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Two directives from Coach Casey the Raptors met: Hit first. Hawks praised them for being more physical. Attack the rack: 33-17 edge at line.
Amir Johnson, arguably Toronto’s best player Wednesday, took 15 shots. He only attempted that many four times last season.
Pablo Sandoval Es un super caballo.. Congrats for winning the whole thing.. El banco te espera... THE MVP!!
Sun headline: “Royal pain in the Bum"
Most excited the media room has been in a long time at a Raptors game. Giants win, but nearly blow it.
Greivis on Amir's big game: "Its a contract year so he gotta do what he gotta do. I hope he gets all double-doubles, I hope he gets the max"
Vasquez: "Sometimes you want to do more, but you've got to understand the situation. It takes a lot of cojones to understand & be a man"
Greivis Vasquez: "We've got the best crowd, the best fans, the best reporters"… Flattery will get you everywhere
If miracles do happen I am really hoping the @royals can tie game 7 up in the bottom of the 9th!
Lowry: "That first win is the toughest one to get, I believe. It was good to get the first one at home, in front of our fans"
Greivis has to go into politics post-career. "We've got the best crowd in the NBA, the best fans, the best reporters."
JV on fans: "It felt good. Crowd was good. It reminded me of playoffs. All the white jerseys, standing and cheering for us."
"We can start for anybody else. I say that in a humble way but we're just happy here. I'm just here to do my job, whatever it takes” Vasquez
Greivis said Raptors have best reporters in the league. Mid-season form.
Casey said Amir, a slow starter, came up big w/ the "popcorn popping". "He put butter on it & salt & everything else. He was ready to roll"
Asked Patrick Patterson if the bench has a nickname yet. “No. The fans better work on that."
More on late-game lineup, Casey said its not set in stone, JV will get his chance, depending on matchup but its something we could see again
Casey son his decision to go with Pat over JV down the stretch: "I thought we needed more speed & quickness. Nothing that Jonas did wrong"
Vasquez on whether it's nice to have the real Amir back? "Oh yeah. It's a contract year. I hope he drops double-doubles all year."
"What's your Halloween costume JV?" (points to beard): "My face."
Your 2014-15 Raptors: 1-0. 109-102 the final over ATL in their season debut.
Raptors win 109-102 with 26 assists, 10 turnovers. Amir and Valanciunas dominate all-stars Horford and Millsap.
'Topes win! 109-102
The Raptors might need a Madison Bumgarner type.
Bizarre game for DeRozan: 14 points (4/16 FG), 11 rebounds (career-high), 6 steals (career-high), 5 turnovers. Good, bad and ugly
DeRozan misses a pair of free throws but follows the second for his 11th rebound of the night (career high). He's headed back to the line
Greivis waves towel around over his head in front of bench to get crowd going, accidentally hits himself in the face. Oops.
15-2 run. Check that.
Budenholzer losing his mind about refs waiting to see if a shot goes in multiple times late before making a call.
Kyle Lowry: damned fearless.
Oh, Raptors. 11-1 Hawks run. Toronto lead is down to 4. 50 seconds left.
Impressive crowd. Playoff quality. Strong work, Toronto
13-2 atl run. Raps up only 4. Under a minute to go
Budenholzer is not happy about the fouls being called now. Refs let a lot go throughout year, now giving DeRozan/Lowry those missing calls.
Patterson back in for JV out of the timeout.
Hawks from beyond the arc: 12/21 (57%), inside the arc: 25/55 (45%). Raps lead is down to 8, 2:27 left.
Raps' lead down to 8. DeRozan frustrated by a no-call, leads to open 3 at other end.
So, on a night in which he's shot 4/15, DeRozan sets a new career-high in steals (6) and ties his career-high in rebounding (10 & counting)
Ross returns for Vasquez, who has given them 17 good minutes tonight. JV also set to re-enter for Patterson. Starters to close out the game
DeRozan ties career high with 10 boards.
DeRozan career high for steals, tied career high for rebounds tonight.
JV: 17 points (4/5 FG, 9/10 FT), 8 rebounds, 1 block, 0 turnovers, +10, in 19 minutes. Hard to find much wrong with that.
For final stretch, Casey goes with Lowry, Vasquez, DeRozan, Patterson, Amir.
Best Raptor bench candidates: This one. Last year’s. 1999-2000. 2000-01. 2006-07.
To borrow a soccer term, good work rate by Jonas Valanciunas tonight. Lots of effort. Good bounce, like Amir.
Best bench in Raptors history? Talk amongst yourselves.
Are they saying Lou or Lou-erns?
Weird-ass Vasquez floaters back.
Johnson loses ball when he forces a drive, but Raptors have just 8 TOs tonight.
Horford needs some games to get timing back, missing easy shots inside. J looks fine though. Atlanta’s a good team. Think T.O. a bit better.
JV gives the Raps their largest lead, 90-71, with a long jumper. A bit under the radar tonight but really solid outing for him, on both ends
This is the perfect time opportunity to run things through Valanciunas. Lowry and DeRozan are on the bench, slows the game down.
Wiggins nails a three, but having a rough first night at the office.
Bench doing stellar job. Have put Raptors firmly in control. Now Valanciunas joins them.
Can’t remember Raptors having an effective, full, five-man bench unit on the floor for stretches of games.
Raps up 15 going into the fourth. Raps 17-19 from the stripe; Hawks 9-17.
Thing you'll hear a bunch of times this year: Lou beats the buzzer. His runner gives the Raps an 86-71 lead (their largest) going into 4th
DeRozan is one rebound and four steals away from a really weird triple-double.
I'm told this is the most Amir Johnson has scored (16 & counting) on opening night in his 10-year career. Obscure stat, even for my taste
Make that a career-best 6 steals (and counting) for DeRozan. Slow night offensively (vs great perimeter defenders), picking up slack on D
DeMar is totally forcing his game. He’s got to take a step back and evaluate his options. He’s not getting those calls.