Mavericks at Raptors points per game: The comeback kids; DeRozan’s big night; Hayes old man strong; Calderon remains popular

- January 23rd, 2014

Maybe these Raptors just need a challenge? The team doesn’t appear eager to hone in some nights until down 15-20 points. Whereas for years, no Raptors lead felt safe, now, no opponent’s lead seems insurmountable. It’s not ideal for Dwane Casey, he’d like them to not dig the holes in the first place, but it sure beats the old narrative. Back from 21 points in this one, nearly back from 30 against Charlotte. A rally for a win in Dallas from 19 earlier this season … “This is the year of no lead too big, no deficit too great,” Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle said. “You’re seeing big leads disappear all the time.

- But, again, Casey would prefer his group comes out ready to play. “Our starts are concerning, 34 points in the first quarter,” Casey said. “We knew they were in the top 10 in the first quarter (scoring) coming in, for us to score only 15 points was alarming. Kyle was sick with the stomach flu. He was 0-for-10 that’s an anomaly. This is the second game in a row we’ve had a tough start.”- Lowry was superb, despite throwing up at least once and making a few trips back to the locker room. Sure, his shooting wasn’t there, but he was still moving the ball and still came up with some huge defensive plays, including taking a key charge late. “He didn’t stop playing,” Casey said of Lowry. “He affected the game without scoring.”

- Asked to sum up where the team is at the half-way point, Casey was succint: “We’re ahead of schedule, and we’re happy with that.” He pointed to the development of the young players being more important than wins and losses this season, a message that has been conveyed since training camp.

- Nobody seems to have a reason why DeMar DeRozan shouldn’t be an all-star, particularly after his career-high 40-point game Wednesday. The betting here is he makes the team. I’d put the odds at 85%. Lowry’s had a better season, but I peg his odds at 70% because he isn’t loved by coaches league-wide the way DeRozan is and because he doesn’t have DeRozan’s gaudy scoring numbers (points per game * not this blog * – still matters a lot). DeRozan went a ridiculous 9-for-11 in the second half.

- As I mentioned in the gamer, Jonas Valanciunas was feeling good after finally getting a day off and it showed in a strong fourth quarter. He was a key in the win, though he and Amir Johnson looked completely lost in the first quarter when the Mavs ran pick-and-roll after pick-and-roll to great success.

- Amir said the late scratch of Dirk Nowitzki threw him off. “It did for me personally, I had my mind set on playing Dirk. I knew how I was going to guard him and how I wanted to play him and when he didn’t come out and play, no disrespct to Shawn Marion, I kind of relaxed a little bit during the first half.”

- DeRozan said Vince Carter kind of apologized for dunking on him so hard in the first quarter: “He said he didn’t know it was me. If he knew it was me he would have tried to lay it up. He didn’t know it was me, but he got me,” DeRozan said.

- Following the awful start, Toronto got engaged defensively. The on-ball pressure was particularly crucial. Dallas had 21 turnovers, including eight by Monta Ellis and the Raptors had 11 steals, including some big ones in the fourth on some risky cross-court pass attempts.

- Casey on Chuck Hayes, who has been great for the Raptors over the past week or so: “Chuck has old man strength, that’s the difference (between him and Valanciunas),” Casey said. “Hayes is so strong, you try to back him down, you’re not going anywhere. Whereas Jonas just hasn’t learned. He’ll learn it, but Chuck just knows how to do it, knows how to hold his position with that old man strength. Ask Al Jefferson and Gasol and also too he has the respect of the officials.”

- Is Jose Calderon the most popular former Raptor? He’s right up there with Alvin Williams, Morris Peterson, Jerome Williams and Matt Bonner. Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle is glad he’s on his side:

“He’s been terrific for us. We love his experience, we love his enthusiasm, he’s got that European thing, you know, that thing,” Carlisle said before the game.

“His teammates love him. He’s got a great knowledge and intellectual curiosity about the game, which I really respect. And he wants to win, he’s really into winning so he’s been a great addition for us.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Basketball

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1 comment

  1. Maya says:

    Jose got a great reception yesterday, no doubt about that.

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