Game Notes:

  1. I’m sorry to harp on this yet again, but Jonas Valanciunas was just a mess on defense. Maybe he’s a tad banged up (he was questionable for Monday’s game), and if so, he needs to sit and get healthy, because he was a total minus on the floor. He couldn’t move his feet whatsoever and kept getting blown up on defense.
  2. The problem only gets worse when Valanciunas is asked to play with Luis Scola. Who’s idea was it, in this era of pace and space, to unite the league’s two slowest defenders? In the first quarter, Scola allowed Markieff Morris to blow by and he crowned Valanciunas. In the third quarter, Valanciunas returned the favor, was late on Markieff, and he dunked on Scola. A circus act, those two.
  3. Smart idea by Dwane Casey to put Cory Joseph on Devin Booker, who kept getting open for spot-ups while guarded by Ross (lazy), DeRozan (exhausted) or Powell (inexperienced). Joseph pressured the ball and made it impossible for Booker to handle, then tailed him well on through screens.
  4. That being said, Booker still nailed some ridiculous threes tonight. Pull-ups in transition, step-back treys, everything. Hard to believe he’s the youngest player in the league. He’s got that Klay Thompson vibe to him.
  5. Norman Powell is all-energy and I love it, but he needs to learn the rhythm of the game. Slow down a bit on offense, and be smart the aggression on defense.
  6. Kudos to DeMar DeRozan for a) attacking the Suns’ zone defense when they tried to take away the paint early on; it yielded early buckets and three nice dimes, and b) for keeping his cool during a frustrating stretch in the third when he was hacked repeatedly with little recourse, then called himself for ticky-tack shit.
  7. So, anybody down for that Markieff Morris trade idea? It doesn’t help that Patrick Patterson made a mess of himself tonight with several horrible bricks from deep and some untimely passes. Couldn’t defend Markieff, either. Patterson would likely go the other way in a potential Chief Keef swap.
  8. OK, maybe not Markieff, but at least P.J. Tucker? Raptors could use a gritty defensive forward who can hit corner threes and rebound at a high rate.
  9. Tony Parker taught Cory Joseph everything he knows. Joseph was money with that little push-shot that Parker loves, and he did Parker’s patented dribble across the baseline, then circle back right to the paint for a play where he drew help and found Bismack Biyombo for the dunk. Spurs forever.
  10. Nobody cares in a win, but it’s unacceptable to keep playing Kyle Lowry over 40 minutes a game. 43 minutes on the second night of a back-to-back, after 41 and 40 following a wrist injury is flat-out stupid.
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2 thoughts on “10 things I saw from Raptors-Suns

  1. The problem isn’t JV its the perimeter defense giving up blow by’s and the open jump shots. Raps really miss Johnson and Carroll. Lou you sound like one of those guys on Raps rep. who doesn’t understand how team defense works. JV and Scola don’t work as a front court without John. or Car..

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