- Yet another stellar night from Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. 63 points on a combined 24-35 shooting against a really tough defense. They bring such stability to the team. For example: with the Raptors down 10 in the second quarter, DeRozan hit a layup, Lowry got a steal and took it the other way, Lowry led another break and found Bebe Nogueira for an alley-oop, then Lowry grabs a steal and pitches it to DeRozan for an and-1. They immediately erased the Jazz’s lead with a 11-1 run.
- 21 games above .500 sounds so sweet.
- DeRozan ordinarily struggles against a team like Utah with so many physical defenders and an uber athletic center like Rudy Gobert, but the Raptors did a nice job of finding ways to spring DeRozan. Especially effective were these little baseline screens they would run to have DeRozan curling towards the hoop with momentum.
- Nice move by Dwane Casey to sub Lowry back into the game for the final possession of the second half. Lowry rewarded that move by draining a three.
- Another night without much production from the power forward spot. Patterson and Luis Scola had 8 points on 3-14 shooting. So when’s Jason Thompson getting a taste?
- Speaking of Scola, he’s yet to hit a three since the All-Star break. No one is guarding him out there. He only ever scores in the margins (leakouts in transition, a putback). Maybe he’s hit a wall and it’s time to give the veteran some rest.
Here's the thing about Luis Scola spacing the floor:
- Solid minutes from Bebe tonight. Surprise appearance, really, but Bismack Biyombo wasn’t giving them anything in the first half. Bebe came in, grabbed some key offensive rebounds, and was solid on defense. He’s your backup center for 2016-17.
- The Jazz’s offense really dried up with Rodney Hood getting injured (hope he’s alright). Hood has become such a key piece for the Jazz, and I don’t like playing the “what if” game, but he was taken three picks after Bruno Caboclo. Say the Raptors took him, solved the hole at SF, then spent their money on a PF last summer. It probably doesn’t work out that easily, but it’s a thought.
- Trey Burke really sucks. So does Shelvin Mack. Come back soon, Dante Exum!
- A lot of people want them to talk basketball, but I love when the broadcast veers off. Are Matt and Jack corny? Sure. But they’re also loveable. That whole bit with Jack telling people to save money? Hilarious. Lightens the mood.