Quick Reaction

Quick Reaction: Raptors 119, Rockets 121

Oooooof, tough call for the last shot. Weird game.

Toronto 119 Final
Box Score
121 Houston

P. Siakam34 MIN, 22 PTS, 12 REB, 3 AST, 0 STL, 9-15 FG, 2-2 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 6 +/-

His final box score looks impressive, but his inability to create and convert in the first half hamstrung the offense significantly. In a game where the Rockets were happy to switch and focus on Leonard, Siakam’s inability to punish the Rockets smaller players on weak-side post-ups was super disappointing. This was one of his weaker performances of the new year.

K. Leonard39 MIN, 32 PTS, 7 REB, 5 AST, 2 STL, 11-19 FG, 3-6 3FG, 7-7 FT, 0 BLK, 6 TO, 7 +/-

His first half was trying, as the Rockets shaded him heavily and he didn’t receive much help from his tertiary players. In the second half he was pretty incredible, throwing on the cape and going to work. He and Green almost swung this game back to the Raptors late, but it wasn’t meant to be.

S. Ibaka32 MIN, 12 PTS, 13 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 5-10 FG, 0-2 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, -7 +/-

Weird game to judge Ibaka on. One the one hand, Faried had a terrific night and Ibaka was responsible for checking him. On the other hand, the Rockets play a style that put Ibaka in super weird spots on offense and defense. I would’ve liked to see Ibaka go up after an offensive board a bit more often and punish the Rockets for their lack of size. The game never lent itself to that, though.

K. Lowry41 MIN, 9 PTS, 5 REB, 11 AST, 1 STL, 2-9 FG, 1-6 3FG, 4-4 FT, 0 BLK, 4 TO, -2 +/-

Likewise with Siakam, Lowry’s inability to score against switches was very limiting. If the Rockets are able to switch Faried onto Lowry freely without a sweat, there’s not much they have to worry about. He’s incapable of getting separation without a screen and his ineffectiveness in ISO opportunities is troubling. He sprayed the ball to his teammates well enough, but with the Rockets flattening all the actions out, he needed to be able to put the ball in the bucket.

D. Green31 MIN, 22 PTS, 1 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 8-14 FG, 6-10 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 12 +/-

He was so good, man. Spent a good chunk of the evening checking Harden. Had a couple possessions where he let Harden get back to his left hand, but he was pretty sharp overall. Terrific from downtown, and a much needed injection into the offense.

F. VanVleet21 MIN, 8 PTS, 4 REB, 4 AST, 0 STL, 3-9 FG, 0-3 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, -4 +/-

Didn’t find himself in any rhythm 3-point situations, which is a shame. We all notice his best games are where he can spot-up, but in this one he was left to create for himself. The Rockets played awesome defense tonight, and he had a ton of trouble navigating it.

N. Powell20 MIN, 10 PTS, 2 REB, 3 AST, 1 STL, 4-8 FG, 2-4 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 4 +/-

Really liked his effort tonight. Got to the rim a couple times, and hit from downtown. He’s also a hyper-twitch athlete capable of responding to Harden’s subtle jukes and moves on defense. Another super strong outing from Powell.

C. Miles9 MIN, 0 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-2 FG, 0-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -5 +/-

Hopefully the shot comes back around. 0-2 is a pretty short leash, but I can see why he didn’t get tons of run.

O. Anunoby8 MIN, 2 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 1-3 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-1 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -8 +/-

Started the game out with that slick spin move in the lane, but fizzled afterwards. I thought he might have a really strong night guarding Harden – similar to last year – but he didn’t leave an impression on the game.

G. Monroe7 MIN, 2 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 1-2 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -13 +/-

He was super poor in this one. Slow feet on defense, sloppy hands on offense, a general malaise… Valanciunas comes back soon.

P. McCaw1 MIN, 0 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-0 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 0 +/-

Fouled Harden on a 3-point attempt in his 39 seconds.

Nick Nurse

The defensive design against Harden was actually fairly good. It wasn’t often that he actually got all the way to the rim and he did make a lot of tough floaters. When Harden got downhill, the corner men collapsed a little too often, but that didn’t seem like the scheme, more so, mental lapses. Playing Monroe is a tough look right now and it took him far too long to find Leonard possessions on offense. That last possession was tough to watch.

Things We Saw

  1. A lot of people forget that Eric Gordon was nearly in the dunk contest, he’s a superb athlete. If you watched the GS-Rox playoff series last year, you saw Gordon as a serious threat from downtown and attacking out of the pick n’ roll. Perhaps a bit of oversight on the Raptors end, to concede so much space to him. He was awesome tonight, save for a bit of boneheadedness at the end of the game.
  2. It’s a really tough job guarding Harden right now and for what it’s worth, the Raptors did a pretty good job up front. The backside of the defense failed Green, Leonard, and Powell a few times. Outside of that, Harden can pass out of any arm slot and his vision is incredible, sometimes he just cuts defenses up.
  3. Delon Wright didn’t play at all, weird.
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