Toronto Raptors 105 Final

Recap | Box Score

118 Los Angeles Clippers
Amir Johnson, PF Shot Chart 25 MIN | 4-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | -18Very lethargic game. He missed a pass that would have left him wide open two separate times. Credit for hanging in there against Griffin, who was more or less unstoppable, but it wasn’t his night. He doesn’t look 100% and the All-Star break couldn’t come any sooner for him.

Terrence Ross, SF Shot Chart 28 MIN | 3-10 FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | -3Gave us this, which was the highlight of the game from a Raptors’ standpoint. Besides that, though, he had a difficult night on both sides of the ball. Looked sick (allergies?) but tried his best to play through it, which is admirable.

Jonas Valanciunas, C Shot Chart 23 MIN | 4-7 FG | 3-9 FT | 13 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 11 PTS | -14Got destroyed down low defensively by both Jordan and Griffin at different points during the game, but demonstrated a versatile offensive game that was far more effective than the amount of points he had would suggest (blame his struggles at the line for that). He battled hard in an awful matchup for him.

Kyle Lowry, PG Shot Chart 41 MIN | 6-18 FG | 5-6 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 19 PTS | -10He was the main beneficiary, points-wise, of the hack-a-DeAndre strategy in the third. In the first half, he looked a step slow, but was able to pick things up a tad late. Got destroyed by Crawford to end the first half, along with Vasquez.

DeMar DeRozan, SG Shot Chart 41 MIN | 9-21 FG | 17-19 FT | 5 REB | 8 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 36 PTS | -15The bright spot for the Raps tonight. Hung in there with Griffin in the first half, and picked things up in the fourth once again to keep the Raps semi-in the game. What really impressed me tonight was his decision-making – he looks more and more confident dishing the ball off drives, and Johnson and Valanciunas were the beneficiaries of some nice passing from him tonight.

Tyler Hansbrough, PF Shot Chart 10 MIN | 1-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | +12Came in halfway through the third, seemingly as an extra 6 fouls for the hack-a-Jordan strategy. Played his usual brand of hard-nosed ball against the much larger Clips frontline when he wasn’t fouling DeAndre, though one wonders what he’s done to get into Casey’s doghouse. He didn’t see a minute of meaningful playing time.

Patrick Patterson, PF Shot Chart 20 MIN | 4-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 10 PTS | -5Along with DeRozan, the only consistent source of offense for Toronto in the first half. His jumper was on point until late, when he forced up a couple threes. He’s becoming a more and more valuable part of the offense.

Chuck Hayes, PF Shot Chart 3 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -4Griffin destroyed him in the 3 minutes he was in. What did you expect?

John Salmons, SF Shot Chart 17 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -6Wasn’t really noticeable out there – didn’t move the needle on either side of the ball. The Raps could have used his hero-ball antics a bit tonight on the second unit, as much as I rag on him for it.

Steve Novak, SF Shot Chart 15 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | +3Normally, we’re pretty hard on him in this space. But tonight, I’m going to sing his praises. We all know he’s limited defensively, but he hung in there as well as anyone else (not saying a ton, admittedly) and hit a couple 3s. If he can do that most nights, we’re happy.

Greivis Vasquez, PG Shot Chart 17 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -5He wasn’t really noticeable tonight when he did get in the game, except for the fact that Jamal Crawford absolutely decimated the two point guard lineup late in the first half. That was more of a personnel decision than anything he did, though.

Dwane Casey
The hack-a-Jordan, admittedly, was a reasonably smart strategy, even if it made the game impossible to watch. I question the two point guard lineup when Crawford was running amuck, and it’s weird how Hansbrough didn’t get his chance to stop Griffin, but this loss wasn’t on him as much as it was on lethargic defense and the Clippers’ seemingly-unstoppable front line.

Three Things We Saw

  1. This game was lost in the frontcourt. The Raptors had absolutely no answer for the size of DeAndre Jordan, and the everything of Blake Griffin, who basically got whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted. The score is far closer than the game actually was, even though the score isn’t that close.
  2. I HATED watching the hack-a-Jordan halfway through the third, which made the last 6 minutes of the frame take over half an hour in real time. Hated it. But it really slowed down the pace of the game, and, once the Clippers finally caved and took DeAndre out, the Clips couldn’t get their rhythm back until the quarter had ended. The Raps cut the lead from 21 down to 9 since the hacking started, which is as impressive as it was absolutely, interminably boring.
  3. Rising from the miasma that was the Raptors tonight, DeMar DeRozan deserves some praise. He looked as fluid as he ever has on offense and managed to keep this game as close as it was.