Brooklyn overplayed DeRozan, and its array of long, physical defenders pressured him the entire afternoon. Swingman Joe Johnson -- who finished with 24 points, eight rebounds and shot 8-for-13 from the field -- made him work on the other end. "You will see the adjustments on Tuesday," Casey said. "I thought the foul count bothered him a little bit. They did a good job of double-teaming him. Garnett was coming across midpoint into his areas. It was almost like a triple-team. We have to make some adjustments for that in order to free him up better."
DeRozan wasn't the only important Raptor who struggled; big man Amir Johnson didn't make his usual impact and played only 21 minutes. Meanwhile, Toronto's sophomores couldn't have had more different playoff debuts -- swingman Terrence Ross was almost invisible, finishing with three points and four fouls in 16 minutes, while center Jonas Valanciunas had 17 points and a franchise-playoff-record 18 rebounds.
Although Ujiri felt compelled to apologize for his statement at halftime, every Raptors player asked about the incident backed him up. "If he said f--- 'em, we all say f--- 'em," Amir Johnson said, and Casey said he wasn't offended. Despite giving up their home-court advantage, they conveyed only confidence.
"We can still shock the whole league," Vasquez said. "This is our main stage. We've got to just go step by step. Take the loss, though it's going to be hard to swallow, watch film, get better and we'll go from there."
James Herbert's work appears on the TrueHoop Network. Follow him @outsidethenba