The Raptors won! Who really cares how, right? We'll take just a quick look at Game 7.
Patrick Patterson Struggles Starting?
This one can probably be put to bed. After getting his feet wet as a starter (and holding his own while with the starters for the two games before last night's), Patterson finally had a vintage Patterson night. +25 net rating (close second to Biyombo on the team), 61 percent true shooting, and he even posted a few assists.
The bench rotation seemed to sort itself out, finally. Casey tightened the rotation to eight guys after Ross failed to do much in his five minutes on the court. And those eight guys meant a mix of starters in every lineup that ensured that the team never bled too many points at once (with the exception of the late game clock-eating strategy that almost came back to bite the team).
Smashed Them on the Glass
Valanciunas and Biyombo absolutely brought it last night. They both grabbed about 30 percent of all available rebounds, including roughly 20 percent of available offensive boards. JV grabbed a full 50 percent of available defensive boards. They were a big part of keeping the Pacers off the boards and to one shot per possession.
The Raptors won the offensive rebound battle 18-5 and the second chance points battle 17-3. It was too big a difference for Indiana to overcome.
DeRozan Kind of had a Good Game?
It was a tale of two DeRozan's this game, much like the series so far. The team ran a lot of double pick action both on and off the ball for DeRozan to get switches and space to operate, and in those situations he shot well and had a very positive impact on the game, opening up the floor for his teammates while he was at it.
In other situations, he isolated on George (and other defenders) and was forced into tough shots that he mostly missed. A story familiar to those who have watched this series play out.
He ended with 30 points (good!) on 32 shots (really not good). So it mostly balanced out, and he was a +5 on the night, so we'll take it.
It very much came down to how decisive DeRozan was with his attacks. Just like in Game 5, when he caught the ball and shot, or took one attack dribble, he was very good, but once he let the defense set and let George catch up to him, he got in trouble.
Here is how DeMar's shooting broke down last night:
Number of Dribbles before FGA - Effective FG%
0: 70% (on 5 shots)
1: 44% (on 9 shots)
2: 20% (on 5 shots)
3-6: 18% (on 11 shots)
7+: 0% (on 2 shots)
Fifteen shots after multiple dribbles trying to beat the defense with the ball instead of before receiving it led to six points. Hopefully there is a lesson here for next round -- DeRozan needs to work his way into shots before he receives the ball to be most effective if his pick and roll game with JV is shut down. He got to the line just enough to salvage his night.
In any case, they won! Bring on Miami.
All stats per NBA.com.