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DeRozan and the Raptors were in attack-mode from the opening tip

That, ladies and gentlemen, was just a good old-fashioned beat down. What you saw tonight is the result you can expect under the rare circumstance that every Raptor plays to his potential and beyond.

Toronto shot 58 per cent from the floor, had 72 points at the half, surpassed 100 in the third quarter and had seven players in double figures. You may not see a more complete victory all season.

The Raptors looked right from the opening minute. DeMar DeRozan scored Toronto’s first points on an aggressive drive to the basket. From that point on, the Raptors were off and running, and never looked back.

Tonight’s game was special for a couple of reasons. One, I’m pretty sure it’s the first time all three of the Raptors “Young Onez” (DeRozan, Weems and Johnson) started together. Second, and much more importantly, it was the NBA debut of Ed Davis.

After a long wait, the rookie did not disappoint, netting 11 points, six rebounds and two blocks in 24 solid minutes. While Davis’ movement in a bulky knee brace was a little awkward, you could see he has the hop in his step already. What I was most impressed with was his defensive awareness and rebounding position on pretty much every play.

There was a lot more to like from a Raptors’ perspective than just Davis, though.

After a stretch of disappearing acts from DeMar DeRozan and Sonny Weems, the pair combined for 38 points tonight, on 14-of-23 shooting in 28 minutes a piece. They also combined for 11 rebounds and six assists.

Andrea Bargnani ate up the Wizards defence for 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting in just 26 minutes of action. Jose Calderon continued his climb back to the good old days with a solid performance of 11 points, eight assists and just one turnover. Calderon was also very efficient shooting the ball, finishing 5-of-7.

Leandro Barbosa provided more than just a spark off the bench, dropping 16 quick points in 21 minutes.

And I have to mention Jerryd Bayless tonight. No, not just because he had his best offensive game as a Raptor with 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting or because he added five assists and six rebounds. The reason Bayless deserves honourable mention tonight is because he shut down John Wall. Yes, Wall was coming off of an injury, but make no mistake, Jerryd Bayless took it to him and outplayed the rookie tonight.

There were many occasions when it seemed that Wall wanted to blow by Bayless, only to realize that he couldn’t. When’s the last time you could say that about a Raptors point guard?

With news that Reggie Evans will be out eight weeks after having surgery on his broken foot, this has to come as a promising sign: the Raptors out-rebounded a lengthy, athletic Wizards team by a count of 52-30.

No, a demolishing of the Wizards is not a statement. But it’s the way in which the Raptors grabbed their seventh win that should have fans optimistic.

None of the Raptors’ previous six victories truly demonstrated the potential this team has like Wednesday night’s victory did. DeRozan, Weems, Bargnani, Bayless and even Ed Davis all had a hand in the blowout.

In a season of question marks, that’s a nice step in the right direction.

Raptors Player of the Game: DeMar DeRozan – 28 Min, 20 Pts, 7-11 FG, 1-1 3Pt, 5-7 FT, 6 Reb, 3 Ast

Wizards Player of the Game: JaVale McGee - 27 Min, 21 Pts, 8-12 FG, 5-8 FT, 7 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Blk

Goat of the Game: Gilbert Arenas – 29 Min, 7 Pts, 1-10 FG, 0-2 3Pt, 5-6 FT, 2 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 TO (Gil was completely invisible in this one. He’s had some nice games this season, but he looked like a washed up D-Leaguer tonight, and I’m not exaggerating)

Random side-note: I thought it was nice to see Drake sitting courtside, in an average-guy Jays hoodie, for a random Wednesday night ball game against the Wizards.

Comments (4)

  1. What a great game! I agree Scott, Davis looked like he just has great timing and positioning out on the floor. I think he has great potential. The thing that got me most exited tonight was watching Bayless. I love his game! He is definitely not your natural pass first PG, but he brings an incredibly ability to get to the rim, and some attitude on defense as well.

    I’m really excited about this young team, they are a whole lot of fun to watch night in and night out. With this youth, I hope BC plays it slow and just lets them develop together. No more block-buster trades, just be patient for 3-4 years, add though the draft and let this team grow. Good times ahead if we stay patient!

  2. Most Importantly a TEAM WIN, 28 ast from 8 contributors, and 52 rebounds from 10 contributors, with 8 each from Bargnani and Dorsey. Reggie who ??

  3. Two things I haven’t seen on a Raptor team in a long time:

    - A rotational PG (not Marcus Banks) play lockdown defense against a very good, quick PG

    - An defensively intimidating front line, as when Davis and Amir played together. I’d like to see a lot more of that.

  4. Fun to watch. I think Davis exceeded everyones expectations in his first game. I agree with above it was incredible to see how aware were everyone was on the court and was pretty much always in the right position. His help side and just his qiuck leaping ability he is going to be a defensive force down low. Its very exciting watching this team grow and improve.

    As for Bayless looks like he’ll be taking over as a fan favorite from Reggie. His intensity and his willingness to get to the basket is really fun to watch.

    Im kinda hoping that Keliza can come around he played alright last night but it was obvious he was trying to get back on track he wasnt even looking to pass when he got the ball.

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