Quick Reaction

Reaction: Raptors 103, Wizards 93

The Raptors beat the Wizards 103-93 kicking off the second half of the season in style.

Toronto Raptors 103 Final

Recap | Box Score

93 Washington Wizards
Patrick Patterson, PF Shot Chart 34 MIN | 4-7 FG | 1-1 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | -2Got the start ahead of Amir Johnson (perhaps for good?) and showcased that all-around game to some oohs and aahs. Everything he does is above-average (love that charge on Nene) which makes him highly versatile and it’s quite evident that his teammates love playing with him. He’s like that guy on your 3on3 team that can step out and shoot but won’t shy away from doing the dirty work inside. Picked up a couple cheap fouls on his way to fouling out with under three left, good thing the Raps had a sizable lead by then.

Terrence Ross, SF Shot Chart 18 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | -1Casey tried him as a defensive measure against Wall and he wasn’t able to deliver. To be fair, Wall was too much to handle for any Raptor and if it weren’t for his mates shooting bricks, perhaps this came could’ve gone differently. As I said on a podcast a while back, Ross needs to be involved in the scoring early for him to be effective throughout the game. Maybe it’s time for Casey to start scripting some plays for him in 1Q. Had a key steal late in the game.

Jonas Valanciunas, C Shot Chart 18 MIN | 5-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | -7Had some very, very impressive finishes in traffic against the gigantic line of Nene and Gortat. Even hit a jumper with a guy hanging on his hip, and was constantly praised by the Washington commentators for his work rate and skill. The reason the rebounding total isn’t high is likely due to Washington taking a ton of jumpers resulting in longer rebounds. I did notice that he was much quicker today in deciding what to do with the ball, don’t recall seeing a single instance where he looked like a mailman struggling to deliver a package to an address he can’t find.

Kyle Lowry, PG Shot Chart 35 MIN | 8-19 FG | 6-6 FT | 2 REB | 10 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 24 PTS | +3He must’ve been sick of John Wall.by halftime and decided to up his game and deliver a 14 point (6-8 FG) quarter in the third. It extended the lead to double-digits and deflated the Wizards who were looking tired after playing from behind the majority of the game. His distribution was impeccable and it felt like the Wizards didn’t expect him to make the passes he was making. Shoot-first, my ass.

DeMar DeRozan, SG Shot Chart 41 MIN | 6-13 FG | 2-3 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 14 PTS | +9Played Robin to Lowry’s Batman in the third with 8 points on 4-6 shooting, a couple of them gorgeous drives that evade contact and supply enough English on the ball to finish. The long-twos were in effect and tonight he made them for the most part. It wasn’t a great defensive performance, especially on the perimeter, and was bailed out by Beal’s poor-shooting night.

Tyler Hansbrough, PF Shot Chart 17 MIN | 3-4 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 7 PTS | +14I could probably repeat whatever I say about him for every single Reaction post. The guy knows how to play one way and one way only: aggressive, head down, barreling in the lane, creating space with his hunched-over ass, and muscling up a shot that rams into the backboard on its way to assaulting the rim. Good guy, him.

Amir Johnson, PF Shot Chart 25 MIN | 6-8 FG | 2-4 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | +9His shot-chart’s more congested than a U of T lecture hall. Had his pick ‘n roll game going and seemed to pace himself coming off the bench very well. His finishing in traffic always impresses me, even when the defense is anticipating the shot. Tonight was no different. You can slot him as a starter or off the bench, it makes no matter, the guy is a pro.

Steve Novak, SF Shot Chart 0 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +2This is like the seventh time this year where the box score says he played and my eyes disagree.

John Salmons, SF Shot Chart 26 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | +14James Harden Lite had it kind of going on offense with a couple threes. More importantly, he pestered Beal and Wall on the perimeter just enough to cause them trouble, especially the latter. His ball-handling is very undervalued at times, especially when he’s the pressure-release for Lowry instead of DeRozan.

Greivis Vasquez, PG Shot Chart 26 MIN | 6-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 7 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | +9Where did that come from? He blew by Beal a couple times like he wasn’t there. Knocked down threes with nonchalance, and executed a couple floaters whilst chewing gum. The only thing he didn’t do is walk up to the White House, light a joint, and told the prez to ‘pass it to the right’.

Dwane Casey
Good call on Patterson starting despite Johnson being available. I thought the Raptors were in need of some timeouts much earlier than they were called in that tumultuous fourth quarter when the Wizards made a run out of nothing. This game was played at a tempo suited to the Raptors – a slow, half-court game which works against the tendencies of Wall, Beal, Webster and crew. It was almost as if Casey’s strategy was to dare their bigs to win the game rather than their wings.

Four Things We Saw

  1. Nene missed three huge FTs in the fourth quarter that could’ve cut the Wizards lead to five or so, which would’ve made for some very nervous times.
  2. Despite being the better team for three quarters, the Raptors backed their way to a victory here. Rather than putting the hammer down in the fourth they decided to protect the lead which might work in soccer, not so much in basketball.
  3. The Raptors were a –13 in rebounding which led to the Wizards being a +13 in second-chance points. It’s a gamble you take when you start Patterson over Johnson, but when things work you come out looking good.
  4. Did I mention the Raptors shot 57% in the game and had 60 points in the paint, compared to 48 for the Wizards. Got to say, didn’t see that stat coming against Nene and Gortat. Big credit to Lowry, DeRozan, Patterson and Valanciunas for finishing on their drives.
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