For once the Raptors are on the right side of a blow out. Wednesday night the Raptors showed that they mean business in the preseason, as they just simply tore Phoenix apart. Last night we saw a Raptor team that ran, made their shots, and set each other up; a confident, young bunch who look like they're enjoying playing with each other. They established dominance early and got the crowd involved so that they would cheer for the Raptors and not just Steve Nash (the game was in British Columbia, Stevies home province). The Raps shot a blistering 50% from the field against a Suns team where defense isn't even on their list of priorities. I, myself, was more impressed with the long ball. Not only did the Dinos shoot 60% from 3, but they only took 10 threes! In true non-Raptor fashion, all night the Raps looked to pound the ball inside and looked for the mid range jumper (the lost art in the game of basketball).
Let's take a look at the Raptor defense as well. They limited the Suns to just 78 points on 38% shooting from the field and only 17% from three. Sure this is a Suns team that clearly misses Amare and has just traded for the Plague (Hidayet Turkoglu), but hey, try and give credit where its due.
Player of the Game
I was tempted to give the PotG nod to David Andersen simply for growing out his hair and having some amazing flow, But i had to give it to Linas Kleiza. Kleiza did everything last night, en route to nabbing 20 points and 5 rebounds in 20 minutes (7-9 field goal shooting). Trey-za (sorry, I had to) was on fire from three, hitting 4-4 from beyond the arc. He made the Suns Pay-za (I really am sorry, its just too easy) for leaving him open both from inside and outside. Simply put, he Amaz-za-d us (that was the last one, I promise).
Joey Dorsey was an animal last night. He had a put-back slam that made me forget he was Joey Dorsey. Then I remembered he shot 4-9 from the foul line... In any case JoDor put up 13 and 10 in 17 minutes.
DeMar DeRozan put together a solid game, scoring 16 points in 20 minutes. He even showed off his new trey-ball, shooting 1-1 from three point land.
Last night was the first time in a while where Raptor basketball was actually enjoyable to watch. The players were loose and actually doing what they were supposed to do. I love preseason Raptor basketball!!!