Toronto Raptors

The debut of Ed Davis in a Raptors uniform was a positive experience on all fronts for Raptors fans.  Davis looked good in his first NBA game while the Raptors dominated early and never let up. DeMar DeRozan led the team with 20 points but six other Raptors scored in double figures — including Davis who finished with 11 points, six rebounds and two blocks in 24 minutes off the bench.

My first impression of Davis is that he lives up to his reputation as a long, athletic player with good court awareness and solid defensive instincts. This highlight reel leads off with his first NBA basket off an offensive rebound, but we also have both his blocks, a highlight reel dunk on a fast break, great footwork in defending an Andray Blatche turnaround jumper, and a sweet layup from a Calderon feed.

It’s just one game against a lousy team, but he definitely looks like he deserves to continue getting 20-25 minutes per game. If he’s healthy the rest of the season, I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up leading the team in blocks.

After a recent rough stretch recovering from a hamstring injury, DeMar DeRozan was back to displaying the aggressiveness we saw earlier in the season. He scored 20 points on just 11 field goal attempts because he drove to the basket and got to the free throw line. Here we see a few examples of the kind of aggressiveness he will probably need to bring every game if he’s going to maximize his potnential in this league.

The entire Raptors squad played with fire last night, and Andrea Bargnani’s performance was probably most notable in that regard. The 18 points on 13 field goal attempts were nice, but the eight rebounds were even more welcome. Who needs Reggie Evans if Bargnani is going to attack the glass like that and with Davis, Amir Johnson and Joey Dorsey taking shifts with him in the frontcourt?

We’ll finish with a couple of impressive highlights from Bargnani’s night: a driving dunk on Javale McGee (who happens to be third in the NBA in blocks per game) and a rare offensive rebound and follow-up mini-hook for the basket. Once again, we’re reminded that he can do these things when his heart is in it.

There isn’t much to analyze about this game. The Raptors out-played and out-hustled the Wizards on all fronts and Washington doesn’t have the talent to stay in a game with anyone when they play like that. Fun fact: the Raptors will be tied for eighth in the Eastern Conference if the Cavs lose to the Heat tonight. That might give you a reason to watch that game… you know, if you didn’t have one already.