|Amir Johnson, PF Shot Chart 23 MIN | 5-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 8 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | +14Was having a nice game in the starting role again before he got injured. He kept pretty much every ball alive in the opening quarter when everyone was missing everything, and his wiriness was causing the bulkier, more robotic Magic big men some problems. Got his ankle kicked and had to leave the game, I say the Raptors give him two weeks off just to recuperate from a long season. Keep in mind that this guy goes 100% at all times and has been surprisingly durable playing multiple positions.|
|Terrence Ross, SF Shot Chart 29 MIN | 6-11 FG | 1-1 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 16 PTS | +12Showed some endeavor in his game, and went beyond just launching long, albeit in-rhythm, jumpers. That drive with a stop in the paint for a jumper is something we need to see more of. He’s an under-utilized source of offense and come playoff time, we’re going to need more than just Patterson to step up. Now that Ross is in the starting lineup, the expectations and associated game need to be raised appropriately.|
|Jonas Valanciunas, C Shot Chart 28 MIN | 1-2 FG | 5-7 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 6 TO | 7 PTS | +11Sometimes he doesn’t so much get a deer in the headlights look on defense, it’s more like a man tied to the train tracks with a bullet train driven by a drunk driver approaching. He needs to get a string of consistency going. After the great game against the Cavs, he should’ve followed it up with something meaningful, but all he could muster was making silly mistakes on offense. I mean, keep the damn ball up high when you’re making a move or a guard WILL strip it out. Also, some shot-blocking would be nice. His post-defense isn’t terrible, but in pretty much every other situation he’s lacking.|
|Kyle Lowry, PG Shot Chart 37 MIN | 7-13 FG | 10-11 FT | 4 REB | 6 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 7 TO | 28 PTS | +25Proved to be the savior in the third quarter again, a bit surprised it took him that long to realize that Jameer Nelson has prosthetics for legs, a head of cabbage for a brain, and the desire of a sloth. Some of those turnovers were blech no doubt, especially the one when he’s jumping at the top of the key without knowing if/where/when he’s going to pass. Good thing against the Magic you can get away with that.|
|DeMar DeRozan, SG Shot Chart 32 MIN | 9-17 FG | 6-6 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 5 TO | 24 PTS | +6Quiet game where he turned it up when needed, had it going early in the game and then picked it up in the third to put this one away. Defensively, he’s shockingly bad at times and on this night the quality of the opponent covered that up. Magic were missing AffflafflflfoolooLOL which helped his cause. Fought for post position a couple times but was starved of an entry-pass. His bread-and-butter remains running off baseline screens and catch-and-shooting from under the elbow.|
|Tyler Hansbrough, PF Shot Chart 18 MIN | 1-2 FG | 3-7 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | 0When he comes into the game I dedicated about two minutes just watching him and nothing else. It’s the same thing every time: pure activity and zero time wasted. The guy doesn’t take time making his moves, doesn’t stay still for a second on defense, and is always maneuvering for a rebound. Defended Vucevic well in his brief stint, but in a game which was already bordering on NBDL quality, his ruggedness was not as valued as at other times.|
|Patrick Patterson, PF Shot Chart 21 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +6Missed a couple early jumpers resulting in a slow start but he still managed to contribute with some nice passes and steals. One of the good things about him is that he’s a two-way player so when he’s not hitting his shots, he’s still valuable and that’s something he doesn’t get enough credit for.|
|Chuck Hayes, PF Shot Chart 6 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -1Made an appearance, presumably by mistake.|
|John Salmons, SF Shot Chart 16 MIN | 0-1 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 1 PTS | +8Kind of drifting out there tonight, almost like he was in a hangover and going through the motions.|
|Greivis Vasquez, PG Shot Chart 26 MIN | 4-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | -2General Vasquez stormed in during the first quarter taking the enemy by surprise. He proceeded to fire heavy artillery including two long-range missiles which were on target. He later celebrated by decapitating his enemies and putting their head on spikes.|
|Nando de Colo, PG Shot Chart 5 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -4That ain’t a name, that’s a soft drink. We got another masked warrior on our hands, and his first activity was to make a nice pass which led to a score. Coming from the Spurs, the expectations that he’s all fundamentals and very well-coached. This game did not dispel any of that.|
|Landry Fields, SF Shot Chart DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS | Is he still with the team?|
|Steve Novak, SF Shot Chart DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS | Just happy to be alive.|
Delivered another effective halftime talk. Now if we can do the same thing right before the game starts, that would be great.
Four Things We Saw
- The Raptors need to run more plays for Terrence Ross. I think some of those long-two sequences for DeRozan should be diverted to Ross, who seems to have enough quicks to do something with the rock, especially in the first half when things aren’t so tight.
- The Raptors seem to have a switch which they can turn on to put away some of the more mediocre teams in the league. It’s good to have that, and at this point in the season where legs are getting weary, I kind of understand the slow starts and turning it on later.
- The Raptors shot 86% in the third quarter. Ross was 3-4, DeRozan 4-4, and Lowry 5-5. They outscored the Magic by 12 and turned a modest 3 point lead into a 15-point advantage that a team with the talent levels of the Magic don’t have a chance of overcoming on the road. Besides, they’re tanking.
- Easy win against an easy opponent. The first quarter was brutal with the Raptors and Magic shooting 35% each. This was not a good game to watch other than some individual brilliance in the third quarter by DeRozan, Lowry, and Ross.