Quick Reaction: Raptors 102, Wizards 95

9 mins read
1
Toronto 102 Final
Box Score
95 Washington

C+
S. Ibaka19 MIN, 7 PTS, 4 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 2-7 FG, 0-2 3FG, 3-6 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -13 +/-

Ibaka had a quiet game tonight. When his shot isn’t falling and he’s not driving, Ibaka becomes a liability. There’s not much to say here, since the bench bigs played so well. Hopefully the extra rest was good for those legs!

F
N. Powell17 MIN, 0 PTS, 1 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 0-2 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -16 +/-

Woof. It’s getting real bad, guys. But that doesn’t mean Norm shouldn’t get any minutes at all. He’s on the team, he’s healthy. That guy we saw against Milwaukee last postseason is in there, somewhere. He may continue to lose minutes, and rightly so, to guys like Miller, but saying he should simply no longer play is silly. This is the time to try and get him kickstarted.

B-
J. Valanciunas19 MIN, 12 PTS, 4 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 5-6 FG, 1-1 3FG, 1-4 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, -11 +/-

Valanciunas had an okay game. He was taken out early due to two quick fouls; Gortat handled him in the first half. Only in the second half did JV start to look like himself, but for the most part Poeltl was a better option tonight, and Casey stuck with that.

A
D. DeRozan34 MIN, 23 PTS, 4 REB, 4 AST, 3 STL, 9-17 FG, 0-3 3FG, 5-7 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -2 +/-

DeRozan started off slowly, but by the time he got to the fourth quarter, he was firing on all cylinders. He was the biggest reason the Raptors were able to close out this game, forcing his way into the lane repeatedly and either scoring, or (more importantly) dumping the ball off to bigs or cutters for easy baskets. He also made a huge pull up jumper. Tonight was just one of those great DeRozan nights, and his decision-making continues to impress.

B
K. Lowry33 MIN, 10 PTS, 7 REB, 5 AST, 1 STL, 4-10 FG, 1-5 3FG, 1-2 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -2 +/-

There were bright spots in Lowry’s game tonight, including a couple sweet passes and another patented charge. But once again, Lowry played poorly defensively for most of the game, and especially so in the clutch. He also made the worst play in crunch time, shooting an iso three that got blocked.

B+
F. VanVleet29 MIN, 12 PTS, 4 REB, 3 AST, 1 STL, 2-9 FG, 1-6 3FG, 7-8 FT, 1 BLK, 2 TO, 20 +/-

Freddy was steady; VanVleet played solid defense and made some gritty, tough plays (including several huge rebounds in traffic). His three-point shot wasn’t falling tonight, but he still found a way to make a positive contribution.

A
P. Siakam24 MIN, 5 PTS, 3 REB, 1 AST, 2 STL, 2-9 FG, 0-2 3FG, 1-1 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 13 +/-

It’ll sound like a broken record, but Siakam was a burst of energy, whipping around the floor like a human tornado, playing great defense, crashing the offensive glass, and hustling for loose balls. He had a tough time shooting the ball from anywhere outside the paint, per usual, but otherwise continued to be one of the most important bench players.

A-
J. Poeltl22 MIN, 6 PTS, 3 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 3-3 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-1 FT, 3 BLK, 1 TO, 4 +/-

Poeltl had to come in early for Valanciunas, and once again displayed his dominance as a mobile big. He didn’t score or rebound a ton, but he stuck with his man all night and made things tough at the rim. He was also in the perfect spots late in the game to receive DeRozan’s passes. The box score doesn’t do his game justice.

A+
C. Miles20 MIN, 20 PTS, 1 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 7-10 FG, 6-9 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 18 +/-

Shooters shoot, baby!

B+
D. Wright10 MIN, 0 PTS, 1 REB, 3 AST, 1 STL, 0-3 FG, 0-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 4 +/-

Wright was fairly quiet offensively tonight, and he struggled to make his open three-pointers. However, he did make an impact defensively, most notably taking Porter out of the game when he was killing the Raptors in the fourth.

A-
M. Miller7 MIN, 3 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 1-1 FG, 1-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 6 +/-

Miller checked in early in the second, taking the minutes that were originally meant for Powell. He took advantage of the opportunity and played solid defense while also dropping a three in six minutes. There’s a good chance we could be seeing more of him, depending on how long OG is out.

A
L. Nogueira7 MIN, 4 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 1-1 FG, 0-0 3FG, 2-3 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 14 +/-

Bebe saw time tonight, checking in to play with the bench during Poeltl’s (who had to sub in early for Valanciunas) normal minutes. He was quite good, playing his typical, strong interior defense and making a few buckets out of the pick and roll on the other end. It’s a luxury having him as a third-string center.

A+
Dwane Casey

Casey was searching early in the game to find some way to get his guys going. This included taking out Powell for Miller, which proved to be a good move. He also stuck with some bench guys like Miles late (who was red-hot), and Poeltl, who made a key block. Casey really has improved as a coach; tonight was a good example.

Things We Saw

  1. Holy crap, you guys. They did it—they won a game in crunch time! And they did it the right way, too (excluding the Lowry blocked three and that late foul on Morris beyond the arc), with DeRozan leading the way. DeMar made all the right decisions, driving to the rim at the correct times and dropping off passes at every other opportunity. The ball needs to keep moving—there are better shots than those Lowry or DeRozan can make for themselves in the half-court. The defense was strong, too, and it was a great choice by Casey to leave Poeltl in instead of Valanciunas—his mobility really helped save some baskets where perimeter players let opponents slash inside. All in all, Toronto should be looking at this as a step forward.
  2. I touched on this, but depending on how long Anunoby is out, the Raptors might look at giving Miller more chances to play than he’s ever had. With Norm continuing to play poorly, Casey will likely keep swapping Miller in for him whenever he’s not performing at a high enough level. I would be surprised if Casey stops playing Norm completely (and I don’t think he should), but he shouldn’t hesitate going to Miller again. Who needs a buyout player, anyway? This is another strong endorsement of the 905 and the work the organization is doing to develop their young guys.
  3. Make. Your. Free. Throws.

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