Archives For Jonas Valanciunas

FINAL/OT

TOR(37-29) 113 – 118 (31-35)ATL

Key Performers:
J. Teague (ATL): 34 pts, 3 reb, 5 ast, 4 stl
D. DeRozan (TOR): 29 pts, 10 reb, 6 ast
[FULL BOX SCORE]

Now that was a close one; from the 5:52 mark in the second quarter until the end of the game, neither team led by more than five points in this overtime thriller. The Hawks used an aggressive night from Jeff Teague to take down the third-seeded Raptors in overtime, giving the Hawks their fifth win in a row. Teague tied a career-high with 34 points, with 15 of those points coming in the fourth quarter and overtime. DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry both had great nights for the Raptors, but those two did not get enough help from the rest of their team after halftime to secure the win.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Paul Millsap: It seems odd that Millsap recorded his first career triple-double (19 points, 13 rebounds, 10 assists) and isn’t listed as the key performer for the game; that’s just how good Teague was. A couple of knocks on Millsap, however: he took 16 shots to get those 19 points, and he also bricked the potential game-winner at the end of regulation. I’m really not sure why the team looked for him in the isolation there when this team just isn’t built for iso-ball. 9.5/10

Jeff Teague: When Valanciunas was out of the game, Teague just flat-out attacked the basket like there was no tomorrow. Toronto coach Dwane Casey after the game said, “We blitzed him. We switched it. We tried to do everything. We have to do a better job in that situation.” 10/10

Pero Antic: Pero was 0-for-4 from deep in regulation, but he made a clutch three-pointer at the start of overtime to give the Hawks a 109-106 lead. Outside of that… he really didn’t do much and he really struggled when Valanciunas was playing. 5/10

DeMarre Carroll: Essentially the same thing as Pero about DeMarre: he didn’t do a lot, but he made a couple of timely cuts on offense and had a couple of big offensive rebounds. On defense, he did have a lot of trouble guarding DeRozan, and DeMarre was forced into a bit of foul trouble with how physical he was being. 5/10

Kyle Korver: Rarly will you see Korver go 5-for-14 from the field. He got a lot of open looks, including back-to-back wide-open shots in overtime that he missed. He did have 16 points, but that was from pure volume instead of efficiency. 6/10 Continue Reading…

2012-13 Record: 34-48 (10th in East)z-toronto

Playoff Result: N/A

Key Additions: Masai Ujiri (GM), Dwight Buycks (free agent), Tyler Hansbrough (free agent), DJ. Augustin (free agent)

Key Losses: Andrea Bargnani (trade)

Projected 2013-14 Record: 36-46 (9th in East)*

What to Expect: The Raptors are a very hit or miss team, one vying for a Playoff spot while also looking to rebuild under new GM Masai Ujiri. Ujiri made his first big splash running the Raptors with his pulling off of the Andrea Bargnani deal, robbing the Knicks (damn it) of three picks when he’d be happy to give up “Bargs” for nothing in return. A first step of what’s sure to be many strong moves made by one of the league’s brightest front office minds.

Now as for Toronto’s on-court play, it’s really a coin flip. This team will be battling it out for the final three seeds in the Eastern Conference at it’s peak and simply has too much talent to bottom out in the league and score a top draft pick and their basement. Whether or not they make the Playoffs will be contingent on mainly 2 things: Injuries and Rudy Gay. Gay came under heavy fire year-round as inefficient high-volume FGA machine, but even as his numbers remained virtually the same as a Raptor after his trade to Toronto he turned things around for the team in certain occasions. Continue Reading…

FINAL

   TOR(26-45) 88 – 107 (40-32)ATL

Key Performers:
J. Teague (ATL): 24 pts, 4 reb, 13 ast
J. Valanciunas (TOR): 19 pts, 8 reb
[FULL BOX SCORE]

PLAYOFFS?!? The Hawks officially clinched their sixth consecutive playoff berth with this victory over the Raptors, a streak that is currently the longest active one in the Eastern Conference. After a very sub-par first half, the Hawks responded out of halftime, outscoring Toronto 63-34 after halftime. This effort was mostly seen in the fourth quarter, where the Hawks used a 16-0 run to pull away and seal the game. Both Al Horford and Jeff Teague had 10 points in the final period, and Josh Smith was able to sit the entire fourth quarter thanks to the effort of his teammates.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Josh Smith: Some people are probably going to look way too hard into Josh not playing in the fourth quarter, but the fact is that LD stuck to what would have been his normal substitutions, and figured out that he didn’t need Josh when the team was up by 20. Otherwise, Josh didn’t have a great night, but he didn’t have a bad one either. He helped tie the game after that halftime deficit with his 10 third quarter points and he played great defense like he almost always does. 7.5/10

Al Horford: Al registered his 41st double-double on the season, which is in the top five in the NBA. He had 26 and 12 on the night, but I think the thing I was most impressed with was his passing, even though he only had one assist. He was pulling some Smoove-like passes out of the paint, and it’s a shame that the guys weren’t able to hit for him. Quietly, Josh and Al have both crept up into the top 25 in scoring. 9.5/10

Jeff Teague: Jeff was extremely aggressive, but he wasn’t exactly finishing well in the paint. However, because the Raptors had to respect his driving abilities, Jeff got great looks on his jumpers, and was able to connect on four of his six shots outside the paint, including back-to-back three-pointers in the fourth quarter. The Teague-Horford two-man game dominated in the 2nd half, as five of Teague’s eight 2nd half assists went to Al. Of course, the Cherry on top of Jeff’s night: only one turnover. 10/10

Anthony Tolliver: Tolliver seemed relatively quiet in his 26 minutes, which isn’t to say he played badly. He scored the team’s last five points in the second quarter, which could have prevented a disaster from happening had the Hawks been down 15 at the break. However, he just seemed to be “out there” a lot, and didn’t actually contribute much else. 6/10

Kyle Korver: This game could have gotten out of hand extremely quickly if Kyle had made his shots in the first quarter. He missed his first FIVE from the field, all of which were good looks set up by his teammates. He did make three of his next four, though, including two three-pointers to extend his streak to 65 games with a three-pointer. 5.5/10

Continue Reading…