The big news tonight is obviously Toronto's blockbuster trade, but I can guarantee you the HQ team will analyze this trade from top to bottom, so I'll dedicate this article to the actual game, a loss to the Hawks.
However, before we get started, here's what you need to know about the blockbuster:
On to the game...
Raptors MVP: John Lucas III
Yes, you read that right; John Lucas III was the Raptors MVP in tonight's game. In a matter of hours he went from 3rd string PG to the only PG, as Jose Calderon was shipped out of town, and Kyle Lowry was struggling with some sort of injury. Lucas, who's played most of his minutes in garbage time this season, was thrown into a much larger role, and took full advantage of it. He ran the offense fluently, scoring 19 points, and managing 2 assists in his season-high 25 minutes of court-time. John Lucas was able to step up in his teammates absence, and was a major factor in the Raptors ability to keep up with Atlanta.
MVP goes to most valuable player, not necessarily best player, and John Lucas was certainly the most valuable player on the Dinos tonight.
Raptors LVP: Late game execution
Once again, the Raptors lost a close game down the stretch. They were up three points, with the ball in their hands and one minute remaining. Anddd brick. Next possesion the Raptors were up one point, with the ball in their hands, and 35 seconds left. BRICK. And then finally, the Raptors had the ball in their hands with 10 seconds left, down by one, anddd.... BRICK!!
The Raptors shouldn't be faulted for the final miss though, as the ref missed a key foul call that would have won the game for the Raptors. However, it wouldn't have come down to the final moments, if the Raptors had managed to run successful plays in the final minutes of the game. Late game production is one of Rudy Gay's strenghts, and one of the most important things he'll bring to his new squad.
Comment of the night: via Rebrand_the_Raps
"To Ed Davis and Jose Calderon
Thank you for all your efforts playing for our team. I sincerely hope you enjoyed your stay in our city and I wish you both the best with your new team/s.
I also hope that if you did enjoy playing in TO, you don't hesitate to let other players know what a great basketball city and fanbase we have."
Rod Black interviewed Bryan Colangelo during the third quarter. Some quotes:
"It's a trade that we've been pursuing and having discussions about for the last month and a half."
"It's very difficult to lose two, such wonderful young men."
"Rudy Gay brings us another level of talent, another step forward."
"Detroit has been pursuing Jose for about a year now."
Rod: "Done dealing yet?" Bryan: :"No. But this is a great first step."
Colangelo mentioned he talked to Gay 45 minutes prior to the interview. He said that Gay was very excited about the move to T.O, and that Gay asked Colangelo why he didn't draft him in the first place. He also mentioned that Gay is very close with Kyle Lowry.
The Raptors next game is Friday night, against the Clips. Be sure to stop by Raptorshq, as we'll be blogging live.