Quick Reaction: Grizzlies 86, Raptors 101

8 mins read
Memphis 86 Final
Box Score
101 Toronto

O. Anunoby19 MIN, 6 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 3-9 FG, 0-4 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -14 +/-

OG started the game strong, completing three dunks in the first quarter alone. He made some nice passes and played his typically strong defense, but as the game wore on he, with the rest of the starting unit, fell off somewhat. Understandably, Casey didn’t wind up going back to him (or any of the starters) thanks to the infectious energy of the bench.

S. Ibaka23 MIN, 7 PTS, 5 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 3-7 FG, 1-4 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, -11 +/-

Did Ibaka play today? Oh. Well, okay, then.

J. Valanciunas24 MIN, 12 PTS, 9 REB, 3 AST, 0 STL, 5-8 FG, 1-2 3FG, 1-2 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, -11 +/-

Valanciunas has been so dominant lately that it’s now sort of weird to see him not play well. He wasn’t awful, but he did let Gasol score all over him and he had trouble closing out on a lot of shots. His head just wasn’t as in it today.

D. DeRozan27 MIN, 13 PTS, 2 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL, 5-14 FG, 0-2 3FG, 3-4 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -14 +/-

This was one of the worst games of the season for DeRozan, plain and simple. He just never really got going and his defense wasn’t great. Dillon Brooks guarded him really well off-ball, making things tough all afternoon. In the end it didn’t really matter, thankfully. On to the next one!

K. Lowry26 MIN, 11 PTS, 3 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL, 4-11 FG, 1-6 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 4 TO, -11 +/-

Lowry looked like a guy who really, really wanted the game to be over so that he could get on a plane and go see his Eagles play in the Super Bowl. His inbounds were so hasty! As for his play, he didn’t shoot it well and wasn’t his usual self save for a couple of hustle plays.

F. VanVleet28 MIN, 13 PTS, 7 REB, 8 AST, 2 STL, 5-12 FG, 1-6 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 25 +/-

VanVleet was a leader with the second group, hitting some big shots and playing his usual stingy defense. He led the two bigs with a lot of sweet passes. This guy’s heart never ceases to amaze me.

D. Wright25 MIN, 15 PTS, 4 REB, 2 AST, 4 STL, 6-9 FG, 1-4 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 36 +/-

Wright was a major pest on defense in this one, pressuring opponents and forcing them into bad turnovers. He hit a couple key shots and gave us one of his patented, pretty eurosteps.

P. Siakam25 MIN, 10 PTS, 3 REB, 3 AST, 1 STL, 4-9 FG, 0-3 3FG, 2-2 FT, 3 BLK, 1 TO, 26 +/-

Skills was his usual self, and it was enough today. The energy he provides is always overwhelming, and when he pushes the ball on the break it more often than not means good things for Toronto. He had trouble boxing out guys again, but he just kept bouncing and bouncing until he got the ball, outworking opponents.

J. Poeltl24 MIN, 9 PTS, 5 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 4-4 FG, 0-0 3FG, 1-1 FT, 2 BLK, 2 TO, 26 +/-

Poeltl was flat-out awesome today. With Valanciunas playing less than stellar defense, he came into the game and provided much-needed energy and guarded Gasol about as well as one can. He struggled a bit on the boards as he is wont to when playing alongside Siakam, but the two never gave up on any play and it was enough to guide the Raptors to a win.

C. Miles14 MIN, 3 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 1-3 FG, 1-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 17 +/-

Miles checked into the game in the third without having played in the first half at all, and quickly hit a three-pointer that ended a major drought for Toronto. By this point, the team was floundering and it was Miles who was able to give them a breath of fresh air. Talk about being impactful in limited minutes.

N. Powell5 MIN, 2 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 1-3 FG, 0-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 6 +/-

Hey, not bad! Norm had another decent game—he got the time usually given to Miles in the first half, and played some really good defense and made a couple shots, including a tough layup. Casey might have even gone back to him in the second half (and provided Miles with more rest) if the team hadn’t blown their lead and needed a hit of instant offense.

Dwane Casey

Casey went with Norm over Miles in the first half, and got a pretty good result. But when the tide turned against Toronto in the second half, Casey stuck Miles in at the perfect time to give his team a shot in the arm. He also wasn’t afraid to ride his bench to the finish, which was the right decision.

Things We Saw

  1. The Raptors’ bench got hammered by Washington’s a couple games ago, but since then they’ve been the ones doing the hammering. They crushed the Blazers’ second unit 53–25 last time out, and today they owned the Grizz 52–19. They provided defensive intensity that just wasn’t there with the starters, and pushed the pace off of every stop. It’s not the first time the bench has saved Toronto’s bacon this season, and it won’t be the last.
  2. I like what I’m seeing from Norman Powell. Ever since returning to the rotation after the few games he had fallen out of it, Norm’s played more under control and less like he has to prove himself. Instead of just bulldozing his way to the hoop each time he catches the ball, he’s making good passes and taking the shots that come to him. He’s also been great defensively, and so if the second unit can continue to find ways to score, we may be seeing more of Norm and less of Miles going forward. Of course, if Miles is needed, Casey won’t hesitate to switch back to him, as he did today.
  3. Noon start times still suck, in case you were wondering. Go Eagles!

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