|Greg Monroe, PF 34 MIN | 8-13 FG | 7-11 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 23 PTS | +6Moose is great and I love that Mason exclusively refers to him as “Moose Monroe” in arena. Every time I get down on Moose, which I have been for the past couple weeks, I watch him play and I’m back on the bandwagon again. Also, love that Chuck Hayes was put in as the “Moose Stoppa” (like Ruben Patterson was the Kobe Stoppa and DeShawn Stevenson the LeBron Stoppa) on multiple occasions during the game. He was better on Moose than anybody else the Raptors had today.|
|Kyle Singler, SF 41 MIN | 4-9 FG | 4-6 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 14 PTS | -14Singler was having a such a good game and season too. It’s a shame that it had to end this way. |
“The Atlantic Division Champion Slam” [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDYFP0YahME]
The saddest part about this crime scene is that it wasn’t his fault. If you watch the first five seconds of the clip below, Drummond is way out of position and then decides to jump out on DeRozan rather than let Singler recover. It was an unnecessary switch that led to a very necessary incident. Singler’s only fault is that he tried to make the right basketball rotation on a team that doesn’t care for such things.
|Andre Drummond, C 31 MIN | 5-9 FG | 4-8 FT | 17 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 3 BLK | 3 TO | 14 PTS | +2Another monster game for Drummond. He’s was active and dominant around the ball and didn’t bite on Valanciunas’ pump fakes this time around. The Raptors could have drafted him and established the modern version of the twin towers but they took Terrence Ross one pick ahead of Drummond instead to fill a need rather than stockpile raw talent. As intriguing as this hypothetical is, it still doesn’t rank in the top-three imaginary scenarios for Toronto. Here are the top-three: 1) What if Tracy McGrady and Vince Carter stayed together? 2) What if the Raptors kept the pick that landed Roy Hibbert (to pair with Chris Bosh) rather than trade it for an aging Jermaine O’Neal? 3) What if Joakim Noah declared for the draft in 2006 when he was projected as the number one pick rather than going back to Florida for one more year? A Noah/Bosh front court could have changed everything. Instead they got a Bosh/Bargnani front court. Drummond gets docked points for his aloofness on the defensive end when he’s away from the ball but this is a bigger story than just this game.|
|Brandon Jennings, PG 29 MIN | 6-18 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 7 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 17 PTS | -4Why are you still shooting? Why? Please stop. I can’t talk about this right now. I need more space and time. Lowry/Vasquez combined to go 14-of-27 from the field, including 6-of-11 from three-point territory and 8-of-10 from the free throw line.|
|Rodney Stuckey, SG 28 MIN | 5-11 FG | 8-10 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 18 PTS | -4Stuckey was fantastic today.His ball denials on Grevis Vasquez in the first half and DeRozan in fourth quarter were inspiring. He got to the line and put enormous pressure on the defense. Forgive my ignorance but has he been this good all year? Somebody pay this man. At least the April 13, 2014 version of him.|
|Tony Mitchell, PF 7 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-1 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | -3Poor Tony Mitchell. After not playing most of the season, he finds himself guarding Jonas Valanciunas one-on-one in the post in the first quarter. This leads to three consecutive Valanciunas post-ups and the end of Mitchell’s afternoon. Of course the guards didn’t sag to help and a double-team never came.Either the Pistons really believe in Mitchell’s one-on-one defense versus a creative and skilled big man or this was a classic case of rookie hazing. I felt bad for Mitchell. Hopefully there are better days ahead in his career.|
|Jonas Jerebko, PF 23 MIN | 2-5 FG | 1-1 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | -20I must have been on a 23-minute pretzel break when when Jerebko played because I don’t remember seeing him out there. Looks like he did fine.|
|Luigi Datome, SF 13 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -1Datome receives an outstanding grade for interrupting the halftime t-shirt toss by coming back out to the court at the 8:31 mark of halftime (meaning he only spent 5:30 in the locker room) to launch mid-range jumpers despite the chaos around him. Datome made his point. He will not be intimated by a t-shirt cannon.|
|Peyton Siva, PG 20 MIN | 2-9 FG | 5-7 FT | 0 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | -5Siva does not impact the game in a positive way on either end of the court. Kyle Lowry and Greivis Vasquez waltzed to anywhere they wanted on the court without resistance when Siva (or Jennings for that matter) was in the game. Offensively, the Raptors went under on screens which jammed the bigs and stunted the offense even more because Siva is not a threat to shoot.|
|Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG 15 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | -2KCP – look at me. Listen to me. It’s not your fault. This season is not your fault. You are innocent. It’s not your fault that the team never runs a set play for you or tries to get you open. It’s not your fault that you had to force up multiple off-the-dribble jumpers today because that’s the only way you can get a shot. It’s not your fault that you had to play with Peyton Siva. It’s not your fault that you used to start and now play sparingly. Your rookie season has been mismanaged and you are not to be blamed for that. Hopefully you will have a Terrence Ross-esque comeback next year meaning you will get consistent minutes no matter how much you are struggling, will be held accountable on defense, will be asked to drive and kick as well as launch long distance jumpers and have screens set specifically for you to get open.|
|Josh Smith, SF DNP LEFT KNEE TENDINITISGrade is for the entire season.|
|John Loyer |
I’m not sure about the strategy to play Stuckey/Jennings in the first and third quarter and then Siva/Caldwell-Pope in the second and fourth (until the game got close at which point Jennings and Stuckey were brought back in). Simultaneously, there was a lack of commitment to player development and winning. It felt like a middle ground of indifference. We shouldn’t expect anything else at this point in the season.
Tags: Andre Drummond Brandon Jennings Greg Monroe John Loyer Jonas Jerebko Josh Smith Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Kyle Singler Luigi Datome Peyton Siva Rodney Stuckey THN-TOR Tony Mitchell Toronto Raptors