Toronto Raptors vs. Brooklyn Nets Post-Game Grades


Toronto Raptors vs. Brooklyn Nets Post-Game Grades

It was only a matter of time before the Toronto Raptors’ perfect record against divisional opponents came to an end.

The Brooklyn Nets and their $92 million payroll rolled into the Air Canada Centre on Wednesday and manhandled their hosts, en route to a 109-93 victory.

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Toronto came out with a vengeance, shooting 60 percent in the first quarter, led by Kyle Lowry’s eight points, four assists and four rebounds in the period.

That effectiveness wore off and by the time all was said and done, fans were heading for the exits early.

Here are the post-game grades for every Raptor that saw at least five minutes of action on Wednesday.

Kyle Lowry – Grade: B-

Feb 4, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) scores a basket during the first quarter in a game against the Brooklyn Nets at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

As mentioned, Lowry started the contest with an aggressive mindset, scoring and distributing the ball. As time wore on, the all-star’s efficiency tapered off as he finished 5-of-13 from the field with four turnovers. He did manage to register a double-double of 13 points and 10 assists, but it still was not a great outing for the starting point guard.

Greivis Vasquez – Grade: D-

Decked out with a brand new haircut, the Venezuelan struggled mightily out of the gate, missing a couple of open looks. He laboured defensively as well, allowing Alan Anderson to develop an early rhythm. Vasquez played 21 minutes, ending up with a team-worst -21 rating.

DeMar DeRozan – Grade: C-

Typically known as a level-headed competitor, DeRozan was ejected in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter. He was assessed a flagrant two after a slight body check on Bojan Bogdanovic. It was definitely a questionable call when you consider what Andre Drummond did to James Johnson back in December was only called a flagrant one. DeRozan’s final line was 13 points and six assists on 5-of-13 shooting.

Amir Johnson – Grade: B

Feb 4, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) dribbles as Toronto Raptors forward Amir Johnson (15) tries to defend during the first quarter in a game at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a disappointing performance against Milwaukee on Monday, Johnson had a solid night, finishing with nine points and five rebounds in 26 minutes of burn. The California native’s improved shooting stroke was on display as he drilled a three off a catch-and-shoot look before nailing a baseline jumper. As ugly as it looks, it’s hard to argue with the results.

Jonas Valanciunas – Grade: B

After sitting out all but seven minutes of the second half on Monday night, Valanciunas played 33 minutes versus the Nets. Going up against bigger bodies in Mason Plumlee and Brook Lopez, JV was not nearly as dominant on Wednesday. He still managed good production, ending the evening with nine points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots.

Lou Williams – Grade: F

Lou, what are you doing? Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse for the potential Sixth Man of the Year candidate, he puts up his second consecutive stinker. Wednesday’s 1-of-11 performance was even worse than Monday’s because the 28-year-old failed to do damage at the free-throw line. If the Raptors want to have a chance during their gruelling month of February, they need Williams to break out of his shooting slump ASAP.

Patrick Patterson – Grade: B-

Jan 18, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors forward Patrick Patterson (54) celebrates after making a three-point shot against the New Orleans Pelicans at Air Canada Centre. The Pelicans beat the Raptors 95-93. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

“2Pat” struggled with his perimeter game, connecting on only one of his five attempts from long distance, but still managed to turn in a fairly solid outing. Patterson netted 11 points and pulled down eight rebounds in the defeat. There’s no way he would be satisfied with the team’s interior defence, though, as Brooklyn racked up points in the paint at will.

Terrence Ross – Grade: A-

Ross was the first man off the bench for Dwane Casey, replacing Vasquez midway through the first quarter. Active on defence early, the former first-round draft pick was a big factor in Toronto’s early success. Raining down five three-pointers on the night, Ross was the Raptors’ most productive player, pouring in 23 points by the final whistle.

Tyler Hansbrough – Grade: C

Matching up with Lopez in the first half, “Psycho-T” was quickly removed from the game in favour of the larger Valanciunas. In the second half, Hansbrough saw a little bit more floor time, amassing six points in six fourth-quarter minutes.