Another pretty strange night in this back to back games against Toronto.
We knew it was going to be a hard game, because by winning this game, the Raptors had the chance to clinch a playoff spot after six years, and you always get an extra motivation when there are the playoffs in the picture.
As we’ve done more than once this year, we let them go away in the third quarter, and we haven’t been able to complete an incredible comeback in the fourth, even if we played a great period. There has been a couple of guys that gave us some trouble, like Vasquez with his fifteen points off the bench, but I the biggest problem is that we haven’t been able to stop DeRozan, that scored 24 points in the second half.
The shooting percentage from last night looks really good, with six guys finishing in double figure, but I think that in the last games we haven’t been able to grab as many boards as we should. Moreover, Toronto has been really good in taking advantage of the loose balls, scoring 21 points off of our 16 turnovers.
I really can’t say that our five starters didn’t play a good game, with everyone but Bradley shooting the ball over 50% but as I said, none was particularly good off the boards, with Rondo being our best rebounder with 5. And I also would like to see everyone more aggressive around the basket: I’ve been saying this since the beginning of the year, because, with the exception of some guys on certain nights, we don’t get enough free throws.
Even if our starters played a good game, today I want to do something a little different and talk about the guys that came off the bench that really pulled us back in the game and made this a close game:
The first of them is Sully that played a lot of minutes as the sixth man, and got close to another double double finishing with 11 points and leading the team in rebounds with 9. Unlike the fourth quarter of the previous game against Toronto, he had some trouble shooting the ball, but his solid all-around game is always there.
Kelly gave a big contribution once again with 10 points, six of which in the fourth quarter. It’s pretty strange for a guy like him to grab just a couple of boards, and I’m also not used to see him without assist because he’s usually pretty smart with the ball and he spoiled me a little bit.
Chris Johnson scored just six points, but he deserves a special mention because all of those points came in the fourth quarter, and he’s been another one of those guys that gave us a chance to play until the very last minute.
That said, there’s absolutely no doubt that the star of the night is Jerryd Bayless: our second unit guard finished the game with 20 points on 8 for 13 shooting, to go with three assists and a couple of boards in a 26 minutes effort. Jerryd has been the one that single handedly brought us back in the game in the last period, playing the last twelve minutes and recording 14 points shooting 6 for 8. Had we been able to support him a little bit more, I would be here talking about a very different game.
Another back to back games is waiting for us now against Chicago.
We don’t have a chance to make it to the playoffs, but let’s remind everyone what we’re made of.