Game Notes: Foul Trouble Dooms Toronto

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GAME NOTES

* Washington tried sticking a bigger defender in Trevor Ariza on DeMar DeRozan which meant Bradley Beal was stuck guarding Terrence Ross. It worked well in slowing down DeRozan (two points in the first quarter) but Ross had a field day shooting 3’s over top of Beal (2-4 from beyond the arc and a game-high six points). Washington got Martell Webster into the game for Beal but it didn’t cool down Ross as he quickly popped a three in the eye of Webster. Ross finished the first quarter going 3-5 from beyond the arc.

* Toronto went an impressive 5-9 from beyond the arc in the first quarter. However, 45% of their field goal attempts (9-19) were from beyond the arc. They only attempted two free throws.

* Amir Johnson, Kyle Lowry and Patrick Patterson fouled out of the game. This forced Dwane Casey to give Jonas Valanciunas minutes after he sat him for most of the second overtime and it didn’t work out well. Marcin Gortat swatted two of his shots and Valanciunas looked lost defensively. Tyler Hansbrough was quickly brought into the game to replace Valanciunas.

* Andre Miller has given Washington’s bench a huge upgrade. Miller had 11 points and he helped Singleton have one of his best games so far in the NBA (13 points and nine boards). Singleton isn’t going to give away his minutes to Drew Gooden without a fight.

* Terrence Ross has moments where he looks lost or has mental lapses (like most young players), but watching John Salmons start the second half shows just how much Toronto relies on Ross as a defensive presence as Toronto’s top wing defender. Salmons just wasn’t up to the challenge and was repeatedly beat off the dribble.

* Loved the leg kick from Greivis Vasquez in the fourth quarter after his 3-pointer tied the game at 85. Vasquez was feeling it in the second half and finished the game with 26 points. Easily the best game he has had as a Raptor.

* Amir Johnson sent the ACC into a frenzy with his windmill dunk late in the fourth quarter.

* Kyle Lowry hit the deck hard at the end of regulation. He was slowing getting to his feet and even slower hobbling to the Raptors’ bench. Somehow he returned for overtime and had a big impact on Toronto winning the game. After in the locker room he was limping and grimacing.

* Jonas Valanciunas and Austin Daye had an elaborate pre-game dance/handshake. With Daye being traded to San Antonio, tonight Amir Johnson stepped in for Daye. The best I can do to explain it is to say it involves running, toe taps, finger snaps and jumping.  Yes, it looks as funny as it sounds.

* I don’t think either team was happy with the referees tonight…

* It was tough to stifle a laugh when I saw Andre Miller’s legs wrapped up in towels in Washington’s locker room. It reminded me of an old granny in a rocking chair keeping her legs warms with blankets.

* Amir Johnson was rocking some pretty sweet Superman Jordans after the game.

THEY SAID WHAT?

“John Salmons in a very quiet leader. He’s like E.F. Hutton. When he speaks people listen because he rarely speaks but when he does it’s profound.”
Dwane Casey

“I’m not happy because I scored (26 points) or I hit a couple three’s, I’d rather win. I’d trade all the personal stuff for a win.”
Greivis Vasquez

“Your body hurts a little bit more when you lose a game like this.”
Amir Johnson

“The hardest thing to do is develop (young players) and win at the same time. Luckily we’ve got some wins and these guys are developing at the same time. It’s tough to do because a lot of time those guys are in there when they don’t really deserve to.”
Dwane Casey

“I feel really sad. We’ve got to learn from mistakes. I feel really bad right now.”
Jonas Valanciunas

“We go out there every single night to win. We don’t go out there and compete and say, ‘oh, we gave it out best shot.’ We go out there and try to win every single game.”
Kyle Lowry

PODCAP

Audio from Dwane Casey, DeMar DeRozan, Greivis Vasquez, and Amir Johnson.

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About the Author

Ryan McNeill Ryan McNeill has appeared on ESPN Radio, MTV Canada, SiriusXM, The Fan 590 and other radio programs and TV shows. He has covered the NBA with media credentials since the 2007-08 season.