Quick Reaction

Quick Reaction: Wizards 91, Raptors 100

The Raptors redeem their last loss to the Wizards through a solid, full-game win.
Washington 91 Final
Box Score
100 Toronto

S. Ibaka26 MIN, 9 PTS, 8 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 4-10 FG, 1-5 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, -4 +/-

Ibaka started the game by missing 3, blocking a shot on the other end, then canning a 3 from same spot. Even though his shot wasn’t falling, his defense was on point, and he even made passes off the bounce! Solid contributions.

O. Anunoby20 MIN, 5 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 2-5 FG, 1-4 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -7 +/-

His numbers may not be as high as our expectations, but he still contributed well. He played solid defense on Beal (as expected), even if his bigs weren’t helping much with their sitting waay back on the pick and roll. He didn’t close the game, but he had a solid showing.

J. Valanciunas17 MIN, 4 PTS, 7 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 2-7 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 2 BLK, 0 TO, -5 +/-

Valanciunas showed good effort early in the game – perhaps taking his sonning at the hands of Gortat last time around personally? But he didn’t play smart. His defense in the pick and roll was weak, and Beal had far too many open jumpers. His hands weren’t as sure as usual, and with so many solid bigs, the Raptors distributed his minutes elsewhere tonight.

K. Lowry33 MIN, 10 PTS, 5 REB, 6 AST, 2 STL, 4-10 FG, 1-6 3FG, 1-2 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 3 +/-

Lowry dominated the game in ways that his numbers (and shooting) do not reflect. His butt had a few buckets early, and he correctly deferred to DeRozan’s hot hand later. He even channeled his inner Roy Hibbert and used verticality on a 2-1 fast break to stymie a layup. He is better at things like that than people his size should be.

D. DeRozan36 MIN, 33 PTS, 8 REB, 6 AST, 2 STL, 15-26 FG, 2-6 3FG, 1-1 FT, 1 BLK, 2 TO, 4 +/-

Shooters gonna shoot. DeRozan had his way with any defender he wanted, going to the hoop and finishing through contact repeatedly. He missed some 3s early, but he canned a few important ones later. His passing, rebounding, and defense were all fantastic.

P. Siakam31 MIN, 4 PTS, 9 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 2-5 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 2 BLK, 0 TO, 18 +/-

Dudes. Got. Wheels. He is getting much better at forcing his speed onto a slower game, and he can make plays at without thinking now. He twice sprinted back to interrupt simple layups, and he had a monster block that made me scribble gibberish all over my notes. He has post moves now? This guy is the future.

F. VanVleet24 MIN, 10 PTS, 3 REB, 5 AST, 0 STL, 3-9 FG, 2-7 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 7 +/-

Even when his shot isn’t falling, VanVleet can leave a footprint on the game. He played great D, forcing turnovers from Satoransky on multiple occasions. Porter hit a 3 in his grill (how can VanVleet contest that?), but then he followed it up by making a 3 of his own.

C. Miles21 MIN, 12 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 4-12 FG, 3-9 3FG, 1-1 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 13 +/-

Miles is the embodiment of instant offense. He is much better shooting off the dribble than his numbers predicted coming from Indy, and the threat of his shooting creates offense for everyone on those bench lineups. He had two step-back corner 3s, and both were at important, momentum-shifting moments.

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

Bebe had a difficult game, and despite being the first center off the bench, he immediately failed to corral a rebound on a missed free throw. Nogueira struggled both with the bulk of Gortat and the shooting of Beal on pick and rolls.

J. Poeltl10 MIN, 5 PTS, 4 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 1-2 FG, 0-0 3FG, 3-6 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 6 +/-

Another solid outing (read that recently about Poeltl?) He hit the offensive glass well, and he even showed some solid passing chops. Gotta hit his free throws.

L. Brown8 MIN, 0 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 2 STL, 0-1 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 6 +/-

Lorenzo did his job well, which was basically to play defense and allow others to create on offense. He failed to slip the ball to an open Nogueira on a pick and roll early in the game, and that was really his only chance to create all game. He was solid, and Casey loves his point guards.

Dwane Casey

This one is hard to judge. Casey used the same rotation pattern for which he was crucified against the Celtics; he went all bench (no Lowry or DeRozan) to start the 4th, and he used VanVleet to close the game. The only difference is that it worked this time. In general, the defense was fantastic, and the team clearly learned some lessons the last time around.

Things We Saw

  1. DeRozan is just a master. At his best, he can dominate a defense with his scoring and passing at the same time. He only settled for midrange fadeaways over longer defenders like Porter a few times, and when he was moving towards the rim, he wreaked havoc on the defense.
  2. Siakam is improving at an outrageous rate. His speed was occasionally a negative for him last year, as he often turned the ball over when his body was moving faster than his mind. This year, he is harnessing his athleticism on both ends, and he destroyed the Wizards tonight. The team wouldn’t have won without him.
  3. Washington is a good team, even without Wall. Bradley Beal is a scorer of the calibre of DeRozan, and any daylight will result in him canning a 3. The Raptors bigs did a poor job of stepping up high on the pick and roll, and Beal hit several jumpers over poor defense from Valanciunas, Bebe, and even Ibaka. This was a strong win.
  4. The Raptors’ depth shone against the Wizards, who lack a high-caliber bench of their own. Even lacking Powell and Delon Wright, the Raptors turned extra minutes to Fred VanVleet and Lorenzo Brown. The bench without Lowry or DeRozan was a net positive in the game, and they dominated the Washington bench in the beginning of the 2nd quarter. The Raps have a huge advantage with their bench going into almost every game, and Casey is using that advantage well.
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