John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
The Raptors grabbed a lead early, and never looked back...
The Toronto Raptors took advantage of a tired Philadelphia 76ers squad tonight, beating Philly 90 to 92. The Raptors fast-paced offense was the secret to their success on this night, as Toronto used their speed and athleticism to get out in the open court and make plays. However, in order to get out on the fast break, you must play good defense on the other end, and the Dinos did exactly that. Evan Turner and Jrue Holliday, the Sixers top offensive threats, were shut down by Landry Fields and Jose Calderon/Kyle Lowry, and were clearly frustrated with their inability to score the basketball against the Dinos' defenders.
The Raptors rebounding, defense, and their many fast-breaks were the main reasons the Raptors came away with a win. Now for some awards:
Raptors MVP: The entire starting line up
The starting line up of Calderon, DeRozan, Fields, Davis and Johnson played incredibly well tonight, each scoring in double digits. The starters scored all but 11 of the Raptors points in fact, and shot an incredible 55%. The starters, specifically Landry Fields, Ed Davis and Amir Johnson, were equally as effective on the defensive end, and they played a big part in limiting Philly to just 72 points.
The Andrea Bargnani Award (LVP): Mickael Pietrus
Mickael Pietrus had yet another bad game, as he really struggled on the offensive end in tonight's match, missing all three of his shots. Although his defense wasn't bad, Pietrus just hasn't provided much in the way of offence of late, and tonight was another example. It's been a recurring pattern for Pietrus, and it was nice to see Landry Fields get the start at last.
Stat of the game: 42
The number of minutes Landry Fields played. Fields, who's played 19.3 minutes per game over the last six matches, was given the opportunity to get big minutes due to Ross' injury, and he took full advantage of it. Right off the bat, Fields played with lots of energy and hustle on both ends, and provided the coaching staff with evidence that he deserves more minutes going forward. He finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds, recording his first double-double of the season, in what was surely the best game of his time with the Raptors.
Tweet of the game: HQ's own Chris Walder
As mentioned, Fields had a great start to this game.
Best Leo/Matt Moment:
After an Amir Johnson behind-the-back pass to Ed Davis for a jam in the final seconds of the game - a bucket that meant nothing to the games outcome, Leo got very excited and asked the question that he assumed we all must have been wondering: "Is that Amir Johnson or Magic Johnson?". He later asked the question to Amir during an interview, to which Amir simply laughed off.
Comment of the game: THE TREEEEEEEEE
I commented about Nick Young having gotten just 5 minutes of playing time, and THE TREE responded with:
"Those shoes.. they distract all the other Sixers players, it doesn't affect the raps players BC they r used to their eyes getting screwed with (a la, that random triangle thingy)"
In case you missed the game, Young's shoes were a ridiculous bright orange. Even Leo, the Syracuse Orange alum, couldn't stand up for the shoes.
The Raptors next game is Friday night, in the ACC, against the horrendously bad Bobcats. Get excited!