Quick Reaction: Raptors 123, Clippers 99

7 mins read

The grades are very generous tonight. Kumbaya my lord…

Toronto 123 Final
Box Score
99 LA Clippers

P. Siakam27 MIN, 13 PTS, 3 REB, 5 AST, 1 STL, 6-9 FG, 1-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 29 +/-

The world’s largest Swiss-army knife. He is an amorphous blob of whatever the Raptors want. He is everything that Vince from Slap-chop and Billy Mays have ever sold. Watching your power forward spin around the opposing teams shooting guard before sprinting the length of the floor and dropping the ball into the dunker spot is special. For Siakam, progress is linear hahah.

D. Green28 MIN, 9 PTS, 5 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 4-7 FG, 0-2 3FG, 1-2 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 32 +/-

Took the ‘Spicy P’ spin move and unleashed it twice in transition. Thought he would have trouble with Harris, but he was terrific and tenacious in that matchup tonight.

S. Ibaka24 MIN, 25 PTS, 9 REB, 3 AST, 0 STL, 11-18 FG, 1-3 3FG, 2-2 FT, 3 BLK, 1 TO, 22 +/-

Was the benefactor of terrific spacing early on. Had a couple brain-farts on defense in the first half, but wow, he was awesome on defense in the second half. Don’t know what got into him, but he ate everybody’s lunch in the second half. Awesome game.

F. VanVleet29 MIN, 5 PTS, 6 REB, 14 AST, 0 STL, 2-5 FG, 1-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 21 +/-

He set his career high in assists in the first half(!). Wonderful floor game from him tonight, even if he was bullied by some of the Clippers guards on the other end.

K. Lowry32 MIN, 21 PTS, 5 REB, 7 AST, 1 STL, 8-13 FG, 4-8 3FG, 1-1 FT, 1 BLK, 2 TO, 30 +/-

Didn’t blow the doors off of Staples Center like he has in the past, but this was an incredibly satisfying game to watch from Lowry. The 3-point shot looks much better and he pushed for enough of his own looks that the ‘pnr’ game blossomed. Progress isn’t linear.

O. Anunoby21 MIN, 12 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 5-9 FG, 2-3 3FG, 0-1 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -5 +/-

Hit his triples. Took advantage of small guards in the post. Played great switchable defense – especially when paired with Siakam – and was excellent overall. Great to see him finding a groove.

D. Wright20 MIN, 12 PTS, 4 REB, 3 AST, 2 STL, 5-10 FG, 2-5 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 6 +/-

Took a nasty chop to his brow that required stitches, then came back in the game and delivered the full ‘Delontino’ package. Rocking shoulders, rejecting the screen, stopping-starting and creative. Hit his spot-up triples for posterity.

J. Valanciunas18 MIN, 16 PTS, 5 REB, 0 AST, 2 STL, 7-12 FG, 1-2 3FG, 1-2 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 6 +/-

Stepped into the game and immediately dominated one of the best bench-bigs in the league (Harrell) without any mercy. Took advantage of a lax Clippers front-line and left a huge handprint on the first half.

C. Miles17 MIN, 5 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 1-6 FG, 1-2 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -12 +/-

Life is hard sometimes and CJ’s shooting stroke is making his harder. His compete level is pretty evident when he’s on the floor, for all of his physical limitations, he’s trying. Gotta make some shots, though.

L. Brown12 MIN, 0 PTS, 1 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 0-3 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -5 +/-

Big part of a terrible end of bench showing.

G. Monroe7 MIN, 2 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 0-3 FG, 0-0 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -4 +/-

Gave us a good look at Marjanovic, which is great!

Nick Nurse

Had faith in Green to matchup with Harris from the jump, a move that paid off. Busted out a zone defense early on to vex the Clippers and put Gortat in a playmaking role that he was not suited for. Even though Valanciunas is typically a Gortat matchup, Nurse deployed him against Harrell and took away one of the Clippers typical advantages. Also drew up a few pin downs early for Lowry to artificially inject some pop into his jumper. Great game from coach, and RIP to his mom. All the love going to Coach Nurse.

Things We Saw

  1. Siakam’s ascension to stardom and Anunoby’s pedestrian play has really made a lot of us forget what ‘OG’ brings. Last year he was our net rating god, the perfect glue-guy who would some day be Kawhi Leonard. This year there’s hardly a peep. He’s every bit the same player, and I’m hoping there’s far more games like this going forward for him.
  2. This was the ideal game for all things that fall under “Raptors front court”. Siakam was creative in transition, at times jaw-dropping. Ibaka made the mid-range look like layups, and demoralized the opposing defense. Valanciunas was a battering ram that obliterated through the Clippers fatigued frontline. This was a complete game. The paint in Staples Center was dominated by these three men. Awesome to watch them work tonight.
  3. Turns out all of us goofs at home who thought the VanVleet pick n’ rolls would look a lot better with a pass coming out of it were right. Huge steps were taken by VanVleet tonight as he spread the wealth, rather than charge into the paint with his head down.
  4. It’s nice to see the Raptors come in and take care of business like this. Leonard should be well rested for Golden State on the morrow, and let’s cross our fingers for a dominant performance. Great game tonight.

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