|Patrick Patterson, PF Shot Chart 33 MIN | 7-11 FG | 5-6 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 22 PTS | +19Started in place of Amir Johnson and like Johnson used to when healthy, energized the team. His shot-making, especially from three, gave the Raptors a dimension that they generally lack with Johnson, and it didn’t even come at the expense of reduced defense. It’s time to talk about his $4.3M qualifying offer because this guy is a basketball player. Huge contributions on either side of halftime and all of them were winning plays.|
|Terrence Ross, SF Shot Chart 35 MIN | 5-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | +19He’s the greatest beneficiary of when the Raptors are move the ball. His job is then reduced to catching and shooting, which is what he’s become quite good at. Defensively, a bit meh, but you can afford to get away with a sub-par defensive performance against the Pelicans.|
|Jonas Valanciunas, C Shot Chart 30 MIN | 3-7 FG | 3-4 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | +17He was open on the pick ‘n roll 100% of the time and received the ball about 20% of it. Good enough I say, a strong performance I say, defensively competent I say, positional perfection I say. It helps that Davis isn’t a bruiser inside like Cousins, and if I had to pick Valanciunas’ strength between defending bulk versus defending mobility, I’d say he’s better at the latter.|
|Kyle Lowry, PG Shot Chart 39 MIN | 8-13 FG | 2-2 FT | 7 REB | 12 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 19 PTS | +19You can have a great influence on the game without being spectacular and Lowry was just that. Consistent creator, secure ball handling, responsible on the boards, and occasional but key shot-making. There’s often a criticism levied against him that he’s not a “true” point guard, and this game is counter-example to all that nonsense. Hope he stay healthy.|
|DeMar DeRozan, SG Shot Chart 40 MIN | 7-21 FG | 7-10 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 22 PTS | +5Did not like the defense one bit, not the initial cover, not the recovery, not the help, not the close-outs, nothing. I don’t mind him practicing his long-two game if the game’s hanging in the balance late, but there’s a time and place for everything, and when the team’s struggling and falling into bad habits, he needs to step up and set an example, not follow the trend. Way too many sub-par possessions on both ends of the court for me to be generous with him.|
|Tyler Hansbrough, PF Shot Chart 15 MIN | 4-6 FG | 4-6 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | +8His most compact game in some time. Was relatively composed when the ball was dumped to him in the post, defended without fouling, and supplied good minutes in the absence of Johnson. Casey tends to prefer Patterson over him even if it comes at the expense of some rebounding, so Hansbrough has to look beyond his default skill level to get consistent minutes in the rotation. That lineup with him and Patterson was quite mobile and effective.|
|Chuck Hayes, PF Shot Chart 7 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -16Not a good matchup for him, he’s the guy you counter with when the opposing big is a beast, not a gazelle. My memory of him is passing up a path to a dunk for a flumper (floater and jumper combined, but really, neither).|
|Steve Novak, SF Shot Chart 12 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | -14Got a block in the first half! Not sure why he was in there in the fourth with the Raptors protecting a lead, I’ll chalk it up to an oversight.|
|John Salmons, SF Shot Chart 17 MIN | 0-3 FG | 4-4 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | -10Good first half where he supplied some ball-handling, spots of defense, but for some reason decided to take some bizarre shots in the second which went against, both, common sense and my desire to give him a high grade.|
|Greivis Vasquez, PG Shot Chart 13 MIN | 1-4 FG | 1-1 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 3 PTS | -12Made this one lazy pass which led to a steal and score which made me spit out my chewing tobacco. I don’t stand for that. Did not facilitate much and instead gave the ball up early in the shot-lock. A game that makes you go wonder if Buycks has something to offer.|
Forget the weird sub of having Novak play with the Raptors in a lead, I’m a little disturbed that he wasn’t able to keep the team’s concentration up whenever they had a lead. Took him some time to realize that this isn’t Hayes’ matchup. Also didn’t see much of a zone considering the Pelicans don’t have great outside shooting. When the game got tight, there was too much reliance on DeRozan and not enough on the team. At the same time, got to give him some credit on the Patterson/Johnson switch, could’ve easily promoted Hansbrough instead.
Five Things We Saw
- The Raptors blew two big leads, one in the second and one in the fourth, and I it was all to do with them and not the Pelicans. A dip in concentration equals a drop in defense and next thing you know you got the Pelicans running breaks down your throat. Cut that out.
- This was one of those “first game back from the roadtrip” games and you might’ve thought the Raptors were going to come out slow, but instead they were quite conscientious of starting well. Patrick Patterson’s energy in the starting lineup definitely helped there.
- Luke Babbitt and Tyreke Evans caused us a lot of issued, they got past our perimeter defense way too easily way too many times, and this is without Ryan Anderson as a threat. This can’t happen against the Hawks because they won’t let us off the hook this easily.
- Kyle Lowry is the rock on this team. Even when DeRozan’s having big games, the steady undercurrent remains Lowry. Dare I say, he’s bringing a level of stability and consistency to the team that’s been missing for some time.
- We’ll take the win, but we need to be better against the Hawks. Let’s go Raps!
- Sold Out: Raptors Drake Night OVO Black and Gold Shirt
- Morning Coffee: Feb. 11th Edition