Quick Reaction: Heat 104, Raptors 107 (With Vines)

The Raptors beat the Heat behind Lou Williams and DeMar DeRozan. Toronto Raptors 107 Final Recap | Box Score 104 Miami Heat Tyler Hansbrough, PF 30 MIN | 0-2 FG | 2-4 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -3 +/- Another good ... Read more

The Raptors beat the Heat behind Lou Williams and DeMar DeRozan.

Toronto Raptors107Final
Recap | Box Score
104Miami Heat
Tyler Hansbrough, PF 30 MIN | 0-2 FG | 2-4 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -3 +/-
Another good defensive showing in which his primary skill of rebounding was in full effect. Didn’t finish his pick ‘n rolls today, but at least when he gets in moderate trouble, he has the sense and skill to pass back out unlike some (ahem, JV).

Terrence Ross, SF 17 MIN | 4-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 9 PTS | -11 +/-
Battling a sore ankle, he looked…good? A credible performance from Ross in that at no point he looked like he a confused baby deer. In fact, he drove the ball to the rim a few times effectively, and even had a back-cut where he left Wade for dead. His shot-release is too quick, it’s almost like before he shoots he’s thinking, “Man, I’m supposed to be a three-point shooter so let me just launch this without any regard to my footwork, angle to the basket, or defensive position”, only to miss.

Jonas Valanciunas, C 10 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | +5 +/-
Couldn’t check Whiteside, picked up early fouls, sent to the bench. Didn’t fare much better in his second stint. If we face Washington and his form remains the same, we might be in trouble.

Kyle Lowry, PG 36 MIN | 3-14 FG | 6-7 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | -2 +/-
Started with a headband, but after a terrible half where he got crushed by Dragic, couldn’t hit a shot or find a pass, he ditched the headband. Turns out that wasn’t the problem. He did have a couple nice drives in the second half which reminded me of what he used to do on every other possession in November/December. The guy’s out-of-sync, let’s hope he gets there before the playoffs.

DeMar DeRozan, SG 37 MIN | 7-17 FG | 9-11 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 4 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 24 PTS | -6 +/-
Started off hot and hit some contested jumpers in the face of Deng and Dragic, which was a nice sign. Lost his shooting touch in the middle part of the game but as has been the case, came up clutch when it counted with a huge three-point play. The assist number is a bit low but know that he ran the point-forward spot well, and if it weren’t for his teammates bumbling some makeable shots, it would be higher. Love that he’s playing so composed at this time of the year.

James Johnson, PF 4 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -2 +/-He’s like an oddly recurring character in a bad TV show. Played four minutes, had a couple contested rebounds, a nice assist, and then went to the locker-room after which he headed to the bench never to be seen again. Good contribution while he was in, though.

Patrick Patterson, PF 37 MIN | 3-7 FG | 4-6 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 11 PTS | +1 +/-The variety of his offensive play has doubled this week. He’s trying post-ups, drive and pull-ups, and straight-line drives. He’s meeting with some success, and what’s preventing this from fully effective is that this is the first time this season the Raptors are even attempting to use an offensive skill of Patterson other than three-point shooting. Did posterize Hassan Whiteside.

Chuck Hayes, C 15 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | +5 +/-
Casey’s prepping him for Nene and Gortat. According to #analytics, he’s a PER36 All-Star.

Greivis Vasquez, PG 25 MIN | 5-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | +8 +/-A pick ‘n roll up, an open three, a drive which he finished, it’s those types of offensive contributions that you’re hoping he can have in the playoffs, and this game was a step in the right direction. The defense? Still awful, but compared to the rest of the wings, his was no worse. Let’s be honest with ourselves, he’s here for his offense and as long as he’s hitting around 50% of his shots, isn’t looking off open people, he’s doing what’s expected of him. Sometimes I find he becomes the lightning rod of controversy and is easily thrown under the bus, when he’s merely a symptom of the poor defense, not the cause.

Louis Williams, SG 30 MIN | 9-18 FG | 7-7 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 29 PTS | +20 +/-On fire in the first half, cooled off in the second. Not much play at PG again, which is expected now that Lowry’s back. Without his contribution, we lose this game and as expected, he did supply the dagger in this one.

Dwane Casey
It’s nice that he’s peppering the Raptors offense with something other than dribble-handoffs, and at the same time, I’m sad that it’s taken him this long. Some of the cuts the players are making have been more effective, Patterson’s usage has improved, Lou Williams is more disciplined, and the floor is well-spaced for DeMar DeRozan. Defensively, though, what a mess. There’s no containment on the perimeter, or protection at the rim. I’m thinking our best bet is to out-offense people in the playoffs.

Five Things We Saw

  1. The Heat missing 20 FTs means that the quest for 50 is on. That number is starting to mean something to me.
  2. The offense is looking much better, especially in the clutch. This game is a good barometer because the Heat were fighting for the playoffs and played very hard. The Raptors, on a back-to-back had enough offensive power to see them through.
  3. Hansbrough really is having a very positive impact on the defense. He’s able to rotate back to his check much faster than Amir Johnson, and with Patterson on the floor, you have a defense that is a little more enthused and mobile. They’ll run into trouble when they face strong rebounding sides, but for now, they looked OK.
  4. The Bulls beat Philly, which means the two teams will remain tied, lending great significance to the final two games of the season. The Raptors have tied their franchise record for wins (48), and for road wins (22).
  5. To tell you how much of a bullshit stat +/- is, DeRozan was -6 in this game, and the second-best player on the night. Also, still got two spots open for that 3-on-3 tournament. Test yourself.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

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