Quick Reaction

Quick Reaction: Trailblazers 117, Raptors 119

Portland 117 Final
Box Score
119 Toronto

A
P. Siakam35 MIN, 16 PTS, 4 REB, 4 AST, 0 STL, 4-8 FG, 2-4 3FG, 6-8 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, 19 +/-

This is what constitutes a quiet night for Siakam at this point, an efficient 16 points with 4 boards and 4 assists, but he was quietly brilliant at both ends of the floor.

A+
K. Leonard34 MIN, 38 PTS, 3 REB, 5 AST, 3 STL, 14-22 FG, 2-4 3FG, 8-8 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 14 +/-

This was Kawhi’s best game in a while. Just ruthless offensively, he shredded Portland’s defense and got whatever he wanted all night, it felt like. Came through with a huge bucket to win the game in the closing seconds after getting the switch to have Dame defending him. Stellar game from him.

A+
M. Gasol32 MIN, 19 PTS, 8 REB, 6 AST, 2 STL, 9-13 FG, 0-2 3FG, 1-1 FT, 1 BLK, 2 TO, 23 +/-

Tonight showed why the Raptors made this trade. Gasol facilitates the offense so well, and the rhythm that hasn’t been there for the starters much of the season with Kyle and Kawhi both on the floor was very present tonight. He makes quick, smart decisions with the ball and his presence in the screen game created a lot of good looks for the Raptors. Made the case that he should be the full-time starter in this game.

A
D. Green24 MIN, 11 PTS, 1 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 4-5 FG, 3-4 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 13 +/-

The quietest of Raptors starters tonight, but Danny hit a huge three late in the game and generally, all night, was exactly where they needed him to be.

A+
K. Lowry40 MIN, 19 PTS, 7 REB, 10 AST, 1 STL, 7-13 FG, 3-8 3FG, 2-2 FT, 2 BLK, 3 TO, 6 +/-

Kyle was dominant tonight. His energy paced the game all night long, his shooting was there, and he distributed well, as expected. Made several huge plays down the stretch to keep the Raptors in it. Got called for the foul that set up the free throws that tied the game prior to Kawhi’s heroics, but the replay seemed to show that he didn’t touch Dame, so that one is tough.

C
N. Powell17 MIN, 4 PTS, 1 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 2-5 FG, 0-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, -11 +/-

The bench had a tough night for the Raptors, and part of that was definitely Norm, who looks like he’s trying to figure out his role once again. Needs to find his confidence again and get back to attacking under control, and bringing the defensive intensity that the team needs from him.

C
S. Ibaka16 MIN, 2 PTS, 7 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-5 FG, 0-2 3FG, 2-2 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, -18 +/-

The shots Ibaka missed tonight were all well within his game, and he just has to knock those down. Lin and Lowry did a pretty good job getting him the shots that he wants to be taking, he just couldn’t make them drop.

C+
J. Lin16 MIN, 8 PTS, 0 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 4-8 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -10 +/-

Lin had a strong start to the night, with a run that he drove in the first half with solid shotmaking and drives to the basket, but otherwise it was tough sledding. Him and Ibaka haven’t quite figured out their chemistry, and need to find that for the bench to get back in rhythm.

C
O. Anunoby14 MIN, 2 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 1-2 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, -14 +/-

Too quiet of a night for both of the bench wings, and OG has shown the ability to be so much more productive than he was in this game. That said, the Raptors bench offense has to do a better job spreading the touches around and getting him involved.

C
P. McCaw11 MIN, 0 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 3 STL, 0-0 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -12 +/-

As above, with OG, it was a rough night for McCaw, but he also wasn’t as involved as he needs to be. Hopefully, when Fred VanVleet returns to the lineup, the bench can find it’s rhythm.

B-
Nick Nurse

Tale of two lineups tonight. Nurse made the right call starting Gasol tonight, and the energy was fantastic from the starters all night long. On the other hand, he couldn’t find a solution for the bench, and in the fourth ended up playing Lowry the entire quarter, which is probably not a good, consistent solution. Needs to figure out his transition lineups and staggering to keep things rolling after he goes away from the starters, but starting Gasol was a step in the right direction.

Things We Saw

  1. Portland carried some great momentum into this game. They were 4-0 on their Eastern Conference road trip coming into this game, and their confidence was evident. Despite the Raptors playing great basketball and holding a lead for most of the night, the Blazers just kept coming and played a great game. This was a playoff atmosphere, and a very fun game.
  2. The starters just work with Marc Gasol. His screening helps Lowry and Leonard get rolling, as was evident tonight, and his decision making keeps the ball moving and keeps the energy up, where it has stagnated at times this season. Tonight should be a sign of things to come for the Raptors, because this was a different energy for the Raptors starters.
  3. The bench continues to look for solutions. Ibaka struggled, but the shots he missed were in his wheelhouse. Nurse has to find an answer for this group, or shorten the rotation as we move towards the playoffs.
  4. Kyle Lowry appears to be healthy. He was dominant tonight, and looked again like the MVP candidate he was in the first month of the season. It’s hard to think of many better signs for the Raptors heading for the playoffs.
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