HOUSTON — You kind of got the feeling something like that was coming. So many close losses, with the Raptors playing extremely hard with nothing to show for it. A let-down game was due.
The players aren’t happy about it. Dwane Casey definitely isn’t happy about it. But, as Jose Calderon said afterwards, games like this happen in a long season. Doesn’t excuse them for not showing up, but it happens.
- The turnovers were brutal and Houston seemingly made Toronto pay for every miscue. Omer Asik dominated on the boards and Houston was a step quicker getting up and down and also chasing down rebounds.
Toronto shot 55% in the first half, yet still trailed by 10 because Houston converted nine turnovers for 16 points and Toronto managed 0 points off of turnovers. that doesn’t happen every day.
- Again, this was about hustle and effort. Nobody seemed to remember how to rotate properly defensively.
- As usual, there was at least one positive: Terrence Ross didn’t back down against James Harden and at times guarded him solidly. He also showed what a big-time athlete he was, particularly on his Dr. J tribute, but says he isn’t interested in entering the dunkoff. Have to think he’s going to get a lot more playing time with DeMar DeRozan (tough night, bad turnovers, bad defence) spending more time at small forward.
On if he’s 100% healthy: “I’m on the floor, so that’s all that matters.
They were aggressive. They were in the passing lanes. They overplayed a lot of the plays. They were aggressive in the passing lanes in trying to get out and run. They got a lot of easy buckets and we did a lot of bad mistakes, especially myself. I turned the ball over too much tonight.
“We have to figure out what kind of team we’re going to be. We have to figure that out in less than 24 hours. We have to figure out as soon as possible what type of team we’re going to be. How we’re going to bounce back. We’ve got to figure it out quickly. Sooner than later,” Lowry said.
“I made (bad) decisions, I missed some shots. I played terrible, but it’s only one game, I won’t keep my head down. We’ve got another one tomorrow, I’m sure I’ll be better.”
(On returning to Houston) “It wasn’t a pleasant one for me. They kicked our ass tonight and we didn’t play well and just got out played tonight. There are bunch of different guys over there, but they played hard tonight. They are young and very talented. They are going to be a force in the West in the years to come.”
“We were bad from the start. There’s not a lot we can talk about, it is what it is.
The team we saw (tonight) is not the team we’ve been watching. It happens sometimes. We had a bad one. Just go to the next page and be ready to play tomorrow.
I want a game the other way. One we can win by 20. It happens, we’ve got to bounce back, keep doing what we’re doing. We’ve been working so hard since training camp and have all those close games, to just have a game like that … we cannot do that. Try to get it tomorrow.”
“It started in the first quarter, continued in the second quarter. That style of game lends itself to not playing defence. I told our guys: ‘the first team that plays defence wins and we didn’t. They went on a 7-0 run to start the third and that began the avalanche.
I thought Terrence Ross had his best game and gave us some big-time minutes. Now we need to get some other people to join the party.”
(On the Rockets) “They made shots, but we can’t allow our defense to regress to the point where we get in a tic for tack kind of game. Houston out ran us down the floor and our turnovers killed us. Those are the tough type of turnovers where you don’t get back in time to defend, but we shot ourselves in the foot. Houston shot the heck out of the ball, but we caused some of that by our turnovers.”
(On Lowry’s return) “It did not go the way he wanted. He struggled. Those type of games usually go one way or the other. You either play great or you get caught up in the situation. I thought he came back in the fourth quarter and tried to fight down the starch, but it was a little too late. It wasn’t just Kyle; it was everybody collectively as a team.”
(On Jeremy Lin play) “This is the best game that Jeremy has played, no question. I thought he got his swagger back against New York. He had a little back contusion or spasm and didn’t practice Sunday but he came back yesterday (Monday) and got a lot of shots up. He’s been working hard with his shooting. If you work at something you’re probably going to get better at it. Its confidence, his mojo, his swagger whatever you want to call it. He looks more comfortable on the court.”
Confident. Everyone kept telling me to be aggressive. Keep attacking and make sure you play defence. That’s as good as it gets from me.
I’m just going out there and fitting in. Knowing my position, knowing my role.
Have to go out with a confidence and swagger. We have the pieces, not it’s just putting them together.
I’m just getting used to the NBA game style. How the game is played defensively and offensively. I think I’m just adjusting to everything.
MORE TIME FOR DAVIS
Dwane Casey is giving Ed Davis more time based on his solid play of late, but hopes the forward keeps it up.
“In the last two games, he’s really played big-time (15 points, 14 rebounds nine points, four rebounds in 10 minutes),” Casey said.
“Ed has been playing great. Rebounding, active in the paint, athletically. He’s one of our best rotating defensive guys now. He’s going to be rewarded with time and he’s got to make the most of his time, which he has done.”
Casey wants Davis and Amir Johnson to show up on the same night, which he pointed out has been rare.
Getting Bargnani, DeRozan and Lowry hot in the same game would be good as well.