Eleven. Straight. Wins. Feels pretty good, doesn’t it? You can tell me they’re mostly against bad teams, and you’d be right, but it still feels pretty good!
Let’s get right to the thoughts:
Terence Davis as the New Norm, OK
I’ll admit I was worried that Norman Powell’s absence meant that we’d just see a lot more Patrick McCaw. But McCaw received his usual run of minutes yesterday (more on him in a minute), meaning it was up to Terence Davis to soak up the Norm minutes. And man, did he deliver!
In true (2020) Norm Powell fashion, Davis found himself making key shots every time the Raptors needed one, and catching fire to help the Raptors seal the victory. He finished 12-of-15 from the field (6-of-7 from downtown!) for a career-high 31, all in 28.5 minutes. Oh, and just to finish the Powell comparison... Davis notched a single assist.
Jokes aside Davis as a gunner really does seem like the perfect role for him. He’s had his turns running the offense this year, but with his stroke and first step, he’s probably better served as a catch-and-shoot guy. He played 23 minutes with either Fred VanVleet or Kyle Lowry (or both) yesterday, and with guys serving him up the ball, well, that’s the very definition of putting him position to succeed.
Please Pat, Stay Aggressive
Patrick McCaw took five shots yesterday in his 23 minutes (hitting three), a far cry from the, um, zero he took in his 22 minutes in Detroit. It’s only the second time he’s shot five or more times since January 8.
I certainly don’t mean to suggest that McCaw needs to shoot more for the Raptors to win (they’re 8-5 when takes five or more shots) but as has been discussed, he needs to shoot when the opportunities arise to keep the offense in rhythm. He did that yesterday, and his minutes definitely seemed like less of a nightmare than usual. He even had a wicked crossover that put Tomas Satoranksy in the spin cycle!
You know, it really wasn’t a great afternoon for Tomas...
Fred VanVleet did Satoransky dirty, man, that’s all you need to say.
Good ol’ Serge I-Block-A
The Raptors were really scuffling in the first half, and clearly needed a wake-up call at halftime. As he’s done all year long when pressed into the starting role, Serge Ibaka stepped up, and his two blocks really seemed to breathe life into Toronto’s defense in the third.
That's gonna be a hard no, youngster pic.twitter.com/0PujjZIebq— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) February 2, 2020
I have worried about the Raptors playing down to their competition lately, but I guess it’s hard to blame them when they really only need to play about 12-15 minutes of good basketball a night to beat most teams. The question is whether or not they can turn it on for more against good teams — and we should get an answer to that this week with two games against the Pacers.
This is the Funniest Thing I’ve Seen All Year
Yes, I know the Raptors’ bench has adjustable seats. Yes, I know the taller folks often add a cushion or two for extra height because it’s easier on their knees/back.
But damn if my man Adrian Griffin doesn’t look like Wilt Chamberlain out here:
The Raptors have nine-foot tall Adrian Griffin on the bench, maybe he could get in there and protect the rim a bit pic.twitter.com/IDLeb85Ioo— Raptors HQ (@RaptorsHQ) February 2, 2020
There’s only a few words left in this column. If I were Jim Boylen, I’d be calling a timeout right now, wouldn’t I?
Raptors announcer is fed up with Jim Boylen for calling a timeout with 1 minute left in a 25 point blowout— ClutchPoints NBA (@ClutchPointsNBA) February 2, 2020
"It's Super Bowl Sunday, I want to get out of here!" - Jack Armstrong pic.twitter.com/cZn1in2PTP
Nah, I wouldn’t want to get on Jack Armstrong’s bad side! See ya next time.