Atlanta Hawks 83 Final
Recap | Box Score
104 Toronto Raptors
Patrick Patterson, PF Shot Chart 31 MIN | 6-15 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 14 PTS | +14

It sure didn’t feel like he had a poor shooting game. He seems to be omnipresent on the court, and the “stretch four” nature of his game does a lot to unbalance the defense, notably making shot-blocking and help defense difficult to play. The high number of threes he shot were all good shots because they were borne of Atlanta being unable to cope rather than forcing him to shoot. Got to love how he doesn’t let a missed shot affect his confidence and gets right back to popping out and hitting that mid-range jumper.

Terrence Ross, SF Shot Chart 27 MIN | 5-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 13 PTS | -1

When the threes are going in, he’s quite useful. Hit a couple shots off the dribble, but with Lowry penetrating and dishing, he realized his best bet for points is sticking on the perimeter and trying to get open.

Jonas Valanciunas, C Shot Chart 24 MIN | 1-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 14 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | +5

Frustrating nice offensively but it has something to do with his defense. See, Patterson likes to come out and defend guards quite aggressively, and if the rotation down isn’t quick, Valanciunas ends up in a 2-on-1 situation pretty quickly and ends up looking bad. The Hawks sent pressure whenever he dribbled it more than once (the scouting report has gotten out) which meant he had to rush some shots and it hurt his percentage. Made up by having a strong rebounding game against a smaller Atlanta lineup.

Kyle Lowry, PG Shot Chart 32 MIN | 5-14 FG | 5-6 FT | 6 REB | 13 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 16 PTS | +14

They said he couldn’t be a “true” point guard. They were wrong. He’s showing that he does not need to be scoring or shooting at a high rate to be effective. The assist distribution is awesome and he loves to have Patterson as an option to his left and Ross to his right. He’s always been a good rebounder but of late he’s making that a huge part of his game. When he grabs that boards and starts the play, it gives the offense a different head of steam.

DeMar DeRozan, SG Shot Chart 34 MIN | 11-19 FG | 7-7 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 31 PTS | +18

With no DeMarre Carroll around the Hawks put Korver’s size on DeRozan and didn’t really work out. The balance in his game was better and his quick decision in post-up situations help set up an overall strong offensive game. Defensively, lot to be improved upon especially in the first half, but a big scoring game and being the pivot which flipped the game nets him a high grade.

Tyler Hansbrough, PF Shot Chart 18 MIN | 2-7 FG | 4-7 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | +12

Two games in a row where he’s looked like a rotation player by not playing 80 km/h in a 30 km/h school zone.

Chuck Hayes, PF Shot Chart 2 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | 0

Not needed since the Hawks don’t have any big men that need stopping.

Steve Novak, SF Shot Chart 19 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | +14

We have woken a sleeping giant! That roadtrip has triggered a decent stretch of form for him, and tonight he played the traditional role of vulture preying on dead Hawk flesh as he scavenged for some threes. As Will said in the podcast this week, the Raptors don’t run a single play for him and he’s out there fending for himself and finding a way to contribute. Let’s hope it continues.

Austin Daye, SF Shot Chart 3 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -3

Resolved the age-old question of “When does Austin Daye get to play?” The answer: With the Raptors up 24 with 2:32 left to play at home.

John Salmons, SF Shot Chart 21 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | +22

Rather anonymous, not too much defending needed at the three spot versus Atlanta. I would’ve tried to put him on Teague a little more full-time but meh.

Greivis Vasquez, PG Shot Chart 23 MIN | 5-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | +17

Prep school haircut keyed a nice bump in the second quarter. It was a nice change to see him have an instant impact early in the game, instead of waiting for the two-PG lineup for him to have some influence.

Dwight Buycks, PG Shot Chart 3 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -3

He's back and dropping zeroes like never before.

Julyan Stone, SG Shot Chart 3 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -4

Yo man was up?

Dwane Casey

Good switch of going at Korver in the third quarter, well done again to start Patterson. Way to keep Jonas in the game despite him struggling offensively, might not have happened in the past. Supplied good pressure on Teague and Williams, forcing the ball out of their hands on some key possession in the second half. Could’ve backfired if Atlanta hit their threes, but it worked out in the end. Effort levels of team is excellent.

Five Things We Saw

  1. Getting back to track Lou Williams and Jeff Teague in transition was key to the Raptors win. Whenever those two got ahead in transition, it ended up in a stretched defense. Raps did well to correct that by releasing their guards back on defense as soon as the shot went up.
  2. Lowry seems to be thriving by having options on the court: Valanciunas for the pick ‘n roll, Patterson for the mid-range jumper, Ross for the three, and DeRozan as a pressure release point.
  3. DeRozan was 5-6 FG for 14 points in the third, a quarter where the Raptors outscored the Hawks 33-21 and created a margin they would not concede.
  4. Raptors won by shooting 40%. This was an ugly game and one where you needed to grind it out against a Hawks team, that albeit on a back-to-back, was giving the Raptors all they could handle in the first. You knew if the Raptors tightened their perimeter defense (brutal in the first half), the Hawks’ percentage would fall, and they did. They shot 47% in the first half and only 30% in the second.
  5. The Raptors are four games over .500 at the break. It’s something to be happy about.
  • Quest

    great second half. i saw millsap got hurt in the 4th, maybe lowry could replace him in the asg if it gets too serious???

  • leftovercrack

    An “A” for Novak? On 6 points and 2 rebounds in 19 minutes of play? wow

    • leftovercrack

      Didn’t RR give TRoss an A- when he scored 51 or was that Demar when he scored 40?

    • FREEJV

      haters gonna hate.

      • leftovercrack

        That’s hate?

    • arsenalist

      Grades are relative to player talent, role, and playing time. If you are a shitty player by default and there are low expectations of you, and you end up having a relatively good game, you are likely to get a higher grade.

      Or maybe not. I don’t know,

      • leftovercrack

        I get the point, just thought giving him the same grade as Demar a bit unfair

      • DDayLewis

        Let’s be real, in our rush to write this post, we spend like 15 seconds on the grades.

        • caccia

          I think we could probably wait five minutes longer for a little more reflexion…but you were fast, man.

          • DDayLewis

            Zarar is like John Wall with the quick reacts. He gets them done in like 10 minutes.

            And come on, the grade isn’t that important. We’d prefer you focus more on what we write, rather than just the TL;DR grades.

            • leftovercrack

              They are good for discussion. I miss ppelico and his outrage every time Aaron Gray didn’t get an “A” lol

              • mountio

                I miss him too. The consistency was outstanding …

            • Abused Raptors Fan

              To be fair, the individual evaluations do represent a majority of each quick reaction post lol

          • arsenalist

            I stand behind every grade here.

            • Chewwy No Matthew

              It could be worse. We could have got the awful Haikus.

  • Greg

    You forgot Buycks!!!

    • arsenalist

      Thank you.

  • caccia

    The bench looked like they had fresh legs, which really helped since the starters are tired and Atlanta was coming off a back-to-back. They played well and played together at both ends of the floor, as shown in the + – numbers.

  • Kitchy

    My god….if DD could only play defence!

    • Will

      Can you imagine if he had Iguodala’s defensive instincts? He’d be a beast.

    • Tee

      korver 8pts
      lou williams 5

      correct me if I’m wrong & i missed his covers but he played D.
      It seems as if you are grasping at straws bro.

      All is good. I like you and your passion but go raps
      man.

      • GLF

        It’s actually so weird because it seemed like guys were blowing by everyone early but now you show the stats and they didn’t score much at all.

      • CJT

        Ross covered korver for the most part

        • ItsAboutFun

          So take Korver’s 8 out of the equation. Williams scored 5, on 2/8, so great time for those that need to whine about DD’s defense.

  • Rupert

    Great to go into break with 2 wins and man derozan is so fun to watch when he is zoned in. Cant wait to watch the raptors on all 3 nights of all star weekend yeah yeah!

    • Master P

      Demar make em say uhh! (youtube)

  • The Red Fury

    Raptors got lucky. They played down to the Hawks energy in the first half. Luckily the Hawks were never able to turn it on and Raps finally started making shots. Happy to see the W. But they really need to start showing up at the beginning of these games. Good luck to Demar and Tross this weekend!

    • DDayLewis

      Raptors win by 21 points…but they got lucky?

      • Andrey

        when we win it’s because another team sucked

        • leftovercrack

          Or because they didn’t try because we’re the Raptors and the game was ugly to watch. LOL. It’s a fan neurosis

        • DDayLewis

          Makes sense. Other teams have sucked 28 times against us.

          • Andrey

            I was being sarcastic btw…lool

          • Abused Raptors Fan

            Meanwhile the team gets full credit for each loss ha

        • tonious35

          Lemme tell you this. If Bargs still lurked on this team, our best would of been a 15 – 20 pt beat down by this “tired” Atlanta team.

        • What the

          only the tankers and mr.T thinks so and sometimes mr.Lewis it aint pretty

      • The Red Fury

        Yes. Lucky. Lucky they were not playing a better team that would have taken advantage of that lacklustre first half. Raps will be down by 15 against an elite team if they come out that flat. Believe they opened the game 2/14. Mostly jump shots. That’s unacceptable. They need to set the tone early. My expectations for this team are high and I have seen them play much better ball than they played in the first half.

        • DDayLewis

          Watch that first quarter again. The Raptors missed a bunch of shots that they usually make. Wide open threes from Lowry and Ross are great shots to take. Jonas also doesn’t usually miss so many chippies near the basket. The Raptors weren’t playing their best in the first half, but it’s a game of runs.

          • The Red Fury

            You just reinforced my comment. Thank you.

            • Tim

              Actually, he did not. Big difference between missing open shots and having a stalled offense with poor shots available. Think he responded to your comment appropriately. Whether you or he/she is correct is up to others to determine.

              • The Red Fury

                I said that they missed open shots and started the game 2/14. His comment says that as well. This ain’t rocket science.

        • lino

          Luck? There is no luck. Its either good or bad. Team comes out to play or doesnt. It is either they are consistent or just lacking. The better team won. Executed when they needed to. That’s it. Luck is when you hit a half court shot to win the game.

          • The Red Fury

            Luck by definition is the success or failure brought by chance rather than through ones own actions. The hawks missing a ton of open shots in the first half is luck since the raptors have no impact on their outcome.

            I would also challenge that half court shots require more skill than luck. It is what professional ballers do for a living. They practice those shots including half court heaves. If I took one and made it, yes that would be lucky. But disagree otherwise. When they do it luck is a very small component.

            • CJT

              So by your definition the hawks were extremely lucky that the Raptors missed so many open shots in the first half as well, correct?

              • The Red Fury

                You should not need my input to form your own opinion.

                And it is not my definition. It is the dictionary’s.

                • Steverino

                  To get back to The Red Fury’s original point, the Raptors don’t generally come out flat against good teams. They’re geared up. They only come out flat against mediocre or poor teams because they think they’re so good they can play at half speed and win, or turn it on when needed.

        • Abused Raptors Fan

          Did you miss their games against the ‘elite’ teams in December and January? As I recall, they didn’t get out to great starts vs OKC, DAL, IND, & POR (they did lose that game, though by only 3 at the end)?

          • The Red Fury

            I don’t understand what the above games you mention have anything to do with my comment about tonight’s game. They played a great second half tonight. And I love the way they played against the teams you mentioned above. Except for the start of the Portland game. They were getting outplayed and that game was lost early on, but it was nice to see them almost pull it out. And Dallas is not elite. Not even close to the other teams you mention. Anyhow not sure what point you are trying to make.

            • Chewwy No Matthew

              I agree with you that the Raptors didn’t play a great first half but considering the horrid first half defence in Los Angeles and Sacramento, it looks better than it is. A terrific second half seems to be a consistent thing with this team so I will certainly take that.

  • Rick

    Grading on demar sucked! Should be better. Just saying. Guy played amazing. All he got was A?
    Demar is improving every game. But anyway go raps.

    • Kitchy

      His offence was awesome, no stupid forced shots like the last game. He took what he was given and the team rode him. Too bad defensively he reminds me of Calderon…..put 30 points on the board and give back 25

      • ItsAboutFun

        Oh? Who’d he give 25 to? Some mystery guy they forgot to include in the boxscore?

        • Steverino

          Yeah, same mystery guy who always lit up Calderon. If you actually looked, most players Calderon went up against scored below their season average. But once people get it in their head that a player’s a certain way, it takes a lot to change their mind.

          • jlongs

            That’s because people rotated to cover his man, so most often it’s the opposing big who scores, or a corner shot. It’s not that he gets scored on easily. Bargnani’s guy didn’t score on him much, but he was still garbage on D. While Demar isn’t as bad imo, he gets blown by too easily, or gets stuck on screens too much. If he can improve that part of his game…
            As for Jose, his problem was he was stuck in no man’s land too often – too far to recover to his man, but providing soft help D, so when the big passes out to Jose’s cover, it’s often an open jumper. He also didn’t switch very good when screened and was left chasing from behind, so the Raps big (often Amir) has to rotate to help, leaving the big’s guy open for an oop.

            • Steverino

              That’s basketball. It’s a team game. You help your teammates. Nothing to see here. You win as a team, you lose as a team. Yes, the Raptors lost more when he was here, the Mavs are largely winning, and he often leads his team in plus-minus (yeah, yeah, bogus stat and all). The point is, he was/is just fine as a defender. Not great, but it’s not like he was hurting his team. It’s the group as a whole that defines success. Put him on a good or better team, and he’s fine. Put him on a weaker team and he’s not. Just like anyone else.

              • jlongs

                The problem was, his teammates when he was here weren’t that great of defenders themselves (as a group) so they couldn’t cover his shortcomings. The rotation lately has been really good, so Jose in this current team would have been ok. The same way they cover for Demar when he gets beat by his guy constantly.
                I like Jose, a lot, but he’s not a good defender. Not Bargnani bad, but below average. Demar is the same, but I’m hoping he can still work on it since he’s still young and has been improving every year.

  • All day

    This is Demar tenth game this season with 30 or more points. Tied with Harden for seventh most in the league this season. Kd leads the league with 31

    • CGarbs

      And he’s had at least 30 in 5 of his last 10 games! Is he turning a corner? I’ve also noticed his dribble seems tighter lately and he seems to attack defenders in more varied ways.

      • All day

        Wow 5 of the last 10. Yes I think so. His getting to the line more around 9 a game since January. The post game is make a return as well. The handles are much better.

    • bballi bballi paradise

      KD with 31 games of over 30 points, by god….MVP

      • All day

        KD is no doubt the MVP. He leading the best team in the league. He number are crazy. He do everything and the court that you can do and he doing it at the highest level. MVP no question.

        I really hope he becomes a raptor in 2016.

  • ibleedpurple

    There’s a great interview up on the tsn website where Rod Black talks candidly to derozan. Derozan just seems like a standup, no nonsense type guy who doesn’t get bogged down by being a star or being concerned with anything not basketball related. I’d recommend checking it out but be prepared for rod black’s incredible whiteness. Its blinding at points.

    • All day

      As soon as Rod said ” his from your hood”. I couldn’t take any more whiteness. Rod is so a corny dude.

      • GetLicks

        I really wonder how he got and has kept this job, he seems way better suited for figure skating. Miley Cyrus for the dunk competition? He was obviously joking but he’s still such a tool

        • Steverino

          He’s the worst. I usually hate when someone uses ‘white’ as a knock on someone, as if it’s a bad thing. But I totally get it with this guy. Ironic that his name is Black. He’s not only corny, but I get the sense he’s just not that smart. He’s the luckiest guy in broadcasting, without a doubt.

          • nob

            He’s the male version of a bimbo.

        • ItsAboutFun

          He was mocking what the dunk “competition” has become? More props and spectacle than amazing dunks.

          • GetLicks

            Right… Because Rod Black knows enough about basketball that he can mock things about it. Perhaps you’ve missed the hundreds of other lame things that have come out of his mouth. No benefit of the doubt here, sorry

  • tyson

    Going into all star break with a win and a positive record!! bring this second half on after some olympics and all star weekend.

    ps. its snowing like crazy in saskatoon – I just walked into a tim hortons after a guy and I both held the door open for the other – gestured for each other to go ahead – and when he finally relented – we both said “sorry, thank you.”

    Love being Canadian.

    • All day

      Lol. I love being a Canadian too

    • regina rap fan

      Snow in Regina was crazy too. But can’t complain cuz toronto winter has looked worse so far. Go Raps!

  • Philoveritas

    That first half was ugly…although I knew there was no way they would keep shooting so brutal…Atlanta is nothing without Horford, time to worry about Washington now I guess. Hard for anyone to say that Toronto isn’t a legit #3 seed going into the break…The rafters at the ACC could use another division champ banner imo…

    • afrocarter

      In my mind, I feel that the Raps are destined to face Brooklyn in the first round. A potential rivalry has been brewing all season. It needs to happen!

  • Will

    Great second half but brutal first half. I don’t even care that we weren’t hitting our shots. The defense was just horrendous. There were so many blow bys and over-hedging on pick and rolls. I don’t know why they don’t ICE the side pick and rolls like so many of the good defensive teams.

  • tonious35

    This Raps team post-Rudy can survive and live through an ugly game. If their shots are not dropping, every teammate can grind or try grinding out an effort to stay in the game or keep a lead, just like JV imitating Reggie Evans. What an improvement by ridding the shot-chucking softies like Bargs and Gay….

  • Tee

    demar keeps the haters grasping at straws
    im so proud of him

    go raps republic
    go raps

  • Roarque

    Super Nova(k) must be gone by the deadline – the pump is being primed by the Raptors announcers. Every three is cause for a ticker tape parade back to the bench for Novak.
    So how about Novak and Hansbrough plus a 2nd Rounder to Houston for Asik?

    • Will

      First of all, Asik isn’t even playing in Houston because he doesn’t want to come off the bench. Why would he be less of a headache here? Secondly, I don’t think the salaries are anywhere close to matching up. Asik is owed a ton and I wouldn’t want to pay that kind of money for a pouting backup to JV.

      • Roarque

        I don’t think Jonas is ready to be the starting 5 on a playoff team that wants to win a series or two.
        Maybe when he’s 25 or 26. I love his enthusiasm and he is the future but right now he’s good for 12-14 minutes max. Asik is the best experienced 5 available right now and I’d rather have Asik and Valanciunis playing with Amir and 2Pat for the next three years than Supernova and PsychoT.

        • Roarque

          And if you think Asik has a bad attitude then you need to read the history of Houston bringing him in to be the starter and then Dwight walking in to take over. I’ll take Asik as my starting 5 in Toronto if Houston wants to make him Dwight’s back-up.

          • Will

            I know that’s the history but wouldn’t you take Dwight over Asik? And if Asik really wants to be traded, the best thing he can do is play well off the bench so other teams want to trade for him.

            • Roarque

              Good points. Asik’s contract is a huge weight in more ways than one. Having to hear about why Landry Fields is a liability might be repeated with Omer Asik. I suffer from a malady in that I don’t care what MLSE pays its athletes neglecting the reality of the salary cap. I think about the team carrying players like Novak and would like his spot used for someone who contributes more.

        • Will

          I agree that Asik would be better defensively than JV, and that acquiring him would better our chances in the playoffs, but what about the cons? As I mentioned, Asik is owed a ton and his contract doesn’t end this year like Lowry’s. If you’re going to tie up that much money on a player, he better be a starter for you. If he’s going to start for the next couple of years and you’re only going to play JV 12 – 14 minutes a night, he’ll never develop. I’d rather get a veteran center who doesn’t need to start and can teach JV the NBA game. There’s no need to tie up a huge chunk of our salary cap if we’re not contending yet. I don’t think we need Asik in order to win the first round and I also don’t think he’ll help us win the second. The way I see it, whatever happens in the playoffs this year is a bonus. We’ve shed Gay’s contract and have flexibility and tradeable assets. We should just be getting our young guys as much experience as possible so they can develop.

  • scarface17

    Patrick Patterson reminds me of Doneyll Marshall

  • kayell

    Psycho T was awesome in this game – I counted 4 key plays where he faked getting pushed and got the call, frusturating the opposition on both ends of the floor – that frusturation seemed to throw Atlanta off their game and then Toronto started pulling ahead.
    How Hansborough affects the opposing team psychologically is so cheap, but fun to watch and a huge plus.

    • Will

      It’s only fun when he’s on our team. haha

      • kayell

        haha true. I remember when he was on Indiana I HATED him, and I threw a fit when we picked him up. But now here I am drooling all over him like he’s the next best thing since sliced bread

    • caccia

      Nearly all the time he really is getting pushed, because of the other team’s frustration, and because he is putting physical pressure on the other guy. The only time that I thought he faked it, or at least overacted, he did not get the call.

  • Percy Miller Master P

    Their is a very good writer on this site and I have not see or heard anything from him in quite some time I hope he’s ok .if spotted please tell him Demar is an allstar…Demar make them say ugh!

  • asifyouknow

    As I wrote on my FanNation Sports Illustrated blog, if Vaz shots the ball 10 to 15 times he will score well..Last night 10 shots 12 points. Casey needs to stop going into a panic when the guy misses a few shots in a row all he is doing is making a 34 % shooter out of a lifetime 43% one. Good job by Vaz bringing in the energy they needed…

    Here is a link if you like to read the article: http://www.fannation.com/blogs/post/1703831-richard-petty-bashes-the-only-minority-driving-nascar-cup

  • Hassan Mehmood Khan

    next step for this organization is to acquire a veteran big to mentor JV

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