Atlanta Hawks at Raptors Points Per Game:

- February 1st, 2012

- People laugh at him for his contract – and it’s a bad one – but Joe Johnson is a heck of a player and he certainly seems to enjoy competing against the Raptors. He destroyed them in Atlanta a couple of weeks ago and the song was the same on Tuesday night in Toronto. Sure, $20 million U.S. a season is a tad ridiculous, but Johnson certainly is worth $15 million or so and any team would be better off paying him that than overpaying reserves or bad starters.

- Toronto’s defence allowed an opponent to shoot 50% for the first time this season. Early on, the combo of Toronto’s defence and Atlanta’s nerves forced 9 Hawks turnovers. However, the team settled down from there and the small Toronto lineup couldn’t handle them.

- The edge DeMar DeRozan showed against New Jersey wasn’t evident. Without that, DeRozan is just an average player, with it, he is very good. The trick for Dwane Casey and the Raptors is getting the angry DeRozan to show up more often.

- The small lineup didn’t work against an Atlanta team that has a size advantage at almost every position against most starting units. If Jerryd Bayless or Jose Calderon are matched up with Johnson, the results aren’t going to be good for Toronto if James Johnson tries his luck, Marvin Williams will be guarded by somebody 4-6 inches shorter, etc.

- Bayless scored well again early, but it didn’t last. He only notched two points in the second half and though I’m not a big +/- guy, his -23 was the worst on the team.

- Amir Johnson clearly is not himself and has some injuries. At some, point, the team has to consider sitting him down for a couple of weeks to allow him to get back to 100%. Of course, that probably can’t happen until Andrea Bargnani comes back.

- On the bright side, Ed Davis has been better of late and his first double-double of the season was worth mentioning. In Atlanta, Josh Smith had his way with Davis and the coaching staff was on him a bit, but Ed appeared to learn a few things from that meeting.

- The fans might as well keep booing Tracy McGrady until the end of his career. It’s stupid and he always raises his game when it happens, which kind of defeats the purpose of it no? But, anyways, might as well keep doing it, it’s past the point of stupidity now.

- Toronto only blocked one shot, which has to be close to a season-low.

Categories: Basketball, NBA, Toronto Raptors

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