- TJ Ross outplayed JJ Redick. Take that in. Redick came in red-hot, was generating All-Star buzz, is leading the league in 3-point shooting, and Ross one-upped him with 18 points (5 threes) and four steals. Ross is so confident in his shot right now, he’s flying off those screens and firing away without a second thought, and it’s exactly what the Raptors (a team without much shooting) need from him.
- Clippers killed the Raptors with high HORNs action early. With Chris Paul operating alongside a shooter popping and DeAndre Jordan going to the hoop, there’s really no easy way to stop that. I can see why the team is succeeding without Blake Griffin. For all of Griffin’s talents, he can’t hit the 3 enough to make LAC impossible to defend.
- Not sure what was up with Jamal Crawford. He tried to punk Patterson twice.
- Before garbage time kicked in, the Clippers’ bench had 12 points on 18 shots. Their starters were great, but the bench literally bled two points per minute.
- Best game from Patrick Patterson this season. Active in help scenarios, shot the 3 decently, moved the ball well, and chipped in with 6 rebounds and some nice blockouts against Jordan. Bravely stepped into Jordan’s dunk to prevent a poster, too.
- James Johnson and Jonas Valanciunas have a subtle thing, where when JJ drives, he’s so strong that he always draws help (especially today with Redick on him). When that happens, JV goes to the opposite side of the lane, and JJ hits him with a wrap-around pass. Really clever way to overcome lack of spacing with movement.
- Nice move by Dwane Casey to have at least one of DeMar DeRozan or Kyle Lowry in the game at all times. It really helped the second unit get easy points against the Clippers, who had to operate in hockey lineup changes because no one on the bench plays well with their starters.
- Jordan’s defense was really good, but he really ran out of energy in the second half. That allowed Valanciunas to drop a few nice sweeping hooks.
- Huge effort by Cory Joseph tonight. He completely shut down Crawford (1/6 for 3 points), was great in helping on the roll, and pushed the tempo nicely.
- The Raptors are now just 2 back of the Cavaliers and their upcoming schedule is really easy. Dare. To. Dream. (8 in a row is also really nice)