Quick Reaction

Quick Reaction: Kings 105, Raptors 120

Easy win, lots of fun. 1 minute later than I was hoping on the QR, damn.

Sacramento 105 Final
Box Score
120 Toronto

B+
P. Siakam31 MIN, 18 PTS, 4 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 8-14 FG, 1-4 3FG, 1-1 FT, 1 BLK, 2 TO, 11 +/-

The first half was one of his worst this year. Had a tough time creating against the Kings defense that was keyed in on him. Turned the ball over more than usual and pounded the air out of the ball on occasion. Man, he busted the game open in the third quarter, though. He found his angles and space in this one. Constant attack mode that the Kings couldn’t keep up with. He swung his matchup in the third quarter, which ended up being really important.

B-
D. Green23 MIN, 6 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 2-8 FG, 2-6 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, -6 +/-

After he set the building on fire against the Grizzlies, Green had a far more relaxing night. Wasn’t particularly sharp on offense or defense, but was solid nevertheless. It’s always fun to see him bang in the post against diminutive guards. He is immovable, a positive force in the world.

A
S. Ibaka25 MIN, 15 PTS, 10 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 5-13 FG, 0-3 3FG, 5-6 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 1 +/-

As exciting as De’Aaron Fox’s year has been, the Kings have also enjoyed Cauley-Stein’s play. Ibaka made him a complete non-factor in this one. Strong presence on the offensive glass tonight, always seeming to make the Kings gang rebound around him to seal a possession. Scored in the half-court because, of course. Not his loudest night, but how quiet the explosive Cauley-Stein was is more than enough noise for me.

B+
K. Lowry34 MIN, 19 PTS, 4 REB, 9 AST, 0 STL, 6-15 FG, 4-9 3FG, 3-3 FT, 1 BLK, 4 TO, 9 +/-

I’d love to have a good shooting game from Lowry to rave about, but this is what we get: A wily veteran point guard who operates almost exclusively in the nuance of the game. Improving his team dramatically, and doing it in a way that is both horrible and excellent to watch. Not classic ‘KLOE’, but classic ‘Mike Lowry’.

A+
F. VanVleet32 MIN, 19 PTS, 7 REB, 7 AST, 1 STL, 6-10 FG, 3-6 3FG, 4-5 FT, 1 BLK, 2 TO, 7 +/-

Even if Lowry isn’t playing to his full offensive capability, he enables VanVleet to have nights like this. Clearly doing his best work off-ball, VanVleet was in rare form tonight. Incredibly sharp in his decision making and a sniper from downtown. Wily as ever on defense as well, pouncing on the Kings big men and guards whenever he sniffed the ball out. #Betonyourself

B
D. Wright24 MIN, 9 PTS, 6 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 2-6 FG, 1-2 3FG, 4-5 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, 24 +/-

One of the few players who actually goads a player into fouling the heave. Ben Mclemore you foolish, fool. Despite the plus-minus, he was fairly pedestrian tonight. His step-back three was nice, but the Kings played him similar to Siakam in the first half, and he struggled similarly.

A-
N. Powell21 MIN, 11 PTS, 1 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 4-7 FG, 1-2 3FG, 2-5 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 15 +/-

He killed it. The Kings bench guards weren’t ready for the explosiveness and poise that Powell brought every time he touched the ball. Very decisive in his decision making and did his best to play downhill as often as he could. Really loving his past 3 weeks of play. He looks excellent in his role.

A+
C. Miles16 MIN, 15 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 5-7 FG, 4-5 3FG, 1-2 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 4 +/-

Whatever, man. This is such a 180. He played terrific ball as a spot-up threat tonight. Same as the two games previous. Trending way up.

D
G. Monroe12 MIN, 0 PTS, 4 REB, 1 AST, 2 STL, 0-4 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-4 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 14 +/-

Could very well be stepping into CJ Miles role of “maligned bench player” as his play of late has been very uninspiring. Today was no different, he had a tough time finishing against the lengthy front-court of the Kings and was a pylon on defence. Tough game. Looking forward to ‘JV’ returning.

B-
C. Boucher12 MIN, 8 PTS, 3 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 2-4 FG, 0-2 3FG, 4-4 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 2 +/-

Has probably earned a larger chunk of Monroe’s minutes than he’s been getting. His length makes him a passive deterrent. Even if he’s not meaning to blow up plays, sometimes his proximity to the ball on defense gives players pause. He’s got a long way to go, but he’s a unique prospect, and fun.

C+
P. McCaw7 MIN, 0 PTS, 3 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 0-2 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -2 +/-

Was happy to see him get first half minutes. He was very long and bouncy on defense, playing the role of a very disruptive defender. No synergy on offence yet, but the defensive presence was palpable in his time on the floor.

A
Nick Nurse

In a game where the bench had the more pronounced advantage he wasn’t afraid to give those guys some more run. Pretty great defensive response after the first quarter, and no complaints from me. Maybe cut down on the Monroe minutes a tad, but that’s a small gripe.

Things We Saw

  1. VanVleet’s first half was incredibly good. One of the best halves of basketball I’ve ever seen him play. If the Raptors can move forward aligning his minutes with Lowry’s more often AND enabling them to play this style, that spells very good things for the Raptors.
  2. Ibaka’s presence in the middle was huge in this game. As Valanciunas works his way back, I just wanted to credit Ibaka for the massive load he’s been carrying in the front-court. With Siakam playing a more dynamic, stringy style, it’s left Ibaka to do most of the banging. Night in and night out.
  3. Buddy Hield and Klay Thompson both have the same right foot motion when shooting. Oddly enough, Siakam does it too. The motion when they lock their elbow in is when they plant their right foot, aligning the right side of their body as they go up. Lots of players do this, but these three have very pronounced versions of it.
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