Fan Duel Toronto Raptors

Quick Reaction: Raptors 90, Jazz 105

The Raptors bench lost it to the Jazz starters in the third quarter, but an encouraging game overall despite the outcome.

Box Score

C. Miles20 MIN, 4 PTS, 3 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 2-8 FG, 0-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -5 +/-

I’m about to blow some minds with this statement, but Miles is not a good defender. With the Raptors starting small Miles was tasked with guarding Jingling Joe Ingles and it did not go well. If he has to guard any player that can successfully use a pick then he is done for.

And the other option was to guard Favors, which is death in a different way. If his shot isn’t falling then he just can’t be out there. His spot in the starting line-up for both preseason games is likely just holding the spot for OG.

K. Leonard18 MIN, 17 PTS, 5 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 6-12 FG, 1-2 3FG, 4-8 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 5 +/-

Kawhi is awesome, and that’s true despite still working through some rust from missing so much time last season. He can dominate a game is so many ways. We saw him score in isolation, grab boards he had no reason getting and putting it back up, and jumping passing lanes for steals. Getting to watch him in a Raptors jersey is truly exciting.

But he really needs to hit his free throws.

J. Valanciunas21 MIN, 18 PTS, 9 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 6-11 FG, 0-0 3FG, 6-6 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -4 +/-

The Jazz announcers referred to him as “Val-len-chew-less” several times, and he was lacking a little bite (pun!) early against Gobert. His game was simplified after the initial struggles, going with fewer post-ups and more attacking on the move and gaining advantages with screens. His verticality was also excellent in challenging drivers at the basket.

The second half saw a return of the power game. Overall, a solid night showing some diversity for Jonas. He is a much better defender when he has better perimeter defenders around him.

K. Lowry18 MIN, 7 PTS, 2 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 2-8 FG, 1-4 3FG, 2-2 FT, 2 BLK, 2 TO, 3 +/-

The first quarter gave us our first glimpse of Surly Lowry on the season, with Kyle slamming the ball to the ground after an Ibaka turnover (he stepped over the line on an inbound). Another reminder that Lowry just wants to win, which should make for a good partnership with Kawhi.

I mean, he had two blocks, was taking jumpers in transition, and got into it with Crowder (double tech and some talking). Try to tell me he’s not locked in on this year.

K. Collinsworth11 MIN, 0 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST, 2 STL, 0-1 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, -8 +/-

Nurse has been public about his belief that the Raptors have 6 starters on their roster, but I bet you didn’t think that Collinsworth was one of them. In all seriousness, this was an awesome move by Nurse to give Collinsworth the opportunity to start in his home state and close to where he starred for BYU.

There isn’t really anything else to write though.

P. Siakam26 MIN, 10 PTS, 9 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 4-8 FG, 1-3 3FG, 1-2 FT, 0 BLK, 4 TO, -6 +/-

He hit a corner three (and missed another badly), which is always an encouraging sign, but his passing is still what stands out most to me due to the speed in which it has developed. Siakam makes quick reads (a necessity with how fast he moves with and without the ball) and is particularly adept at little drop passes to trailers.

D. Wright24 MIN, 5 PTS, 5 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 2-7 FG, 0-1 3FG, 1-1 FT, 1 BLK, 2 TO, -15 +/-

Uncharacteristically slow night for Delon. Just didn’t have a lot of jump on either end, and particularly struggled sticking with Rubio/Mitchell to start the third quarter. Despite that though, Delon clearly deserves an extension based on his performance in How Hungry Are You. Dude ate an uncooked lamb’s brain.

F. VanVleet20 MIN, 3 PTS, 4 REB, 3 AST, 1 STL, 1-6 FG, 0-4 3FG, 1-2 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -4 +/-

Just a little of everything, but not a lot of any one thing. My favourite play from Fred came in the second quarter. He was standing on the win beyond the three point line, after a pick forced a big (I believe Gobert) onto a switch. A slight delay in his dribble making it look like he was going to shoot, before cutting between a quick double for a scoop lay-up. It was pretty.

D. Green19 MIN, 5 PTS, 3 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 2-4 FG, 1-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 2 +/-

Two fouls in his first two minutes, but it’s preseason so Nurse just let him play through it and he was mostly fine from there. Looked particularly cohesive with a bench group of Fred, Delon, Siakam, and Ibaka, which is likely a group that we’ll see in the regular season

S. Ibaka17 MIN, 11 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 5-11 FG, 1-4 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 3 TO, -7 +/-

In the first two quarters Ibaka committed a turnover on an inbound, committed a travel, and blew a wide-open dunk. He did that in 9 minutes on the court. At the same time though he scored efficiently (minus the dunk) and provided some resistance at the rim.

Was overall okay outside of the disastrous start to the third.

N. Powell16 MIN, 4 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 2-5 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -20 +/-

Started the second half after sitting on the bench for the first 24 minutes, and started it off with a quick turnover his first time touching the ball. I’m still hopeful for a bounce back from last year, but the season isn’t off to a great start in that regard. He was not the only reason for it, but the all bench unit he played with to start the second half got absolutely torched.

G. Monroe10 MIN, 2 PTS, 4 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 1-5 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, -4 +/-

Missed two easy bunnies under the bucket. He knew it was garbage time and his energy mostly matched the game situation.

M. Richardson9 MIN, 2 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 1-3 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -2 +/-

Against all odds Richardson has been better at attacking the basket and defending, but hasn’t been a gunner from deep like one would expect. I just don’t know what to make of Richardson but hopefully he’ll help bring the Raptors905 return to a third straight G-League Finals.

L. Brown6 MIN, 2 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-3 FG, 0-1 3FG, 2-3 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -6 +/-

Every time Brown gets the ball I assume he’s going to shoot. He is actually a good enough passer, as demonstrated in the G-League, but he just loves to gun.

J. Loyd5 MIN, 0 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-3 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -4 +/-

He was on the court during the game. That’s all I got.

Nick Nurse

His grade is artificially high simply for throwing Collinsworth into the starting line-up. Love when coaches celebrate their players like this, and particularly in the case of a current fringe NBA players.

While he is still clearly experimenting with line-up possibilities (all bench unit against Jazz starters to begin the second half) we had some more sightings of regular season groupings tonight than we did in the preseason opener. For example, Lowry, Fred, Kawhi, Ibaka, and Jonas was all types of fun as a group in the second quarter, putting a lock down on Utah defensively.

Things We Saw

  1. I watched the Utah broadcast and it bothers me more than it should that they are trying out the nickname “Swat Lake”. I like puns, but this unreasonably irritated me.
  2. Greyson Allen is going to be a solid role player in the NBA, and one fans will only like if he plays on their team. For example, I hate Greyson Allen already.
  3. Joe Ingles looks like the world’s greatest men’s league player. Breathing heavy and looks exhausted, but still chugs along and can do a little bit of everything. If not for Ingles the Raptors win in a blowout.
  4. All the best to OG.