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Quick Reaction

Quick Reaction: Hornets 113, Raptors 126

The Raptors beat the Hornets. Lowry big.

Charlotte 113 Final
Box Score
126 Toronto

B
S. Ibaka29 MIN, 8 PTS, 8 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 4-12 FG, 0-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 2 TO, 14 +/-

You know players come to Toronto and think they’re going to get a bigger offensive role, and when they get it, they’re sort of hit and miss. Mostly miss. DeMarre Carroll’s the latest example. I’m not saying Ibaka’s in that category by any means, but the dude takes liberties with possessions he shouldn’t be taking and it hurts the team in key stretches. Couple nice blocks and got dunked on by Howard, but overall was more out of the game than in it.

B-
O. Anunoby19 MIN, 0 PTS, 3 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 0-1 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 3 +/-

He could just do jumping jacks all game on defense and the fans would love him. Wasn’t much of a factor on either end, and you usually expect a little more from him defensively. At the same time, it’s impossible to be critical of a rookie thrust in the starting lineup who’s been playing well overall.

A-
J. Valanciunas22 MIN, 12 PTS, 7 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 6-11 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 9 +/-

I can’t figure out how to analyze JV anymore because everytime I see him, I wish he played in the 90s where he’d be a little more appreciated. Decent offensive game where he cleaned up some spills, made a sweet up-and-under, and rolled to the rim religiously without getting the ball. The matchup with Howard was even when they faced each other, so no complaints on my end. Carry on.

A+
K. Lowry36 MIN, 36 PTS, 5 REB, 6 AST, 1 STL, 12-18 FG, 8-11 3FG, 4-4 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, 12 +/-

Seemed like he could’ve dropped 50 tonight if he tried. Played the game on casual mode, hitting threes, hesitation-moving his way into the paint for leaners, and doing what was comfortable for him. Going up against MCW instead of Walker has its benefits. The only complaint was defensively he let in a bit too much penetration, but given his offensive game, all is forgiven and then some.

A-
D. DeRozan35 MIN, 30 PTS, 4 REB, 6 AST, 1 STL, 14-23 FG, 0-3 3FG, 2-3 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 17 +/-

I remember lauding him for his off-the-ball game when he came into the league, and that still remains true. With Norman/Lowry at the point and DeRozan playing off him instead of initiating offensive, the Raptors offense is a different beast because it allows DeRozan’s ancillary skills like curling to the rim and catching-and-shooting to come to the fore.

B+
F. VanVleet18 MIN, 8 PTS, 1 REB, 9 AST, 0 STL, 3-6 FG, 2-2 3FG, 0-1 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 13 +/-

Can someone put a space between Van and Vleet because it drives me nuts? You know, kind of like Van Persie, or Van Nistelrooy. I like Steady Freddy, he’s the most efficient Raptor in terms of what he does handling the ball – never a wasted second, doesn’t over-dribble, doesn’t under-dribble, passes when he needs to and doesn’t play hero-ball. Roko Ukic take note, this is what you could’ve been, you horse-faced killah!

B+
P. Siakam18 MIN, 4 PTS, 6 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 2-4 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 1 +/-

Gotta love how the announcers always call out how Dwane Casey’s strategy is “go, go, go”. Some strategy, but whatever the hell it is, Siakam follows it like his life depended on it. When he grabs the rebound, he also covers half the floor with his dribble giving the second unit a tempo burst on the possession. Lost Frank Kaminsky a couple times but overall, effective. Is a three-point shooter? Legit question, haven’t seen the Raptors much of late.

A-
J. Poeltl17 MIN, 8 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 4-5 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-1 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -7 +/-

What a great roller this guy is? His blunt moves really smoke the defense until there’s nothing but a roach left. His tight, smooth rolls make a lasting impression on anyone, and makes you wonder what you’ve done with your life. They even make you hungry.

B+
N. Powell17 MIN, 10 PTS, 4 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 3-7 FG, 2-5 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -4 +/-

Dude’s just a ball player with great decision-making instincts. His play in the second quarter where he ran the show for a bit was exquisite. He might be one of the most (if not the) well-rounded players on the Raptors in terms of defensive and offensive contribution.

B
C. Miles17 MIN, 7 PTS, 0 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 3-8 FG, 1-6 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 4 +/-

Added a little offensive punch to the second unit despite being poor from three. I’d say having Norm and him along with Siakam is a pretty balanced second unit giving you a bit of everything. We just need to find this guy a consistent, predictable role by the time the playoffs role, because we’ll need his shooting when DeMar and Kyle are being blanketed by J.R Smith.

C+
L. Nogueira8 MIN, 3 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 1-3 FG, 1-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 13 +/-

Blew two layups and hit a three. Now has face tattoos in case he didn’t stand out enough. Left the game late with a strained calf.

B+
Dwane Casey

Didn’t do anything that would put us in a position to lose the game. Could argue that he should’ve gone to the bench sooner in the third, but c’mon, can’t be yanking starters because they have a couple turnover-riddled possessions.

Things We Saw

  1. The Raptors were in control of this game even though Charlotte had a few spurts where they cut the lead to around half a dozen. The only real danger (that I felt) was at the start of the third where they made a 14-2 run to cut it to 7ish. That was the moment where this game could’ve gone either way, but the Raps responded.
  2. Drake is a funny color commentator. He was more entertaining than Devlin and Leo have been in 10 years. Bring the guy back.
  3. I like this team. I think they have enough balance on them to be a real threat against anyone. This team, more than any other that I can remember of late, doesn’t really have to be dependent on DeRozan and Lowry to provide. If we can recognize that and balance our offense accordingly, we’ll be a more multi-faceted team in the post-season.
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