Unedited Reaction Podcast – Quick ReactionBox – Raptors 100, Nets 95, Series Tied 1-1

Through the first seven playoff quarters of his career, DeMar DeRozan was struggling, to put it lightly.

After a 3-for-13 performance in Game 1 against Brooklyn in which DeRozan had 14 points, two rebounds, one assists and three turnovers, the team had a clear edict in the first and third quarters of Game 2: Establish DeRozan. Whatever it took, the Raptors were going to get their All-Star going. After a poor first half, DeRozan was engaged in action number one on eight of the team’s first 10 plays to start the second half.

But it wasn’t working out, with a 5-for-16 performance making it seem as if DeRozan’s late-season shooting woes – alleviated by his elite ability to get to the free-throw line – weren’t working themselves out in time. He would later pick up his fifth foul, leading to him sitting outside of a team huddle (and this, after he had visibly chewed out teammates for a lack of help defense in the third quarter), an image that could have been a lasting one from this series if not for what happened next.

“I was a little frustrated I couldn’t be out there with my team,” DeRozan said after the game. “I was just keeping myself together, not being so frustrated.”

Through seven quarters, DeRozan had played 67 minutes, shooting 8-of-29 for 27 points with just four rebounds and two assists, along with six turnovers. The frustration was understandable. He had been getting picked apart on defense by Joe Johnson, too, not just in Game 1 but again for most of Game 2. The Raptors also trailed 66-64 and had played poorly, squandering opportunities in the first half with turnovers and, despite a huge rebounding edge, untimely miscues boxing out.

If there were ever a “make or break” time for a player and a team – not to mention a crowd, which was once again excellent on Tuesday – it was now, in the fourth quarter, looking down the barrel of a 2-0 series deficit.


When DeRozan received that pass from Greivis Vasquez, he could have taken the open three. He could have passed inside to Jonas Valanciunas, who had an open look but a likely double-team awaiting him. Instead, DeRozan saw five Nets looking at him, none in a position to provide timely defense on a drive. Despite the struggles, despite the shooting woes, despite the body language, DeRozan had the confidence to take this one himself. He threw the left-handed hammer down and then unveiled a stink face to end all stink faces, one that will surely join the Chris Bosh chin-out and the Vince Carter I-can’t-hear-you as iconic Raptors stills.

One play does not a game make, but from there, DeRozan took over. He shot 4-of-5 in the fourth quarter and 9-of-11 at the line, including six icy-cool free throws in the game’s final 21 seconds as the Nets fouled to lengthen the game. He still wasn’t perfect, turning the ball over three times in the fourth, including one where he lost the handle on a drive and the air was completely sucked out of the Air Canada Centre. But he hit shots, some of them with a high degree of difficulty, and he seemed to embrace the moment, in so much as that can be a thing that people have the ability to do. Whether it was the confidence he provided his teammates, the emotional lift of his turnaround, or simply the team continuing their unbelievable fourth quarter ways (“We said early in the year we want to be the Freddy Krueger of the NBA,” Dwane Casey said after the game), the game seemed to change after that jam. The team shot 12-of-16, grabbed four offensive rebounds and, yes, turned the ball over four times but forced five from Brooklyn.

For the second game in a row, it wasn’t their best performance – and you can say the same for Brooklyn – but this time it was enough. The Raptors have tied the series with a 100-95 win, and it now becomes a five-game affair, with the Raptors having only lost home-court advantage. This game also continues what has become a pretty incredible on-court rivalry, if not really a two-way emotional rivalry yet:

Date Location Win Lose Score
Nov. 26 ACC Brooklyn Toronto 102-100
Jan. 11 ACC Toronto Brooklyn 96-80
Jan. 27 Barclays Toronto Brooklyn 104-103
Mar. 10 Barclays Brooklyn Toronto 101-97
Apr. 19 ACC Brooklyn Toronto 94-87
Apr. 22 ACC Toronto Brooklyn 100-95

After the game, Kyle Lowry told a thin group of reporters who stuck around (most had gone to the podium area to check out Amir Johnson and DeRozan) that he honestly believed the team’s basketball is yet to come. He’s certainly correct that the team hasn’t played their best – the Raptors have turned the ball over 40 times through two games, negating most of their 30-rebound edge – but the concern is that Brooklyn really hasn’t played that well, either.
comparison
However, the one edge the Raptors may have is that they’ve now shaken off the jitters. There’s an easy narrative as to why they’ve struggled in some regards, and the Nets missing so many shots is tougher to explain (though they won’t shoot this bad from three for much longer).

“The lights were really bright for some of the guys,” Lowry explained about the difference between Game 1 and Game 2. “The lights dimmed a little bit.”

Perhaps most importantly for this team, DeRozan has earned his confidence back. He iced a playoff game against a tested veteran team, one with oh-so-much-experience (spare me – and where you at, Paul Pierce?), and he and Lowry are clearly ready – and now proven able – to win playoff basketball games. The team likely didn’t need the affirmation, but they’ve now won a playoff game against a team many think will win this series, and that has to count for a great deal mentally. For all the evolving DeMar DeRozan has done this season, and for all the steps this team has unexpectedly made, they may have done the most growing up on Tuesday night.

Game Notes
*Of course, the same bad start, good finish story could be told about Kyle Lowry in this one, though his defensive intensity carried him through the early quarters while DeRozan struggled in that regard, too. DeRozan is the scorer, Lowry is the engine. That may not be fair, especially when it means DeRozan has the ball down the stretch despite Lowry generally being a better (and safer) creator, but that’s the reality, and it’s what’s worked. For the second game in a row, Lowry produced across the board, scoring 14 points with nine rebounds and six assists and saving eight of those points for the fourth. More importantly for this team in this series, he kept Deron Williams in check with 15 points on 5-of-15 shooting while also limiting him to five assists, crowding him above the 3-point line and not allowing him strong position off the ball.

*And of course, the same bad Game 1, good Game 2 story could be told about Amir Johnson, who shook off a rough initial outing to be the Amir Johnson hardcore hoop-heads have come to know and love. 16 points, nine rebounds, screens that crunched arthritic bones to help free up DeRozan, and the always-solid defense were all present. His biggest moment, though, was a late-game dunk, as he slipped away from the Nets on an inbounds, received a pass and threw down a two-handed jam. Shameful admission: I cheered in the press gondola, which is a no-no, as the look James Herbert shot me quickly reminded me. But if the general manager can say “F— Brooklyn,” an occasionally-credentialed blogger can celebrate a late-game dunk. Right?

*Jonas Valanciunas brought it once again as well with 15 points and 14 rebounds, though he now has 11 turnovers through two games. You’ll take that, as the inside game is the lone area where the Raptors should be able to consistently carve out an edge in this series. Maybe don’t try and spin through double-teams though.

*The layups and PU3ITs of Greivis Vasquez are a thing of beauty. He made some insane shots in this one and added some really good passes. There might not be a more confident basketball player. What’s more, Dwane Casey realized that Vasquez can be “hidden” on Shaun Livingston fairly well – the problem with Vasquez’ defense is not size or length, it’s speed, and Livingston’s post-oriented offensive game can’t really exploit Vasquez’ weaknesses all that well.

*Speaking of adjustments, Casey moved to a much tighter rotation, as had been suggested. Eight guys, all with a clear role, and to a man every player played well except for Terrence Ross, who struggled shooting the ball. The biggest adjustment was inserting Landry Fields into the rotation, and he did a hell of a job defensively (more on this in the afternoon). Giving 18 minutes to a guy who had played just 23 minutes, total, since March 2 was gutsy but necessary, and it paid off in a major way. Fields didn’t take a single shot but his impact was obvious – four rebounds, an assist, two steals, a block, post-position denials, fighting through screens – and the Raptors were a +8 when he was out there.

Game 3 goes Friday in Brooklyn.

  • hotfuzz

    Salmons is sitting in a chair, biunded in a lonely deserted warehouse somewhere in North York.

    You can thank me later.

    • hotfuzz

      bounded&

      • hotfuzz

        bounded* dear lord, we need the ability to edit posts here.

        • Yoshi

          You do have that ability. Are you using Disqus or linking from something else?

        • DC

          bound (past tense of bind)

    • BlakeMurphy

      His back is hurting, according to Casey after the game. Was an issue in last week of the season, too.

      • 2damkule

        also hurting: basketball ability. and veteran presents.

        • Rapchat

          HAHAHAHAHAHA

        • asifyouknow

          wow a little cruel there…Have you ever been hurt and miss work? Just wonder..

      • Will

        I really, really hope that’s not the only reason Casey put him in. It’s so ridiculously obvious how much better Fields is. It’s infuriating!

        • Rapchat

          Landry = NO SHOW JOE.

          • Will

            What does that mean? Is that a good thing?

            • Rapchat

              A good thing? Dude, I would buy you a case of beer EVERYTIME Landry gets on the court instead of Salmons. LANDRY= NO SHOW JOE JOHNSON!!!

  • black angus

    The turnovers, poor defence, and generally soft play still make Derozan a very average contributer. I would really like to see Fields get some run with Ross and Lowry on the floor…just tomsee what three good defenders can do against the Nets.

    • goofy

      LOL
      So you want to see how we’ll look without one of (if not) our best player?…..your not very smart are you.

      • black angus

        DD is hardly our best player. How he was selected to the All-Star game ahead of Lowry is a joke. With all the so called athleticism Demar has, he apparently chooses not to use it. He does not have the ball handling skills to create his own shot – he his way more effective coming off a screen and used in catch and shoot situations. When he does go to the rim and gets even a modest amount of contact he flails around a makes a lame attempt and scoring the ball and instead is waiting for the refs to call a foul. When was the last time you saw DD take it to the tin and dunk on someone. Last night he got one dunk, but there was were virtually no defenders in the lane. However, he did manage to get two finger rolls in the paint, but easily had the space and time to throw those down as dunks too! They say DD is from Compton, but he must have spent a lot of time in his bedroom playing video games, because he is far, far from being ‘street’ tough.
        With Lowry, Fields and Ross you have three players who can shut down their man on the defensive end. All three can go to the rim. Fields is a better passer and defender, and all around smarter player than DD. These three can move the ball and find the open man instead of watching DD get blocked or turning it over.

        • Rapchat

          DD is our best scorer. How is that average? 17 points in the 4th quarter? Average? It’s cool, if DD is average than everyone else in this series is outright shit. TROSS over DD?? HAHAHAHA obviously an above average contributor (for the nets maybe) So you would have preferred us to lose by 18 in a low scoring game with your so called 3 good defenders rotation, and give up the scoring?

    • Ghotte

      Ross has been brutal. A complete liability out there and you want to see what he can do with Fields and Lowry? Smh

      • David>S

        Plotted out the first round series schedules. Why is it Nets/Raps is the only one to have 2 day rest between games 3 times. All others have it only 2 times, except Wiz/Bulls – 1 time.

      • j bean

        This team isn’t running on all cylinders without Ross playing better. Can they win without him? Yes but much more fun when he’s knocking down threes, high flying and playing in front of his man on D.

  • DandB

    Everyone’s going to remember DeRozan for his heroics, and it was a goddamn good game, but I have to be realistic here and note how DeRozan is getting burned every time down on the defensive end. JJ posts him up, AA drives right by him. He needs to understand that it’s not just the offensive end now that he has to worry about if he’s staying on the floor.

    • oseebhai

      He was getting absolutely killed for sure. Fields turned the game for me, props to Casey for putting him in.

  • Marz

    I’m loving the optimism, but I’m a pessimist. And I honestly don’t see this as a “turning the corner” game.

    I’m very happy we won, and I really hope we take one in Brooklyn. But as it stands right now, this is almost playing out exactly as it did 7 years ago when we played the New Jersey Nets: Game 1 Loss (91-96), Game 2 Win (89-83). According to history, we lose the next two games in Brooklyn :(

    • Nilanka15

      Except there are absolutely no dots connecting the 2007 team with this current team.

      • Marz

        Perhaps not in personnel, but the situation is extremely similar. In both cases,

        – A GM in his first year creates a team that exceeds expectations and wins the Atlantic division.
        – The Nets have an experienced roster, while most Raptor players are in the playoffs for the first time
        – The Raptors team was very good at sharing the ball
        – The Raptors team had two solid point guards (of course, Lowry is the best of the bunch)
        – The Raptors team had one all-star who was in the playoffs for the first time ever, and still developing

        • 2damkule

          also, a former raptor star is playing an integral role for the nets. ALAN ANDERSON!

          i’ll show myself out…

        • Nilanka15

          I acknowledge the similarities, but I fail to see how these points keep the Raptors from winning 1 of the next 2 games at Barclay’s Center.

          • Marz

            History repeats itself? lol, I’m not saying anything based on fact, it’s just my gut feeling.

            Game 2 was way too close in my opinion. People think the jitters are gone because of it, but we’re about to step into Brooklyn’s house now, which is an entirely different beast for the Raptors to be playing in. The jitters have only just begun!

            • Nilanka15

              I’m confident we’ll show up to play for games 3 and 4. DeRozan now knows he can play on the big stage. Lowry and Jonas already knew they can play on the big stage. This combined with some very strong road performances this year, makes me think the Brooklyn crowd won’t be much of a distraction. We’ve beaten them in their building before.

              It’s probably for the best that Drizzy isn’t sitting courtside with his lint roller, lol.

              • Marz

                If you’re wrong, I’m sending you a bucket of my tears.

              • Kevin

                Nets fan here, congrats on the win in Toronto last night! I’m not here to talk smack or anything like that, just found this article and well decided to read it + the comments. DeRozan didn’t win you guys the game, yes he hit two amazing shots to take a 89-85 lead I believe, but he didn’t win the game. He still took ill advised shots, but this time he actually was hitting more than game 1. I don’t expect him to keep doing that. It’ll be a great series and I’m expecting an OT game coming up soon, but I don’t think toronto escapes brooklyn with a win. The Crowd will be a HUGE distraction, this is a young raptors team playing their first road playoff game vs a city that was just said “F— brooklyn” by the raptors GM. That just gives the crowd more fuel and energy, it’s going to be rowdy. But regardless, I expect great games!

                • Nilanka15

                  Agree on DeRozan’s shot selection. But sadly, those are the shots he’s been taking all season. I don’t expect a change for games 3 or 4.

                  Whether DeRozan won the game or not is certainly debatable. But in terms of his confidence, last night was exactly what DeRozan needed going into Friday.

                • FLUXLAND

                  “This series is coming back to Toronto tied 2-2.”

                  Holleee, Nilanka… are you doing the Sam Big Balls dance already? :)

                • Nilanka15

                  It’s more of a Mark Jackson shuffle 😉

                • Rapchat

                  Nice Kevin! But…you don’t expect him to keep doing that? You don’t know Demar. Thats’s ALL he does, and as much as we hate him for those long 2’s…he’s made a meal of draining them ALL YEAR in 4th q’s…Honestly he hasn’t even begun yet hahaha. Don’t think the crowd at Barclays will be the same as ACC. With that said, both teams had trouble BC of it, and honestly, the RAPS LOVE to play on the road (One of the best in the EAST). They really relish making teams/fans eat their own crap. This team is DYING for recognition, they will get that in BKN, I believe. SO EXCITING!!!!! Here’s to an exciting game (Raps blow out) :)

                • sleepz

                  Long contested 2’s especially in the playoffs are not a recipe for success.

                  Demar is a volume shooter so the numbers look decent but they truly are not. 17 shots a game, 35% shooting in the playoffs.

                • Rapchat

                  Long 2’s are never a good idea as I said we hate him for it, but, with the ugly numbers, he gets it done more times than not and we still get the W. I think that plays big for his confidence and allows him to shrug off ugly numbers in 4th q’s to find ways to win. Heck, I’d even argue that all those numbers prove that DD is a clutch monster?

                • Chillaxitsonlyonegame

                  “Demar is a volume shooter so the numbers look decent but they truly are not. 17 shots a game, 35% shooting in the playoffs.”

                  Can you say small sample size?
                  Dude what is your problem? The kid plays his heart out and your trying to burn him at the stake! We won! Enjoy it! You’ll have plenty of time to boo him when he gets lucky and moves to a team that appreciates him.

                  You must have been an A+ student and now a billionaire or are you only this hard on other people?

                • Kevin

                  I don’t, don’t get me wrong he’s one of the top two guards of the east, in the nba even but the Nets have SOOO Much length at their guard positions. He was 3-13 and 9-21 I believe? Game 2 was very respectable might I add. I’m okay with letting DeMar shoot those contested shots, that’s all you can do is put a hand up and hope he misses. The crowd may not be the same at barclays, I don’t think we will have people outside watching on a big screen now that was insane. The atmosphere was almost as good as Golden State’s crowd tbh. But the brooklyn crowd will be wild inside, it’ll play a factor I believe. Just as much as the Raps love the road, the Nets love their homecourt. 15 straight home wins in barclays, I think the nets are 24-4 at home in the new year or something. It’s like 24-4 around that record which is pretty amazing. It’ll be exciting, I’ll give my score since you said it’s going to be a blowout. Brooklyn 101 and Toronto 91

                • Rapchat

                  The blow out was tongue in cheek although my heart could really use one lol…All good points my man. We shall see!!!

                • Kevin

                  Lol I know how you feel on that my dude, these games are so intense. But yes, we shall see what happens. If the raptors do advance (hope not lol) but if they do, I really really REALLY want to see them somehow take down Miami, but that will be an extremely tall task.

                • Nilanka15

                  Also, Raps won’t be turning the ball over 20 times a game going forward. Raps played 2 pretty lousy games from that perspective, and still managed to win 1.

                • Kevin

                  You’re probably right, the raps won’t be turning the ball over 20 times that’s too much, but I do expect them to have more turnovers than brooklyn whatever amount it is, just as I expect toronto to have more rebounds than brooklyn. Both teams played lousy games, both games were bad shooting performances. The only stand out player this series so far has been JV that’s about it. Maybe Joe Johnson because of his big game one and pretty solid game 2, but that’s really it. I predict brooklyn in six, mainly because i’m a brooklyn fan and mainly because of experience which I still think will play some factor

              • sleepz

                He always knew he could play on the big stage. The question is can he play well on the big stage?

                That still hasn’t been determined. 22pts per game on 35% shooting is hollow imho.

                • Nilanka15

                  Agreed, poor numbers. But I’m speaking more about DeRozan’s psyche.

                  When was the last time DeRozan stepped up when the pressure was on late in a game? I don’t know if last night was an anomaly, or a sign of things to come. Either way, he should be sleeping well at night heading into Friday, which is great for us.

    • RickE

      Your definitely a pessimist dude. I guess you never heard of the term “Good things happen to positive thinkers?” Plus like the man below said this isn’t the 2007 Chris Bosh team. You can really compared these two teams with the same outcome? Move forward my friend…move forward!

      • SR

        That was a nice win. Brooklyn is really strong at home, though.

        Still, aside from Brooklyn forcing turnovers, the Raps outplayed them in every facet of the game. In spite of the 5 point final differential, the Raps deserved this win.

        I hate how Jack and Matt keep harping on TO’s. Of course it’s a big issue, but that’s what Brooklyn does – they’re right with Miami in terms of forcing TO’s on the perimeter. Like Miami, they give up rebounding and shot blocking in favour of a small lineup that can pressure the ball and passing lanes. I want the Raps to take care of the ball, but at this point the 20 Toronto TO’s are more or less negated by the 20+ advantage the Raps had on the boards and the complete lack of shot blocking in the paint for Brooklyn. By the 4th quarter it was like Vasquez, Lowry, and DD realized they could take any defender straight to the rim because there was not shot blocking in there. Drive drive drive drive. That’s really good for the Raps, who are much less effective when they’re forced into becoming a jump shooting team.

        Jack and Matt mentioned the TO’s 1056 times without once mentioning that Toronto set a franchise playoff record for rebounds last night. That’s how bad Brooklyn is on the boards – and that is a weakness that they can’t adjust for, that Toronto will be able to take advantage of all series long.

        • Fonzi

          I think the important stat here is: extra possesions = turnovers+rebounds

          • SR

            Also points off is important. Anyone know the final points off TO’s for Brooklyn and points off ORB for Toronto? 2/3 of the way through the game even though the Raps had something like 16 TO’s, Brooklyn had only scored 11 off them, which isn’t that bad…

            Still, the ball/lane pressure is a good learning experience. Hopefully these guys learn from it and tighten things up.

    • Rapchat

      Unless you can show me a current NETS player who is averaging a triple double in this series, that comparison is utterly and completely useless. The BIGGEST factor in that series was Kidds trip/dub avg. According to history, if the NETS don’t have that player now, the results should be much different.

  • Rapsfan

    Was a good nervous game last night I think the raptors will play better the next game because they are a better road team

  • plaid coast

    does anyone else wish we could watch psycho-T match up with KG for 12 minutes next game?

    • asifyouknow

      I do IIII doooo!!..KG has always been a loud mouth…

  • The Mega Sage

    DeMar… Concerns me. He is definitely a talented player, but he doesn’t seem to be emotionally strong. I mean seriously, do you have to complain after EVERY call?

    There was a play late in the game – he has a three point shot blocked and immediately – I mean IMMEDIATELY – turns to argue to the ref while his man gets a free line to the basket for the dunk. It was at that moment I got so fed up with him. Get back on D. Stop sulking. Put your big boy pants on. Frig.

    I don’t know – I honestly don’t think the Raptors are anything more than ‘decent season – 1st or 2nd round exit’ with DeMar as their best player.

    • webfeat

      Complaining to the refs isn’t necessarily a sign of an emotionally weak player. Some of the greats often complained. Lowry complains, and he’s no pansy.

      Where I think DD is weak is that he doesn’t play within himself. I think he has the mindset that “you’re only as good as you think you are”, which means he’ll try things that may hurt his team’s chances. He dribbles too long and he waits too long to pass when he draws the double, and that’s why he commits so many turnovers. Lately, he’s been mimicking GV’s tendency to dribble dribble then pass just as the shot clock is getting close to expiring. The resulting air balls end up as shot clock violations so the raps can’t get a rebound.

      • 2damkule

        part of the reason he commits so many turnovers is that ‘he dribbles’ at all, not that ‘he dribbles too long.’

    • black angus

      Another prime example of DD being soft was when he got the ball stripped from him by Kirelenko, the both went to the ground after the ball. DD showed little more than a token effort to get the ball – it looked like a little sister wrestling against their big brother.

    • Moe

      Lol what? All stars complain. Look at wade/Kobe when they get hacked and no call, they dont even run back for D…

      • Musik

        Wade and Kobe have done something in the league. DeMar is pretty much a nobody when compared to them. They are also good defenders.

      • jakdripr

        Just because other allstars do it doesn’t make it a good thing. I’m not as mad at him as a lot of people are, but I do remember that play and I definitely remember being upset because he gave up a drive to a Brooklyn player.

      • sleepz

        Correction. HOF’ers.

    • Rapchat

      I think DD is smart for doing that. NOBODY cried more than KG, and if our stars don’t do the same, the calls will shift. So I think.

    • afrocarter

      That’s because his shot wasn’t blocked — Livingston literally high-fived him, getting a lot of wrist and forearm in the process. Amir got away with a couple of similar fouls on Teletovic, so no complaints.

  • NikolaTesla1

    The praise for Derozen is ridiculous and over the top. Except for the 2 shots over Pierce (which he will not see again) he was a liability to his team. We won this game when Derozen was sitting where he should be in the 4th, on the bench.

    Instead give praise to the players that won the game for us…Amir, Val, PP, GV and Fields (a little bit). They deserve the praise, not some coattail riding individualist like DD.

    And give me a break, iced a playoff game, hahahahah what a ridiculous thing to say. Demar didn’t ice sh**, our defence and Pierce missing 2 open three’s iced this game….embarrassing

    • hotfuzz

      He was absolute shit for the first 3Qs. The shots he hit in the 4th were tough tough shots and not particularly good shots. (long 2s) and defense was atrocious.

    • sleepz

      If he misses those bad jumpers late in the game and goes 7-21 instead of 9-21 this morning, fans would want him gone. He played poor defence all game, continued to take bad shots without discrimination, didn’t rebound or distribute the ball, but because he piled up ft’s late, he is heroic and now “he’s got this”lol

      He didn’t respect the game with his “this ain’t rocket science” comments and his overall game has been exposed at this playoff level. Long jumpers, no handles and no defence is rarely a recipe for success at the playoff level.

      Agreed that Amir, PP and JV were more pertinent to Raps getting a win last night.

      • afrocarter

        ….but he did hit those jumpers. Because good players make tough shots in close games.

        • jakdripr

          I do get where they are coming from though. Lowry was having a bad shooting night, but it never felt like that because he does other things for the team, he takes shots within the flow of the offence, plus he actually played solid D on Williams. Derozan was a liability on both ends of the floor, taking bad shots and getting decimated by JJ, and then yelling at his teammates for not helping. It’s nice to have a player that can hit such difficult shots in crunch time, I just wish he didn’t live and die by those shots.

          I really like Demar, but sometimes he’s out there and I think I’m watching Gay again. Only difference is Gay could actually guard his position.

          • afrocarter

            1) News flash: JJ is a VERY difficult cover. How many pounds is DD giving up? Sure, we’d love DeRozan to fight harder through screens, and that’s a definite knock on his game, but not being able to handle JJ in the post isn’t anything to be ashamed about. Only 1 out of our 4 wing guys have any sort of chance against him.

            2) Teammates yell at each other all the time. That’s a non-issue. The Raps have been doing so all season.

            3) Yes, DeRozan took several contested shots, but, again, he got to the line 14 times. There was a decent amount of variance in his game. He attacked the basket on the regular, especially when the shot wasn’t falling. Sure, we’d all love less Rudy Gay shots, but the kid is still learning.

            People are getting all incensed for (ultimately) little to no reason over a game that we won.

            • jakdripr

              Hey I’m on your side, just saying the guys do have some points. You’re right, getting bodied by JJ is nothing to be ashamed of and DD got to the line 14 times. But he still needs to find other ways to be effective when his shots aren’t falling, like during the regular season when he’d rebound and assist a lot more. But like you said kid is still learning, and kid is only 24, so there’s still hope.

              Yea people are getting mad, but that’s our fanbase, we could win the championship and peeps would still be asking for Casey to be fired and DD to be traded.

            • sleepz

              if you’re going to count those 6-8 ft’s as times he got to the line when Brooklyn was fouling late, it is correct in theory but in actuality is not the truth or indicative of him attacking the basket. He rarely went to the line driving to the rim. Mainly from late fouling from Brooklyn or his mid range pump fakes and then leaning forward when the defence crowds him. Bargnani uses the same move. Don’t know if I would call that attacking and getting to the line.

              • afrocarter

                I’ll concede that point, but at the end of the day we’re splitting hairs. Only Toronto fans, it seems, would complain about a player not getting to the line enough after a game where he shot 14 free throws. And pump-faking your way to the line is a wily maneuver — are we seriously going to complain about that, too?

            • GetLicks

              Don’t worry man, you’re arguing with a bunch of couch potato all-stars that think they know everything about ball and think playoff basketball against a bunch of star/HOF players is simple. LOL! All you haters should go watch Durant’s first playoff series against the Lakers a few years back. Then maybe you wouldn’t be ripping DD so hard.

          • asifyouknow

            There will be a night when Lowry, DeMar and Ross run in all cylinders and then the bench will just add the icing on that cake.
            I got a feeling that will be in game three and if that happens get your shorts and sunglasses ready cause you going to be in Miami or as the Cuban-Americans would sat Meamiii. :)

            • Rapchat

              HAHA Dude, stop having so much fun. It’s contagious. You should know that there is SERIOUS BUSINESS to be discussed here… HAHAHAHAHA

        • sleepz

          We’ll see how long that lasts for. He was m.i.a first game. he was a volume shooter last night.

          The regular season saw him have quite a bit of turnovers late in games.

          Hats off to him last night for those shots he hit, but your not going to be a strong playoff performer if that is your game and is how you are generating their offence.

          • afrocarter

            Again, this is his first ever playoff series and he carried the team offensively in the 4th quarter of a close game; cut the kid a bit of slack. He’ll continue to grow and get better, but right now he’s not all that bad considering. He CERTAINLY is NOT a bad player, nor a player deserving of some of this vitriol.

          • GetLicks

            So was LBJ, Durant, Vince in their first few playoff games (volume shooters). Not sayin Derozan is on their level at all, but anyone who watches ball has seen even the great players struggle their first time around. Give him a break

      • SR

        It was a team win. It’s the playoffs, man.

        DD had a great 4th quarter. Other guys had key/great contributions as well. Dunno why you have to knock one guy down to lift the others up. They were all a part of it.

        It would be nice if they could hide DD somewhere on defense, but they already have Vasquez on Livingston. DD is gonna have to keep working hard at that end, and DC may need a couple more team solutions to help him out. NBA teams have had plenty of success with core players who are only strong on one end of the floor. You don’t need to crucify the guy – you just need a game plan that accounts for your strengths/weaknesses, and execution.

        • sleepz

          he had a fortunate 4th quarter. Those 2 jumpers late were key but nobody can tell me those are good shots. They went down but those type of decisions are poor.

          • SR

            Like ’em or hate ’em, those are DD shots. I don’t love ’em myself, but they were mixed with drives and he managed to create good separation on both shots. Kudos to him for hitting them.

            I was thinking about that after the game, though, how Pierce hit big shots in game 1 and missed in game 2, but DD hit in game 2. Advanced stats guys have tried to show who is and who isn’t clutch, but for 99% players there’s really no variation in their shooting percentages in the last 3 min (or whatever) of a close game. DD will always shoot those long two’s at a 40%-ish clip, which I don’t love either. PP will also hit his “clutch” shots at generally the same rate as all his other shots.

            DD’s game 2 closing shots were much better than what the Raps were getting at the end of game 1, though. If a guy can create space and get “his” shots, then that’s all you can ask for. That said, I hope they don’t go iso DD to close out all games. I like it when teams actually run plays rather than going one-on-one in clutch situations.

      • asifyouknow

        Look guys don’t let Casey sell you all that Kool-Aid about defense, if you can keep an NBA team under 100 you are doing a hell of a good job.
        Since the NBA decided to protect the guards so they can give the fans what they want, scoring and ballerina moves to the bucket, is hard to defend guards in this NBA, you can’t touch then without getting a foul.
        Hell you guys always talk about the slowest guard in the world ,Vasquez, and he has no trouble getting to the bucket .
        This guys played good defense in both games, the coach could not adjust or get his guys ready in that first game.

        • Rapchat

          GV saunters to the bucket…and easily drops those insanely hard off angle lay ups. I swear I think he plays with ear buds on listening to salsa as he plays…

    • vik

      agree with a lot of what you are saying, i thought he was a major liability in game 2 on the defensive end, and the team moved the ball much better when derozan was on the bench. its going to be an interesting dilema for the raptors whether to keep feeding him or swing the ball around

    • ad

      Yep, agree with you guys, but DD did make a concerted effort to drive to the rim more, which was needed. He definitely helped us win, but not as much as some others. The only player that was a total negative last night was ross. I think he should be benched for fields. Hes just not ready for this level of intensity.

    • Rapchat

      Agree with lots here, except if going 4-5 down the stretch of the 4th, and being perfect from FT’s at the most critical point in the game isn’t “iced” i don’t know what is. You can say all you want about how he played leading to that point but it’s still true.

    • afrocarter

      Jesus Christ, give it a rest, why don’t you? DeRozan was clutch down the stretch after having to combat a Nets team that was attacking him on both sides of the floor. The dude put in 30 points on 21 shots. Got to the free throw line 14 TIMES. Some people will never be satisfied.

      • 2damkule

        i guess the bar’s been (or is being) raised. that’s a good thing.

        • Rapchat

          Raising the bar and beating someone with said “bar” are different things.

      • NikolaTesla1

        He was bailed out by the refs on multiple occasions and has to be bailed out by the refs to have any success in this league. He is a manufactured ‘all-star’ in that he has to rely on everyone else to have any success in this league and then has the audacity to claim all the glory while riding the coattails of other players on his team.

        And really, you’re going to use FT’s has justification? Please, he shot 3 techs and was intentionally fouled on 3 others at the end of the game. KL, AJ, JV or GV would have hit those shots just as easily, like everything else with DD’s game, fake and manufactured.

        • afrocarter

          I don’t understand how you can so cavalierly toss aside everything DeMar has accomplished this season. Working on his mid-range and corner three, getting to the line, moving the ball… The hate is strong in you, my friend. But sure, grind him into the ground over how he performs throughout his first playoffs experience. Unreal.

          • Rapchat

            Side Note- I don’t understand how people can use the word cavalierly and make it sound good. That is one word I really like but just sounds dumb when I try to use it… HAHAHA

        • Rapchat

          Do you have any idea that being one of the best in the league at getting to the line is the by product of “manufacturing” offence? The points are very REAL my friend. People who “manufacture” offence in this league get paid handsomely. On top of what getting those calls does to the other teams mind set??? Rely on everyone else??? HAHAHA it’s a TEAM game. And yeah, techs or no techs he drained FT’s with the most important game of his career on the line…and we WON. ALL STAR.

          • SR

            4th in the league this year for FTM – DeMar DeRozan.

            He has struggled under the Nets’ pressure, but that 4th quarter was great. DD responded very, very well after sitting down with 5 fouls.

            • KickPuncher

              Frankly, I was a bit surprised Casey brought DeMar back in after he picked up that 5th foul. DeMar has a propensity to mishandle high-pressure situations. But you have to give him a ton of credit. He shook off three quarters of very mediocre basketball and hit two HUGE jumpers. He showed a lot of character even attempting to take those after the type of game he was having and had in game 1.

        • or nah?

          Are you complaining about him being bailed out?

        • Wes mantooth

          Derozan was being hacked all game. I cringe when he shoots as well but come fourth quarter this kid has been clutch most of the season. And 9 for 21 isn’t a bad playoff fg%
          Why are you hating so hard ??
          Are you a raps fan??
          I know rapchat is! That boys a messiah

        • GetLicks

          You’re a f*ckin idiot. Straight up. Is this your first time tuning in to a raptors game? Cute

        • nathan

          wow, man. Usually people like you that are this out of touch with what’s going on aren’t able to even use the internet. Did someone turn the computer on for you?

        • RPB

          fake and manufactured? lmao what are you smoking? theres nothing fake or manufactured about avging 23, 4 and 4. or dropping 30 on a tough defense zoned in on you. and what kind of terms are those to describe someones game? what is he a piece of plastic? bitter boy

        • DDMayor

          mamu li ti jebem
          mrs odavde picko
          Derozan za mayor

      • SR

        Agreed. DeMar has struggled, but a lot of it has a lot to do with a very experienced team keying in on him (if Brooklyn gave the same attention to ANY other Raptor, I’m pretty sure they would struggle just as much as DD is). Two games in and he’s already shown signs of responding well. It’s a learning experience for the guy, AND by the end of game 2 he was producing.

        He’ll struggle more as Brooklyn continues to pick on him on both ends. But plenty of post-season rookies struggle their first time in the playoffs. I’m confident that whatever happens this series, everything Brooklyn is doing to DeMar is going to drive his training this summer. If he’s shown one thing as a Raptor, it’s an incredible work ethic that produces results – as incremental as they may be.

      • sleepz

        Fouling him late to send him to the line is not indicative of him attacking the basket.

    • ace5950

      lol negative Nikola

  • webfeat

    Wha…? Only three tiny sentences at the end for Landry Fields? Without him, JJ would have won this game for the Nets for sure.

    • BlakeMurphy

      “More on that this afternoon”

    • asifyouknow

      Field little tap was huge …I give him the game ball….

  • Alex

    This fan base is so torn on Demar. One half said he a good up income player in the league with a bright future. A top guard in the NBA. Just about to hit his prime .The other half wants him gone in a New York second, he a cancer, a bad teammate, shouldn’t be a starter in the NBA,his selfish. I don’t remember a fan base who is torn on a player before like this. Good win for you guys.This is a fun series to watch Nets in 7. See you in Brooklyn.

  • Mexiballer

    Patterson is also returning to form which is huge.

    • Ds

      Patterson is second on the team in PER, eFG%, Reb%, OReb%, etc. He’s been huge. But, to me, the MVP so far, has been Vasquez. Without his cojones, the team would still have been unsettled. He just plays like he’s at the YMCA.

      • asifyouknow

        I agree with some of that ……And No I’m not Ds sneaking in comments…lol

  • Bendit

    Good reporting on Greivis’s play and specifically of Casey’s matching him up with Livingstone to mitigate his defensive shorts.

  • Z- Rap- Money

    Why is everyone pessimistic???? We won! Toronto Standup!!!

    • SR

      Yeah, the criticism is is kind of sad in here. DD’s game is still a work in progress, and the Raps had weaknesses. But the win was huge and the positives from the game were huge. This is a young team, and coming out of TO 1-1 with the first game very much in reach and the second game won like that is definitely a positive situation. These guys are still a young up and coming team – most of the roster’s best days will come in the next 2-8 years. Brooklyn is a win-now team that had championship aspirations and have the highest payroll in the league. I thought the original write up here was spot on.

      There are things that need work, but f___, the Raps just won their first playoff game in 6 years. I for one am psyched!

      • Z- Rap- Money

        We just have to be grateful and stop Criticizing! Paul Pierce, has more Playoff game experience than our whole team combined!! Were the FUTUR!!!! Reppin 416 till I perish!

      • 2damkule

        i think part of it comes from your own perspective; if you’re of the mind-set that we should ‘just be happy to be here,’ then HOW they’ve played (i.e. the process) is of less concern than the end result. if you feel that this team is actually pretty good, and think they can/should advance past (at least) the first round, then you’re concerned with the process – the TO’s, the poor shooting, the defensive lapses, etc., because if they don’t improve in those areas, then their chances of winning decrease the more games are played.

        • SR

          Normally I’d agree completely – except we’re talking about the Raptors and this team is finally in the post season. It’s all a matter of degrees, but with how little playoff success this franchise has had in 19 seasons, and with how young this team still is and the obvious progress they’re making individually and as a group, and with the great 4th quarter they put together after all kinds of struggles….I’d expect the needle to swing more towards excitement for more fans. A lot of these comments are just shtting all over DeMar.

          I’m not even a glass half full guy. I’ve criticized DeMar as much as anyone, but this is the playoffs – finally! And that was a very good 4th quarter. Cause enough for more excitement than this, as far as I’m concerned.

  • Z- Rap- Money

    Be Grateful for the playoffs

  • database_666

    apart from lots of comments made around derrozan’s game, i am surprised that no one commented on the fact that our best productivity came with both lowry and vasquez in the game together. having vasquez handle the ball and allowing to lowry to subplot a play and even make a penetration, combined with the threat that valanciunas poses in the paint, seems to be the best option for this team. i strongly suggest to have ross replaced in the starting lineup with vasquez, and see how it works out for our production. ross is a young player, seemed to be dazed and confused and appeared absolutely terrified from going anywhere close to the basket. de colo and salmons can handle those 2 minutes prior to the quarter break.

    • SR

      Vasquez has been great. Not only didn’t he play extremely well when Lowry got that rest (and came back in much more effective), the bench has reeled Brooklyn back in after the starters fell behind on a couple occasions now. Brooklyn can’t handle Vasquez when they’re concentrating on Lowry. Toronto is much deeper.

      • SR

        *Not only DID he play well*

    • asifyouknow

      I don’t know if this would work on every situation but VS the NETS a Lowry, Vasquez, DeMar set would be great.

    • Bryan Colangelo

      We need Ross to contribute if we want to make it past the first round. Keep him as a starter and hope he pulls it together but keep him on a short leash.

  • Robin

    I was at the game and it was unbelievable how angry Demar got at Jonas for a turnover and being late on help defense but Demar does not react the same way when Ross or GV blew coverages or gave the ball away. DD was dribbling into traffic and making more bad decisions than Jonas but he just acts like it was nothing and no teammates or coaches appear to say anything to him.

    DD needs to man up and be a leader, stay in huddles when not in the game and be supportive of teammates cause they themselves know when they’ve messed up. It took Lowry 5+ years. I hope next year Demar grows up with another summer being a daddy.

  • Moe

    If we cut down the turnovers and make at least 7 triples, we should close out in 6. Both teams are playing shit, hopefully raptors step it up on Friday

  • Mike P

    Demar is Rip Hamilton with more athleticism. You need one of those guys on your team, and then pair him with a rasheed wallace power forward, a defensive point guard who can make threes, a SF that can guard the opposing best player, while hitting the open 3, and a center that plays big defensively. That was the equation for that outlying detroit championship team that really didn’t have a mega star let alone 2 or 3. I think the Raptors are close at being very competitive in sort of the same mold of that detroit team. Rasheed/Billups was just huge at the end of games for that team. you need that PF. but the role definition of the raptors is making sense for a winning model without a phenom talent.

  • j bean

    Win the next one and they have home court advantage back.

  • ioan1491

    The swingman position, both offense and defense (Landry!!!!!) is where we risk losing this series. Ross needs to wake up and hit his open jumpers, and DeRozan needs to steady himself. We should be fine if that happens, whatever adjustments BKN make. We should be proud and confident in them for once, they can pull this through if the frontline keeps playing like this, and the GV KL duo continues to drive us.

    Looking at the press articles from NJ, it only fuels hatred towards them and I don’t want to live in a world where such a team wins. It sucks for world justice. Raps have a job to do :)

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