Originally posted on Cuzoogle  |  Last updated 1/30/12

Forget that he is playing for the lowly New Jersey Nets. The Toronto Raptors finally beat Deron Williams. Williams has owned the Raptors over his career (like most star point guards) and it took him landing on a crappy team for the Raptors to finally get the best of him yesterday.

Williams had played the Raptors 14 times previously as a member of first the Jazz and then the New Jersey Nets. In all 14 games, Williams went home a winner, until yesterday afternoon.

The Raps actually showed up against an opponent in the first quarter for the first time in weeks, and then built a lead before coasting home to a 94-73 win.

The bigger story. The victory gave the Raptors a 3-2 record on their five-game trip, the first time since 2001 that the franchise has had a winning record in a road trip that was five games or more.

So what do you think about your tanking Raptors now? They are starting to show a little moxy. I know beating the Nets is not much of a story but the two wins in Phoenix and Utah were big.

Dwayne Casey is starting to get through to the guys and the only thing slowing down Andrea Bargnani is an injury. The other teams sure are not.

One big roster move by Casey, moving Demar DeRozan to small forward. DeRozan didn’t seem to have any problem making the move.

In fact, he prospered in his new role, hitting for a season-high 27 points and getting to the line a career-high 16 times, of which he converted 11. More please!

Anyways, I never expect the Raptors to put up a lot of wins, or make the playoffs. I did however want to see progress and hard work. That is starting to show and I can live with that.

This is a work in progress that will take some time but I can see it going somewhere if this kind of play keeps up.

Who knows, with all the injuries in the league, the Raptors could very well land an eight seed. But then again, another ping pong ball is needed more.


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