It is a new year and still the same red hot Raptors last night at the ACC. Portland was on an equally impressive streak heading into this one winners of 8 of their last 10 entering play last night. The night prior they had a surprising win over the New York Knicks. The Raptors came out and took a 10-0 lead and that set the tone for the night.
We could talk about a lot of things but at the end of the night the one guy that everyone was talking about was Terrence Ross. Aside from the fact he likely did a lot of good for an article I wrote for the Bleacher Report on him, that was planned prior to last night. He showed all of his skill and this was Terrence Ross at his best. He led the team in scoring with a career high 26 points and was lights out from long range going 6-9 from three point range.
He also had a few key steals and was just a huge part of everything in the almost 25 minutes he was on the floor. I was fair critical of fans getting overly excited about Ross especially when it was during the Raptors losing games. However, now he is proving to be a key contributor when team is being successful. That is a big difference.
What also is a big difference is the fact this is basically a healthy Raptors squad at his positions of the 2 and 3. He now is truly earning his time on the floor. It is because of his play not injures that is keeping him on the floor.
His performance overshadowed a pretty great night for Demar DeRozan and Ed Davis. DeRozan had 24 points and 3 steals going 11-17 from the field. Davis had 19 points and was 9-12 from the field with 7 rebounds.
In another odd stat the Raptors became only third team in NBA History to have 3 starters register 0 points and win a NBA Basketball game. Calderon, Gray and Pietrus all failed to score. Kyle Lowry coming off the bench also had no points in his column. What both Calderon and Lowry did have was assists with Jose accounting for 13 and Lowry 9.
Other performances of note were Amir Johnson with 17 points and 7 rebounds and Landry Fields with a nice 7 points and 7 rebounds coming off the bench. In total the bench accounted for 59 of the Raptors 102 points on the night.
To prove how much a night it was for Terrence Ross he hit the three to deliver the pizza. At the end that was the only thing in doubt as the Raptors rolled the Blazers 102-79. The Raptors won every quarter in this game and this was perhaps their most complete performance of the season.
They face a less talented Kings squad on Friday and than get another big test against Oklahoma City on Sunday. The Raptors are rolling and playing just a very entertaining team first brand of basketball. There is very little to be critical about these days.
The dark cloud the looms is how the Raptors will manage to rid themselves of Andrea Bargain. That said we can hold off on worrying about that for now, as I suspect no one is in a hurry to have him comeback into the line-up. Ed Davis has all but forgot about Dre at this point.