Quick Reaction: Raptors 101 Wizards 88 – Jan. 3/13

Toronto Raptors101Final
Recap | Box Score
88Washington Wizards
Amir Johnson, PF Shot Chart 34 MIN | 8-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | 17 PTS | +4

The Wizard bigs are a handful, and kept coming in waves, but Amir stood his ground and came out the other side with his head held high. He shot the ball from the perimeter very well; executed on the pick-n-roll with Lowry, held down his own on the boards…this was a good night, but would have liked for him to have shot more free throws (0-0) than three pointers (1-2), but even then I didn’t mind the ones he took. Is good!

Jonas Valanciunas, C Shot Chart 29 MIN | 3-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 7 PTS | +9

Couldn’t handle Gortat’s physical play early in the 1st which kept him from getting into any sort of groove for the rest of the game. Had a few nice moments (drew charge on Nene; big dunk over Gortat in 3rd), grabbed some rebounds and really went to war with Amir and 2Pat against the Wizards front line. Would have liked to have seen more, but he didn’t force things when he was clearly frustrated, and should be commended for that.

Kyle Lowry, PG Shot Chart 35 MIN | 7-13 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 11 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 19 PTS | +19

Three point shooting was dead-eye considering he had a pull-up in transition; curled off a high screen out of a timeout; catch-and shoot from DeRozan penetration/kick-out; pull-up off the dribble in the half court #masterful. Ran the pick-n-roll w/ Amir with Calderonian efficiency. He basically struck the perfect balance between scoring and distributing the ball. The Raptors can’t lose this guy for nothing in free agency, that’s all I’m saying…

DeMar DeRozan, SG Shot Chart 36 MIN | 7-14 FG | 6-7 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 20 PTS | +8

Felt like he had a quiet game, but when I went back to my notes, this is what I had for him:

– to the rack off the dribble, sticks it
– comes off a low screen and sticks a baseline j
– draws foul and hits both from the stripe
– runs floor off Gortat’s missed jumper and lays it up
– pretty step back jumper in corner
– gets to line on the break off a bad miss from beal; hits both
– deep jumper off the catch-and-shoot +1
– pull up jumper in transition; getting used to seeing that
– demar comes off high screen by patterson and draws foul; hits both from line
– sticks a jumper out of a timeout (actually looked like a play)

Efficient from the floor, used his penetration to setup the perimeter shooters, even got to the line 7 times. I’m thinking he’s set a high bar for judging his play post-Gay, and tonight’s game was above his recent “average.” You can’t see, but my lips are pursed and I’m nodding my head in a slow, approving manner.

Terrence Ross, SG Shot Chart 32 MIN | 5-14 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | +26

Curling off the high-screen for the 18 footer is one of my favourite Ray Allenisms, and I’m glad someone on the Raptors can do that. Wasn’t crazy about his man-defense on Beal, who had lots of open looks and was very active on the offensive boards, but his help defense forced turnovers and got the Raptors out in transition, running the break, and converting. That didn’t go unnoticed.

Patrick Patterson, PF Shot Chart 22 MIN | 8-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 18 PTS | +8

I say GAWDDAMN I was wrong about Patterson’s shooting. Efficient. In rhythm. Didn’t force anything. What a perfect forward for the Raptors to bring off the bench to give their front-court a different look and mix things up. Steve Novak who?

Chuck Hayes, PF Shot Chart 11 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +5

I was surprised he logged 11 minutes; was invisible for 8 of them. C- out of respect, but mostly because I didn’t notice anything he did and thought this was a safe grade.

John Salmons, SF Shot Chart 28 MIN | 1-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | -8

At this point in his career, Salmons needs to be able to hit those open threes every single time he gets them…so frustrating. All his burn tonight was because of his defense, especially at the end of the 3rd and early in the 4th when the Raptors made that spectacular stand.

Greivis Vasquez, PG Shot Chart 13 MIN | 0-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 0 PTS | -6

No chance he was going to defend Wall with any measure of success straight-up (we saw Ross double a few times to force the ball out of his hands), but sadly did little of anything else. Had a chance to shine in his home-town (sorta, he went to Maryland), but put up a stinker. No matter, someone had to have played the bad game, but we still love him.

Landry Fields, SF Shot Chart DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS |


Steve Novak, SF Shot Chart DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS |


Dwane Casey

Made solid substitutions. Managed minutes and allocated playing time perfectly; especially during that 8:45minute run from the end of the 3rd to the start of the 4th when the Raptors held the Wizards field goaless. Tonight’s win had more to do with the players effort than his in-game management, but the team clearly looked prepared to limit the Wizards offensive chances. For that he gets the credit.

Five Things We Saw

  1. This game was won in the 3rd quarter, when the Raptors didn’t let the Wizards score a basket for the final 8 minutes or so of the quarter. The defensive was TIGHT. The double teams were perfect. The rotations were automatic and on-time. The guards dropped and forced turnovers when the Wizard bigs put the ball on the ground that started breaks (and usually ended in a basket). The Raptors could have easily kept the Wizards under 85 points tonight if they really wanted too.
  2. Coaching: In the 1st half, Wall and Nene combined for 20 points to keep the Wizards in striking distance, but in the 3rd, they only combined for 5 points. We saw a combination of doubles, fronting, and different players banging with Nene, and Wall was just kept off balance with constant doubles forcing him to give up the ball to his teammates who had a perfectly time defensive rotation waiting for them.
  3. It was no coincidence that the Raptors put the game away in the 3rd when they finally started to grab offensive rebounds: 0 in the 1st half, 7 in the 3rd quarter that sparked a 36-16 run. Mind you, the Raptors moved the ball around (10 assists) plenty to get open looks, but the offensive rebounding forced the Wizard perimeter defenders to drop back and help out, opening up kick outs for catch-and shoots.
  4. The Raptors assisted (29) on 75% of their field goals (40)…that’s insane. I don’t know about you guys, but I keep waiting for the shoe to drop, but when the looks are coming off 3-5 passes, and are so clean, basically anyone can hit them at an NBA level. It’s not that the Raptors are shooting the ball so well (50% on the night btw), but that they are putting themselves in situations where they are taking easier shots to stick.
  5. Not game related, but I think speak for all of us when I say that this last month has been bloody fantastic to watch. It’s obvious that winning 80% of your games isn’t sustainable, but this brand of basketball, this commitment to a full-team effort, is all anyone of us ever wanted. It got to the point where my wife asked me if DeRozan (the only player she knows on the team) got traded, because even she wasn’t used to seeing the Raptors play like this.

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