Quick Reaction

Quick Reaction: Raptors 106, Cavaliers 95

Toronto 106 Final
Box Score
95 Cleveland

K. Leonard37 MIN, 34 PTS, 9 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 11-21 FG, 3-9 3FG, 9-9 FT, 2 BLK, 1 TO, 28 +/-

He probably shouldn’t have had to work this hard for the win, but the difference tonight was Kawhi Leonard, who had several stretches where he took over and it ended up being the difference in this game, despite the team’s lackluster effort.

P. Siakam33 MIN, 15 PTS, 5 REB, 5 AST, 0 STL, 6-11 FG, 0-2 3FG, 3-4 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, 14 +/-

Siakam, much like the Raptors, was good in spurts tonight. The numbers are efficient, but his game just didn’t pop like many recent games, and the energy wasn’t what we’ve become accustomed to.

S. Ibaka31 MIN, 10 PTS, 6 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 4-9 FG, 0-1 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 20 +/-

Raptors gave up 11 offensive boards, and a big part of that was Serge’s inability to keep in front of Tristan Thompson. Has been rough at points this season, and tonight was one where he was routinely beat to the rebound.

D. Green32 MIN, 15 PTS, 7 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 6-9 FG, 3-5 3FG, 0-0 FT, 2 BLK, 1 TO, 24 +/-

As with Kawhi, Danny came through every time it felt like the game was closing, hitting big threes, and having a couple first half putbacks to keep the Raptors rolling. His consistency has been important all season.

F. VanVleet33 MIN, 15 PTS, 3 REB, 4 AST, 1 STL, 5-12 FG, 1-4 3FG, 4-4 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 14 +/-

15 points is nice to see from him, but the numbers are better than the game was. He struggled running the offense and the starters really missed Kyle Lowry in this one.

O. Anunoby22 MIN, 8 PTS, 6 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 3-5 FG, 0-1 3FG, 2-4 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -15 +/-

Scored a bucket in the first half off a nice cut and a pass from CJ Miles, and otherwise was just largely invisible in this game. Seems like he’s still not sure what his role is with the bench, or how he fits in, and needs to find his spot.

D. Wright20 MIN, 2 PTS, 1 REB, 1 AST, 2 STL, 1-4 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -17 +/-

This should’ve been a big game for Delon, he got to run the bench offense more with Fred starting, and he just didn’t have that effectiveness. Keeps deferring to other guys offensively when he should be taking the reins and running things himself.

J. Valanciunas18 MIN, 5 PTS, 4 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 2-5 FG, 0-1 3FG, 1-2 FT, 1 BLK, 2 TO, -9 +/-

It’s not really on Jonas that the bench doesn’t use him properly, but it’s gotta be addressed. Jonas has to be put in a position to succeed when he’s out there, especially in matchups that he can dominate, and that just hasn’t been happening.

C. Miles15 MIN, 2 PTS, 1 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 1-4 FG, 0-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -4 +/-

He had the aforementioned pass to OG, which was a nice assist, and he hit a jumper off the bounce late that was nice to see go down, but otherwise the shot wasn’t there and it’s hard for CJ to be effective without his shooting, which hasn’t been there most of this season.

Nick Nurse

The team was missing Lowry, which definitely changes things, but this showed just how much of the Raptors offense thus far is being created by Kyle, and it’s a problem that has to be addressed at some point, which is on Nurse. Got the win, but this game showed how many fixable issues the Raptors still have right now.

Things We Saw

  1. Kyle’s absence was felt, and the game felt like a slog. They have to find a way to create rhythm without him on the floor, which just isn’t happening right now. Kawhi can score at will, but he doesn’t generate the general offensive flow the same way.
  2. The talent gap was huge in this one, despite the execution issues. This Cleveland team works really hard and they just keep coming, but they aren’t in the same class of team as Toronto.
  3. The official reason for Kyle sitting out was a sore back, but it’s hard to know whether this was mostly just a rest game for him, which would make sense. He’s playing more minutes than last year, although still considerably below the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons, and the schedule gets tough in December.
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