The Toronto Raptors probably wish the season weren’t ending. A 24-point hammering of the Boston Celtics stretched the Raps’ winning streak to a 5-gamer, all against superior teams. DeMar DeRozan and Rudy Gay once again led the scoring parade, combining on 43 points. Contributions came from everywhere, as the Celtics threw the defenseless B team on the floor for much of the game. Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry didn’t make the trip at all, and Paul Pierce barely worked up a sweat. Instead, the fans at Air Canada Centre were treated to a display of skills by such Celtic luminaries as Terrence Williams and D.J. White. Oh well, they got pizza as the Raps were nearly at the magic century mark after 3 quarters.
Jonas Valanciunas enjoyed another big game, with 18 points, 7 boards and 3 blocked shots. His step-back jump shot is improving, as is his collection of low-post moves. I hope he plays summer league ball and returns for what should be a huge sophomore campaign. JV has been staying out of foul trouble lately, another sign of his maturation – yet he’s only 20! Alan Anderson finally rediscovered his shot, scoring 16. His late-season slump does not bode well for his return to the Raps. Kyle Lowry is providing steady work at the point, on this night dishing 8 assists against 2 turnovers, an acceptable ratio. John Lucas was capable in backup, with Sebastian Telfair once again bolted to the bench. Sorting out the point guard situation has to be near the top of the priority list for the Raps’ brain trust in the off-season.
Terrence Ross’ ankle issue kept him out of this game. One assumes he’s earmarked for another summer league “season”, where he has a number of skills to work on (I’ll be more specific in his Report Card, coming soon). Landry Fields blew the dust off his uniform, and provided 27+ minutes of reasonable play. He’s a smart player, I’ll give him that, as witnessed by his team-leading 11 rebounds, many of which he grabbed on the weak side by getting there first. We didn’t see the real Landry this season, and it’s an open question as to whether he can heal sufficiently from his arm injury to ever be the difference-maker he was as a rookie.
With the win, the Raps tied with Philly for #9 in the conference. Hurrah.
That’s my final recap for 2012-2013. We’ll start the off-season posts with team award winners.
Brian Boake is Senior Editor for Raptors Rapture. “Like” Raptors Rapture on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RaptorsRapture for all the latest news and updates about the best damn NBA team from Canada.