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Quick Reaction

Quick Reaction: Raptors 102, Wizards 92; Raptors win series 4-2

Toronto 102 Final
Box Score
92 Washington

D
S. Ibaka23 MIN, 7 PTS, 3 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 3-10 FG, 1-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, -5 +/-

Alright, well, the bad off the top. Serge hasn’t really been himself since the first two games of the series, and the starters struggled tonight. To Casey’s credit, he kept Serge on the bench for most of the second half, and that says a lot about the level of play Ibaka brought to this game. Needs to be better in the second round.

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

OG is so tough. His defense is always there and he was really good again tonight, despite the Wizards’ first quarter success. He’ll be massively important in the next round whether it’s the Cavaliers or the Pacers, and it’s great to see him find himself right away in the postseason.

A
J. Valanciunas31 MIN, 14 PTS, 12 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 6-13 FG, 0-0 3FG, 2-2 FT, 2 BLK, 1 TO, 6 +/-

Jonas is a monster. Controlled the boards again, had some great minutes when they went to him in the fourth quarter. Great defensive night too, aside from that he had some issues with Wall in the pick and roll where he was able to create space for some midrange shots that he knocked down, but that’s a shot you live with.

A+
K. Lowry32 MIN, 24 PTS, 6 REB, 6 AST, 1 STL, 9-15 FG, 3-7 3FG, 3-4 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 0 +/-

It’s tough to be this good when you’re being completely neutralized, as Sports Illustrated wrote. Lowry has been absolutely fantastic all series, and capped it off with another great game tonight. Having Fred back helps so much with his minutes and energy level, and Lowry closed this game out in style.

B-
D. DeRozan33 MIN, 16 PTS, 2 REB, 4 AST, 0 STL, 6-18 FG, 0-4 3FG, 4-4 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -6 +/-

I don’t want to be too hard on DeMar, who did score some important buckets again tonight, but his defense was an issue again, and his scoring simply wasn’t there. He’s had a great series, despite that, and needs to carry it forward to the next opponent.

B+
D. Wright24 MIN, 4 PTS, 4 REB, 2 AST, 4 STL, 2-6 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 12 +/-

He just looks more comfortable with his backcourt partner alongside him, and the bench as a whole had their best game of the series by a large margin. Delon was once again a terror in the passing lanes, creating turnovers and generating pace for the Raptors offense.

A
P. Siakam22 MIN, 11 PTS, 8 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 5-6 FG, 0-0 3FG, 1-3 FT, 2 BLK, 0 TO, 18 +/-

Big night for the entire bench. Pascal looked like himself again, out in transition where he excels, creating chaos, and being a defensive pest. Might be one of the most important Raptors yet in the playoffs, and it’s great to see him playing well.

A+
F. VanVleet19 MIN, 5 PTS, 4 REB, 4 AST, 0 STL, 2-7 FG, 1-5 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 12 +/-

Did the Raptors miss Fred in the first five games? The bench was fixed tonight, with him back in his normal role. Whether it was Jonas in the first half at center, or Jak in the second, they went on big runs that helped get the win, and Fred was in the middle of everything. The shot still wasn’t completely there, and there may have been some rust, but that didn’t stop him from being important.

B
C. Miles19 MIN, 7 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 3-7 FG, 1-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 6 +/-

The bench back means space for CJ, who only had 7 points in this one, but they all felt big.

B+
J. Poeltl17 MIN, 7 PTS, 7 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 2-5 FG, 0-1 3FG, 3-4 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 4 +/-

The first half was, again, a struggle for Jak as he ended up playing alongside the starters with Jonas in foul trouble. He bounced back in the second half though with some of his best minutes of the playoffs, showing a presence on the boards and defensively, and looked like the impactful player we know he can be.

A+
Dwane Casey

Sure, the starters struggled to start. Also, there were some Jak and Serge minutes, which have never worked. But he had solutions when he had to, and knew how to answer the call in the fourth quarter to get the game won. His adjustments have been good in this series, and his game management was great tonight.

Things We Saw

  1. Time to exhale. The Wizards are gone, one playoff demon is down, and it’s on to the next one. The Raptors won on the road, and DeMar and Kyle both had great series when they shot the ball well. This is not the Raptors of years past, despite the series going six games.
  2. Fred matters. Simply put, the bench isn’t the same without him, and this, tonight, was the unit that dominated the league all season long, and they won their minutes in this game, even some fourth quarter minutes against the full Wizards starting lineup while DeRozan and Lowry rested.
  3. Turnovers. The Raptors had just 6 tonight, after struggling with them all series long, and that made a huge difference after Washington led for the first three quarters.
  4. Not clear who is next yet, whether it’s Indiana or Cleveland, but both of those teams are flawed and beatable, especially for a Raptors team finding themselves, and one that’s dominant at home.
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