Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Feed: Toronto Raptors vs. Oklahoma City Thunder [11/06/12]


The Oklahoma City Thunder electrocuted the Toronto Raptors repeatedly 108 to 88 in a offensive showcase at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. Kevin Durant and company came out red hot in the first quarter scoring 30 points at 61% from the field to Raptors's 17 at 37%. With every possession, the lead grew and Toronto was out of it by the first half.

The Raptors were never able to find an offensive rhythm and it definitely didn't help when Kyle Lowry left the game in the second quarter after twisting his ankle. Rookie Jonas Valaciunas led all Raptors with 18 points and 6 rebounds, getting a some help from Andrea Bargnani who added 16 points and another 6 boards. The Italian continues to struggle shooting the ball, as the main option on offense, he could never find the basket, hitting only 5 of his 14 shot attempts.

Russell Westbrook stormed the Raptors defense, scoring 19 points, while dishing out 8 assists. Kevin Durant chipped in 16 points, 6 rebounds and Serge Ibaka with his own 17 points from 8 of 9 shooting. Needless to say, Toronto never found a way to slow down their opponents.

Offensive End:

It wasn't as if the Raptors were defended exceptionally well, they just couldn't hit anything but iron. Andrea Bargnani had a fair share of wide open threes, which he never took advantage of. And without Kyle Lowry, not only were they missing their best current scorer, they lost the only person that could create offense out of nothing.

OKC got whatever they wanted against Toronto tonight, as usual Westbrook will use a high pick and roll to get free and likely take the first shot, if that doesn't happen, he had Ibaka (the Screen Setter) open from 15 feet out all game long. Kevin Durant will get most of his points via post up, or isolations. The two superstars will draw attention as soon as they touch the ball and they will find the open man if given the double team.

The Thunder will make you pay in transition, there is probably 0.01% chance, they will not score against a unsettled defense.

Defensive End:

Toronto still has not improved their transition defense, giving lay ups/dunks after layups/dunks on the break. In this game, Toronto had a tendency to over help on the ball handler (had two guys on OKC guards for no good reason), some players will follow as deep into the restricted area. This opened up a lot of space for the Thunder shooters, who had a blast, thanks to the terrible rotations.

I couldn't really tell if the Oklahoma City played really good defense, because like I mentioned earlier, Toronto couldn't even buy a basket. OKC does a good job packing the paint, preventing a lot of interior points. They only had a few noted mishaps, when Andrea is on the floor, Perkins and Ibaka will still stay near the paint just to help out on drives, too bad he didn't knock them down.

The Moments:

Some woman or girl screamed at a decibel high enough to almost crack the screen of my TV when Jose Calderon was shooting the penalty for Ibaka's defensive three seconds in the key. You know what they say, girlies love the Spanish.

If you don't live in Canada, you missed out on the Raptor's commentators making fat jokes about an obese fan, who was wearing suspenders over his half naked body. Canada is sometimes not so nice.

Rookie Watch:
Jonas Valanciunas was aggressive all night attacking Kendrick Perkins in the post. He finished with 18 points from 6 of 8 shooting and 6 rebounds.

Terrence Ross scored 10 points in the second half, which was basically garbage time.

Perry Jone III was scoreless in the 18 minutes he played.

Jeremy Lamb knocked a three down in 6 minutes.

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