POUND THE ROCK STARS - On a nightly basis, no matter how good or bad the Raps play, no matter if they blow out a team or if they get blown out and no matter if they win or lose, these are the Raptors with the best 'Pound the Rock' status for the night.
FINAL SCORE: RAPTORS 105, WOLVES 86 SEASON RECORD: 1W-2L
POUND THE ROCK STAR #1: KYLE LOWRY
LINE: 22 pts (8-10), 4-4 FT, 5 ast, 7 reb, 3 stl
Get used to seeing Kyle Lowry as the # 1 Pound The Rock Player for the Raptors this season. There is no denying that Lowry is determined to not only lead this team to victory but encourage the entire roster to match his effort by performing at a high level every night. Lowry either rewarded himself by scoring off of his steals or following up offensive rebounds with assists. Another great pound the rock performance on both ends of the court. Stay tuned, more of them on the way.
LINE: 22 pts (8-14), 5-6 FT, 7 reb, 3 stl
DeRozan and Lowry are clearly becoming a legitimate one-two punch for the Raptors. Its great to see DeMar not dwelling on his 10 point performance against Indiana and confidently shooting around 59% since then. Hitting 16-27 free throws during the last two game doesn’t hurt either. Simply put, this is a new DeRozan who seems motivated to take higher percentage shots and drive to the basket when the jumpers are not falling. It’s ok to get excited, you have reason to be.
POUND THE ROCK STAR #3: ALAN ANDERSON
LINE: 18 pts (6-14), 3 reb
Anderson earned himself a Pound the Rock status for leading the Raptors bench in scoring and once again proving how deep this team really is. With Bargnani and Valanciunas having a tough night, the Raptors bench outscored the Wolves bench 42 to 33. Credit also has to go to Amir Johnson and Ed Davis for crashing the boards and fighting for every point inside the paint. With Jonas showing up garnering a lot of the attention and a starting role, this is where pride and in-house competition can benefit a team. The fact that every player is motivated by the other only means great things for the future.
SHOUTOUTS TO THE WOLVES:
LINE: 17 pts (6-7), 4-5 FT, 6 reb, 3 ast, 1 stl, 3 blk
With Love, Rubio and now Barea possibly out of commision, the 13 year veteran did a great job of picking up the slack earning him an impressive stat line. Aside from Pekovic’s 15 pts and Williams 8 rebounds Kirilenko was fighting a losing battle with little help. Give him credit though. In just under 30 minutes he only missed 2 shots and hit his only attempted 3 pointer. Like or not, Kirilenko is now the leader in Minnesota for the time being. A role he played well tonight, but whether or not he can keep it up and win games remains to be seen..
Next up for the Raps: @ Oklahoma (Tuesday)
(Photo via Toronto Sun)