Quick Reaction

Quick Reaction: Raptors 121, Clippers 113

LA Clippers 113 Final
Box Score
121 Toronto

C+
S. Ibaka19 MIN, 12 PTS, 4 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 4-12 FG, 1-9 3FG, 3-4 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, None +/-

Ibaka had one of the poorer showings in this game, shooting a bunch of triples and coming up short nearly every time. He was much more effective when he moved into the midrange, though he seemed more interested with floating around the perimeter. It’s only preseason, but having Ibaka shoot nine times from deep isn’t preferable.

A-
C. Miles18 MIN, 12 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST, 2 STL, 5-10 FG, 2-7 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, None +/-

Miles is a sight for sore eyes after watching a battered Carroll hobble around last season. He moved well with and without the ball and his trademark marksmanship was in full effect. He’s going to be key to the Raptors spacing this year without the likes of Patterson or Tucker around.

A
J. Valanciunas20 MIN, 10 PTS, 10 REB, 4 AST, 0 STL, 4-5 FG, 0-0 3FG, 2-4 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, None +/-

Perhaps the biggest and most pleasant shock in this game, Valanciunas seems to have bought into the idea of a changing Raptors culture more than any other player. He made several stellar passes, not all of which garnered him an assist. Aside from that, his usual rebounding and back-to-the-basket skills were utilized to a pleasantly tactful degree.

A+
K. Lowry16 MIN, 17 PTS, 1 REB, 4 AST, 1 STL, 3-5 FG, 3-4 3FG, 8-8 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, None +/-

It seemed like Lowry did very little, and indeed he only took five shots, but he was extremely efficient and looked to get his teammates involved with smart and well-timed passes. KLOE looks season-ready.

A
D. DeRozan15 MIN, 11 PTS, 4 REB, 4 AST, 2 STL, 4-6 FG, 0-2 3FG, 3-4 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, None +/-

DeRozan also seems to have bought into the idea of a culture changing, which for him must be harder than anyone else given his play-style. He kept the ball moving, only stopping it a few times (to score), and helped keep the pace of the game up, giving him an advantage due to his athleticism.

B+
D. Wright28 MIN, 11 PTS, 4 REB, 3 AST, 1 STL, 4-5 FG, 1-2 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 4 TO, None +/-

Out of all the players who hit the floor tonight, Wright seemed to be trying the hardest on defense, and it didn’t go unnoticed! (At least, here it won’t.) He made some good passes and was quick on the boards, pushing the pace when he could and surging to the rim to either score or kick the ball to the perimeter. It was a solid showing for someone competing for a backup spot.

B
N. Powell24 MIN, 16 PTS, 1 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 5-8 FG, 0-2 3FG, 6-6 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, None +/-

While he made some poor passing decisions and wasn’t as much of a terror on defense as some may have desired, Powell eventually fell into a comfortable pace on the offensive side of things, consistently driving to the basket and either drawing fouls or scoring. He also filled his quota of at least one jaw-dropping dunk per game.

B
P. Siakam24 MIN, 5 PTS, 3 REB, 0 AST, 3 STL, 1-3 FG, 1-3 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, None +/-

Siakam looked more comfortable on the floor than he ever did last season, which was nice to see. He showed off his usual boundless energy and made some savvy steals and aggressive rebounds.

B
L. Nogueira21 MIN, 4 PTS, 4 REB, 1 AST, 2 STL, 1-4 FG, 0-1 3FG, 2-2 FT, 3 BLK, 1 TO, None +/-

Some might knock Bebe for his lack of scoring (or that moment when he popped out from a pick to take a three instead of rolling to the rim) and gangly movement, but his rim protection is something the Raps can use come the regular season. As defensive backups go, there are far worse options than Bebe.

F
B. Caboclo20 MIN, 6 PTS, 3 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 2-8 FG, 2-7 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 4 TO, None +/-

It pains me to say this, but Bruno was simply awful. From missing shots to dropping the ball on the catch, he just didn’t look ready to be in an NBA preseason game, let alone anything more strenuous. Let’s just all agree to forget this one, okay?

B
F. VanVleet12 MIN, 8 PTS, 3 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 2-5 FG, 1-3 3FG, 3-4 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, None +/-

VanVleet followed the lead of the other point guards on the team, pushing the pace and attacking where he could. He drove aggressively and showed that he’s also capable of running the team in limited minutes.

C+
A. McKinnie7 MIN, 2 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 1-2 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -4 +/-

Another guy who played few minutes, the only remarkable thing about McKinnie was his lack of athleticism. But he didn’t particularly stand out in a bad way, nor a good way. Mum’s the word.

B+
J. Poeltl7 MIN, 7 PTS, 3 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 3-3 FG, 0-0 3FG, 1-4 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -4 +/-

There are going to be those calling for more Poeltl minutes, especially after a showing like this. Though he only got a little time, Jak crashed the offensive boards like nobody’s business and ran the floor more elegantly than any big the Raps have.

C+
A. Rautins5 MIN, 0 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 0-1 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -8 +/-

Rautins is fighting for a spot on the team and is known for his shooting. He took one look from way downtown, and missed, but opponents knew to stick with him, which did help space the floor, albeit in garbage time.

C+
K. Wiltjer4 MIN, 0 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-1 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -8 +/-

A guy who used to be a Clipper, Wiltjer only played a few minutes. At this point, it’s unclear whether or not he’ll make the team—but don’t expect him to become part of the regular rotation.

B
Dwane Casey

It was the first preseason game, so there wasn’t much that Casey needed to do except stick his guys out there and watch them work. Expect to see him test more lineups soon.

Things We Saw

  1. The Raptors are going to struggle with teams that have size at the three. Danilo Gallinari was trouble for them tonight, bulldozing his way into the paint from the perimeter and pounding guys like C.J. Miles (who picked up two fouls early in the first quarter) down on the block. Without Patterson, Carroll, or Tucker around, that’ll be something to keep an eye on this season.
  2. The culture change is real! Well, we knew it was real, but it was on actual display tonight. The Raptors are making a concerted effort to make more passes, push the pace, and shoot more threes—like a modern NBA team. Example: they took 43 threes tonight, and last season they averaged 24.3 threes per game.
  3. This is what preseason is for, but the secondary unit of young guys is a bit of a mess without a veteran presence. With no player like Patterson to anchor them, they’re a little all over the place, and even a bit jittery. Norm is the best player of the bunch right now, and the hope is that he’ll be able to stabilize them sooner rather than later. If he can’t, then it’ll be up to Casey to make some lineup changes.
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