Anyone surprised with the outcome of this one?
Didn’t think so. What was surprising, was that the Raptors cut a 29-point deficit down to 10 in the fourth quarter before ultimately succumbing to a more talented Knicks team.
While Andrea Bargnani started for the Raptors, he played just eight minutes before sitting out with a sore right ankle. In his absence, Ed Davis was solid once again, scoring a career-high 22 points to go with 13 rebounds. DeMar DeRozan was also brilliant offensively with 36 points and 10 rebounds, shooting 13-for-27 from the floor. DeRozan also made a three-pointer and added three assists, a steal and a blocked shot.
For the third straight game, Jerryd Bayless showed his skills to the Raptors coaching staff, starting in place of the injured Jose Calderoon once again. Bayless finished with 19 points and five assists before fouling out in 36 minutes of playing time.
Game wise, the Raptors fell behind big, early, trailing 78-54 at the half. They continued fighting, though. In what sounds like a broken record, the team is doing the right things as the season winds down, working and hustling and showing off the improvements and growth that has occured during a season marred with many defeats.
If I had my way, I’d almost prefer to see the young guys continue to get the majority of the minutes down the stretch, just so the team can see what they’re working with before the draft. I think it’s important to see what Bayless has to offer, and any time Davis gets the minutes and attention he got tonight, it’s a step forward for the talented rookie.
I don’t call the shots, though. Guess we’ll see how that all unfolds, but in the meantime, the Raptors have the Cavaliers at home tomorrow. Will they be able to shake off tired legs and show up for their home crowd? Can Bayless continue to piece together strong performances, starting in place of Calderon? What about DeRozan? He’s already had such a strong sophomore season, will he finish off strong? I’d be willing to bet yes.
Knicks player of the game: Toney Douglas – 28 pts, 10-for-15 fgs, 6-for-9 3pt fgs, 1 reb, 5 asts, 2 stls
Raptors player of the game: DeMar DeRozan – 36 pts, 13-for-27 fgs, 1-for-3 3pt fgs, 10 rebs, 3 asts, 1 stl, 1 blk
Goat of the game: Andrea Bargnani – 8 minutes, 0 points, 0-for-4 fgs, 1 reb, 2 asts