Morning Coffee – Mon, Jan 25


10 things I noticed from Raptors-Clippers | Getting Benched
TJ Ross outplayed JJ Redick. Take that in. Redick came in red-hot, was generating All-Star buzz, is leading the league in 3-point shooting, and Ross one-upped him with 18 points (5 threes) and four steals. Ross is so confident in his shot right now, he’s flying off those screens and firing away without a second thought, and it’s exactly what the Raptors (a team without much shooting) need from him.

Raptors top Clippers for eighth straight win | GANTER | Toronto Sun
Three other Raptors reserves — Patrick Patterson, Bismack Biyombo and Cory Joseph were also in double figures but just as importantly played solid defence throughout.
“I want to say yeah,” Patterson replied when asked if this was the most complete effort by the Raptors’ bench this year. “T-Ross I think was phenomenal behind the arc tonight and also playing defence. (Bismack) rebounding like a machine as always and finishing around the rim, (Joseph) being a general leading us out there on the court and getting layups, attacking the rim, myself hitting some threes, moving the ball on the offensive side and getting a couple stops on the defensive end and all of us just communicating on the defensive side. I think tonight was probably one of our best games collectively as a second unit.”
Patterson even tussled with Jamaal Crawford in one of the most unexpected confrontations of the NBA calendar.
“Just emotions flying, the heat of the moment and we just let it get the best of us,” Patterson said after the game. “It’s just an intense, physical, emotional basketball game and it was just a heat of the moment play and we both just lost our minds.”

Raptors defeat Clippers for eighth straight victory | Toronto Star
“I think (Sunday night) was probably one of our best games collectively as a second unit,” Patterson said.
Now settled into a consistent rotation after dealing with a series of injuries that muddled things, a successful routine is developing.
“There’s no uncertainty,” Patterson said. “So you know when you’re coming in, you know when you’re coming out and you know how much effort you can give, you know where your shots are going to come, you know the focus you have to have.
“If there’s uncertainty there’s a lack of energy, a lack of confidence, you tend to get frustrated so now that you know when you’re coming in, when you’re coming out, who you’re going to be in the game with, everyone’s just more comfortable out there.”
Toronto’s bench dominance was thorough, they out-scored the Clipper backups 51-29 and turned the game around late in the first quarter and early in the second. Ross had 18 points, Joseph 12 and Patterson and Biyombo 10 apiece while Kyle Lowry had 21 and DeMar DeRozan 20.

Five takeaways: Raptors’ bench saves the day | Sportsnet.ca
Four Raptors finished in double digits off the bench. That’s normally a good number for starters and reserves combined. Along with Ross’s 18, Cory Joseph had 12, and Patrick Patterson and Bismack Biyombo had 10 each. When all was said and done, the Raptors’ bench outscored the Clippers’ second unit 51-29.
The starters struggled early for Toronto, but led by Patterson’s infectious energy, the bench changed the complexion of the game in the second quarter, as the home team outscored their visitors 35-15 in the frame.

Reserves are overmatched by Raptors in Clippers’ 112-94 loss | LA Times
“I think our bench was thinking about scoring instead of defending,” Doc Rivers said. “It happens a lot. You come into the game and you have a lead and you think you’re going to add to the lead instead of understanding the way we got the lead was because we were getting stops.”
Frustration started to mount for the Clippers even before halftime, with Paul pushing off on DeMar DeRozan for an offensive foul and technical fouls being assessed to Crawford and the Raptors’ Patrick Patterson after some shoving near the sideline.
“It’s tough,” Paul said. “To get off to the start that we got off to and let those guys back in the game, we just never recovered.”
It was the Clippers’ fourth consecutive loss to the Raptors, including a November defeat that triggered a postgame tirade in the locker room.

Last Call: Los Angeles Clippers 94, Toronto Raptors 112 | Los Angeles Clippers Blog
MVP: The Raptors’ Bench. They’re sharing the trophy in this one. 51 points from the Raptors’ second unit was more than enough to blow the Clippers out of the water on Sunday night (The Raptors bench outscored the Clippers 32-8 in the first half). However, it was the Barbershop Quartet of Patrick Patterson (+31), Terrence Ross (+25), Bismack Biyombo (+24) and Cory Joseph (+33) that made the Raptors sing. Not only did these four lead the comeback at the end of the first quarter but they completely smoked the Clippers’ reserves all night.
That was … familiar: Who knows what it is about these Raptors but they certainly have a history of making light work of the Clippers in Canada. Let me take you back to February 6, 2015 when the Clippers opened a 30-10 lead in the first quarter before that lead evaporated in the second half. The Clippers lost that one 123-107. Tonight’s game was eerily similar: the Clippers came out hot, hot, hot and look set to run away with this one up 30-19 early but the Raptors dug in and took back the lead in the second quarter and never looked back.

Clippers Bench Blows Game, Raptors Win 112-94 | Clips Nation
Jealousy of Raptors’ Bench: Wow they have a good group to throw out there. Every single one of their key bench reserves is an upgrade over the Clippers’ player at the same spot. Cory Joseph is a terrific backup point guard who can run the offense but is also solid playing off ball with the starters. Bismack Biyombo, an absolute theft of a free agent signing, is a superb rim protector and offensive rebounder, especially against other backup big men. Patrick Patterson is the kind of stretch big the Clippers need in the worst way, capable of hitting outside shots yet still rebounding and playing defense against other front court players. And Terrence Ross, while not quite the player the Raptors were hoping for as the 8th pick in a loaded draft class, is still young, and the Clippers need all the upside they can get. Having any one of them on the Clippers’ bench would be fantastic. Heck, Ross would probably start for the Clips.

DD
A photo posted by @mffdjky on Jan 24, 2016 at 9:43am PST

Final Score: Raptors bench is the story as Toronto sinks the Clippers 112-94 | Raptors HQ

What a long strange trip it’s been, though, for the Raptors bench this season. At first, it looked like the two newcomers, Joseph (12 points on 5-of-8 shooting tonight) and Bismack Biyombo (a 10-and-9 performance), would provide the team’s lone spark night in and night out. The holdover names, however, had many of us shaking our heads in concern. After an initial month that ranks among the very worst of Terrence Ross’ career, he’s come alive as of late. Tonight, he dropped 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting (including five 3s) while adding four rebounds and four steals. Meanwhile, his brother-in-arms Patrick Patterson, who was once playing basketball like a Russian nesting doll (a shell of a shell of himself), potted ten points, grabbed six rebounds, and made himself a nuisance everywhere on the court on defense.
“It just feels good,” said Patterson after the game. He elaborated: “Knowing that CuJo is doing a great job running the second unit, finding Biz down low, finishing around the rim, shooting those free throws, myself spacing the floor, T-Ross is consistently hitting down his threes and coming off pin-downs with confidence, and we’re all just rolling getting stops on the defensive end, rebounding and pushing in transition and scoring on the opposite side of the ball. So you know, it just feels good. Everyone’s on the same page, everyone’s focussed. And we’re just having fun.”
It was remarked on Twitter that the Raptors are now the Clippers’ Hornets.

Why so serious? #BellyLaughDay
A photo posted by Toronto Raptors (@raptors) on Jan 24, 2016 at 6:31am PST

Patterson’s physicality drives big night for Raptors bench | Sportsnet.ca
However Patterson has been waking up of late, it’s working. His energy, physicality, and all-around effort against a physical Clippers team was a pillar for the Raptors second unit Sunday night, which put together one of its most thorough performances of the season, completely dominating LA’s bench and helping the Raptors to a 112-94 victory, their eighth in a row.
“This is one of the few times I’ve seen a plus 25, 31, 24, 33 off the bench—That’s big time,” said Raptors head coach Dwane Casey, referring to the plus/minus numbers Terrence Ross, Patterson, Bismack Biyombo and Cory Joseph posted, respectively. “I thought that second unit got a togetherness and a rhythm and a chemistry going that we’re going to need as we go down the road.”
No doubt, if the Raptors bench players can continue to contribute the way they did Sunday night, this team will be in much better shape as it cruises towards the playoffs. Casey can begin to lean less on DeRozan and Kyle Lowry, who are each averaging more than 36 minutes a game, and he can slowly re-incorporate DeMarre Carroll once he’s ready to return from knee surgery. And on nights like Sunday, when the Raptors first unit started sluggish and let the Clippers get out to a 13-point lead, it gives him more options to spark his team and not let games slip away.
Bench coming through for streaking Raptors | TSN
Despite their recent success, most of it against sub-.500 competition, this was to be the Raptors biggest test since dropping a pair of games to Chicago and Cleveland earlier in January. With the Clippers on fire early, Toronto quickly fell behind by 13 before Casey turned to his reserves.
“I thought [Joseph] and that second unit came in and changed the game,” he said. “I thought that second unit had a togetherness and a rhythm, a continuity going that we’re going to need as we go down the road.”
That group helped engineer a 25-3 run and the team never looked back from there. All season long, that had been one of their regular shortcomings – putting teams away, even the bad ones, and manufacturing late-game rest for their starters. With Toronto up by as many as 23, DeRozan and Lowry sat and watched for the final four minutes. Finally, they were able to put their foot on somebody’s throat and it came against, of all teams, the red-hot Clippers.
Is demar derozan a relic? | RealGM
This has nothing to do with his stats or production. I am purely speaking based on his style of play. It seems that his mid range game, foot work, bulldozing style of slashing, post up fadeaways are something we haven’t seen from the 2 guard position since prime dwayne wade or kobe bryant. Do you think this style dies after derozan exits the league? he in my opinion will be the last remaining player to adopt this style.
The new generation will be more along the lines of Stephen curry and klay who are phenomenal talents and more representative of what teams are trying to accomplish with the efficient 3 point shot.
Raptors’ DeRozan has an admirer in Doc Rivers | Toronto Sun
“He put in the work, though. Being in L.A., a lot of those guys come back to L.A. and work out in our facility and you see him get there early. I love seeing the young guys, they get there first, they get there early, they actually work on their games and then they play in the pickup games afterwards,” Rivers said. “I don’t know him well, but I’m happy for him, because I love guys who work their way into being a great player.”
DeRozan hit both of his three-point attempts against the Clippers after hitting 4-of-5 shots over the past two outings, making this the deadliest outside shooting stretch of his career, though he isn’t overly enthused talking about it.
“I don’t think about it. I swear every shot I shoot it really doesn’t matter where it comes from,” DeRozan said. “I just feel comfortable shooting it and if I have some space I let it go.”
Others, like Rivers, are noticing a difference, though, and think DeRozan will be better for this expansion of his game.
“He knew that eventually he had to improve his shot and more importantly, improve the distance of his shot,” Rivers said. “I always thought he had a pretty good in-between game, and now he can stretch the floor. Once he gets that down, then, it’s going to be hard to guard him.”
That day appears to already have arrived.
Toronto Raptors dominate Clippers for 8th straight win | Raptors Cage
The Raptors really put the clamps on in the second and managed to halt the Clippers across the board. While there were the times the Clippers seemed like their own worst enemy the Raptors did well to capitalize on the advantage, forcing 13 turnovers and pulling in 36 defensive boards to go with 3 blocked shots. Corey Joseph managed two steals and the team played an overall strong and relatively consistent defensive game that held the Clippers in all quarters but the first. The Raptors have now held opponents to under 100 points for the last two games.
Raptors Terrence Ross Is Boss Again | Pro Bball Report
“It’s just playing with focus,” Ross explained. “I’m just shooting it. Doing my same routine.”
The change in play happened as sharply as hitting a light switch. After going oh-for shooting three-pointers in his last two games of November and firing a dismal 26.7 percent from deep for the month, Ross hit at least one three in each of his next four games and shot 41.8 percent from three for the month of December.
“I’m just shooting it,” Ross said. “Doing my same routine. I am comfortable with where my shot is at.”
Ross attributes the current improvement in his shot to working with Rex Chapman, a 12 year NBA veteran (1988-2000) who averaged 35 percent from three during his NBA career.
“(Credit to) Rex Chapman,” Ross said. “Every shot I’ve taken in practice is a game shot, so when I get into the games it’s always one shot. It’s something I’ve been doing (just) this year.”
Raptors’ Big V assisting with team’s success | Toronto Sun
“I don’t want to just be the guy who is holding the ball too much. I’m trying to make everybody happy.
“We’re sharing the ball really good. I think this past month, we were really good on playing together, we’re not over-holding the ball, so, I think everything going the right way, we’ve got to just keep doing that. We cannot let it go away from us.”
Valanciunas is also blocking more shots this month than at any time other than April of his rookie year, though head coach Dwane Casey has found the extra assists particularly interesting.
“It goes back to his growth, where he’s reading the speed of the game, reading the defence, understanding where the help is, the game is slowing down for him a little more now, where he’s making better decisions out of the post, which is great,” head coach Dwane Casey said before the game.
While most of the Raptors don’t look for Valanciunas inside a ton, even though he is an extremely efficient finisher, he seems to be a bit more involved than in the past since returning from his broken hand.
NBA Trade Rumours: Raptors looking to add Lee? | Sportsnet.ca
It’s an intriguing rumour, but the Raptors already have Luis Scola in the type of role they would likely use Lee in and would be better off holding on to their assets until a more impactful trade opportunity comes along.
Raptors 905 collects fourth straight win | Mississauga.com
Raptors 905 shot 62 percent from the field and 63 per cent from three-point range while holding sharpshooter Jimmer Fredette to 15 points, allowing him to make only five of 18 shots.
On Thursday, Axel Toupane scored 34 points to give Raptors 905 their third straight win, a 111-91 decision against the Erie Bayhawks. Roberts finished with 19 while Sim Bhullar contributed with 17.
Raptors 905 was scheduled to visit the Grand Rapids Drive Sunday, but that game has been rescheduled for Monday night due to potentially severe weather conditions in the New York area.
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