Lessons Learned From Raptors' Double-OT Win

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Mike Ulmer -- raptors.com
October 13, 2010

The theme for the Toronto Raptors this season is getting more with what you have.

Who knew that also meant working longer?

The Raptors needed regulation time and two overtimes to drop the Philadelphia 76ers 119-116 in the first ACC appearance by the locals this fall. The Raps are now 2-2 in the preseason and managed a solid effort the night after dropping a game in Chicago.

It took a clever dribble penetration from Jarrett Jack and a screen-and-cut to the hoop by Amir Johnson to give the Raps the winning margin and if you are looking for impressions, a double-overtime game is a great place to start.

Start with Jack. With nine baskets in 12 attempts from the field, Jack was by far the most accurate shooter for a bunch that included Andrea Bargnanis six-for-22 and a five-for-15 performance from DeMar DeRozan.

It was fun watching the younger guys experiencing a part of the game they might not have seen before, said Jack. I wanted to see how they reacted. I thought they did well. I thought we fought on, showed some resiliency.

In the nightly competition for the starting job, this one went to Jack. He played seven more minutes than Calderon, outscored him 24-4 and defended admirably.

Next free throws. The Raptors hit only 56.8 per cent of their freebies. DeRozan went just six for 11 and missed one that would have ended the game in the first overtime.

We havent been making free throws, said Raptors coach Jay Triano. We were one of the best (free throw shooting) teams in the NBA last year. I think we will be again. We havent spent as much time on free throws as we would heading into a regular season game.

Third, Leandro Barbosa looks like a kid playing on a rink wearing skates while everyone else has boots. Barbosa finished with 19 pounds, but it was his oft-startling quickness as well as flat-out speed that set him apart.

He goes to the basket, he can make plays, Triano said. His experience is something we will use a lot of. He was on the floor more for what he did defensively. When they went small he could chase guys and stay right up on them."

Fourth, Reggie Evans: Incapacitated with a foot injury last season, Evans returned to bag five rebounds and collect seven points. He also tipped a couple of balls and participated in a Sixers mid-floor huddle. Nice.

Five, Andrea Bargnani. While he nailed three straight shots, Bargnani struggled offensively and Triano repeated his insistence that the seven-foot Italian needed to defend more tenaciously.

He was on the floor there because he got better at rebounding and stopping the middle penetration. We have to get a lot better on defence.

Six, Amir Johnson. The evening brought every element of Johnsons game. He sent two 76ers into hyper-drive when they thought they had a clear path to the basket. He struggled when presented with the ball more than a few feet up in the key but finished with 11 points. He had nine rebounds but went one for six from the free-throw line.

In the end, the best part of the only double-overtime preseason game the Raptors have ever played was that it ended with everyone whole. It was put to Johnson that two overtimes was enough reason to end things when he did.

But we had fun playing, he said. Everybody played hard. It was a great game for us.