Wolves PPG: Lowry’s not an all-star? Yeah, right; DeRozan sure is too; Wolves can’t stop anybody; Hayes a gem

- March 9th, 2014

MINNEAPOLIS – Another win to build on, another game where the Raptors followed the gameplan and played like a true team.

Minnesota might have more individual talent, but the Wolves don’t have a bench and, on defence at least, don’t have a clue.

Kyle Lowry’s been pretty ridiculous for a good two months now, but Sunday was one of his top outings of the year, the best I’ve seen probably since he went off in Brooklyn in January. He did everything. The numbers stood out, but it was the little moments too. Like when he hit a clutch three in the second half just when Minnesota looked like it was ready to get over the hump. Or when he snatched a rebound away from Kevin Love, who averages nearly 14 a game.

“We needed all of his assists, all of his buckets and we needed all of his rebounds. It was a great effort on his part,” said Dwane Casey. “He just had an all-around game.” Did he ever. Lowry’s penetration completely devastated the Wolves. There was no recovering, no getting to Toronto’s many deadly outside shooters. Whether it was Terrence Ross early, Steve Novak all night, or DeMar DeRozan late, Lowry was finding them all. Greivis Vasquez did a nice job as well.

- Casey praised Chuck Hayes, who stepped in and provided some solid moments. Hayes is a great glue guy and is appreciated by anybody who has employed him or had him as a teammate. “He knows how to play, he’s a veteran, he’s seen everything, feel very comfortable with him in there,” Casey said. Casey’s counterpart, Rick Adelman, absolutely raved about Hayes pre-game.

“Chuck says he’s 6-7, he’s 6-5 and he’s one of the best post defenders in the league and he always has been,” Adelman said. “When Yao (Ming in Houston) went down, I started Chuck at centre the rest of the time, he guarded everybody. He became a very efficient offensive player. He became a very good passer, a good rebounder, just solid, playing six minutes he’s going to gie it to you. If you play him 25, he’s going to give it to you. That’s who he is. He’s one of my favourite players .We tried to get him here, but it didn’t work out. He’s so valuable because you don’t move Chuck Hayes. I mean, guys don’t back him down. He’s too strong, has great lower body strength.”

- DeRozan might have cursed at the Minnesota bench after hitting a dagger three. That’s what I thought I saw, but it also could have been a demonstrative “what!” Others said it definitely was a curse. Whatever, DeRozan’s swagger meter is currently off of the charts.

“It’s good, as long as it’s controlled and not against the officials,” Casey said. “We have to be controlled and we’ve been there, act like we’ve been there before. But I like the passion, I think all of our guys are playing with passion, we have to channel it and get it going in the right direction, at the other team. I do like that.”

- DeRozan said the Raptors no they can score with anybody. As long as they get defensive stops as well, they are confident they will win any game.

“We have guys on this team one through five that can hit big shots,” DeRozan said.

“When you have that type of confidence, you never feel like you’re out of a game.”

- Can’t say I’m a fan of the howling sound effects they play at Wolves games incessantly. What is this, The Grey? Those wolves died. Sorry for the spoiler if you haven’t seen that movie.

- Novak said he’s been on a lot of good teams, but the beauty of this one is, without a doubt, “There’s no agendas, it’s a group that really does get along with each other and that really shows on the court. Everybody enjoys each other, there’s nobody with big egos that are kind of on the way or guys that we kind of have to put up with. Guys want to win. Masai started out the season and said that was the kind of team we were going to be, teammates we were going to be and guys bought into that and believed in it and I think we’ve slowly kind of learned and understood what that meant and it’s been good for us.”

- The past two games, DeRozan has stood in to take a charge from DeMarcus Cousins, who is 270 pounds and a bit of a loose canon, as well as Nikola Pekovic, a true man mountain.

- Toronto is 28-14 since the trade.

- Casey praised his coaching staff for the team’s success. “Nobody’s going to outwork us or our staff. Guys do a great job of teaching, working with the players, developing them, watching film. We try to outwork people and hopefully that leans over to the players and they see how hard we try to work and get them ready and it goes out onto the court.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Basketball

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2 comments

  1. Johnn19 says:

    After the Wolves game now 29-14 since Gay left, and counting

  2. ryan.wolstat says:

    Yes, Raptors don’t count the Lakers game because trade wasn’t official yet and I used that number by accident. Thanks.

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