Game Notes:

  1. Leo Rautins kept slamming Jonas Valanciunas’s defense against Brook Lopez on the broadcast, but I thought it was fine. Valanciunas sat back on the pick-and-rolls and allowed Lopez to take the midrange jumper. Some of his closeouts could have been crisper, but he stuck to the gameplan and it eventually worked out.
  2. Speaking of Valanciunas, he made a heads up pass out of the post where he not only found Lowry open for 3, but he led Lowry to the open spot with the pass. Baby steps for Baby Ostertag.
  3. Shane Larkin really sucks.
  4. Despite the Nets shooting over 50% from the floor, I thought the Raptors’ defense was fine. They forced 23 midrange shots, 23 non-RA paint shots, against just 14 threes and 16 RA attempts. The Nets just hit a lot of bad shots. Kudos to them.Shotchart_1453189708597
  5. James Johnson hit 2 threes in the first quarter. Lol.
  6. Encouraged by Patrick Patterson’s confidence. He took the open 3 when it was there, and when defenders closed out, he did his usual drive + weak floater thing. He missed his first three looks, but found his stroke late. Was solid on defense with a unit of Lowry-Joseph-Ross-Patterson-Biyombo in the second.
  7. It makes a world of difference when the Raptors get contributions from their bench. The aforementioned unit erased the Nets’ first quarter lead, and there was good floor balance with that lineup. TJ Ross was solid on defense, Pat was good, Bismack Biyombo even had some nice finishes around the hoop and a jumper.
  8. DeMar DeRozan’s balance on his fadeaways has improved dramatically. I’m not sure if it’s just a case of him getting his timing right, or whether it’s just him getting stronger, but he’s fully in control on those turnaround fades, or the two dribble pull-ups. Maybe that’s the reason for his improved efficiency?
  9. Mummified Joe Johnson will never not scare me, no matter what age he is.
  10. I feel a certain calmness about the Raptors in late-game scenarios against bad teams that I never used to have. Some games have been unnecessarily difficult, but they keep closing them out. They’ve won 5 in a row since the Cavs blowout.
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