Quick Reaction

Quick Reaction: Raptors 122, Grizzlies 114

Toronto 122 Final
Box Score
114 Memphis

A+
K. Leonard37 MIN, 17 PTS, 10 REB, 5 AST, 2 STL, 5-11 FG, 1-4 3FG, 6-9 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 12 +/-

This was one of Kawhi’s best complete games as a Raptor. The way he controlled the game in the second half, accepting what the Grizzlies were doing to take away his scoring and using that commitment to find the open man, time and again, to get shots for his teammates, and then getting his own when it was there. Fantastic performance.

A
P. Siakam31 MIN, 10 PTS, 6 REB, 4 AST, 0 STL, 3-5 FG, 0-1 3FG, 4-6 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 10 +/-

Memphis did a really good job committing to taking away Siakam’s space to score, whether it was limiting his presence in transition(which wouldn’t have been there most of the night anyways, because Memphis wasn’t missing shots), or taking away interior space on his drives. Pascal found room to be effective enough though, and had some key assists down the stretch run and played great defense.

B+
S. Ibaka35 MIN, 16 PTS, 3 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 7-11 FG, 0-2 3FG, 2-2 FT, 1 BLK, 3 TO, 10 +/-

The defense certainly could’ve been better on Marc Gasol, who just went off all night long, but Serge hit a bunch of shots, as the team needed, and was the centerpiece of the zone defense that got the Raptors back into the game tonight.

A+
K. Lowry37 MIN, 24 PTS, 2 REB, 6 AST, 0 STL, 8-14 FG, 5-8 3FG, 3-4 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, 10 +/-

Kawhi Leonard is the best player on the Raptors, but so far this season, they’re still Kyle Lowry’s team. He came through repeatedly with plays that helped bring the Raptors back into the game and then win it at the end.

A
D. Green28 MIN, 14 PTS, 4 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 5-9 FG, 4-8 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 6 +/-

Ended up being replaced in the closing lineup by Fred VanVleet, which was the right call, but despite that Danny had a solid game. Hit threes and played defense, as we’ve become accustomed to seeing from him.

A+
F. VanVleet22 MIN, 18 PTS, 2 REB, 3 AST, 3 STL, 6-6 FG, 3-3 3FG, 3-4 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 8 +/-

He struggled, some. The bench was rough in the first half and Fred was a big part of that as he frequently got into trouble going to the rim. However, his fourth quarter was vintage Fred. Hit huge shots, and was critical defensively on Mike Conley. This was 6MOY candidate Fred VanVleet again, and it was great to see.

C
O. Anunoby17 MIN, 5 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 2-5 FG, 1-3 3FG, 0-1 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -2 +/-

Really rough night for OG. Struggled to make an impact on the game, and had some tough plays, as the bench unit continues to struggle, and he didn’t get many minutes with the bench late in the game when they were playing with Lowry and Leonard.

C
D. Wright14 MIN, 3 PTS, 0 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 1-3 FG, 1-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -3 +/-

Delon isn’t the same threat this year in the pick-and-roll game, and it’s something the team needs to figure out, because without his creation there, it’s tough sledding for the Raptors bench units.

C-
J. Valanciunas14 MIN, 9 PTS, 3 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 3-3 FG, 1-1 3FG, 2-2 FT, 1 BLK, 3 TO, -5 +/-

It’s not that Jonas didn’t do anything good, his scoring was nice to have in this game. But he can’t guard Marc Gasol due to his limited mobility, and he was exposed frequently.

A
C. Miles5 MIN, 6 PTS, 0 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 2-2 FG, 2-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -4 +/-

Five crucial minutes for CJ, including some huge shots that he hit. Great to see him get those to go down, and must be a relief for him to have his shot there in a timely fashion.

B+
Nick Nurse

The first half was rough. The Raptors looked like they couldn’t account for Memphis’ offensive plan and they were struggling to rebound the few misses the Grizzlies had, while they weren’t generating any real momentum of their own. However, Nurse found answers late, and his choices to go to the zone defense, use Kawhi alongside the bench in the fourth, and then to close with VanVleet at the off-guard spot as the time charged back were brilliant. He made some great moves to get this victory.

Things We Saw

  1. Not a complete game from the Raptors, but a complete victory. This was a tough opponent in a tough building and they found ways despite some incredible shotmaking from Memphis, who seemingly couldn’t miss on long twos, and kept coming late, then held on once they took the lead. Gutsy performance by the team.
  2. The three point shooting came through. Fred went 3/3, CJ went 2/2, and they shot 54.5% as a team from long distance, and it feels like it’s been a long time coming for the Raptors to have a game like this from downtown.
  3. Memphis is for real. This team will be in the playoffs if they can stay healthy, and will be dangerous. Mike Conley and Marc Gasol looked great, and they have a solid supporting cast around them this year. Hopefully they can be healthy in the postseason.
  4. Thursday night is a huge test with the Warriors coming to Toronto, and the Warriors will be ready for that game, so the Raptors have to bring a more consistent effort than they’ve often had this season. Should be a fun game and a great test for this Raptors squad.
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