|J. Thompson19 MIN | 3-4 FG | 0-1 3FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | — +/-Active early in the game and great on the glass; had a nifty move in the post to save a broken possession in the first quarter, but had limited impact in the second half.|
|J. Valanciunas28 MIN | 6-11 FG | 0-0 3FG | 2-5 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 3 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | — +/-Dominant presence inside, both offensively (all FGs were points in the paint) and defensively (3 blocks). JV is pretty hard to match up against for a team like the Knicks, and the Raps took advantage early and often by feeding him, including off of a couple of slick dimes from Lowry in the first half. The clutch basket with 30 seconds to play and 0.9 left on the clock was awesome. Probably the only thing I’d point to for JV to improve on (nitpicking here) would be the confidence on the jumpers; he continues to hesitate when doesn’t need to.|
|K. Lowry32 MIN | 5-15 FG | 4-7 3FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 7 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 15 PTS | — +/-Slow start offensively, but after knocking down a couple of quick 3’s in the closing stages of the second quarter, he caught his rhythm and settled down shooting the ball. The passing was still stellar, especially on the Valanciunas rolls to the cup, and in the final minute on the inbounds play to JV. The consistent shooting for 48 minutes still looks like the missing piece in Lowry’s game, but he’s got most else rolling as usual. And he shoots well when it counts, which is really all that’s going to matter.|
|D. DeRozan35 MIN | 12-17 FG | 0-0 3FG | 3-3 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 27 PTS | — +/-DeRozan in attack-mode early was nice to see; granted the Knicks defense (especially inside) is somewhat trash, but DeRozan’s ability to get the rack at will early and often was spectacular. Once DeMar’s got a rhythm against a team without a designated defender to stop him, the impact on the game is remarkable. Would have still liked to see him continue the attack mode in the third quarter, but was absolutely clutch in the fourth quarter; had the game-changing And-1 with a minute left and seemed to make something out of nothing for most of the night.|
|N. Powell21 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0-2 3FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | — +/-Slow start on offense, which continued into the rest of the game. I have no doubt Norm Powell will return to form quickly; his jumper was off today from outside, but his defense on Melo was still respectable for most of his time on the floor.|
|P. Patterson29 MIN | 2-4 FG | 1-3 3FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | — +/-Took care of business, and played his role exactly how we’d like him to, save for a couple of missed 3’s. I’d like to see Patterson be more active on the glass, especially in a game where we get outrebounded. Had a nasty swat on Cleanthony Early in transition to begin the fourth quarter and played solid defense on Derrick Williams after Williams’ quick start.|
|T. Ross21 MIN | 5-11 FG | 1-4 3FG | 2-3 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 13 PTS | — +/-Not a bad offensive game for Ross with 13 points, but the remainder of his game was somewhat absent (no real defensive intensity, only 1 rebound and no assists). His offense rightfully sputters, but those other aspects are the things he’s got to make consistent. Having said that, if he’s hitting his mid-range jumpers consistently, look out.|
|D. Carroll17 MIN | 1-4 FG | 1-1 3FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | — +/-Pretty much a repeat of the Atlanta game from Thursday, with a subtly impactful 17 minutes of action. It’s nice to see Carroll hit at least 1 3-pointer in each of his first 2 games back from the surgery. With his slashing ability questionable, his shooting stroke will be the primary method of any sort of offensive production we can get from him. The defensive effort is always there, and will be so long as he’s healthy enough to suit up.|
|B. Biyombo20 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-2 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | — +/-We’re starting to see why JV is the true starter on this team; while the defensive effort and rebounding has been there (that’s really Biyombo’s job anyway), the offense can be a struggle most nights. He did stroke it on a couple of jumpers, one of which was waived off after the shot clock had expired. So long as JV holds his own as the starting centre, the Raps should be in good shape with Biyombo’s defensive and rebounding output off of the bench.|
|C. Joseph18 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-2 3FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | — +/-Not the best of Cory Joseph performances; but still, steady and had just 1 turnover. He needs to be more active on the pick-and-roll with Biyombo, and find his shot by attacking the basket a bit more. With his ball handling and maneuverability, he can get to the rack whenever he wants, leading to layups or fouls.|
Rough start to the game defensively, but managed the game well without Lowry and DeRozan on the floor; I liked the play calls for JV in the first half, but the defense of the Knicks threw off the Raptors’ execution in the fourth quarter. It’s a tough balancing act with minutes distribution, and I thought he did a good job incorporating Carroll without asking too much of him down the stretch. Play calling in the final minutes, and especially on the out-of-bounds play with 30 seconds left, was solid.
THREE THINGS WE SAW
- Points in the Paint: DeMar and company getting to the rack was the reason we stuck around early, and eventually came back in the second quarter. 18 points in the paint in the first quarter showed a clear ability to take advantage of no interior defensive resistance from New York Knicks.
- Free throws: For a team that averages 27 free-throw attempts a game, the 19 attempts tonight was somewhat disappointing. The Knicks let the Raptors kill them in the paint, but didn’t really foul them – somewhat odd given DeRozan played 35 minutes in this one.
- Fourth quarter offense: The Raptors were absolutely cold in the first 8 minutes of the fourth quarter, only scoring 10 points, and letting the Knicks make a game of this one (the Raps led by 8 going into the fourth). Somehow no matter how bad the Knicks are, games against NY can always be interesting, but the Raps made the bigger plays when it counted down the stretch.