Raptors Republic: ESPN TrueHoop Network Blog

Quick Reaction: Raptors 112, Hawks 78

Toronto 112 Final
Box Score
78 Atlanta
B+
S. Ibaka19 MIN, 12 PTS, 4 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 5-11 FG, 0-2 3FG, 2-2 FT, 2 BLK, 1 TO, 12 +/-

What can you say, Ibaka just loves to shoot his shot. Six shots in the first six minutes. Ibaka moved around well and saved the guards with some stellar defensive help.

B+
O. Anunoby17 MIN, 11 PTS, 1 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL, 4-4 FG, 3-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 17 +/-

Second night off a back-to-back meaning OG’s minutes were carefully monitored. In limited minutes, he did the more than the usual (good defense, unselfish ball movement, constant off-ball motion). He shot the ball effectively, as well.

B-
J. Valanciunas20 MIN, 16 PTS, 8 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 7-9 FG, 0-1 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 5 TO, 10 +/-

Almost every Raptor looked great in the 1st half, JV was… Not so great. In the 2nd half, Toronto made it a mission to get him re-involved and succeeded. Nevertheless, four turnovers is far too much for a center on limited touches — especially in a game like this.

A-
K. Lowry27 MIN, 15 PTS, 12 REB, 6 AST, 1 STL, 4-9 FG, 4-7 3FG, 3-4 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, 21 +/-

After having enough time to take a nap on the bench in the 1st half, Lowry returned totally energized and looked to put the dagger in Atlanta early. Oh, and he led the team in rebounding in just 27 minutes.

B+
D. DeRozan28 MIN, 2 PTS, 2 REB, 8 AST, 1 STL, 1-5 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, 20 +/-

DeMar was in a giving mood early, recording three assists in the 1st frame and three in the 2nd. He didn’t have to fill up the box score in this blowout.

A
N. Powell31 MIN, 17 PTS, 3 REB, 1 AST, 3 STL, 7-13 FG, 3-6 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 17 +/-

Norman shot the ball incredibly well, slashed to the rim and had several hockey assists. Jack Armstrong said it multiple times, but boy does this kid look more comfortable off the bench.

A
P. Siakam31 MIN, 13 PTS, 4 REB, 4 AST, 2 STL, 6-9 FG, 1-4 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 26 +/-

Death, taxes and Siakam giving 150% on the floor. That is all.

A+
J. Poeltl19 MIN, 14 PTS, 7 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 7-9 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 21 +/-

Since JV’s return from injury earlier in the season, Poeltl has been the odd man out in the rotation. Common sense tells you it’s difficult to generate consistency on just 10-15 minutes a game. Today, Jak thoroughly impressed on both ends of the floor. He dominated tonight.

B
L. Brown18 MIN, 2 PTS, 3 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 1-4 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 7 +/-

Lorenzo didn’t do anything terribly wrong or amazingly well. His play didn’t disrupt the Raptors ball movement and he was steady defensively. That’s good enough on a night that qualified as a must-win.

A+
F. VanVleet16 MIN, 5 PTS, 0 REB, 5 AST, 1 STL, 2-6 FG, 1-3 3FG, 0-1 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 21 +/-

Coming off his best game as a pro, FVV came in late in the 1st and instantly impacted the game. That continued throughout as he’s fully embracing the backup PG role. This kid is as confident as ever.

Inc
L. Nogueira7 MIN, 3 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 1-2 FG, 1-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -1 +/-

Bebe played so few minutes tonight, but did look energetic while doing so. This game needed more face tattoos.

Inc
A. McKinnie7 MIN, 2 PTS, 1 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 1-3 FG, 0-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -1 +/-

Alvo! This would be a game where I’d love to see McKinnie get tons of run. Unfortunately, this was not the case tonight.

A
Dwane Casey

Casey knew it was crucial giving his bench extra run tonight on this back-to-back. They rewarded him with exceptional play led by FVV and Poeltl. Finally, Casey and the Raptors had the mental fortitude to hold onto a large lead.

Things We Saw

  1. BENCH MOB, MOBILIZE. The Raptors possess a top-ten-scoring bench unit in the NBA. They saw extended minutes tonight for three primary reasons. One, it’s the second game off a back-to-back. Two, you can afford to play them often versus an Eastern Conference minnow like Atlanta. Three, they’re really, really damn good.
  2. Let’s talk about this Fred Van Vleet kid. My goodness, are the Raptors lucky to have two capable backup PGs in Wright and FVV. The kid has been aggressive, confident and has had a hotter-than-hot hand since Wright went down. He’s been a real floor general offensively while being a total pest defensively. He’s earned every minute Casey has given him.
  3. Height Doesn’t Measure Heart. Kyle Lowry has been rebounding like an absolute monster in these last several games. Since the New Orleans Pelicans game on November 15th, Lowry’s rebounding numbers have been 11, 8, 5, 10, 10, 12.
  4. The Raptors needed this. After a disappointing loss in Indiana, Toronto decimated Atlanta off a back-to-back. Beating the 4-16 Hawks shouldn’t be anything to fawn over. Still, the Raptors badly needed a pick-me-up as they head home for a three game home-stretch.