Can’t say we didn’t warn you in the DNB Preview of last night’s game with the Kings and Raptors. DeMarcus Cousins was a beast and half. While the Raptors regressed to their pre-winning streak ways in many respects. We saw sloppy turnovers and defensive letdowns all of the things that were costing this team games showed up last night other than Andrea Bargnani. This is one we can’t blame him for.
Let’s start with looking at Cousins night. The Raptors tried everyone on him and really no one could stop him. When I say everyone it is almost a factual statement as even Quincy Acy was matched up on him because of foul trouble. Cousins has 31 points and 20 rebounds going well above his career averages against the Raptors of 20 points and 11.5 rebounds. He was dominating in this game.
The Raptors as result ended up in foul trouble no more so than Amir Johnson who could not even stay on the floor for 10 minutes. Johnson had 0 points and 1 rebound in just 9:26 of action. Aaron Gray who has been starting since Jonas Valanciunas broke his finger also had 0 points and more turnovers with 3 than rebounds with 2.
Raptors as a team also struggled at the line shooting just 25-37 from the line. Kyle Lowry and Jose Calderon who both did not put up a single point vs. Portland in a win did lots of scoring in this one. Lowry led the Raptors off the bench with 24 points and Jose with 13. The problem was the assist totals dropped off. Just 7 combined as both has more than that individually against the Blazers.
The other part of that big win against Portland was Terrence Ross. He shot just 1-7 and had only one three pointer on the night. He had 6 in the win over Portland as part of career high scoring night.
If there was any bright spot from an individual standpoint maybe it was Alan Anderson that had 20 points but was just 2-9 from three point range. The Raptors as a team were just 11-33 from beyond the arc. Ed Davis had a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds. It doesn’t seem to mean as much when you compare it to Cousins monster double-double of 31 and 20.
Perhaps the scariest thing is what is next for the Raptors. A likely angry OKC Thunder who recently had a game that Kevin Durant got the boot and so did his Thunder. Despite trading James Harden the Thunder have kept on rolling along.
The Raptors showed regression last night in a major way. The issue becomes that because of the Raptors horrible start to the season the margin for error is small for the Raptors. They really can’t afford extended losing streaks heading forward.
Was the Kings 105-96 win just a bump in the road or was it a sign of the Raptors falling back to being the team they were before this winning streak to close 2012 started. Only time will tell. But all the playoffs talk might want to chill out for the moment.