Game Notes:

  1. I don’t know how much more of Luis Scola and James Johnson I can take. The starting lineup makes absolutely no sense. The rest of the season should be spent towards finding a rotation that works.
  2. The Raptors tried their best to get Scola and Johnson going early on. They used the first five possessions of the game and produced just three points. They finished with 10 points and four rebounds in 33 minutes while shooting 4-17 from the field.
  3. I was skeptical of this at first, but Jonas Valanciunas is actually starting to show signs of improved vision. He had one pass tonight where he caught the ball moving full speed on a pick-and-roll, before instantly spinning and dishing to Patrick Patterson for three.
  4. Speaking of nice passes, Kyle Lowry was in rare form with some of his dimes. He had one play where he beat his man, blew by the help defender, then hung in the air to wait out a third defender on the baseline before threading a one-handed find to Patterson at the top of the key for 3 while falling out of bounds.
  5. Another tough night at the office for DeMar DeRozan. The Grizzlies had an endless line of physical defenders to throw at him, and they refused to let him get a head of steam towards the cup. DeRozan forced his shot a little too much. I’d prefer he shift into playmaker mode when the defense crunches him like that.
  6. Lance Stephenson really, really, really loves to dribble the basketball.
  7. Love how smoothly that Lowry + bench unit flows. There’s one play where Lowry opens as the trigger man up top, while Cory Joseph flies around a down screen on one side, while TJ Ross does the same on the other end. If Ross is open, that’s a 3. If Joseph is open, that’s a quick rescreen for a pick-and-roll. And if nothing is open, Lowry goes into his own PnR.
  8. Shoutout to Jack Armstrong’s unflattering impressions of Celtics homer/broadcaster Tommy Heinsohn. Those are hilarious.
  9. Patrick Patterson had an awesome game. The threes still aren’t falling nearly as often as they should (they’re wide open 80% of the time), but the defense never wavers, and the offense always picks up when he’s on instead of Scola. He grabbed a few crucial rebounds down the stretch too. Make that starting lineup change already.
  10. Shoutout the Raptors for bringing on a halftime act to celebrate Chinese New Years, even though New Years was 2 weeks ago.

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