Gray skies are gonna clear up,
Put on a happy face;
Brush off the clouds and cheer up,
Put on a happy face.
Avoiding a second-straight loss to the New York Knicks is enough of a reason to grin, but watching several members of the roster step up and put forth admirable performances in the process tops it all off nicely.
DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with 23 points, seven rebounds and five assists on 8-of-15 shooting as Toronto earned its third win in four tries, beating the Knicks convincingly by 17 points on Sunday afternoon.
BREAKING: DeRozan. Can. Still. Fly.
It was just the second time since All-Star Weekend that the Raptors have held an opponent under 42 percent shooting from the field (New York shot 41.7 percent) and won the game.
Jonas Valanciunas chipped in a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds as he made mincemeat of Lou Amundson and Cole Aldrich in the paint. He was more of a focal point in the offense after attempting just one shot against the Chicago Bulls Friday night.
Andrea Bargnani did get the best of him on one occasion, though:
The real hero of the afternoon was Tyler Hansbrough as he dropped a season-high 18 points in 17 minutes off the bench. For someone who's ridiculed on a regular basis for failing to hit shots around the rim, Psycho-T was sound and efficient in creating contact and banking in his shots under the basket.
Greivis Vasquez, who got the start for the injured Kyle Lowry (back contusion), had 12 points in 34 minutes. His 1:4 assist to turnover ratio was disheartening, but his offense more than made up for it on this occasion.
It wasn't a perfect game by any means, though. New York shot 53 percent in the third quarter, cutting the Raptors' lead to eight points. Toronto also turned over the basketball 16 times, while also putting up little resistance in the paint for the Knicks' bigs.
You'll take the win and run, but there's certainly plenty of work to be done.
Question: How confident are you in the Toronto Raptors following this win over New York? Does the Knicks' ineptitude crush your enthusiasm, or is this something Dwane Casey and company can feel good about and build on moving forward?