Game notes:

  1. DeMar DeRozan is on one. The Celtics had two of the best perimeter defenders in the league between Avery Bradley (quickness, hands), and Jae Crowder (size, strength, length). None of that mattered. He killed Bradley in the post, and worked pick-and-roll beautifully to shed Crowder on the screen. 34 never came so easily.
  2. Horrible performance by Cory Joseph. Probably the worst as a Raptor. Couldn’t make simple post-entry passes, took circuitous routes on defense, couldn’t make a shot, failed to run the second unit.
  3. Jack/Matt/Leo/Rod said “4K” 39 times in a 2.5 hour broadcast.
  4. Jonas Valanciunas usually gets benched against smallball units. Not tonight. Beat the Celtics with his size and calm. He was in the right spot at all times to benefit from drop-off and alley-oops. Really sturdy on the defensive glass too. One of his best performances.
  5. Love Amir Johnson’s all-out efforts to wall off DeRozan. He left Luis Scola so many times to show help on his buddy. Scola had 18 on 8-12 shooting as a result.
  7. Another solid outing from TJ Ross. His shooting has normalized after a horrible start and he’s doing a great job stretching the defense.
  8. Speaking of TJ, his defense against smaller guards is excellent. That recovery on Bradley in the last minute was amazing. Ross has the lateral quicks and obviously has the tremendous leaping ability to make those plays. Harder for him to use that vs. bigger players.
  9. Liked Dwane Casey’s sub patterns. It was tough sledding in the second quarter after Kyle Lowry landed in foul trouble, but divvied up DeRozan/Lowry’s minutes nicely, and swapped Joseph for Ross in the closing lineup which led to the 3 and the block by TJ.
  10. Shoutout to The Starters/The Basketball Jones on 10 years. They’ve brought me countless laughs and changed my life for the better.

One thought on “10 things I noticed from Raptors-Celtics

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