Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Pound the Rock Stars of the Night - Portland Trail Blazers 92, Toronto Raptors 74 - The 'Brick Wall' Edition



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:   TRAIL BLAZERS 92, RAPTORS 74    SEASON RECORD: 9W-18L

POUND THE ROCK STAR #1: ED DAVIS
LINE:  14 pts (3-7), 8-8 FT, 9 reb
No true Raptors fan would have hoped for Andrea Bargnani to play poorly, but it has allowed Ed Davis to step up and show everyone what he is capable of. When given above 20 minutes of playing time Davis easily scores in double digits and flirts with a double double. It will become harder for coach Casey to justify not increasing Davis’ minutes as the proof is in the numbers. I’m no NBA coach, however if we can all see it, Davis and the rest of the team can see it and which is sure to eventually cause tension in the locker room. There is no doubt that in house fighting is the last thing this Raptors team needs.

POUND THE ROCK STAR #2: DEMAR DEROZAN
LINE:  20 pts (7-16), 6-6 FT,  4 reb,
If there is a positive side to the brick wall the Raptors have hit, it would be that DeMar DeRozan has not missed a step. In the last 4 Raptors losses prior to last night DeRozan has maintained his season average of 18 points and 5 rebounds. All this while doing his best to keep the Raptors competitive in close games as well as blowouts. The blame game has already begun and there is no reason DeMar DeRozan should be taking part in any of it.

POUND THE ROCK STAR #3: JOSE CALDERON
LINE:  12 pts (4-7), 6 ast
A Raptor who could find themselves inside the circle of blame I mentioned earlier is Jose Calderon. Whether or not he deserves to be there is up for debate. Shooting less than 10 shots, averaging 6 points, 4 assists and only 1 turnover over the last 5 games, some might wonder if he needs to be doing more as a backup who gets about 20 minutes per game. Those stats mirror the majority of NBA backup point guards so I’m not sure there is more the fans can ask for.

SHOUTOUTS TO THE TRAIL BLAZERS:
LAMARCUS ALDRIDGE
LINE: 30 pts (11-19), 12 reb
The best part about following the NBA closely is when you come across players like LaMarcus Aldridge. No where near a late night talk show or seen galavanting at an All-Star weekend dunk competition, Lamarcus Aldridge rewards true NBA fans with a career average of 20 points with a phenomenal 77% shooting. It makes you wonder why there was so much debate about his 2012 All-Star nod. He is a franchise player plain and simple. If you ask me, he probably prefers being under the radar because since being drafted 2nd overall in 2006 no one has been able to or bothered figuring out how to stop him.

Next up for the Raps: vs Brooklyn (Wednesday)

Photo via The Star

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Hip Hoop Junkies, a Toronto Raptors / NBA / Canada Basketball blog based out of Halifax. Home of the #RAPSTALK Podcast - "Hoops Talk out of Halifax"

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