It took a while, but last night Quincy Acy finally got his time in the spotlight.
In Toronto's 99-78 stomping of the Charlotte Bobcats on Friday night, rookie forward Quincy Acy saw a career-high 18 minutes and he made sure to capitalize on every minute.
In those 18 minutes Acy was extremely productive, pulling down six rebounds -- five of which were on the offensive end -- blocking two shots and scoring six points. All of these were career-highs for the youngster who was as surprised as most people were to hear his name called so early and so often.
"No, not at all," Acy responded when asked if coach Casey had tipped him off about the extra playing time. "It shocked me, but I just ran in and didn't make it seem like it shocked me. You know, I want to be ready at all times."
Acy certainly seemed ready, bringing a great deal of energy off of the bench and helping the Raptors achieve their season high in offensive rebounds with 21.
Ensuring that he is ready at all times has been a big part of Acy's season, but it is something that he has been able to accomplish because of the competition that he faces in practice every day.
"You know, with Ed (Davis) you're gonna get a lot of left handers (shots) and with Amir (Johnson) you're gonna get a lot of right hand (shots)," Acy said. "It's a lot of different situations I've gotta face every day in practice and it helps me out. I've got guys like Aaron (Gray) always in my ear, always helping me - being a good leader. It's good to have vets on your team to help you out."
It was those veterans that were also key in this game, providing not only great team defense, but a balanced scoring attack that a flat Bobcats team just couldn't compete with.
Acy's frontcourt mates Ed Davis and Amir Johnson scored 12 and 13 points respectively, and also grabbed eight rebounds apiece. Landry Fields also had another solid game, tracking down a game-high 11 rebounds.
Off of the bench, Alan Anderson led the team in scoring with 16 points while Kyle Lowry added nine and Terrence Ross managed seven in his return to the lineup after injuring his foot against the Oklahoma City Thunder last Sunday.
This type of balanced attack on both ends of the floor is exactly what this team needs to do in order to be successful this season. Playing together in spite of a lack of a true superstar talent is what has made the Raptors a better team over their recent stretch of games.
"It's a group effort, that's the main thing," Alan Anderson said. "We're playing 48 minutes. We just started out 2013, we said we're going to play 48 minutes and that's what we're doing on both ends. We're really getting after it defensively and we're making offense easy. Once we do that, we get out, we get open dunks, we get threes, we get the crowd into it and we're fun to watch."
These words rang particularly true last night when the Raptors defensive effort held the Bobcats to just 37% shooting from the floor and 25% from beyond the three-point line. Toronto's ability to get stops and get out in transition ultimately took the winds out of the sails of the Bobcats.
Charlotte entered the game having won seven of their last eight meetings with the Raptors. But, this time around Charlotte struggled all across the board, getting little-to-no contribution from key guys like RaptorsHQ favourite Michael-Kidd Gilchrest and Kemba Walker -- they shot a combined eight of 21 from the floor - or bench scorers Ramon Sessions and Ben Gordon -- they shot a combined eight of 25 from the floor -- leaving head coach Mike Dunlap with few other options to turn to.
The Raptors jumped out to a 26-19 lead after one quarter and never looked back, leading this contest wire-to-wire for their second consecutive victory.