Quick Reaction: Raptors 107, Suns 98

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Toronto 107 Final
Box Score
98 Phoenix

P. Siakam27 MIN, 10 PTS, 5 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 4-7 FG, 0-0 3FG, 2-4 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 7 +/-

A lot less time with the ball in hand than recent games. Used his speed to stretch the defense, and took high-percentage shots. His defense is always impressive. Watching him close off wing players on the baseline is really satisfying.

K. Leonard30 MIN, 19 PTS, 6 REB, 5 AST, 2 STL, 7-14 FG, 1-2 3FG, 4-6 FT, 1 BLK, 2 TO, 4 +/-

Got a couple more pick n’ roll opportunities tonight, expect that to progress as the season stretches on. He makes the game look too easy. There was at least four times on the right wing where he walked to the bucket. Players don’t ever get up on him, and he strong-arms them to the rim.

J. Valanciunas24 MIN, 16 PTS, 7 REB, 1 AST, 2 STL, 7-10 FG, 1-2 3FG, 1-2 FT, 4 BLK, 3 TO, 3 +/-

Definitely not Serge on defense, but his “verticality” has been really good this year, and definitely tonight. He’s big defending his own rim, and effective. Efficient as ever scoring the ball. His scoring punch off the bench or starting is a huge coup for the Raptors.

K. Lowry32 MIN, 11 PTS, 6 REB, 12 AST, 1 STL, 4-9 FG, 1-5 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 5 +/-

The 3-point shot still seems to be a bit off, but his execution as general in this offense is incredible. It seems like he gets 10 assists as soon as he steps foot in the building. Still such a pest to rebounding big-men.

D. Green26 MIN, 8 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 3-8 FG, 2-5 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, -2 +/-

Loved his defense on Booker early, making life super tough for him. Hit a couple threes before taking an incidental smack to the face. He was his usual excellent self.

S. Ibaka23 MIN, 14 PTS, 4 REB, 1 AST, 2 STL, 6-12 FG, 0-4 3FG, 2-4 FT, 3 BLK, 1 TO, 11 +/-

Still playing the part of elite defensive big-man. He’s really held it down on the defensive end this year, and tonight was no different. Had a few nice finishes on the short-roll, and we’re just waiting for the 3-point shot to come along.

O. Anunoby21 MIN, 2 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 1-3 FG, 0-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 2 +/-

Played too large a part in the horrible bench-play of the first half. Had a couple nice stretches switching defensively with Leonard. Quiet.

F. VanVleet20 MIN, 8 PTS, 3 REB, 6 AST, 2 STL, 3-7 FG, 2-4 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 2 TO, 7 +/-

Super solid. Saved the Raptors from having to suffer through another really rough Wright-Brown night. Hit his triples, defended with intensity and created a few good looks for the bigs. Good stuff.

C. Miles16 MIN, 9 PTS, 1 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 3-6 FG, 3-4 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 4 +/-

Hit a few triples. He looks way more active this year, and I’ve never seen him attacking close-outs this aggresively. It hasn’t resulted in anything save for a few dunks this year. If the shot is back, he’s valuable. If it isn’t, he isn’t. We’ll see.

N. Powell14 MIN, 8 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 3-6 FG, 2-4 3FG, 0-1 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 11 +/-

Has been much better picking his spots as of late. When he gets to play the role of supplementary bench player, he’s fine. Shooting a very sneaky 40+ percent from downtown this year.

D. Wright7 MIN, 2 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-2 FG, 0-1 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -2 +/-

Did a good enough job bouncing around screens on defense. Was completely in-affective on offense, though. Disappointing regression on that end after a good game against the 76ers.

G. Monroe1 MIN, 0 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-0 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -5 +/-


Nick Nurse

Kept the minutes relatively low for Leonard and Lowry, after giving the latter a lot of run the past few games. Not gonna chide him for “not getting the players ready for the game.” It’s the suns, and most teams probably have trouble getting up for them. The team generated good looks all night, the 3-pointers will start dropping this year, and we’ll be really happy with him when that happens.

Things We Saw

  1. Had a lot of trouble keeping Ayton off the glass tonight, and it was a problem in the first half. Hopefully the defensive glass gets cleaned up at some point this year.
  2. You can see players are very timid around Leonard. I’m not sure if he exudes some sort of “alpha-male” scent, or if his hands cast a shadow over the whole court. On offense or defense both, there’s a lot of trepidation when he’s near the ball.
  3. Ibaka is still playing super well defensively. The duo of Ibaka-Valanciunas has been great for the Raptors so far this year. Tough for opposing teams to deal with. Reminds me of the Ibaka-Kanter duo of 15-16 that almost bodied the Warriors out of the WCF.

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