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Quick Reaction

Quick Reaction: Wizards 107, Raptors 96

Not a great one!

A John Wall-less Washington squad capitalizes on slow Toronto start. Grades coming soon!

Washington 107 Final
Box Score
96 Toronto

D
S. Ibaka29 MIN, 7 PTS, 10 REB, 0 AST, 2 STL, 2-8 FG, 2-6 3FG, 1-2 FT, 1 BLK, 2 TO, -12 +/-

Let’s just sit him for a game. He had a slow start that did nothing to silence questions about the health of that knee. Dies on screens, plays defence with just his hands, comes up short on wide-open threes. Ibaka isn’t right and his problems won’t be solved on the court. Good effort on the boards at least.

A-
N. Powell34 MIN, 19 PTS, 1 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL, 7-13 FG, 1-4 3FG, 4-4 FT, 1 BLK, 2 TO, -12 +/-

Potentially his best game of the season. He’s struggled to finish with players looming around him but looked better today. His second half defence was damn good, using his length to disrupt Brad Beal. Forced things a bit, but hard to blame him because Lowry was out.

F
J. Valanciunas19 MIN, 6 PTS, 3 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 3-4 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -15 +/-

Jonas played with energy that the Raptors needed early on but his shortcomings were picked on today. Gortat killed him in the post and as a roll man. Raptors love to go over screens with JV inheriting the ballhandler. He gives a big runway to attacking guards and isn’t explosive enough to pull off rear view contests.

F
K. Lowry12 MIN, 2 PTS, 1 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 0-4 FG, 0-2 3FG, 2-3 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -15 +/-

Invisible for most of the first half and then picked up two techs in a row for complaining to the officials. That fire is part of what makes Lowry a special player but it backfired today.

B-
D. DeRozan37 MIN, 26 PTS, 3 REB, 3 AST, 0 STL, 8-21 FG, 0-5 3FG, 10-12 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, -17 +/-

Down big early, DeRozan tried to bring them back single-handedly. He played better once Lowry was tossed, but wasn’t too efficient because he had to settle for a bunch of mid-rangers. Defence was nothing to write home about.

B+
D. Wright26 MIN, 11 PTS, 4 REB, 4 AST, 1 STL, 5-7 FG, 1-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, -6 +/-

Wright had nice moments early: hit a three, found Bebe for a couple easy buckets. He must be a nightmare for players to scout given the other priorities at the guard spots, and he carved up the defence in pick and roll. Wright has to be a bit more attentive on defensive.

A+
F. VanVleet19 MIN, 10 PTS, 3 REB, 4 AST, 0 STL, 5-7 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 2 BLK, 0 TO, 14 +/-

Do kids in the GTA ask for number 23 on their jerseys for Fred Van Vleet or for Michael Jordan? He spearheaded the comeback by dazzling on offence. Fred has craft around the rim and those scoop lay-ups are very Steph Curry-esque. FVV was also great defensively, digging in and deflecting the ball on drivers.

A-
P. Siakam16 MIN, 7 PTS, 5 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 3-4 FG, 1-1 3FG, 0-2 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -1 +/-

Great activity as always. Second half energy gave the Raptors a second wind in their comeback efforts. If Ibaka needs to sit, I don’t mind seeing more of Siakam.

B
L. Nogueira14 MIN, 6 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 3-4 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 3 BLK, 1 TO, 8 +/-

JV’s early season injury gave Bebe an opportunity and he’s done a decent job filling the role. His conditioning seems better and he’s doing a great job protecting the rim. Needs to box a dude out, though.

B
O. Anunoby14 MIN, 0 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 0-2 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-2 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 4 +/-

Played a big part in the defensive stand put on in the fourth quarter. His length made Washington start their sets further from the three-point line and disrupted passes. OG is out of control at the rim, often looking like he is taking off too far.

F
C. Miles13 MIN, 0 PTS, 1 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 0-5 FG, 0-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 0 +/-

Beal cooked him right away in the first quarter, blowing by shots at the rim. Miles made questionable decisions on offence, starting with a spinning, fading mid-ranger from the elbow.

Inc
J. Poeltl6 MIN, 2 PTS, 1 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 1-1 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-2 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -3 +/-

Poeltl was fine in his minutes and I think he deserved a look in the fourth quarter to spell Bebe.

F
Dwane Casey

Hated the decision to go back to the starters to wrap the game up. Jonas was a major part of the problem defensively, and the bench was shutting Washington down. I think you stick with what’s working, especially when it is young guys, because you want to reward that type of effort. Starters didn’t bring it and didn’t earn their fourth quarter minutes. Predictably, it unravelled.

Things We Saw

  1. Going down 15-4 to start when John Wall is out is beyond disappointing. The broadcast discussed Casey’s comments about how tough the first game back from the west coast road trip can be and I get it. But can Matt and Jack also discuss the actions on the basketball court in that game instead of ascribing everything to travel?
  2. Over recent weeks, people have spoken out about sexual harassment issues in Hollywood and the entertainment industry. Why is TSN giving Isiah Thomas, who settled a sexual harassment lawsuit out of court, airtime? Come on. Be better, there’s no reason to bring Thomas on.
  3. What a special performance from the bench. They played with way more energy than the starters and made this a game. The result isn’t on them, and I think the coaching staff is going to have to reevaluate their approach to how they determine rotations and playing time when the bench guys get on a roll.
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