|Amir Johnson, PF 31 MIN | 5-8 FG | 3-6 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 13 PTS | +15Along with Kyle Lowry, carried the load for the Raptors in the first half. His pick and roll work, as usual, was fantastic, and he turned a lot of ugly early-in-the-shot-clock 3s into offensive putbacks. He’s the guy who bails out the Raptors on ugly possessions, and makes the team look better than it should on multiple occasions every night. Excellent effort.|
|Terrence Ross, SF 22 MIN | 3-10 FG | 1-1 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 9 PTS | +4A very up and down game for young Terrence, who blew a few very makeable shots early, had a couple really impressive buckets in the second, and then reverted back to ugly stuff in the second half. Consistency is the missing piece to his game right now, and with Fields and Johnson playing so well, he might find himself being pressed for minutes sooner rather than later.|
|Jonas Valanciunas, C 28 MIN | 6-7 FG | 4-4 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 16 PTS | +8He scared me early in the game, when he blew a couple defensive assignments and let Mason Plumlee get off (23 points??), but it’s hard to argue with that statline. He’s a beast down low, and, just like the playoffs, he dominated the Nets on the glass. Showed some nice chemistry with Amir on big-to-big passing, too.|
|Kyle Lowry, PG 32 MIN | 7-13 FG | 4-4 FT | 3 REB | 12 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 20 PTS | +9What more is there to say? He’s incredible, and if he’s not an all star this season, it’ll be a travesty. The bench stepped up huge in the fourth quarter, but if it wasn’t for this guy, they wouldn’t have been in a position to win the game. Dominated in the first quarter when the rest of the team (besides Amir) looked like they were falling asleep.|
|Landry Fields, SG 21 MIN | 3-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | -6He’s in there for defence, and his first half effort on Joe Johnson left something to be desired, but he stepped it up in the second half and added a couple buckets (including a dunk!) for good measure. He’ll probably disappear once DeMar returns, but say this: the guy is a consummate pro, and he’s been impressive these last couple weeks.|
|Tyler Hansbrough, PF 11 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -4Threw himself all over the place, as per usual. Missed a couple bunnies at the rim, which I’d like to see him make if nothing else. I like having him out there for spurts, but he is what he is.|
|James Johnson, PF 27 MIN | 2-4 FG | 1-4 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | +20Kind of invisible in the first half, but was part of the massive bench surge that made a close game after 3 quarters into a blowout. His defence, as always, is impressive, but it’s his work at the rim that really blows me away. The guy has some great post moves and knows how to use his size to his advantage.|
|Patrick Patterson, PF 25 MIN | 5-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 13 PTS | +12Pretty forgettable through the first three quarters, but he absolutely exploded in the fourth, hitting some massive threes and sparking the Raptor run that put this one away. In a lot of ways, he should have been in earlier to put a more mobile defender on Mirza Teletovic, but with Amir and Jonas playing so well, who do you take out?|
|Bruno Caboclo, SF 1 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | 0BRU-NO! BRU-NO!|
|Greg Stiemsma, C 1 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | +1STIEM-SMA! STIEM-SMA!|
|Greivis Vasquez, PG 16 MIN | 6-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 13 PTS | +7He’s been off recently, and he responded tonight by taking the ball to the hole on the regular, scoring the majority of his points in the paint. With his speed and size, it’s something we should be seeing more often from him. I’m still a bit skeptical about his decision making, and his defence was spotty as usual, but all in all, this was a solid offensive performance that crescendoed in the fourth, as it should.|
|Louis Williams, SG 25 MIN | 4-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 10 PTS | +14An off-night for him means 10 points and a couple huge threes in the fourth, apparently. Drew a big charge down the stretch that seemed to help swing the momentum. He gets really trigger happy at times, but are you the guy who’s going to tell him to stop shooting?|
I would have liked to see him make some adjustments to counter the Nets’ spread-style offence earlier in the game, but he called savvy timeouts early and found the right combination in the fourth (turned out to be the bench + Amir) to put the game out of reach. It’s a blowout win against a division rival, so there’s not a lot to complain about.
Four Things We Saw
- It was all about efficiency tonight: the Raptors finished shooting 50% from the floor and from 3, while Brooklyn cooled after a hot first quarter. This team’s depth is really showing through, especially with DeRozan out.
- I just want to say it one more time: I’m really impressed with how Landry Fields has handled himself. The guy could have very easily taken his ball and gone home once he found himself out of the rotation, but he continued to put in the time (even considering switching shooting hands) and stayed in shape for when his number was called. Yeah, he’s overpaid, but at least he’s not acting like he is.
- Hearing the crowd chant for Bruno is really something special. I love how fired up the fans are for this kid. He seems to be taking it the right way, too, which is hugely important for a 19 year old – in case you missed it, here’s an interview Bebe conducted with him pre-game.
- 20 and 6. With 5 more wins, this season will already be better than 6 of their previous ones (credit to Josh Lewenberg for the stat). It might be a long time before we see a run like this again, so make sure to savour it.