GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 38: SPURS AT RAPTORS, 12-1-2020, 5PM (CT)

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GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 38: SPURS AT RAPTORS, 12-1-2020, 5PM (CT) 

Post#1 » by GREY 1769 » Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:45 pm

(Working as Sammy's good vibe proxy):

Continuing on the road but in familiar confines for DeMar and Jakob hopefully prove fruitful for the good guys. We need to rely on what got us some good wins recently, namely getting back in transition, protecting the ball, contesting P&Rs and 3s, and good to great makes from constant movement. Hustle and heart. Let's get after it, Spurs!

WHERE: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON

WHEN: Sunday, January 12, 2020, 5pm (CT)

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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 38: SPURS AT RAPTORS, 12-1-2020, 5PM (CT) 

Post#2 » by ducler » Sun Jan 12, 2020 9:08 pm

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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 38: SPURS AT RAPTORS, 12-1-2020, 5PM (CT) 

Post#3 » by GREY 1769 » Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:12 am

We've largely looked out of sync on O thanks to DeMar's regression of playing here like he did when he was here. Can't hold onto the ball for so long then drive into three defenders late in the clock for rushed shots. Slightly better in the second Q, but then our D rotations for their 3s are inconsistent.

Our second unit brought some energy on both ends, but overall the team needs to get into another two, three gears up. Making some buckets will help, too.
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 38: SPURS AT RAPTORS, 12-1-2020, 5PM (CT) 

Post#4 » by balrog27 » Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:02 am

i had money on spurs today, what an emotional rollercoaster this game was lmao.
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 38: SPURS AT RAPTORS, 12-1-2020, 5PM (CT) 

Post#5 » by GREY 1769 » Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:06 am

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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 38: SPURS AT RAPTORS, 12-1-2020, 5PM (CT) 

Post#6 » by imagump1313 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:49 am

This is why its quiet when we win.
Its cool we won and I'm glad they didn't fold being down seemingly all game, but games like this don't feel great. It feels more like the Raptors lost than we won.
Great for DeRozan that he redeemed his mistakes from last year there but I don't enjoy watching his hero ball offense for 48 minutes with everyone else seeming to just stand around. Its just the way we play. There are plenty of reasons you already mentioned why we were down but it was nice to see them get a road win.
I'm trying to lower my expectations and enjoy the ride.
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 38: SPURS AT RAPTORS, 12-1-2020, 5PM (CT) 

Post#7 » by GREY 1769 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:42 am

imagump1313 wrote:This is why its quiet when we win.
Its cool we won and I'm glad they didn't fold being down seemingly all game, but games like this don't feel great. It feels more like the Raptors lost than we won.
Great for DeRozan that he redeemed his mistakes from last year there but I don't enjoy watching his hero ball offense for 48 minutes with everyone else seeming to just stand around. Its just the way we play. There are plenty of reasons you already mentioned why we were down but it was nice to see them get a road win.
I'm trying to lower my expectations and enjoy the ride.

Well this is where we disagree, largely due to the approach game by game. Both times we won and discussed lack of discussion about the games, we went on huge runs to come from behind big deficits to win. Whereas you focus on other teams waning, I pointed out adjustments we made. In this case, we started Jakob in the second half for Trey, and in the 4th Q we played zone to disrupt their shooting, get stops and make shots of our own. A 17-0 run is never solely because the other team just stops playing. So I think while they had a final shot to win and missed has something to do with what you're saying, coming back from 18 points down is also about what we changed about how we were playing and did well.

Also, there's something about complaint / negativity that tends to draw people out more. Not sure if it's a human nature element to it, but you do tend to see trends of this nature on the GB, for instance.

It's a balance of critique and credit I'm trying to bring attention to is all. To that end, there were things we did and have been doing in the last 10 games or so that have reaped better results and the record versus good teams shows it.
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 38: SPURS AT RAPTORS, 12-1-2020, 5PM (CT) 

Post#8 » by GREY 1769 » Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:06 am

Well there are no two ways about it - we needed this one as much as we fought back in the fourth in particular to get it.

A slow start, out of sync on O and a bit tentative overall as a result of early misses, especially from the 3. DeMar said in a post-game interview that it took him a while to adjust to what was thrown at him defensively, but I hadn't noticed anything really new outside of his being doubled up high between half court and the 3 arc. He did revert to a style of play that he was often criticized for in the past, over-dribbling, driving into multiple defenders, and then passing out to teammates with nowhere near as much time on the clock as we'd need to get up good to great shots. Then again, we were even missing the wide open ones. So while his early style of play forced us into suboptimal shots, the misses put all the more pressure on the open shots to be made, and they weren't, so it compounded our O issues. At times I felt we relied too much on a drive and kick and used it automatically rather than looking for other, better shots that actually were available and closer to the basket.

They also doubled LMA quite a bit, and he didn't have a prolific shooting or scoring night, but still stretched the floor with his six 3 attempts, hitting two of them, and found others for 4 assists. LMA made some smart winning plays that don't show up in stats but were instrumental to the outcome. When we were down 10 in the 2nd Q, they drove and collapsed to block it, with DJ getting the ball but it was because LMA tipped it to him and then ran the floor drawing defenders which allowed a trailing Bryn to hit an in-rhythm open 3. He also made a final tip of their second last shot miss which Lonnie grabbed and passed to DeMar, a key sequence to maintain possession for us. Head's up smarts and effort plays on both ends.

DJ did well early to find pockets of space, operating mostly on the left side on his drives, baseline Js, and non-paint 2s. He was active on the boards grabbing 7, including tied for team-high 2 on O. He has a knack for them, and is willing to mix it up to get them, so I like his ownership of that aspect of his game.

He was one of four Spurs with 4 assists each, and we had eight players overall with assists. These were distributed with 13 for the starters, and 11 for the bench, a really nice balance indicating various guys looking for and finding one another. Though we had trouble scoring, as the game progressed, we settled into our O and had 8 assists in the pivotal 4th Q.

It looked hard for us to score at times, and we made it hard on ourselves, too, but I liked that we kept at it. Our scoring, though inefficient, kept trending the right way from one Q to the next, culminating in our best one in the 4th with 8 assists for 36 points.

It's tough when Trey and Bryn are more consistently inconsistent on O. Pop made the adjustment to start Jakob in the second half and give us a different yet familiar (from last season) look with the bigs, but at this point Jakob had already doubled Trey in minutes 14-7, and finished with 20 minutes without playing in the 4th Q. In that time, Jakob went 2-3 two key blocks (great timing) and a team-high 10 rebounds.

Trey played a starter-low 14 minutes (third lowest on the team in this game) and I wonder whether it had something in part to do with his not shooting any 3s. We still hit our goal of at least 30, and it's good that he has drives and weak side cuts in addition to rebounding in his game, but he's one of those guys we need contributing to spread the floor, too.

Bryn. Bless his heart. Just tough to watch him out there being too much in his own head rather than keeping things simple. Missed shots are combined with strange plays like actually jumping in the air for some reason at the arc to pass to LMA who was like three feet beside him, or doing that jab step and reach out in a help D and recovery attempt but he is so far away he swipes at air. It's getting hard to see him struggle. In theory he's out there to get 3s because DeMar doesn't take them, but when Bryn's bread and butter isn't there (3-10, 1-6 from 3, 1 board, 1 assist), it's another one of those nights. Like Trey's, Pop limited Bryn's minutes and at 20 there were four bench players with at least as many.

Beli got some court time and in just 12 minutes he went 2-4, plus 4 rebounds, 3 assists (including for the other two 3s in the 4th Q), and a steal. His huge 3 in the 4th from the top of the arc after a ball fake was a retro make at the perfect time. He's actually very crafty in those off ball movements and quick fakes because they're compact and he can recover from them quickly to rest and shoot. Huge credit to him for coming off the bench and making the most of his time. Big boost on O.

Of course, for all of DeMar's early troubles, it was his push behind which we rallied. Only one shot and a miss at that in the 1st Q. Cue the footwear change. DeMar ditched the red sneakers after the first 12 minutes, and donned the black ones to start the second. Ok, he only went 1-3 then, and finished the half 1-4FGs and 1-4FTs, so it skews the black sneaker shift narrative a bit. Jakob had more points than DeMar at the half. But DeMar was smoking in the 3rd Q, hitting 5-6FGs, and 4-4FTs. Of course, it wasn't all a perfect script. There was a sequence in the 3rd in which he passed to Jakob for a miss, and they hit a 3 in transition that led to a Pop timeout. DeMar then over-dribbled, they stole it, and hit another 3. Another Pop timeout. Series of like that are both an indication of bad trends that needed curbing right quick and good game management that set us straight.

Still, DeMar drove with physicality, shot with confidence, passed with purpose, dunked with a vengeance that turned our energies around. He led us in scoring with 25 on 7-12, team-high 11-14FTs (after the 1st Q, he didn't miss the rest of the way, including a clutch pair late in the game to put us ahead by 4), starter-high 8 rebounds, 2 steals, 4 assists. He made it harder on himself than it needed to be, though I wonder to what extent returning here and having another tribute video shown affected him emotionally and it took him a bit longer to process through all of that. Something just seemed to weigh on him early on, but whatever it was, he shed it for the most part in the second half.

They went on a 13-4 run early as a result of our misses on one end and allowing too-open Js and 3s in transition. But we collapsed well in the key, and had some key stops via deflections, steals (6) and blocks (5). Jakob's 1st Q block of a 3 attempt stands out, as does Derrick's running down shooters for a team-high 3 blocks. Patty had an off night (3-12, just 1-7 from 3, 2-3FTs), and I've said before that Derrick needs to be more aggressive to like how he was last season, and he flipped a switch in the 4th Q. Whereas DJ did most of his scoring in the 1st (3-4), Derrick showed that assertiveness in the 4th hitting 4-5, all in and just at the paint, and got the the FT line for 3-4 for 13 points plus 4 rebounds to complete a solid contribution on both ends. Rudy led the bench with 15 points on 5-9 including an energy-shifting dunk, 2-5 from 3, and bench-high 5-6FTs. They were the three bench that got us to the FT line 13 out our 30 total attempts. Again, like with our assists, good support and balance. Our bench outscored theirs 48-24.

We were down 18 points at one point, but a 17-0 run in the 4th Q mostly on relentless movement-based drives from multiple guys, timely O rebounding (Patty getting his own 3 miss for a layup), Derrick hustling back to block a corner 3 attempt, and our zone D that threw them out of rhythm gave us the momentum we needed. Great adjustment, that, as well as Pop putting Lonnie in with Derrick, Patty, DeMar, and LMA in for defense after Beli made his huge 3 to put us ahead 103-101. It was at this point that LMA tapped out their miss that Lonnie secured. Young man wants meaningful minutes, well there you go. Despite a quiet O contribution and fewer minutes, he was out there for a very important part of the game, and it was for the D end of it.

Pop then switched Beli back in with that group for our final O possession, and though we inbounded and got the foul call, oof LMA's FT misses made for a nerve wracking ending. We stayed with the shooter about as well as we could without risking fouling, and with the miss, that was game.

Sure it could have gone either way at the end, but we also could have folded when down big but put together a great run. Sure they had shots to pull away, but we secured the ball, and while LMA missed his FTs, we still kept getting back the lead, the last time because DeMar made his.

We did well to make key adjustments in rotations and style of play throughout the game, won the board battle 51-45 (9-8 on O), points in the paint 50-34, fast break points 22-13; we gave up 9 points on our 11 turnovers, but made the most of their 12 TOs for 20 points. So while our efficiency was lacking in this game, we did do several things well that chipped away at the deficit and chipped in for the win.

Some things to work on include stronger, more assertive starts, hitting our FTs (22-30 in this game), contesting 3s, and hitting our own. As to the last point, we worked so hard to get a nine-point lead late in the game only for them to hit 4 straight 3s and the FT made for a 10-0 run and get a 101-100 lead. They made 10 more 3s on 15 more attempts, including those four late, so we need to be mindful of the moment and the game plan considering half their shots were from behind the arc.

Still, we did not lose our composure then either it was now that Beli's shot happened, and a series of right plays were rewarded with grace. We made only seven 3s all game, but three of them (on 8 attempts) came in the 4th Q. These were part on an effort to just keep trying, kept driving, staying with it and not letting bad plays get to us, getting good stops, making good shots and adjustments. In a game where truly every play counted, each of these contributed to a lesson-filled game, but one in which we did just enough things well to seal a much needed victory.

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