Raptors’ DeRozan getting a feel for what post-season will be like | Toronto Sun

“I’m kind of happy it’s happening now so I will know even more what to expect when playoffs come,” DeRozan said. “They are just trying to take me out of the game the best way they can and I’m trying to learn as much as I can every night. They are just doing little stuff. Just trying to be physical with me and trying to take away the handoffs I get with Amir.” DeRozan admits the kind of attention he is getting these days, the past two games in particular, is something in the past that might have taken him completely out of the game, but that is no longer the case. “Before I would get so frustrated from missing shots, but now I just understand it comes with it,” DeRozan said. “I’m missing a lot of easy shots I normally make. I’m at the point where I just try to figure out other ways I can still be involved.”

Toronto Raptors coach preaches calm after team overwhelmed by speedy Phoenix Suns | National Post

“It’s not a systemic problem,” Casey said. “It’s not a situation where [we need] to panic. It’s one game. We knew we weren’t going to go undefeated the rest of the way.” “It’s not like it’s the end of the world.” That was unexpected. And, for the most part, he was correct. You could question his use of the slow Chuck Hayes and Steve Novak against the speedy Suns. You could rightly point out that the Raptors bench, outscored 59-11 by its Phoenix counterparts, was wretched. You could express concern at DeMar DeRozan’s failure to insert himself into the game in any meaningful way. In all of the cases, you would be right. None of those things are necessarily pervasive issues, though. Phoenix pushes the pace relentlessly, led by the run-and-gun-and-run-some-more combination of Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic. Reserve big men Markieff and Marcus Morris are quick and agile, players whom necessitated the presence of Patrick Patterson, who remains unavailable because of an elbow injury. It happens.

Raptors fall to Suns in NBA action at Air Canada Centre | Toronto Sun

The final score would read 121-113 in favour of Phoenix, but at no point during the fourth quarter did the Raptors have the look of a team capable of making stops and going on an extended run. With 90 seconds remaining in a nine-point game, Kyle Lowry was kept in the game, the same Lowry who earlier was given a blow to the head. “It was concerning,’’ said head coach Dwane Casey. “It was a loose ball and he (Lowry) got dove on in the loose-ball situation. It knocked the wind out of him, but he’s okay.” Because Lowry was okay, Casey kept him in the game. “He got his wind back,’’ added Casey. “He bounced back and he was fine. It was a nine-point game, a three-possession game. Nobody was waving the white flag, at least I wasn’t.”

Rapid Recap: Suns Outgun Raptors 121 – 113 | Raptors HQ

t seems like a recurring storyline for Valanciunas, to get involved in the offense early and fade as the game wears on, and this game was no different. The Raptors second year center had 13 points on 6 of 8 shooting in his first 12 minutes and finished with 15 points on the night. Valanciunas’ matchup against the weaker Miles Plumlee was a favourable one but he didn’t solely rely on out-muscling Plumlee to score. We got a glimpse of his “jump” shot from midrange and, subsequently, he was able to bait his defender with a pump fake and drive to the rim for an and-one finish. For a 21 year old center to show that kind of versatility should be encouraging to Raptors fans, even if the consistency isn’t quite there yet on a night to night basis.

Phoenix Suns 121, Toronto Raptors 113 – Good morning, Victory | Valley of the Suns

There are a great deal of positives to discuss from this game, not the least of which is Phoenix sitting just one game back of both Dallas and Memphis for a playoff spot. Eight of the ten Suns who saw playing time scored at least nine points. Overall, the team shot nearly 51% from the field and hit 11-of-23 from three. Goran Dragic had 19 points in just 33 minutes. Eric Bledsoe got to the hoop with impunity, earning himself 10 free throws and hitting everyone of them. But the real story offensively was the bench. The Phoenix reserves outscored the Raptors’ bench 59-11. Markieff Morris had a great game netting 16 points on 50% shooting and grabbing a game-high 14 boards. His brother Marcus chipped in 10 and hit two timely triples. But the shining star off the bench was Gerald Green. Gerald hit his first five shots in the first quarter, helping Phoenix claim a 37-35 lead after they had trailed by as many as nine points. Green then, in true streak shooter fashion, proceeded to miss his next eight shots before hitting his final four buckets and helping the Suns close the game out at the free thrown line. Gerald finished the night with 28 points in just 27 minutes.

Recap: Phoenix Suns Rediscover Defense and Rebounding in Victory over Toronto Raptors, 121-113 | Bright Side Of The Sun

Goran Dragić put up a now-typical line of 19 points and 4 assists. Eric Bledsoe did most of his damage at the free throw line, going a perfect 10-10 en route to 14 points. Markieff Morris was invaluable, gobbling up 14 rebounds to go with his 16 points and P.J. Tucker did an excellent job on Raptors’ leading scorer DeMar DeRozan, holding him to 17 points on 6-16 shooting. Hats off to a terrific Toronto team who stayed with the Suns till the last minute. Kyle Lowry started slowly, but finished with 28 points ant 13 assists. And Toronto’s starting frontcourt was tremendous offensively, but offensive defensively. Amir Johnson, Jonas Valanciunas and Terrence Ross combined for 57 points on 23-36 rebounds, but only managed a meager 8 rebounds between them.

Speedy Suns too much too handle for Raptors | Toronto Star

They missed some shots, gave up far too many easy ones and just had one of those drab days that pop up in a 121-113 loss. There was frustration in abundance, even if DeMar DeRozan wouldn’t use that particular word. “I really wouldn’t call it frustration,” he said after the Suns exploited a Toronto speed deficit all afternoon. “It’s just tough when you’re going out there playing hard, and sometimes you don’t get a call that you’re fighting or dying for that we may need at a critical time. “It’s just tough and something we can definitely learn from.” The biggest lesson? It has to be — just let it go and move on to the next one. “One game,” said coach Dwane Casey. “We’ve got to learn and move on.” The defeat did expose one of the flaws in the Raptor roster, one that doesn’t hurt them too badly in the grind-it-out Eastern Conference but one the speedy Suns exploited all afternoon.

Lewenberg: Lowry gets his bell rung in loss to speedy Suns | TSN

Has he suffered a concussion before? Was he concerned that he may have suffered one that afternoon? Lowry balked at those questions. “No, I’m tough,” he said with a laugh, as if that could shield him from possible head injury. For those familiar with Lowry, one thing was for certain. He was not coming out of that game voluntarily. Sure enough, he shook it off and played the final 1:36, badly missing his next shot, a three coming out of the timeout. After a slow start, Lowry scored all but two of his team-high 28 points during the Raptors’ second half push. Ultimately he and his club could not overcome Phoenix’s dynamic backcourt and devastating team speed. “Their speed and quickness was the biggest factor,” Casey said after his team surrendered 121 points, most since they lost a Jan. 25 shootout to the Clippers. “Speed does that,” he continued. “Speed kills. That’s the whole bottom line. We won’t see a faster team than that the rest of the year. It caused a lot of breakdowns.”

Phoenix Suns take down Toronto Raptors | azcentral

“With the Phoenix Suns, you’re going to get every possible way to win a game,” said Suns forward P.J. Tucker, who kept top-10 NBA scorer DeMar DeRozan to a 6-for-16 shooting effort. “Down 30, come back in the fourth quarter, up the whole game, lose it in the end, win it in the end. We’re going to make it interesting. That’s the fun part about watching us. “Today was our entrance into playing like we used to play.” It was much more fun for the Suns to get back to imposing their will on a team that would rather play in the 90s. The Suns were the aggressors, getting to the free-throw line for a season-high 34 made free throws on just 38 tries.

Phoenix Suns vs. Toronto Raptors – Recap – March 16, 2014 | ESPN

The Raptors fell to 14-13 against Western Conference opponents. Toronto needs one win in its final three games against the West to ensure its first .500 record against the conference since the 1999-00 season. Toronto visits New Orleans on March 19, hosts Oklahoma City on March 21 and Houston on April 2.

Speedy Suns too much too handle for Raptors | Toronto Star

They missed some shots, gave up far too many easy ones and just had one of those drab days that pop up in a 121-113 loss. There was frustration in abundance, even if DeMar DeRozan wouldn’t use that particular word. “I really wouldn’t call it frustration,” he said after the Suns exploited a Toronto speed deficit all afternoon. “It’s just tough when you’re going out there playing hard, and sometimes you don’t get a call that you’re fighting or dying for that we may need at a critical time. “It’s just tough and something we can definitely learn from.” The biggest lesson? It has to be — just let it go and move on to the next one. “One game,” said coach Dwane Casey. “We’ve got to learn and move on.” The defeat did expose one of the flaws in the Raptor roster, one that doesn’t hurt them too badly in the grind-it-out Eastern Conference but one the speedy Suns exploited all afternoon.

Lewenberg: Lowry gets his bell rung in loss to speedy Suns | TSN

Has he suffered a concussion before? Was he concerned that he may have suffered one that afternoon? Lowry balked at those questions. “No, I’m tough,” he said with a laugh, as if that could shield him from possible head injury. For those familiar with Lowry, one thing was for certain. He was not coming out of that game voluntarily. Sure enough, he shook it off and played the final 1:36, badly missing his next shot, a three coming out of the timeout. After a slow start, Lowry scored all but two of his team-high 28 points during the Raptors’ second half push. Ultimately he and his club could not overcome Phoenix’s dynamic backcourt and devastating team speed. “Their speed and quickness was the biggest factor,” Casey said after his team surrendered 121 points, most since they lost a Jan. 25 shootout to the Clippers. “Speed does that,” he continued. “Speed kills. That’s the whole bottom line. We won’t see a faster team than that the rest of the year. It caused a lot of breakdowns.”

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117 Responses to “Morning Coffee – Mon, Mar 17”

  1. raptogram

    I hope Casey learned that Landry and Julyan Stone may have been better backups against a speedy Pheonix than Hayes and Salmons.

    Reply
    • KuH

      I wonder what Landry has done to earn Casey’s doghouse treatment. It makes no sense that you don’t at least give him a shift and see what he can do …especially when the team was being out-rebounded so badly. That, at least, is something you know he does well (twice the rebounding rate of Novak or Salmons).

      Reply
  2. cacciq

    No doubt Lowry is tough, but he should talk to his teammate, Hansbrough, who missed most of his rookie season with concussion syndrome. He could not exercise and had to stay still for months and months, or his vertigo would get worse instead of better. It has nothing to do with being tough–or getting “the wind knocked out of you”.

    I really hate it when someone like Tucker declares open season on another player’s head. He was already fined for hitting Blake Griffin with an elbow this year.

    Reply
  3. Zimdim

    Elbow injury to 2Pat’s shooting arm could be more serious and have a bigger effect than we thought.

    Reply
    • higdale

      Hopefully Patterson gets back soon because he helps your team.The raptors have been very fortunate this year with injuries while other teams in the east haven’t and since the trade with the Kings DeRozan has been your all star but Lowry is your MVP. So raptor fans better hope nothing happens to him because without Lowry you got big problems.

      Reply
  4. AnthonyF

    Think about this for a second…. This and a loss in LA to the Clippers was our worst loss (to a good team, where we were in the game) in almost two months. Heck take a look at the best teams in the NBA and bad losses they’ve suffered and scary to think how competitive Toronto is in every single game.

    Yep we were outplayed and beaten, but also were victims of some bad calls (including Tucker in a 5 point game and Lowry as the ball).

    Reply
  5. Stephen

    Not too concerned with this since they beat a better team in Memphis a couple days earlier, and, yeah… no one in the East plays like that (except MAYBE the Wiz on an exceptionally good night for them).

    “Toronto needs one win in its final three games against the West to
    ensure its first .500 record against the conference since the 1999-00
    season. Toronto visits New Orleans on March 19, hosts Oklahoma City on
    March 21 and Houston on April 2.”

    Well, I’m not going to say the only winnable game of those is the Pelicans since they’ve already beaten the Thunder, but… yeah, the only winnable game of those is probably the Pelicans.

    But playing CLOSE to 0.500 against the West this year? If you’d told me 13-15 against the West at the start of the season, I’d have taken it in a heartbeat.

    Reply
  6. acfaubs

    *The Raptors were down by nine at that point, and did not look anywhere near the headspace required to win. During one of the final timeouts, Steve Novak began angrily jawing and gesticulating at one of his teammates (you couldn’t tell which one). It was concerning enough that Jonas Valanciunas walked over and restrained the aggressively mild veteran.

    Afterward, looking a little sheepish, Novak said he was indeed screaming at another Raptor (as opposed to a ref), but declined to name him.

    “It was a heat-of-the-moment king of thing,” Novak said, smiling shyly. “There’s no issue.”*

    Anyone have any video/insight in regards to this Novak incident? It was referred to in a couple articles. I know we’ve had pretty fantastic chemistry this year so while this doesn’t really worry me, it’s not something I want to read so close to the playoffs, either.

    Reply
  7. Bo4

    Kyle, don’t be an idiot. Dwane, do you even know what you’re talking about? You need a course on the effects of concussions, and on the SMART way of handling them from the get go! Sheeeeesh …

    Reply

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