Raptors Rapid Recap - Atlanta Hawks 96 - Toronto Raptors 78

-The Toronto Raptors lost at home this afternoon in a 96-78 blowout to the Atlanta Hawks. Despite only trailing by six at halftime, the Raptors’ shoddy defense allowed Atlanta to run away with the game in the third quarter as they were outscored 25-11 in the frame.

-The Raptors had no answer for Atlanta’s offence, as five of Atlanta’s players reached double digits in scoring. Hawks forward Marvin Williams scored a season-high 17 points, while Horford and Johnson each added 16 of their own.

-While the Hawks’ offense was firing on all cylinders, Toronto’s offence had trouble getting anything done, as DeMar DeRozan and Andrea Bargnani were the only two Raptors to reach double digits in scoring. This lack of offensive
production can be credited to the fact that they only hit 8.3 per cent of their shots from behind the arc, and settled for tough shots in the second half.

-While few things were going right for the Raptors, they have to be encouraged from what they are seeing from Jerryd Bayless. Despite not putting up fantastic numbers, Bayless’ motivation and determination was still present even when the game was clearly out of reach. His enthusiasm and willpower will be something that Raptors fans should get excited about for the future.

-The Raptors clearly missed the presence of the inured Reggie Evans. Joey Dorsey got the surprising start over Amir Johnson, the first of his career.  While Dorsey had a respectable debut, Evans’ toughness down low was clearly missed by the Dinos as Josh Smith registered the third triple-double of his career. This is a problem that the Raptors are going to have to address as they are going to be without their physical big man for an extended period of time.
Even though he is injured, Evans was still a veteran presence for the young Raptors. In addition to cheering on his teammates from the sidelines, Evans, who is on crutches, gathered his team at half court and gave them a
motivational speech before the beginning of the third quarter.

Sean Tepper

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