Archive for February 2nd, 2013

Clippers at Raptors Points Per Game; Heck of a debut, heck of a night

- February 2nd, 2013

Well, that was a rare bit of fun for the ACC faithful. The start of the Rudy Gay era really couldn’t have unfolded any better. A pair of alley-oops right away, some fearless firing from outside, a crushing of one of the NBA’s top teams, evidence that Gay and DeMar DeRozan just might be able to co-exist well together after all … It’s been a long time since there’s been a buzz like that for basketball at the ACC. Hopefully it’s the start of something good, because everybody’s sick of watching (and in this case, covering) bad basketball and bad basketball teams.

It’s dangerous to get carried away by one night, especially by what someone does in his first appearance, because the adrenaline doesn’t surge like that every night – there’s always an extra boost on Day 1 – but that was impressive.

Gay brings the Raptors a presence the team hasn’t had, really, since Chris Bosh left town. Players were even joking about it afterward when a huge swarm of media gathered by Gay’s locker. He was getting some treatment after the game, the result of a long day (left Memphis at 5 a.m.) so took a while. After he answered questions (and before he answered even more from a few more reporters), Gay joked: ‘Y’all waited around for that?’ Mocking his answers. Unlike some stars, Gay carries himself like a normal, friendly person. After one question came out a bit mangled from a reporter who apologized, he even joked that it was all good because he butchers answers all of the time.

Gay and DeRozan will take pressure off of each other because if opponents want to double one of them, the other will be able to get a better shot than usual. While Gay isn’t an elite passer, he isn’t bad and DeRozan has showed of late (with all of his 5+ assist games) that that aspect of his game is really coming along.

Weak sauce from Tough Juice was my tweet about Caron Butler. It was a pretty bush league thing to do, but I think he was steaming from the game and don’t forget the Raptors had just completed an alley-oop, rubbing it in a bit.

Jonas Valanciunas was furious after the game and looked legitimately bummed out that he wouldn’t get a chance to play the Clippers again this year and maybe (though he didn’t say it) get a chance to lay out Butler with a hard foul if he drove to the bucket. Kyle Lowry said he didn’t tell Jonas anything. “He’ll learn,” Lowry said. DeRozan laughed and said Valanciunas wouldn’t forget what happened. And Gay said “He definitely won’t do that again.” Valanciunas hates to be shown up, he was seething, but he’ll remember and use it as a learning experience.