Quick Reaction

Quick Reaction: Raptors 124, Bulls 115

Delon Wright had quite the night in Chi-Town.
Toronto 124 Final
Box Score
115 Chicago

S. Ibaka27 MIN, 16 PTS, 7 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 7-12 FG, 1-3 3FG, 1-1 FT, 3 BLK, 1 TO, 0 +/-

Ibaka had success in the paint and mid-range area all night. He played a very strong offensive first half, with most of his field goals coming inside the paint.
He initially struggled to contain Markkanen (allowing 11 points against him in the first) but got better guarding him as the game progressed. It’s tough to contain a shooter like that on the perimeter, so you can’t fault Ibaka too much. His defence inside the paint was a different story, as Ibaka effectively contesting shots inside all night.

O. Anunoby16 MIN, 3 PTS, 3 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 1-5 FG, 0-4 3FG, 1-1 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -14 +/-

His shot wasn’t falling, but his length on the defensive end stood out yet again. Midway through the first quarter, Anunoby recovered to the perimeter and got in Markkanen’s airspace to force an airball, which was one of the many instances where the rookie’s length forced his matchup into tough shots. Given how well Wright was playing, Anunoby understandably was left on the bench in crunch time.

J. Valanciunas18 MIN, 0 PTS, 4 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-2 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 2 TO, -8 +/-

Robin Lopez took it to him early, scoring eight points in the first quarter when matched up against him. JV didn’t do much better when matched up against Mirotic.

He didn’t contest many shots and failed to convert a field goal. #StartPoeltl

D. DeRozan34 MIN, 35 PTS, 3 REB, 6 AST, 3 STL, 10-20 FG, 5-8 3FG, 10-10 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -5 +/-

After hitting a 3-ball early, DeRozan missed his next six shots to close out the opening quarter. The second half was a totally different story for DeMar, as he attacked the rim relentlessly and continued his incredible shooting from both 3-point range and the charity stripe on the way to an 18-point third quarter.

He didn’t score 52 points, but 35 will do the trick.

K. Lowry32 MIN, 16 PTS, 5 REB, 4 AST, 2 STL, 5-14 FG, 2-7 3FG, 4-4 FT, 0 BLK, 5 TO, -9 +/-

When DeMar is feeling it, Lowry knows exactly what to do. He played the sidekick role to a tee, complimenting his backcourt partner with some big-time shots down the stretch.

D. Wright30 MIN, 25 PTS, 13 REB, 5 AST, 4 STL, 10-15 FG, 4-5 3FG, 1-1 FT, 1 BLK, 2 TO, 28 +/-

Wright had 15 first half points, personally outscoring the Bulls bench 15-12. Oh, and he set new career highs in points and rebounds, finishing with his first career double-double. (Lots of firsts.) Safe to say this was the best game of Delon’s career so far.

Honestly, you could have mistaken him for Lowry tonight with his rebounding on both ends, especially offensively.

J. Poeltl25 MIN, 6 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 3-5 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 26 +/-

The Austrian was a strong interior presence and set solid screens as always. He made it tough for Portis inside, limiting him to only two points. Poeltl really helps set the tone for the bench unit’s strong defensive effort, as Chicago was limited to just four points in the first 4:30 of the second quarter.

P. Siakam19 MIN, 4 PTS, 6 REB, 4 AST, 0 STL, 2-4 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 10 +/-

There was a sequence in the second quarter that stood out, when Pascal snagged an offensive board inside, then dished to an open Poeltl under the hoop. That was his highlight of the game in my eyes. He was also on the floor as the Raps started pulling away in the second half.

Sometimes he seems indecisive with the ball in his hands, which is an aspect of his game that will certainly improve in time.

C. Miles18 MIN, 6 PTS, 4 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 2-7 FG, 2-7 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 19 +/-

Miles hit a few big threes, one less than one minute after checking in and another in the final minute of the third. His quick-release shot is such a luxury when it comes to spacing the floor.

F. VanVleet17 MIN, 13 PTS, 2 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 5-7 FG, 1-2 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 16 +/-

Aside from Wright, FVV was the best player off the bench for Toronto. He came up big in the second quarter, scoring nine points in seven first-half minutes.

N. Powell3 MIN, 0 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-1 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -12 +/-

Norm got on the floor very briefly. Didn’t have much of an impact. Casey’s slowly axing him from the rotation by the looks of it. The high grade is meant to try and boost his morale. Stay strong Norm, your time will come!

L. Nogueira1 MIN, 0 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-0 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -6 +/-

Bebe didn’t see much playing time once again.

Dwane Casey

Regardless of the result of tonight’s game, Casey gets a perfect grade after being named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month earlier today. He led the Raps to an 11-3 record in December. An extra W following tonight’s performance helps his cause, though, and makes his club 2-0 in the New Year. In Dwane we trust.

Things We Saw

  1. DeRozan is now 10/17 from deep and 23/23 from the charity stripe in his last two games.It’s been amazing to witness his transformation from a raw athlete, to a confident mid-range jumper, and now a respectable three-point shooter.

    If DeMar isn’t an all-star starter this season, Raptors fans should riot.

  2. Aside from DeRozan, the bench was the biggest reason for the Raps second-half surge. Great team win for Casey’s club.
  3. How much more enjoyable is it to watch the Raptors when they move the ball the way they have this season? I hope ISO ball never comes back!
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