Wolves at Raptors Points Per Game: Lowry, DeRozan lead the way with help from Anderson

- November 5th, 2012

Impressive performance by the Raptors on Sunday in front of another packed house. After a lot of no-shows in the pre-season, Toronto is showing up for the regular season.

The Raptors sleep-walked through the first quarter a bit, but hung around and turned it on in the fourth. Some thoughts.

- Vince Carter, Chris Bosh and Damon Stoudamire have to be the only other Raptors to reel off three games in a row as impressive as Kyle Lowry’s. Saying Lowry has been impressive is an understatement. Offensively he’s been near flawless, but he’s been just as effective defensively. Lowry bothers opponents, throws them off their game, then smirks at them when he steals the ball off of them and goes in for a layup. When I told Alan Anderon Lowry was pissing off Luke Ridnour, Anderson’s response was humourous, but truthful: “Kyle pisses off everybody.” Except for Raptors fans.

- I’ll be the first to admit I was harsh on Bryan Colangelo about the DeMar DeRozan contract. DeRozan didn’t provide a lot of clues in the past that he was prepared to expand his game the way he has so far. His defence has been considerably better, as has his work on the boards. He also looks extremely comfortable beside Lowry. He’s attempting threes again (and making some) which makes sense, as the long twos he favoured in the past are the worst shot in the game. They aren’t effective, but threes are very effective, as long as he can hit over 30% of them. If he gets there, he’s a lot more efficient and Colangelo and DeRozan are going to prove a lot of us wrong. That said, it’s still early, DeRozan needs to keep playing like this. On the other hand, the word is DeRozan has been particularly attentive in devouring video this year, trying to figure out what he has been doing wrong and how to get better.

- Amir Johnson and Ed Davis have become a nice big man combo off of the bench. They provided a boost with good work on the boards and defensively. Davis needs to go up a bit stronger, but his jump shot has improved, as advertised.

- Said a lot about Anderson in my game story, so will only add here that he’s a great story. A true pro, who is loving every minute of his NBA return. Had some great comments on being taken under Kevin Garnett’s wing when Garnett was a young man who owned Anderson’s native Minneapolis. Anderson was a standout high school wide receiver like his best friend, the great Larry Fitzgerald Jr.

- What is up with Andrea Bargnani? If DeRozan keeps playing like this, there’s only one major problem in the starting lineup. Bargnani doesn’t look like he’s in shape yet and he doesn’t look like he fits in this offence. I always liked when he went into the blocks and scored some points down low. Right now, he’s just camping out at the three-point line, hoping to fake his way into an open shot or a drive to the hoop. The Raptors don’t have any low-post threats (aside from DeRozan posting up smaller guards), so Bargnani is the best bet to go to work down there. His work on the boards has been appalling, but his defence has been solid. If Bargnani ever gets it going with Lowry and DeRozan cooking, the Raptors are going to be pretty competitive.

- I don’t consider Landry Fields not doing much on offence a major problem. You can get away with one guy in a starting lineup who doesn’t score much, but does just about everything else above average. You can’t have two inefficient primary scorers who don’t do much elsewhere, which was how one could describe Bargnani and DeRozan in the past.

 

Categories: Basketball, NBA, Toronto Raptors

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