Quick Reaction: Nuggets 106, Raptors 103

7 mins read

Let’s hope the price is ‘Wright’ soon. Last call on Ibaka, was toughhh.

Denver 106 Final
Box Score
103 Toronto

P. Siakam29 MIN, 14 PTS, 6 REB, 7 AST, 2 STL, 7-10 FG, 0-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, -2 +/-

Did a great job in his minutes matched up with Millsap, getting the better of him on both sides of the floor. When the ball found him late in the clock he was great at finding the open man, and attacked when available. Tough to critique his game sometimes, his role is so fluent that he seems like he’s always doing it well.

K. Leonard35 MIN, 27 PTS, 8 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 10-19 FG, 1-7 3FG, 6-6 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, -13 +/-

It seems like he hits every shot you’d expect of him from inside the arc. From 3-point land, who knows, but when he gets one up off the dribble from inside, it’s always cash. Drove the offense for large parts of the game. Was terrific down the stretch. Sucks to lose this game with him playing so well.

S. Ibaka31 MIN, 15 PTS, 5 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 6-9 FG, 1-4 3FG, 2-2 FT, 1 BLK, 2 TO, -6 +/-

Tough game to judge for him. Even tougher call at the end of the game. Jokic ate his lunch, but Jokic eats everything. He was great on the pick n’ pop, and was by no means a bad defender tonight.

D. Green31 MIN, 9 PTS, 3 REB, 0 AST, 2 STL, 3-9 FG, 3-7 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 5 +/-

“A Danny Green Movie” playing at your theatre 365 days a year. Remarkably consistent, especially on defense. The plus-minus isn’t everything but it is telling. He plays his role to a tee. Hurts to miss those shots at the end, but better players shovelled the ball to him, he’s supposed to put them up at that point.

K. Lowry34 MIN, 5 PTS, 3 REB, 11 AST, 1 STL, 1-7 FG, 1-6 3FG, 2-2 FT, 3 BLK, 3 TO, -12 +/-

We all love the floor game, and appreciate what he does. That being said, his scoring can’t be this flippant. 5-points on 1-7 shooting can never cut it, even with the 11-assists. His hesitance to shoot late in games continues to worry me. Lots of little things to love about what he did tonight, overall though, he’s too quiet.

F. VanVleet18 MIN, 2 PTS, 2 REB, 4 AST, 3 STL, 1-7 FG, 0-5 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, -1 +/-

The usage rate is absurd, it’s been absurd for weeks. Please defer some of his possessions to Wright, and let’s all benefit from it. Has no vision as a pnr ball handler right now. The ball is leaking air when he has it. Tough to watch so often.

J. Valanciunas18 MIN, 8 PTS, 10 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 3-6 FG, 0-0 3FG, 2-2 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 0 +/-

If not for those missed bunnies clouding my vision, I would have thought this to be a very strong game. His second half was especially good, and his work on the glass was huge. He battled, man. I liked his performance tonight.

C. Miles16 MIN, 8 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 3-8 FG, 2-6 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 9 +/-

His 2nd three of the night was massive for the run at hand, but his overall game remains poor. It’s disappointing that I look at 2-6 and think: “ahh, progress”.

D. Wright15 MIN, 9 PTS, 3 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL, 4-7 FG, 1-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 6 +/-

Awesome work off the bench. Deserved to have a huge bite out of VanVleet’s proverbial apple, of which he got none. Creative getting to the rim. Showed off why we’re so confident in his set 3-point shot. He’s back, and Nurse should run with that.

O. Anunoby12 MIN, 6 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 2-5 FG, 2-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -1 +/-

Another weird game for Anunoby as he is pressed to create as part of a bench squad. Or worse, is a bystander to VanVleet’s over dribbling. The Siakam-Anunoby stagger has to be coming.

Nick Nurse

Siakam needs more time with the bench, that much is clear. It’s also patently clear that on night’s like tonight, Wright needs to supplant VanVleet. He went against the game’s flow and dictation to force VanVleet in a game he didn’t belong. Too short a leash on the JV-Ibaka minutes.

Things We Saw

  1. Jokic’s gifts are very difficult to guard for any NBA team. The Raptors actually did a great job tonight of shutting down a lot of the actions the Nuggets like. Defensive effort was awesome for large parts of the game. The 3-point percentage swung this game.
  2. The time has most certainly come for the bench’s offensive hierarchy to shift. VanVleet’s homogenous offense has to be abandoned. The two-guard combo of Wright-VanVleet is formidable as a duo, not as two singular attackers. They’ll both be much better off if this happens.
  3. VanVleet… you have to pass to Valanciunas on the pick n’ roll. He can be a bad defender, he can be whatever you like, but he will never be a bad offensive big. If he’s out there, you have to use one of the best finishers/screeners in the league. This can’t stand, and it sinks the bench repeatedly.

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