 5 REB | 8 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 23 PTS | -2Had Batum checking him to start the game which had to have surprised him. It threw him off by taking away the drive, and it didn’t help that the outside jumper was spotty. With Vasquez out he was extended and when Portland’s long-armed wings kept swiping and playing the lanes, you felt that Lowry would much rather play off the ball. Recovered well in the fourth quarter including hitting some big threes in typical fashion, but it ended up all being too little, too late.

DeMar DeRozan, SG Shot Chart 41 MIN | 14-29 FG | 6-9 FT | 4 REB | 12 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 36 PTS | +6I was going to criticize him for his first-half jumper heavy play, but he made up for all that with a blistering fourth quarter where he made everything under the sun fueling the Raptors great comeback. That All-Star selection has given him the confidence to do anything and some of his turnaround jumpers tonight were pristine. Turned it over with the game on the line, and that is his weakness, but the positive is that this will only make him try harder. It’s scary to think what can happen if he sorts out his long-range game and smoothens his drives just a tad bit.

Tyler Hansbrough, PF Shot Chart 4 MIN | 0-1 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 1 PTS | -4Went up against Aldridge for about four minutes of tussle. This is what my mom texted me: This Hainsborough (sic) guy is Mr. Butter fingers. I tend to agree.

Patrick Patterson, PF Shot Chart 27 MIN | 6-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 13 PTS | +5There’s nothing not to like about this guy. Gave Aldridge a taste of his own medicine with some long jumpers, played hell of a defensive game, not just in one-on-one situations but as a help-and-recover defender. I can’t think of a more versatile Raptor in years.

Chuck Hayes, PF Shot Chart 13 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +16Beauty, this guy. Too bad Casey didn’t call on him to shut Aldridge down in the first half. His face-in-the-hand trick works ever time, and he even did well in high-post situations as the Raptors were comfortable enough to pass him the ball to star the play.

John Salmons, SF Shot Chart 23 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -17The stat-line is not impressive but his pressuring of the ball in the second half against Lillard was excellent. Had a couple defensive miscues that led to open Portland threes, but his mere presence on the court versus Batum and the length of the Blazers, I felt, neutralized their threat.

Steve Novak, SF Shot Chart 10 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +6I really thought he’d be better tonight, but then again the Blazers can cover some serious ground on the perimeter which takes away any opportunities for him.

Julyan Stone, SG Shot Chart 4 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -1This needs to be fixed. ASAP.

Dwane Casey
Good adjustment to bring in Hayes in the second-half. The offensive execution as poor in the first but instilled a sense of urgency in the second which worked. The last play didn’t look like it was going anywhere, and also didn’t plan particularly well for Lillard’s game winner (massive Salmons/Lowry confusion).

Five Things We Saw

  1. DeRozan was the reason we were even in this game on account of his fourth quarter, so don’t be made if he turned it over. Afford the young fella a break.
  2. Technically speaking, this game was lost at the FT line (17-25 for 68%).
  3. The Raptors were extremely sluggish in the first half, settling for a ton of jumpers and in the end it’s that that came back to haunt them, not the late turnover.  Raps were 4-7 3FG in the fourth, whereas in the first three quarters they were 2-13. DeRozan had 14 in the fourth.
  4. Refs called a jumpball (which DeRozan won) when it should’ve been a foul with under a minute left. Game-changer.
  5. It’s a tough loss but let’s not forget that’s against one of the NBA’s best on the road on a back-to-back. Well done, Raps. Proud.
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