I have a two week vacation to Toronto (from my job in Edmonton) and I will spend two of my 13 nights in the confines of the ACC. Tonight was for the NOH game and on Tuesday I will also see the scary-good-and-no-longer-thuggish-tatooed Denver Nuggets team.
Tonight, we were against a fully manned NOH squad featuring the 'Brow (Anthony Davis), the Venzualean Scrapper (Grievus Vasquez), injury-recovered Eric Gordon, and the 3-pt dead-shooter Ryan Anderson. I was expecting this game to be a close one and have a nail-biter with Gordon going psychotic, 'Brow dunking the rim off, and Ryan Anderson making me say profane material with every nailed 3-pt he make.
Low and behold a few things today did not go the way of NOH and it allowed the new feelin' GAY Raps to pull off a controlled 102 - 89 victory at home. I was watching the game at section 116 row 15 and seat #4. I was a few feet away from the "hallway" were Colangelo leans on. I actually finally saw Wayne Embry walk out of the hall and chilln' like your grandpa on a Sunday morning.
Now I am going to get to the point and do the game summary five points each quarter.
*Bargs was not even in the ACC??? Traded to ....no, he had a flu (over-boozing?)
1st quarter: - Lowry was feeling it, took it to Vasquez early, played good controlled defense on Vasquez, nailed some emergency shots when time was running down, and used his dribble and Gay's presence to find Amir and finish some fast-break opportunities.
- Eric Gordon was totally not feeling it today and DeRozen kept up with him on defense.
- Gay Dunks were awesome and alley-oop was NICE, thanks to the defense.
- Amir was finding all opportunities to cut to the basket and finish the close ones, and Amir was totally out-working an under-weighted, uninvolved 'Brow.
- Big Val started positive and did anything to help the team rebounding and bodying Lopez.
32 - 21 Raps
2nd Quarter: - 11-points lead shaved to -2 in the quarter, problem was the 2 minute window Casey gave NOH with a terrible lineup: DeRozen, a gassed Amir, Lucas, Alan Anderson, and a totally off-night from Ross
- This Roberts guy made Lucas look very stupid, took advantage of the size he had on Lucas and fueled that comeback.
- DeRozen just did not make the game look easy for him, from where we sat, he still needs a lot of work on his dribbling and attack routs to the basket or his sweet spots. Okay he made up for it with that dunk, but that was it.
- Ryan Anderson is expected to be that white-guy who shoots threes very well, but he plays rough, and will fight harder than anyone would expect for rebounds. Sigh...if Bargnani could do the same in the last 4 years, we would have no problem with that.
- Alan Anderson plays within himself most of the quarter and had one defensive assignment he was doing well at: Stop Ryan Anderson from setting up for the 3pt.
3rd Quarter: - The Gatorade of both teams were spiked from 12:00 - 6:00. Sloppy basketball by every one.
- Anthony Davis is just getting beat this quarter and can't get ANYTHING going
- Ryan Anderson showing more B-ball IQ, bodying Anderson and going inside for some scoop shots
- Eric Gordon nails his first Jumper, I was afraid it was going to get him going.
+ Lucas nails the shots that usually makes the entire ACC go "Noooooo..S#@%"
4th Quarter: - Lucas just keeps on nailing every shot, channeling his inner Jameer Nelson, and all the teammates are feeding the *HOT* Hand. Casey sensed the hot-hand and let Lucas take over.
- J-VAL out-working Lopez on every possession, tipping back missed shots from teammates, nails Anderson politely to the ground.
- When Al-Farouq Aminu checked in, I pumped my fist and said *YESSSSSS* (Chris Smoove was always right about Aminu)
- Gay stopped shooting the three and looked aggressively for efficient baskets.
- Defense tightened and took away the efficient options for NOH. Letting Robin Lopez shooting a jumper means good D by the Raps or bad O by the Hornets.
102 - 89 Raps
Grievus Vasquez: B- Defence was meh, but displayed his full aggressive ability to get efficient baskets at any opportunity.
Eric Gordon: D+ From what I expected of him, this was the worst showing I have ever seen from him and now I know to some perspective NOH fans would want him traded for useful assets.
Anthony Davis: D for DISAPPOINTMENT. Did not battle out Amir or Jonas for any position and assert himself in the paint, played right into the hands of the Raptor paint patrol.
Al-Farouq Aminu: F Missed free throws, dropped passes, very mediocre D on Gay, no wonder Chris Smoove wanted to trade him on his My Player.
Robin Lopez: B Played almost equally tough ball on Jonas and Amir, looked for his efficient spots in the paint, but missed some free throws.
Ryan Anderson: A Drained the limited threes he saw, used his size to over power Alan Anderson, fought hard for rebounds. Smartest Hornet on the floor.
Austin Rivers: C+ Nailed some open looks and used his limited dribble on match ups or late coverages. Fast, but not smart at all. Needs to read from the book of JJ Reddick to make an impact in the NBA.
Brian Roberts: B Used any advantage against John Lucas to start the 2nd quarter rally. Good pull-up game.
Jason Smith: C No you are not Amir Jonhson, don't shoot the elbow, just get offensive rebounds and put-backs.
Kyle Lowry A- : Asserted his dribble and found teammates in the paint and on the fast break. Defended Grievus enough to avoid the back-breaking 3s.
Demar DeRozen: C- Kept Eric Gordon in check, but faltered on offense and did not make the game easy for himself.
Rudy Gay: B+ Good all around defense (okay his SF match ups were horrible compared to him). Took him two quarters after the 1st to find his efficiency spots. No Threes please, not until another time.
Amir Johnson: B Great 1st quarter to start it off. Took the 'Brow out of the game physically an psychologically. Casey left him on too long in the 2nd and gassed out. Usual, but not amazing Amir game.
Jonus Valanciunas A: Worked hard against the scrappy Lopez and patrolled the paint. 34 minutes and posted a well earned double double. Saw Ryan Anderson as Tyler Handsborough and decided to take revenge on him. The key player to secure the 4th quarter.
Alan Anderson B : Would of been an A if he did not try to go 1 on 2 at a couple of possessions. Played Ryan Anderson pretty decently to avert a 3pt barrage, and forced him to score for two and drain time.
John Lucas A-: One of the factors allowing the 1st quarter lead to disappear. Made up for it by nailing a bundle of triples in the 4th quarter, and rare occasion Casey gambled with JL3 and won the bet.
Landry Fields B: Rusty on offense, but he was there to stop any momentum from the match up that NOH started in the 4th (Vasquez, Gordon, and Rivers).
Terrence Ross D: Limited playing time, but he was not that involved or into it leading to the 2nd quarter choker.
Aaron Gray: B...he dunked
**Some media to share:
Nexus 4 Camera did that too