The Toronto Raptors made their only trip to the Rocky Mountains this week, visiting the Utah Jazz at the end of a long road trip. Unfortunately, the Jazz looked tired while the Raptors looked spry as the Raptors pulled away in the second half from a Jazz team that looked completely discombobulated. The Raptors backcourt destroyed the Jazz backcourt and put this game away with an offense that the formidable Jazz defense seemed helpless to contain.
The first quarter was a relatively forgettable affair. Toronto was scoring from everywhere inside the arc except when Rudy blocked the shot. The Jazz were getting to the line.
The second quarter had a few nice moments. First rookie Donovan Mitchell put Serge Ibaka in a blender.
On the very next play, Joe Ingles found Rudy Gobert inside for a massive poster on Jonas Valanciunas. The dirty jingles grin at the end of the dunk video made me laugh.
While the highlights were quite nice, the Jazz were only up by 1 at 54-53 at the half. The Jazz rebounding and FTA rate were good. However, the Jazz only had five assists, four steals, and the defense wasn’t up to par. The Raptors hit 18-23 shots from inside the arc, basically scoring every time Rudy wasn’t there to block it.
The third quarter was a scoring blitz, with the Raptors, primarily DeMar DeRozan, dropping 36 on the Jazz defense. The Jazz ended the quarter with only 9 assists, 6 by Jingles.
The Jazz defense couldn’t rescue them this time in the fourth quarter. Not enough steals, not enough blocks, not enough defense to contain a Raptors squad that was getting to their spots at will. Free throws and
The defense was not impressive tonight. Toronto shot 56% from the field, 41% from 3, and had 28 FTA. The Jazz had 8 steals and 5 blocks, but it wasn’t enough against an active Toronto team.
The starting backcourt couldn’t shoot or defend. Rubio (3-12, 11 points) and Hood (6-19, 17 points) were big negatives on the floor tonight. They couldn’t contain Lowry (15 points, 10 assists) or DeRozan (37 points on 20 shots).
Mitchell had a nice scoring night and was impactful on defense, but wasn’t able or willing to get anyone else involved (0 assists).
Rudy and Favors had a good first half but were neutralized completely in the second as the Jazz perimeter players were unwilling or unable to get them the ball inside for easy buckets.
Tonight’s WTF Picard goes out to Ricky Rubio
Ricky’s statline was 3-12 from the floor for 13 points, 3 assists, 0 rebounds, 1 steal, 4 TOs and 4 PFs. Ricky didn’t seem to be himself tonight and was completely outplayed by Kyle Lowry.