Raptors Use Balanced Attack to Defeat Knicks, 118-107

Nov 12, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) reacts after falling to the floor during the fourth quarter in a game against the New York Knicks at Air Canada Centre. The Toronto Raptors won 118-107. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 12, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) reacts after falling to the floor during the fourth quarter in a game against the New York Knicks at Air Canada Centre. The Toronto Raptors won 118-107. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports /

Playing on the second half of a back-to-back, an all around team effort carried the Toronto Raptors (7-2) past the New York Knicks (3-6), 118-107.

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Thoughts and Observations

  • Once again, the Toronto Raptors put together an excellent fourth quarter to seal a 118-107 victory over the New York Knicks. The Raptors only shot 36 percent in the fourth quarter, but they scored 10 of their 31 points from the free throw line and ultimately put the game away at the charity stripe.
  • Carmelo Anthony did his best to will the Knicks to a victory, finishing with 31 points, six rebounds and four assists. Although he didn’t succeed, Melo was a beast in the mid-post against Norman Powell and regularly gave him fits. DeMarre Carroll, who was held out of Saturday’s game to rest, would have certainly helped defend Melo in the mid-post.
  • Instead of keeping Powell on Melo, Dwane Casey adjusted during the second half and instead put

    Patrick Patterson

    on him. The adjustment meant Powell would have to defend a much larger player, usually

    Kristaps Porzingis

    , but Casey adjusted for that too and would use Lucas Noguiera to double team any player around the rim. The move meant

    Jonas Valanciunas

    would remain on the bench down the stretch since Bebe is better equipped to play this style of defence, but it worked out well.

    More from Tip of the Tower

  • Bebe had a huge night on the defensive side of the ball, which was highlighted by a pair of fourth quarter blocks on Derrick Roes and Anthony. Coming off the bench, Bebe finished the night with six points, 10 rebounds, an assist, three steals and five blocked shots. It’s too early to say he’s the next “Bismack Biyombo,” but, man, he’s looked great during Toronto’s past three games.
  • Talk about a team win. Six different Raptors finished the night in double figures and every player except Terrence Ross played 20 minutes or more.
  • Both teams were playing in back-to-back situations and it showed. There were a number of defensive errors and sloppy possessions by both teams.

    Is it just me or does P-Patt miss just about every “clutch” three he takes in the fourth quarter? He had a few opportunities to put the Knicks away on Saturday and he failed to convert.

    Uncharacteristically, the Raptors were abused on the glass, particularly on the defensive end where the Knicks racked up a whopping 17 offensive rebounds. A couple of those rebounds were putbacks, which kept New York in the game.

    The Raptors ability to force turnovers helped again on Saturday night, as they forced the Knicks to turn the ball over 16 times, which led to 23 points.

  • Over the past 30 years, only Michael Jordan and DeMar DeRozan have scored 30 or more points in eight of their team’s first nine games. With the Cavs and Warriors up next it will be fun to see if DeRozan can keep this up.
  • Also, how about those Huskies jerseys? I must admit, I’m a big fan of the uniforms and the court design. I’m not saying let’s get rid of the Raptors image, but I’m not opposed to doing a few Huskies throwback nights each year either.

    RBX (Raptors Bandwagon Exchange)

    • Buy: Bebe looked great for the third game in a row and if you haven’t already, buy stock in him. Also, Powell started for Carroll on Saturday and looked pretty good doing it. Aside from his tenacious defence, Powell scored eight of his 19 points in the fourth quarter and played a major role down the stretch. If our staff writer Demar Grant hasn’t purchased all the Powell stock out there, go grab some while you still can.
    • Sell: I wouldn’t sell the stock of any Raptor after Saturday’s game. It was a team victory and although Cory Joseph had an off night and Jakob Poeltl did not play, I don’t think there is any reason to panic.

    Three Stars of the Night:

    1. DeMar DeRozan: Serenaded by MVP chants, DeKobe DeBryant was magnificent during the second half. Given his play, I feel like we should just leave this here until he has an off game, which might be a while. In the meantime, DeRozan was great again.
    2. Carmelo Anthony: He did all he could to will the Knicks to victory, but it just wasn’t enough. Despite the loss, Melo was a game-changer on Saturday night and helped New York hang around throughout the game.
    3. Lucas Noguiera: he was fantastic off the bench and truly provided a spark to the Raptors, particularly on the defensive end.

    Statline of the Night


    The Raptors got to the free throw line at will against the Knicks. DeRozan led the way going 10-of-13 from the line, but Powell iced the game late with four straight free throws and finished the night going eight-of-eight from the charity stripe. Toronto’s ability to get to the free throw line was the difference in this game and it showed in the fourth quarter when the Raptors went 10-of-11 from the stripe and the Knicks only went four-of-four.

    What’s Next

    The Raptors travel across Lake Erie to take on a real super team, better known as the Cleveland Cavaliers (7-1), on Tuesday night. Led by LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, the Cavs have compiled a near flawless record this season and are a difficult matchup for any team.

    We all know the history between these two and how the Cavs defeated the Raptors 94-91 in Toronto earlier this season, so what more is there really to say? It’s Cavs versus Raptors. If you can’t get excited for this game, I don’t know what to tell you. Regardless, it should be a compelling game on Tuesday night and hopefully the Raptors can put their previous poor performance in Cleveland behind them.

    Next: DeMar DeRozan, the Mid-Range Dynamo

    What did you think of the Raptors 118-107 victory over the Knicks? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.