Originally posted on Hip Hoop Junkies  |  Last updated 1/9/13
posted by Mike Masaya POUND THE ROCK STARS - On a nightly basis, no matter how good or bad the Raps play, no matter if they blow out a team or if they get blown out and no matter if they win or lose, these are the Raptors with the best 'Pound the Rock' status for the night. FINAL SCORE: RAPTORS 90, 76ers 72 SEASON RECORD: 13W-22L POUND THE ROCK STAR #1: AMIR JOHNSON LINE: 19 pts (6-11), 7-8 FT, 12 reb, 5 astIn his last 4 games including the win against Philadelphia Wednesday night, Amir Johnson is averaging 13 points and 7 rebounds above his usual 8 points and 5 rebounds making the most of his starting role. Crashing the boards and making wise decisions on offense when it came to shooting or passing turned Amir into the leader on the court. Even with DeMar often being labelled the leader by default due to his scoring ability, this Raptors roster leaves room wide open for players like Amir to carry the team on any given night when the matchup allows it.POUND THE ROCK STAR #2: JOSE CALDERONLINE: 14 pts (7-12), 11 astAnchorman Ron Burgandy would be proud of Jose Calderon ‘keeping it classy’ as he apologized about tossing an alley-oop to Landry Fields with seconds left in the game up 16 points all while ignoring his coaches wishes to dribble out the clock. In what I’m sure even Jose thought would be a tough guard matchup the Raptors defense was outstanding forcing a total 13 turnovers leading to a number of fast break buckets or free throw attempts. It was also fun to watch at least 4 players touch the ball during offensive possessions at certain points and should remain one of their keys to success for the rest of the season. With one day off between each of their next 2 games the Raptors can make a push to be the unanimous 10th seed in the East which is currently shared with Orlando and Detroit at the moment, and hope that Boston and Philadelphia start to struggle.POUND THE ROCK STAR #3: DEMAR DEROZANLINE: 19 pts (8-15), 3-3 FT, 5 rebAs long as DeMar continues putting up these types of numbers and role players do their share the Raptors could finish the month with an 8-8 record. It would still leave them 9 games below .500 and I honestly hope I’m wrong and would like to see them do better. The Raptors should also hope I’m wrong because February has some tough games on the schedule with only 2 games against the Wizards and 1 against the Cavaliers with the rest against the likes of the Clippers, Heat, Knicks and Grizzlies to name a few. Not to get ahead of ourselves, but this is how the Raptors will need to approach the rest of the season. Win the winnable games, win the close ones and get lucky when they can. With DeMar playing well all 3 scenarios are possible.  SHOUTOUTS TO THE 76ers: THADDEUS YOUNG LINE: 16 pts (6-12), 4-6 FT, 7 reb, 3 ast Thaddeus Young is one of those Forwards in the NBA that are constantly improving their game while consistently remaining under the radar. Improving in every statistical category since being drafted in 2007 the 76ers are lucky to have been able to hang on to him for so long. Had Andrew Bynum been healthy and part of the mix this might be a completely different team. Until then the 76ers will have to remain balanced in their scoring and grind out every game for the rest of the season. As long as Thaddeus keeps improving the way he has so will the team. Next up for the Raps: vs Charlotte (Friday) Photo via National Post
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Bryan Rust's two goals send Penguins to Stanley Cup Final

Wade Boggs honored to have jersey retired by Red Sox

Agent strongly denies report that Chris Berman is retiring

Bryce Harper cuts batting gloves after homering without them

Jason Garrett on Randy Gregory: ‘He has a long way to go’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Mike Moustakas done for the year with torn right ACL

Did this 50-loss team give others a blueprint to beat the Warriors?

Magic expect to be active players in free agency, could target Al Horford

Report: Rockets to hire Mike D’Antoni as head coach

The Warriors need emotional and tactical solutions

Wes Welker ready to retire? Receiver weighing his options

Why fans shouldn't flip over Sidney Crosby touching the trophy

Dwyane Wade: ‘I don’t want to be on the market at all’

Warren Sapp does not like Timmy Jernigan’s tribute idea

Mark Cuban ‘all for legalized gambling’ in the U.S.

Over 100,000 register for tickets to Texans-Raiders Mexico City game

Markieff Morris detained at airport on suspicion of marijuana possession

Ray Rice speaks to Baltimore Ravens rookies

Report: Mike Holmgren turned down chance to coach the Jets

Lil Wayne & Birdman bet thousands on Madden, then let computer decide who wins

Best regular-season NBA teams not to win a championship

Ezekiel Elliott will have to ‘earn’ Cowboys starting RB job

Joc Pederson: Barry Bonds snubbed me on photo request

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best regular-season NBA teams not to win a championship

Every time an NBA team came back from a 3-1 deficit (and what it means for the Warriors)

How disallowed goals can change the course of NHL games

The five most disappointing MLB teams this season

QUIZ: Identify these NHL Hall of Famers by their nicknames

QUIZ: Name every winner of the Belmont Stakes since 1867

Sniping quotes highlight NHL conference finals animosity

QUIZ: Name every NBA franchise's original incarnation

The 15 biggest playoff upsets in NBA history

Cy Young Award contenders at the quarter mark of the season

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker