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Raptors @ Pistons – Live Blog (Raps lose 101-99)

Blow by blow coverage.

Starting at 7:30pm, our beloved Raps will show these Motown bitches their place.

Here’s THE stream:

7:34 PM – Fields, Bargnani, Gray, DeRozan and Calderon are the starters. We have the Pistons feed for this game, so we’re spared Devlin. For now. Charles Barkley is shown in some sort of commercial for some program. Barkley is no longer funny, he’s bordering on dementia and I’d have that shit checked out. Hey, Steve Kerr’s on this show “Open Court” too. Kerr isn’t too far off from looking like the guy from History of Violence.

7:35 PM – Note to all Raptors fans – the Pistons believe Brandon Knight and Greg Munroe are “the future”. You might recall Brandon Knight as the guy you all wanted to draft.

Random Note: Lowry’s injury is definitely more than what it was originally though to be and he’s receiving some special treatment. You all better hope Calderon is riding the pine come opening day. Still time, though. No worries. Jonas remains out of the starting lineup with his injury, Casey’s not going to rush him back which sucks because I would’ve loved to see Munroe v Jonas.  We’ll see him later.

11:31 1Q 2-2: Opening sequence is the Raptors defense being cut open as Bargnani/Gray watch. On the other end, DeRozan gets to the line for two. Looking for the foul all the way. Good move to start.

10:23 1Q 6-4 DET: Brandon Knight killing us off the dribble and in transition, Jose’s got to tighten it up and the Raptors got to get back faster. Bargnani misses long two, not a great shot. DeRozan drives to the rim hard in semi-transition, blows the dunk but is fouled by Munroe. This would’ve been nice. DD now has 4/4 on FTs.

9:35 1Q 8-6 DET” Ooh..nice tight handle by DD, backs Stuckey in and shoots a fade, rims out but gets fouled. Two more FTs for him.

7:44 1Q 16-6 DET: Wheels coming off, poor transition defense, missed jumpers from the outside. Basically, Raps staying on the outside, Pistons running in transition. Casey can’t be happy with anyone’s D.

18-12 1Q 18-12 DET: Bargnani gets fouled on the made jumper after good ball movement by JLIII, misses FT.  Raps defense a little better coming out of this TO, even DeRozan pressing hard.  Next possession as Bargnani scoring on a post-up.  On the other end, Munroe scores against Jonas on a face-up. Shakedown.  And just when I’m praising Bargnani, he takes a fadeaway long two – air.

4:00 1Q 24-17 DET: Jonas blocks Munroe on a hook shot.  Didn’t see that one coming, did ya!  Pistons really pushing the pace here, and the Raptors aren’t keeping up.  DeRozan scored against Stuckey in the post again, but overall, the Pistons are just beating us down the court.  Jerebko’s got a couple hoops on our bigs just by running down the floor.

2:50 1Q 29-20 DET: Terrence Ross comes in and lights it up from downtown.  Smooth release.  BTW, I don’t know how good Brandon Knight is, but we’re making him look really good.  His off-the-ball movement is great and the no-looks and fake passes he’s showing are working on the Raps who are biting at everything. and not rotating – bigs, especially  To make things worse, the Raps cough it in the backcourt after Jonas is left stranded with the ball.

00:18 35-26 DET: Charlie V goes against Ed Davis, who defends well but can’t get the rebound. Kleiza comes in and hits a three after Fields, Calderon and missed a few.  Nice setup by Ross on that, great cross-court pass by Ross who is one damn skinny dude.  ROss misses a three, a bit of a bad shot but he was open.  Raps offense a bit dysfunctional here, Ed Davis ended up with the ball in the elbow with nobody moving, so he took it to the rim and got fouled.  Davis, physically, looks the same as last year.  He’s guarding Charlie V, who wants to go at him, which he does and gets two on a short step-back in the paint.

END 1st 37-26 DET: Brandon Knight with a gorgeous drive against JLIII, drops it off for Charlie V who lays it in.  Raps give up 37 points in the first quarter! Poor rotations, poor in transition, and other than the first couple minutes out of that early timeout, very lethargic.

9:45 2Q 40-28 DET: Allan Andersen has checked in, so the lineup reads JLIII, Johnson, Davis, Kleiza, and Andersen.  Kleiza gets rejected on the hook shot by Drummond.  JLIII takes a looooong two and nails it, I’m thinking he likes that shot and defenses are apt to give it to him.  As long as he makes it.  Corey Maggette scoring on a face-up, very easy for Detroit right now.  On the bright side, JLIII showing a nice floater to get fouled – missed both FTs, though.  Have to say, Detroit have this rebuilding thing going right with Munroe, Knight and now maybe even Drummond.   Amir Johnson right now looking very lost on both ends, gets call for literally roaming around the lane without guarding anyone.  Charlie V converts the tech.

8:00 2Q 42-36 DET: Andersen with back-to-back threes, created by JLIII, who drives it up and gives it to Kleiza in transition for the layup.  Raps are back! 8-2 run.  BTW, Amir Johnson is basically a scarecrow in this game.

6:38 2Q 48-36 DET: I hate to rip on Amir Johnson, but how he got caught flat-footed to let Drummond pull a massive alley-oop.  McGuire is in the game and he turns it over, Pistons take it in transition and Maggette jams it home.  Raps with another   turnover as not even Jose can calm things down.  Will Bynum with another floater and the Raptors momentum is gone.

4:50 2Q 50-42 DET: Lineup check: Calderon, DeRozan, Bargnani, Johnson, and McGuire.  Nice, crisp ball movement  by the Raptors to get Calderon a three.  On the other end, Brandon Knight’s penetration killing us.  His penetration is throwing off the defensive rebounding position of our bigs.  Raptors go back to DD in the post against Stuckey, and he gets fouled.  This needs to happen much more frequently.  Good news alert: Jonas and Calderon execute and pick ‘n roll and Jonas finishes with a soft jumper in the paint.

3:00 2Q 50-45 DET: 5-0 run for the Raptors punctuated by a DeRozan dunk in transition.  Defense not getting back for the Pistons and we have a game.  Big credit to JLIII, DeRozan, Calderon for keeping us in it.

1:38 2Q 52-50 DET: More great perimeter ball-movement by the Raps leading to a Bargnani three, which cut it to two.  No answer for Knight, though, Calderon helpless on penetration, but he fights back with a step-back jumper on Knight.  Jose deserves better than this team.  Defense picking up too as McGuire intercepts a pass to give the Raptors a chance to extend their 10-2 run but Bargnani misses a three after good ball movement.  Calderon and DeRozan playing well here.  Valanciunas not doing much offensively, but rolls to the rim consistently which creates space for shooters.

END 2Q 56-53 DET: 13-4 Raps run capped off by another Calderon three who is now looking for his shot.  Raps down by a single point.  DeRozan goaltended Munroe on purpose just to send a message.  I like it, however silly it might sound.  The half ends on missed Bargnani and Prince jumpers, but great second quarter by the Raptors who were down by 12 at one point are now down by three.  Nice recovery.  They gave up 37 in the first quarter, but only 19 in the second.  DD leads all scorers with 11, 7-8 FTs.

Box Score

Second Half Starting Lineup: Valanciunas, Calderon, Bargnani, DeRozan, and Fields

8:16 3Q 62-62: We pick where we left off with Calderon again nailing a three after looking for his shot.  Knight explodes to the paint and dumps it off to Munroe who gets a couple tries at it before putting it in.  Jonas misses over Munroe.  The Pistons bigs are causing us issues on both ends, formidable size and they know how to use it.  8-3 offensive rebounds in favor of the Pistons.  DeRozan nails a jumper and a careless pistons turnover followed by a DD layup in transition sees this tied up – 6-0 run.

Valanciunas Update: He comes off, but he’s working his ass off on D against Munroe.  This has been a good initiation for him.  Good movement overall, obviously the offense isn’t there yet and won’t be this season, but he still manages to create space for others by rolling/popping etc.  The principles of sound defense do exist, just not sure how much we can expect from him this year.  Probably not much.

5:09 3Q 70-70: Field sets a bone-crushing screen to get Bargnani open for the baseline jumper and Calderon continues to hit  from the perimeter.  Every Raptor touching the ball whereas Detroit relying on Knight heavily for scoring opportunities, he’s delivering so far but how long can it continue?  Detroit bigs combined with Knight’s penetration are the biggest threat.  Raptors definitely more the team right now and they just go to keep this going when the second unit comes in.

4:00 73-70 DET: Lineup is Bargnani, Andersen, JLIII, Gray, and DeRozan.  Brandon Knight is getting calls against JLIII. Not sure if that was a foul, JLIII just held his arms up.  Bargnani misses on a long-two instead of driving, bad decision.  JLIII is very good at looking up, finding people who are in a position to do something.  Aaron Gray fouls Maxiell intentionally after the defense broke down. Quincy Acy checks into the game for Bargnani.

2:00 2Q 78-77 TOR: JLIII confidently steps up in transition after a pass from Ross and knocks the three down.  Not enough, JLIII steps up from behind the screen to nail another.  Raptors lead.

End 3Q 86-84 DET:  If they’re not getting straight into the paint, Stuckey and Knight are using a couple screens to get there.  Raps hanging tough though, even Acy throwing his weight around.  Clearly the message from Casey is that if you weight more than 220, make it count.  The second unit, lead by JLIII (vs Bynum), has done an excellent job of keeping it going.  The quarter almost ended on a JLIII four-point play, but Bynum hit a three at the buzzer which kind of killed it.  Instead of Raps up 1, its’ Pistons up 2.  Game is up for grabs.  JLIII is the hero with 12 points in the quarter.

Correction: After review, they disallowed the three.  Raps up by 1!

9:42 4Q 86-86 DET: Raps help D picking up, twice denied interior scoring opportunities by rotating, and Gray ended a possession by blocking Maggette at the rim.  Lucas continues to hit, he has 18 in the game.  Not sure what Ed Davis is doing trying to post-up and getting a three-second violation.  Another turnover as Gray traveled.  Lineup is Davis, Gray, Lucas, Andersen, and Ross.  Casey giving the starters a breather.

8:10 4Q 90-90: Should expect the starters to come in for both teams very soon.   Pistons just scored on another alley-oop in the paint – PG to big.  We need Valanciunas in there to hold down the paint a little more just so plays like those don’t happen.  Gray looked a bit tired here, but this game is nicely prepped for Bargnani and DeRozan to pull it through.  Let’s see how it goes.

4:06 4Q 96-96: Gray with back-to-back jumpers in the fourth as both teams sticking with the bench.  The game is taking on a much more defensive tone, both teams really want this game and are playing hard! Nice game to watch.  Ooooh, Lucas missed a layup in transition with the Raps up 2, would’ve been big but he was being challenged.  Ross fires up an ill-advised three which came from no ball movement.  He makes up for it by another jumper, but man, if the Raptors were a little more disciplined on offense here, they might have had a 4-6 point lead.  Detroit is there to be had, and Knight is nowhere to be found.

1:09 4Q 98-98: Raptors lineup: Calderon, Johnson, Davis, Kleiza, and DeRozan.  Andre Drummond making an impact on D, size alone makes the difference there and he knows how to use it.  Raps move the ball, all on the perimeter, and Kleiza knocks it down.  No Bargnani who is 4-11.  With Knight not playing, Bynum pulling a JLIII move to get the layup against three defenders.  Bad pass from Amir Johnson on an alley-oop to Kleiza is followed by a DET turnover as DeRozan steals.  Raps could’ve gone ahead by three  with 1:40 left by Kleiza missed the trey!  Another chance to take the lead comes as Johnson is fouled after being found by Jose.  FTs coming up.  Timeout!

Entry passes have been a problem, says Tim C.  I say it’s as much the bigs’ fault for not taking a better position.

00:58 4Q 99-98 TOR: Johnson makes 1 for two, Raps get the offensive rebound by Amir Johnson commits an offensive foul – illegal screen.  Correct call.

00:35 4Q 100-99 DET: Same old.  Penetration by Bynum.  Help comes, but DD’s rotation is late and Drummond gets the offensive rebound and the lay-in.

00:09 4Q 101-99 DET: Lineup: Calderon, Johnson, DeRozan, Davis, Kleiza.  DeRozan ends up taking a fadeaway from almost behind the backboard on what was a broken possession right from the start.  Raps have to foul and concede FTs.  Charlie V gets 1-2 FT. Raptors ball.

End of Game 101-99 DET: Calderon, Bargnani, DeRozan, Lucas, and Fields: Raps go for the three, deep one by Calderon which hits front rim and bounces out.  Too far out.  Surprised Bargnani got pulled back in, why not sooner, or even the last possession?  Rebound from the miss bounces to Charlie V who gets fouled, misses both FTs but time runs out.

Overall, good game by Jonas, moved well, didn’t do much offensively but played hard.  JLIII had a great run in that third quarter and so did DeRozan in the 2nd/3rd quarters.  Jose looked sharp as well and so did Gray on defense.  On the negative side, Johnson and Davis were invisible, and Bargnani had 1 rebound in 22 minutes while going 4-11.  For Detroit, Drummond was awesome with his size and rebounding and so was Brandon Knight whose penetration hurt us all night. DD let Raps with 17, Lucas had 16.  For Detroit, Munroe had 17, Drummond had 12.  Box.

Thanks for swinging by!

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