Archive for April 6th, 2012

Cavaliers at Raptors Points Per Game:

- April 6th, 2012

In a battle of two teams mixing NBAers with D-Leaguers, the Raptors looked great early and awful late.

The Raptors just have Cleveland’s number, with or without Kyrie Iriving, but, even if you make a team miss 65% of their shots, if you only make 30% of your own – as the Raptors did throughout the second half – you’re not going to win.

Some thoughts:

- DeMar DeRozan seems to have rounded out his game nicely. Not only is he getting to the line more than ever, but he’s also more active defensively – particularly in terms of looking to disrupt or block opponent shots. He told me earlier in the year that he has plenty of energy to score 20 points a night, plus play tough defence and now he’s starting to show it.

- Ed Davis is playing the best basketball of his career. With him, a lot of it is how much does he want it? How hard does he want to play? When he’s engaged and playing his hardest, Davis can be a force. His rebounding has been tremendous of late, he’s blocking shots and also looking a little more comfortable on the block. This is a good development for the Raptors as he either raises his trade value by playing this well, or shows that he might be able to replace Amir Johnson if he is the power forward traded in the off-season (it is extremely unlikely both Davis and Johnson return next year given the logjam at that position).

- I like what I’ve seen from Ben Uzoh a team can do worse than having him as a third point guard. He battles and does a lot of things solidly, including defending. Alan Anderson is showing that he can be a useful end of bench guy as well. Uzoh is fearless, he rebounds better than Andrea Bargnani despite being a foot shorter.

- Bargnani continues to sizzle offensively after slumping badly for a stretch. He’s found his shot and got off to a great start against Cleveland, but like the rest of the Raptors, struggled in the fourth quarter.

- I’ve liked Lester Hudson since he was in college and don’t see why he can’t be a scoring guard in the Earl Boykins role off of somebody’s bench. The guy can play.

- James Johnson didn’t play again. I’ve been in New Orleans, not with the team for the past week so I’m not sure what’s up other than it was an “internal issue.” The chatter has been it was back talk to Dwane Casey, but, again, I’ve been away so not as clued in as usual. Back on the beat on Sunday in Oklahoma City.