Raps destroy Grizz 108-72 – Pre-season game recap

The Toronto Raptors raced out to a hefty lead last night against the Memphis Grizzlies, and were never threatened on their way to an emphatic 108-72 victory. It was empty-the-bench night for Raps’ coach Dwane Casey, as he was afforded the luxury of allowing both his regulars and his no-name hopefuls to play significant minutes. Only Steve Novak, who appears to be nursing a hand injury, didn’t take off his sweats. Speaking of injuries, the night was not completely pain-free for the Raps. Kyle Lowry departed after hurting his left hand pinky, and Jonas Valanciunas received an nasty elbow smash from Zach Randolph. JV rolled around, then got up on his own speed and did not reappear after dashing to the dressing room for some stitches. Randolph’s night was done as well; the foul (a Flagrant-1) was his sixth.

Oct 23, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Memphis Grizzlies forward Jon Leuer (30) controls the ball as Toronto Raptors forward Austin Daye (5) defends at Air Canada Centre. The Raptors beat the Grizzlies 108-72. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Raps were solid all around, but the Grizz played like extras from the set of The Walking Dead. Here’s a quick stat showing how outclassed Memphis was – the Raps’ starting five of Kyle, Jonas, Amir Johnson, Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan averaged a plus-26, compared to the Memphis’ starters minus-23. Rudy was excellent on both sides of the ball, contributed 2 superb blocked shots to his 15 points and 5 boards. He made both 3-balls he tried, and Amir and Quincy Acy drained one each, much to the delight of the home fans. Shooting from distance was not a problem for the Raps, as they ended the night 10 of 19, led by Austin Daye, who was 3 of 3 on the way to his best night as a Rap. Toronto got to the foul line 26 times and made Memphis pay, hitting 24. DeMar continued his excellent pre-season with a number of well-judged drives to the hoop, and finished with a team-high 21 points. Kyle had only one bucket, but 10 assists against 2 turnovers is the kind of ratio we’re looking for.

The backup point guard spot remains wide-open, as none of the candidates had a good night. Dwight Buycks can score the ball, at least, but a shoot-first PG would not be to my liking. D.J. Augustin’s only shot was an air ball. Carlos Morais got a chance to show his stuff and hit a 3, but I have to believe he’s earmarked for the D-League. Julyan Stone’s presence on the team is a mystery to me.

The Raps travel to Milwaukee on Friday for their final pre-season game. Bring on the regular season, folks, I think we’re ready.

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.

Remember, for the best deals on Toronto Raptors tickets for any game on the 2013-14 NBA schedule, visit our friends at TiqIQ.com.

 

Topics: DeMar DeRozan, Dwane Casey, Jonas Valanciunas, Kyle Lowry, Memphis Grizzlies, Rudy Gay, Toronto Raptors

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  • RyanMueller

    IMO the backup PG should go to DJ as he has more experience than the other candidates. He has provided to be a solid floor general. I like getting guys that had a down year last season because now they have something to prove. With Kyle seemly getting an injury every other week, having DJ’s experience around is something Coach Casey will no doubt appreciate.

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Ryan:
      Your words are prophetic. Kyle is out for tonight against the Bucks, so D.J. Augustin (good point about him having something to prove!) is going to get a lot of burn. He’s going to need to both score and dish, without turnovers – a tall order. The pretenders (Bucyks, Stone, Morais) may also see a bunch of PT. Now or never, guys; it’s time to trim the roster.
      Thanks for commenting.