Quick Reaction

Quick Reaction: Raptors 104, Knicks 99

Super fun first game for ‘Big Spain’.

Toronto 104 Final
Box Score
99 New York

P. Siakam33 MIN, 10 PTS, 9 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 3-14 FG, 0-3 3FG, 4-5 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 13 +/-

Two completely different games for him wrapped up in one. In the half-court he wasn’t able to score efficiently and made a handful of mistakes. In transition he was incredibly effective, especially when he was passing the ball. His “grab-and-go” rebounds add a completely different layer to how the Raptors score points.

K. Leonard32 MIN, 11 PTS, 5 REB, 6 AST, 1 STL, 4-15 FG, 1-5 3FG, 2-3 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 2 +/-

Outside of a strong stint in the third quarter, he was pretty poor – relative to his status as a top-7 NBA player. Was hoping for more minutes next to Gasol in this one; his offense is still an entirely different entity than what the Raptors are doing, it’s completely compartmentalized.

S. Ibaka29 MIN, 15 PTS, 13 REB, 4 AST, 0 STL, 5-10 FG, 0-1 3FG, 5-6 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 2 +/-

Really strong job contesting with Jordan all night, who really came to play. His jumper wasn’t as sharp as usual, but he made a few clever passes that we don’t often get to see. Major plus tonight.

K. Lowry34 MIN, 22 PTS, 4 REB, 5 AST, 3 STL, 6-10 FG, 5-7 3FG, 5-6 FT, 1 BLK, 2 TO, 6 +/-

‘KLOE’. Charges taken. Bulldog defense. PU3IT’s made. He was terrific tonight. Excited to see him get more minutes next to Gasol in the coming games.

D. Green30 MIN, 14 PTS, 4 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 5-9 FG, 4-6 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 8 +/-

Super quiet game in the first three quarters, only to explode in the fourth. His sharpshooting breathed life into the Raptors offense when it was really bogged down. Classic Danny.

F. VanVleet20 MIN, 5 PTS, 1 REB, 6 AST, 0 STL, 1-5 FG, 1-3 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, -7 +/-

Had a strong synergy with Gasol from the jump, but wasn’t able to finish possessions like we’re used to. The game stayed close and he lost some of his minutes. Better things on the way.

M. Gasol19 MIN, 7 PTS, 6 REB, 1 AST, 2 STL, 3-7 FG, 0-0 3FG, 1-2 FT, 1 BLK, 2 TO, 3 +/-

Passed on the short-roll, set multiple screens on offense every time down, took a charge and commanded the paint defensively. His touch is as good as advertised, but the biggest takeaway tonight was how he alleviated season-long problems that the bench has been having. Lowry seems to have competition for the “King of Intangibles” moniker.

N. Powell16 MIN, 14 PTS, 1 REB, 3 AST, 0 STL, 5-14 FG, 3-9 3FG, 1-1 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 1 +/-

Didn’t shoot it as well as one might’ve liked, but as far as I could tell, his decision-making was perfect in this one. Outside of forcing up, maybe one shot at the rim, he was a major asset to the bench. His synergy with Gasol was palpable, being the recipient of a couple cross-court passes and was found on a couple backdoor cuts.

O. Anunoby16 MIN, 2 PTS, 3 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-2 FG, 0-1 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 0 +/-

Had to deal with a lot of size in this one and had a tough time defensively. He’s been a clever cutter in his young career, but didn’t find himself in any space when Gasol was running actions off the block. Really quiet, like many nights this year.

P. McCaw13 MIN, 4 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 1-1 FG, 0-0 3FG, 2-2 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, -3 +/-

Might be faster than Siakam. Sometimes when he attacks a ball-handler he bumps them out nearly to half-court. He also hit a mid-range jumper off a ‘PNR’ possession, how nice. Good, quiet game.

Nick Nurse

Handed Gasol a lot of playmaking opportunities from the out-set, which was great. The Knicks made a lot of triples and Jordan was a real monster tonight, I felt like Nurse had the proper responses to most everything that went on during the game. I would’ve liked more Gasol+starters, but I understand why he wanted to let him freestyle with the bench.

Things We Saw

  1. The first offensive play to involve Gasol was a ‘pnr’ with VanVleet. Not only did Gasol have massive gravity on the roll, as soon as he caught the ball he popped it back out to VanVleet beyond the arc for a wide-open three. His first basket on offense came after setting 4 screens, running a DHO and providing a great seal to score off a lob into the post. He’s going to add so many little wrinkles to the Raptors offense.
  2. I’ve never heard someone with more proclivity toward using alliteration than Walt Frazier. I think I heard him say “thriving” 46 times, and “impetus” 24 times. With that being said, there’s nothing like hearing him string a bunch of words together. Let that drawl roll over the broadcast until the end of time.
  3. Leonard’s offense needs a column or two dedicated to it. It’s a little bit concerning that there’s seemingly no progression from the start of the year as it relates to him scoring within the flow of the offense. He only had one half-court score that didn’t come off deliberate, obtuse action for him.
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