Game Analysis

Quick Reaction: Hornets 74, Raptors 92


Toronto Raptors 92 Final
Recap | Box Score
74 Charlotte Hornets
Tyler Hansbrough, PF 37 MIN | 4-9 FG | 4-4 FT | 12 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | +18 +/-Double-double for one of the hardest working players in the league. Yeah, I love this guy. I almost don’t care about his stats, just because his work-rate is exemplary.

Terrence Ross, SF 23 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | +14 +/-He was abused by Henderson early on. For whatever reason, he opted to guard Henderson tight at the 3-point line and then get blown by. How does the scouting report not get to him? Relatively quiet night for Ross offensively apart from a few threes. I enjoyed it more when he was mixing up his game and taking it to the rim.

Jonas Valanciunas, C 17 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | +11 +/-Foul trouble, so he didn’t play much in the first half. He only took four shots in his 17 minutes, one of which got denied point blank by Biyombo.

Greivis Vasquez, PG 36 MIN | 6-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 16 PTS | +12 +/-I thought Vasquez played well. I still have a problem with his shot selection even though he shot just under 50% tonight. Dwane Casey doesn’t hold him accountable for it, so I don’t expect anything to change. He looked really good in a couple offensive possessions where the ball was moving around the perimeter.

DeMar DeRozan, SG 34 MIN | 6-16 FG | 6-7 FT | 2 REB | 7 AST | 0 STL | 3 BLK | 1 TO | 18 PTS | +29 +/-Nice all-around game, poor shooting night (that shot that hit the backboard was ugly). He didn’t need to do much scoring tonight anyway. I thought he was solid defensively, and I was really happy with his ball movement.

James Johnson, PF 23 MIN | 5-7 FG | 1-4 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 11 PTS | +8 +/-JJ, I promise I’ll never judge you by your hair colour, you’re good at what you do regardless. On his first defensive possession on Henderson he was caught on a screen / switch which saw Lou get abused by Henderson on a post-up. Apart from that, he tamed the Hornets’ early offensive output.

Patrick Patterson, PF 31 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | +2 +/-Nice game by the PatMan. Really strong defensively and did a good job protecting the rim. 3/5 from the field is a classic PatMan line, but I’d like to see it somewhere in the 7/10 range come playoff time. His performance may make or break what the Raptors will do in the first round.

Chuck Hayes, C 9 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +9 +/-I can’t remember anything noteworthy. He pushed Biyombo once, I think. Probably wouldn’t have seen the floor had JV not been in foul trouble.

Louis Williams, SG 26 MIN | 5-15 FG | 3-4 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 16 PTS | -1 +/-He started off on fire, then cooled off. Luckily, his scoring came early on when it was most needed.

Dwane Casey
Pretty straightforward stuff. Had to juggle an already thin frontcourt early on when JV was in foul trouble. He did a good job of making adjustments to Henderson’s early abuse.

Three Things We Saw

  1. Despite an awful start to the game, the Raptors really grew as the game progressed. Want to know what improvement is? In their last outing, the Raptors allowed Charlotte to score 31 first quarter points. Tonight Charlotte scored just 31 first half points on 31% shooting. These Hornets are not going to make the playoffs.
  2. Finally. After five years, the Charlotte curse is broken. Despite a limping finish to the season, the Raptors managed to defeat their two bogey teams – Miami and Charlotte – heading into the playoffs. Next year is a fresh start, without the mental barriers against these teams.
  3. Defense. This was one of the best defensive outings the Raptors had in a while. Off to Orlando after this. The Magic are similar to Charlotte in the sense that they don’t stretch the floor much, so it will be interesting to see if that is a factor again in the Raptors’ ability to contain another mid-range / interior offense.

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