Game notes:

  1. First off, congrats to the team for setting a franchise-high with their 10th straight win. It only further solidifies that this is the best team in franchise history. Second in the East, top-10 on both sides of the floor, two All-Stars – WATTBA
  2. That being said, the Raptors really played down to their competition tonight. Offense got into a huge funk, missed 20 of 21 field goals at one point, and just kept making silly decisions. All the Knicks did was take away the paint, and the Raptors’ shooters (aside from Ross) just didn’t ever want to fire freely from deep.
  3. When did Sasha Vujacic turn into Klay Thompson? Dude was hitting everything in the second half.He came into the game shooting 29.5% from the floor and 23.5% from deep. All of a sudden he was curling off screens and hitting shots with zero airspace.
  4. The Knicks really, really love the midrange jumper, and that played right into the Raptors’ hands. The defense did a great job of ICEing the pick-and-rolls, which led to the likes of Kyle O’Quinn tossing up 17-footers like he was LaMarcus Aldridge.
  5. A bit of overconfidence from TJ Ross. Forced a few transition pull-ups and even drove into the lane for a contested layup in the second quarter after a hot start. Don’t really mind the mentality, though. Shooters shoot. Keep firing, TJ.
  6. The Knicks are a lot less fun without Dad Melo and Kristaps Porzingis.
  7. DeMar DeRozan has gotten so much better at losing his man on screens. He’s got the jab dribble, the spin away when the defense takes away middle, and he’s just consistently able to negotiate open space for himself to operate (and he doesn’t need much to score). Big defenders still give him trouble (Lance Thomas got him today), but he’s got enough counters to still be able to score.
  8. Love that Cory Joseph never complains. He attacks the rim relentlessly and gets smacked fairly often on those questionable verticality/block plays, but even when he doesn’t get the whistle, he sprints back hard on defense. Pop taught him discipline.
  9. Pusha T was in the building. That new album is fire. Sucks that I missed his free show at the Great Hall tonight.
  10. This gets said every game, and that’s still not enough. Kyle Lowry is everything for this team. He lit up the rookie Jerian Grant tonight – consistently getting into the lane, working the pick-and-roll for easy buckets, and draining pull-up treys all over the place. Dropped 10 in a row to finish off the Knicks down the stretch.

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

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