The title says it all, tonight’s game vs the Clips is the first Raptor home game I have been to this season. While I am no longer a season ticket holder, I would have thought that I would go to more games, but I really couldn’t find any reasons going to the ACC; until now.
Obviously seeing Blake Griffin live, is too good of a reason for a basketball fan to pass up. There is a buzz before the game, the ACC was 3/4 full just before the game started (if you haven’t been to ACC, the place would be lucky if it’s 1/2 full by the middle of 1st quarter) and it was a sold out.
The game itself wasn’t much, lots of sloppy basketball, bad defense, and missed opportunities. Very chippy from the start, there was no flow to the game at all as the refs just called ticky-tack fouls.
By my count, Griffin had 5 dunks all night, the only one worth mentioning was the alley oop with Baron Davis. Other than that the Blake show was a disappointment. The Raps did a fine job defending Griffin, not allowing him to get easy points (yes, they have a game plan and actually stick to it).
Here are other notes from the game:
- DeRozan’s jumper is coming along nicely. He had a good rhythm going in the first quarter with 10 points, but not getting the ball much in the 2nd. His jumper was off after that. He did have a very good dunk in transition.
- While Bargnani did score 27 points, his defense was horrible. Brian Cook scored 17 points in 25 minutes against Bargnani. If Cook can play 82 games against Il Mago, he would be int he hall of fame. Cook can’t move any more, I mean he is a slower than a turtle, but he was able to drive past Bargnani a couple of times. And Bargnani lost him completely on a inbound play once. Just so frustrating watching him play.
- Jose’s confidence just isn’t there right now. His jumper isn’t falling, and with Jose, it’s all about his confidence. He did get a double double and 10 points and 11 assists.
- The game was in a lull during the second quarter after Blake Griffin picked up his third foul. I almost fell asleep till the very last play where DeRozan’s hard foul on DeAndree Jordan, sending Jordan to the line. I told my friend that you will see an air-ball. And Jordan made me look like genius by doing just that right on cue. The entire ACC came alive right then, and he missed the 2nd free throw as well. The Raptor did try to hack-a-jordan late in the game, and the crowd was loving it. I think more teams should try this.
- Good to see Baron looking like he give a damn again. He played much better lately, maybe it’s due to Blake Griffin. Davis doesn’t have the explosiveness anymore, but his handle is still good. Plus his size makes it hard for other guards to defend. I am surprised they don’t call more plays for him the low post. Davis did however pick up a technical and had a few choice words for Jose Calderon in the third quarter
- Both teams made some bad turnovers, especially in the 2nd quarter, where it’s almost comical. Instead of making the simple plays, both teams are trying to make the spectecular ones. It’s sort of expected with two really young teams playing.
- There is no untouchable on a 15 win team like the Raptors, but I think Ed Davis is the closet to being one. No, I haven’t changed my mine about his potential, but he is just a very solid player. Some one who can defend and rebound isn’t easy to find. Add to the fact, that he is very good at being at the right place and the right time and finish his shots. He defended Blake Griffin as well as anyone can ask for, given Blake is so much stronger than Davis. Davis will be a starter for a good NBA team, let’s hope it’s the Toronto Raptors.
- Andrea Bargnani made some tough shots late in the game, very clutch of him. See I do say nice things about him. He made an unbelievable banker shots and got foul in the process. DeAndree Jordan was shaking his head in disbelief.
- If the Raptors are serious in keeping DeRozan, then they have to find someone who can compliment him. I don’t think Sonny is that player; they need someone who can shoot 3 and play defense. A guy like Affalo would be good, but Sonny and DeRozan just doesn’t mesh well on the court.
- Blake Griffin gets 21/15, which is a pretty quiet 21/15. He needs to improve on a couple of things. 1) go to the gym and hit 1000 jumpshot and free throws every day in the offseason. 2) He got to be better on defense. Despite his explosiveness, he is not a shot blocker.Sky is the limit for the man.
- This Clipper team could be a scary team to watch 2-3 years down the road, too bad Donald Sterling will find a way to screw it up.
- Overall, I have fun. The Raptors win, didn’t get the free pizza, but it’s not like I would go collect anyway. I would rather watch them face the Clippers than to see them against Miami.
Tags: Toronto Raptors