Quick Reaction

Quick Reaction: Rockets 129, Raptors 122

Houston 129 Final
Box Score
122 Toronto

A-
D. Carroll34 MIN, 26 PTS, 8 REB, 0 AST, 7-12 FG, 6-10 3FG, 6-6 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 8 +/-

Carroll had a great game tonight and was hitting everything while starting at the 4. It was nice to see him able to adapt and hold his own at the 4 in a game where spacing and rotation was so vital. This was the Carroll we really need to see consistently. This was a great sign. Threes were falling and Carroll had a lot of confidence. He wasn’t great on the defensive end, but if he’s putting up 26 points it is hard to give a grade worse than A-.

B
N. Powell22 MIN, 10 PTS, 1 REB, 3 AST, 3-7 FG, 2-5 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, 15 +/-

I loved the decision to start Norm and it really paid off tonight early. The Raptors consistently had a lot of space on the floor, and Norm hit two of his looks from 3. He played good defense, and fit right in with the starting five tonight.

D+
J. Valanciunas23 MIN, 8 PTS, 5 REB, 0 AST, 4-4 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, -3 +/-

He had a matchup against Nene and did nothing to exploit the mismatch. He was quiet on offense despite being 4-4, and really didn’t fit this style of game. He needs to be a bigger force on the glass if he wants to play more in these sorts of games. Disappointing game and season from JV so far.

C+
K. Lowry40 MIN, 12 PTS, 5 REB, 6 AST, 2-7 FG, 1-3 3FG, 7-10 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, -4 +/-

Lowry had a quiet night and if you saw the score, you might have assumed he did more than he did. That’s the Patrick Beverley effect. As always, Lowry was still noticeable out there, and made plays on both ends to create for others. The Raptors scored 122 points, so the lack of offense from Lowry is not why they lost. It was simply exploiting the better matchups.

A
D. DeRozan39 MIN, 36 PTS, 6 REB, 5 AST, 13-21 FG, 0-0 3FG, 10-10 FT, 1 BLK, 6 TO, 8 +/-

Derozan had a great game overall, and had 36 points on 21 shots. He made a few frustrating decisions in the last few minutes, but without him, there would be no big decisions to be made. Derozan kept the Raptors in it all night and did a bit of everything out there along with his 36 points.

C-
T. Ross25 MIN, 8 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST, 4-12 FG, 0-5 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -24 +/-

I didn’t dislike many of the shots he took and I don’t think the -24 was truly reflective of his game. Ross is a shooter so I have to grade him based on whether he is making shots. His shot was off, it’s as simple as that, but I’m still happy to see his longer leash because he is really creating more room for other players just by being on the court. Hopefully the shots will fall next game.

C
C. Joseph23 MIN, 10 PTS, 1 REB, 2 AST, 4-8 FG, 0-0 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -21 +/-

Joseph had an average night. He wasn’t particularly great on either end and he was particularly struggling on defense. Not his best game tonight, despite the 10 points off the bench.

C+
P. Patterson22 MIN, 8 PTS, 7 REB, 2 AST, 3-5 FG, 2-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -6 +/-

Patterson hit 2 early threes, and then basically just disappeared down the stretch. Only 22 minutes in his first game back and it’s too bad he didn’t get a few more looks from 3 after hitting the first two so confidently.

D+
L. Nogueira13 MIN, 4 PTS, 4 REB, 0 AST, 2-2 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, -8 +/-

Bebe had a pretty quiet night after playing over 40 minutes last night. He was blown by on defense and had a lot of trouble with fouls. Not his best night and didn’t bring much to the table, thus the 13 minutes.

Inc
P. Siakam0 MIN, 0 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0-0 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 0 +/-

Siakam didn’t play tonight, and he would have likely struggled. This was not the type of game where the obligatory Siakam 5 minutes to start each half was necessary.

B+
Dwane Casey

I loved Casey’s decision to start Carroll at the 4. It was nice to see Casey pick new starters to suit the Rockets 4 out 1 in offense. Casey has improved at that over the years. The Raptors gave up 129 points and that needs to improve, but the offense continues to flourish. A rim protector is really necessary for this team and there’s not much Casey can do besides trying to outscore other teams.

Things We Saw

  1. The Raptors ditched the idea of starting the standard 2 bigs and compensated for the matchup. This helped the offense, but the Rockets beat the Raptors at their usual playing style.
  2. James Harden had a quadruple double!!! (With Turnovers, mind you). Harden was incredible tonight, and put up 40 points. The Raptors had no answer for him, and he was the big reason that Houston pulled away late.
  3. Demarre Carroll had his best game of the year and went 6 for 10 on threes. His defense has not been great, but if he can shoot like this more consistently, his contract will definitely look more reasonable.
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