Thoughts from a 100-91 Raptors comeback win over the Knicks at ACC on Friday…
– Quincy Acy wasted little time making an impression in his first preseason action of the preseason. Acy entered the game with 6:12 to play in the fourth quarter and went on to reel off seven straight points in just under 90 seconds to put the Raptors ahead for good with just under two minutes to play.
“I just stay ready and that’s what I did all last year,” Acy said of his opportunity post-game. “Whenever my number is called I try to look like I belong.”
– Full credit to the group on the floor with Acy during that last stretch of the fourth as well. Acy, Terrence Ross, Julyan Stone, Austin Daye and Dwight Buycks held the Knicks without a field goal over the final 3:34 and outscored them 16-2 over that stretch to seal it.
– Huge first half for DeMar DeRozan, who went 6-7 from the field for 15 of his team-high 20 points before the break. DeRozan was going right at the rim all night and on two occasions when the Knicks defence collapsed on him, threw behind-the-back feeds to Jonas Valanciunas for his two assists on the night. He added a strong dunk (and was fouled on the play) in the third, but otherwise was 0-for-7 after the break.
Post-game, DeRozan spoke about his desire to finish among the top five players in the league in free throw attempts and how the coaching staff has him focused on attacking the basket.
– Also a rough 3-point shooting night for the Raptors, who went 5-for-24 (20.8%) from long distance. To their credit, they held the Knicks to 5-for-30 from 3-point range and got to the free thrown line 19 more times than their counterparts.
– The reception for Andrea Bargnani? Not unexpected, but with a smaller than usual crowd on hand at ACC nowhere near what we’ve seen with the return of other former Raptors. He commanded his share of attention during intros and every time he touched the ball, but it wasn’t exactly the fuel we’ve seen power Vince Carter or Tracy McGrady in returns to ACC. Bargnani finished with 10 points and four rebounds in 22 minutes of work.
Bargnani returns for another preseason game with the Knicks on October 21st and makes his first regular-season visit as an opponent on December 28th.