Raptors drop close contest to the Nets.
|Amir Johnson, PF Shot Chart 36 MIN | 8-14 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 4 BLK | 1 TO | 16 PTS | -2Fantastic offensively but a step slow defensively. Picked the Nets apart in the PnR, but failed to do much in the way of stopping the Nets’ small-ball fours on the perimeter. Being drawn out of the paint also put him out of position for rebounds. Some really solid blocks though.|
|Terrence Ross, SF Shot Chart 33 MIN | 5-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | +7Scored all 12 of his points in the first quarter, but disappeared down the stretch, save for losing the ball on a ill-advised drive into four defenders with the game on the line. Gave up too much size to Joe Johnson on defense and got burned a few times.|
|Jonas Valanciunas, C Shot Chart 22 MIN | 2-3 FG | 2-3 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | -12Not entirely sure why he played so few minutes. He didn’t look fantastic, but the Raptors could have really used his length to contend with Blatche’s largesse (or large-ass). Performed decently in limited minutes. Threw down a dunk, and had a nice block.|
|Kyle Lowry, PG Shot Chart 38 MIN | 8-16 FG | 1-1 FT | 8 REB | 7 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 21 PTS | -5This man’s will to win is the renewable energy source that will save our planet. He was just everywhere on both ends of the floor. He drew 3 (!!!) charges, was the only consistent performer on offense and almost dropped a second-straight triple double. He missed a game-tying attempt over Blatche, but the Raptors wouldn’t even have been in the game had it not been for Lowry’s heroics.|
|DeMar DeRozan, SG Shot Chart 35 MIN | 3-9 FG | 8-8 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | -12Where art thou, DeMar? 14 points on 3-of-9 shooting is not going to cut it against a playoff team in a playoff atmosphere. Shaun Livingston’s quickness and length held him in check. Heck, even Alan Anderson’s defense held him in check. Didn’t do much on defense either.|
|Tyler Hansbrough, PF Shot Chart 23 MIN | 4-6 FG | 8-10 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 16 PTS | +8“WELL IM THE BEST BRUISER IN THE GAME. WHEN YOU TRY ME WITH A SORRY BIG LIKE BLATCHE, THAT’S THE RESULT YOU’RE GOING TO GET. DON’T YOU EVER TRY TO TALK ABOUT ME!”*proceeds to bite everyone in the vicinity.*|
|Chuck Hayes, PF Shot Chart 7 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | +1He didn’t have a place in the game. Too slow to guard small-ball fours and too short to guard a legitimate center in Blatche. Basically, the story of his NBA career.|
|John Salmons, SF Shot Chart 21 MIN | 1-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | 0So incredibly bad at times. If I had to pin the loss on one player, it would be Salmons. The Raptors got the rebound down 1, and Lowry pushed the ball up the court with DWill on the other end of the floor. Salmons had an open look from three, paused, waited for his defender to recover, paused, and finally, he handed it over to Ross with a short shot-clock. Dat veteran savvy.|
|Steve Novak, SF Shot Chart 7 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -3
The only thing worse than Salmons’ play was Novak’s defense. He wracked up 3 personal fouls in four minutes trying to guard Mirza Teletovic. MIRZA TELETOVIC. Mirza drove by him for a layup, got the step and got fouled, and collected an offensive rebound over Novak’s back. Let’s just say I won’t be changing my disqus handle to “FREENOVAK” anytime soon.
|Greivis Vasquez, PG Shot Chart 18 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | -2Not as bad as the boxscore says, but he was still fairly unproductive. With DeRozan having a poor game, the Raptors needed Vasquez to step up with his playmaking in the second unit, and Vasquez couldn’t get it done. He did collaborate with Amir for a few sucessful PnRs though.|
Head scratching decisions aplenty. For example, why draw up a play for Lowry to run PnR on the game-tying attempt? The Raptors are down 3, so the Nets were certainly going to switch. This meant Blatche was guarding Lowry at the three-point line, which is clearly not a good matchup. Also, way too many minutes for Hayes, and too little for Jonas. Got outcoached by Jason Kidd.
Five Thing We Saw
- Here’s my issue with Novak as the small-ball four — it would work if we had a rim-protector in the paint, and some plays for Novak. Today was an aberration, as Novak’s defense is usually terrible, as opposed to “OKAY MR. TELETOVIC! HERE’S THE FRIDGE. HELP YOURSELF TO WHATEVER YOU WANT”. However, Novak’s defense can be masked in part if we had a Tyson Chandler-type defending the paint. It would also help if Dwane Casey could run a play for Novak once in ever, because otherwise he’s just capitalizing on dribble penetration + kickouts, which doesn’t happen often when he plays with Greivis Molassquez.
- Want a drinking game that will get you hammered in a jiffy? Drink every time Hansbrough fouls, or is fouled by someone. Very soon, your beer goggles will make Hansbrough look like Larry Bird. A very angry Larry. Angry birds? Moving on. (I’m here all week)
- Paul Pierce hit his 1, 900th three-pointer in the first quarter. He’s now fifth in total three-pointers made. Can you tell me the four players ahead of him?
- This was a “playoff-game”, and most of our young players failed to step up. In tight, half-court games like these, DeRozan needs to find a way to consistently put up points. Otherwise, this team will be stuck with Lowry pouring his heart out on every play to generate any modicum of offense.
- I miss Patrick Patterson. The Raptors needed his quickness guarding Pierce on the perimeter, and his flair for the dramatic.