Unfortunately, Amir left with an injury on "Amir Bobblehead" night

Amir left with an injury on “Amir Bobblehead” night

An absolutely atrocious fourth quarter was the difference on Wednesday night as the playoff-bound Hawks took care of business in Toronto, clinching a playoff berth in the process.

Here are some brief thoughts on the game…

Hawks 107, Raptors 88

-The fourth quarter was a disaster for Toronto. The score was 75-75 to begin the final frame and the Hawks embarrassed Toronto at both ends of the floor for 12 minutes. Toronto’s aggressive nature from the first half disappeared –  Al Horford and Jeff Teague got whatever they wanted in the pick-and-roll. On offence, everything seemed to be running through Alan Anderson, which resulted in a lot of contested jump shots. The Raptors shot 5-of-20 from the field in the fourth, while allowing Atlanta to shoot 13-of-19.

-Credit goes to Rudy Gay, who is dealing with back spasms – among other things – but came out of the gate with a complete effort. He was aggressive on offense early in the game (5/9 FG in first half), tied a season-high with 12 boards and competed on the defensive end, even protecting the rim as a power forward.

-We’ve talked about this before, but Gay has a very bad habit of complaining too much about calls. Every single NBA player believes they don’t get a fair shake from the referees, butRudy spends far too much time glaring at the officials when he should be running back on defence.

-At times, the game appears to come very easily to Terrence Ross, and at times he makes it look way harder than it should be. Towards the end of the second quarter, Ross gave a quick head fake and blew past his defender for an open jam. Then in the third quarter he showed how quickly he can elevate on the fast break (video below). In the fourth quarter (where he received 8+ minutes), he became passive in the offence and his lack of dribbling ability was exposed.

-Amir Johnson was having another productive game until he was injured early in the third quarter and limped to the locker room…

-Jonas Valanciunas is more impressive every time he steps on the floor. He went toe-to-toe with Atlanta’s all-star Al Horford. JV showed a variety of hook shots that he was not comfortable using early in the season. In the first half, he was backing down Horford at will. Horford is an undersized defender, but he plays with very good positioning. The 19 points were the second most Valanciunas has scored this season. Fans will be happy with the 8+ minutes he received in both the third and fourth quarters.

-Alan Anderson needs to hold clinics to teach DeMar DeRozan, Ross and Gay his jab-step. Anderson has the worst foot speed of any Toronto wing player and yet he gets to the basket with ease because of that killer jab-step and the counter moves that accompany it. Having said that, it by no means excuses his poor shot selection, which was also prevalent on Wednesday. Anderson was 5-of-13 from the field and had a 2-to-3 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Hawks Player of the Game: Jeff Teague – 24 Pts, 9/15 FG, 3/4 3pt, 3-3 FT, 4 Reb, 13 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 TO in 34:44

Raptors Player of the Game: Jonas Valanciunas – 19 Pts, 8/11 FG, 3-4 FT, 8 Reb, 1 Blk, 2 TO in 31:34

Comments (7)

  1. It’s a bit annoying that Jonas still needs to create so many of his own shots, however he shows that eventually he will be able to do it on a constant basis. He showed improved strength and amazingly went to the line for 4 And-Ones.

  2. While Valaciunas had a really good offensive outing, his defense was inexcusable and lacklustre. That’s the kind of lazy defense I’ve come to expect from Bargnani, not our energetic rookie.

    A simple pull-up off of a drive from Horford would lose Valanciunas completely, and you can’t be losing a good mid-range shooter like Horford so easily.

  3. Lowry suckssssssssssssssss!!!!

  4. I can’t beleive people are still watching AND analyzing these games. lol Next year……or maybe the one after that…….or the one after that….. We’ll have something to talk about eventually, I’m sure of it. lol

    • I agree, these games don’t mean much outside of how Val and Ross look but game by game analysis has always been a staple of this blog since the days of Carefoot. Raptorblog wouldn’t be too much fun over the last few years if they just checked out when the team did.

    • @Sly …and you clicked your way to Raptorblog why?

      • @ Raptorman
        I surf the net on my downtime at work and I wanted to see who won the game…and i like this blog. Do you want more reasons? Let me know.

        Good point. Just another very frustrating season, that’s all…. Maybe that’s part of the reason why I come on here, to vent out my frustration on you and anyone else who gets in my way. muahahahaha

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