Quick Reaction

Quick Reaction: Raptors 127, Pelicans 104

Good teams beat bad teams sometimes. Nice.

TOR Raptors 127 Final
Box Score
104 NO Pelicans

A
P. Siakam29 MIN, 19 PTS, 5 REB, 4 AST, 1 STL, 7-15 FG, 1-4 3FG, 4-4 FT, 2 BLK, 2 TO, 10 +/-

There was a concerted effort early on to spring everyone into the open court, and Siakam was the only one who maintained that style throughout. With a less than intimidating defender in Randle and one of the league’s paciest teams, Siakam was destined to ignite in transition in this one. He created a lot of cutting lanes by pushing the Pelicans transition defense to it’s limits and looked the part of Kawhi Leonard’s running mate all night.

A+
K. Leonard29 MIN, 31 PTS, 1 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL, 14-20 FG, 1-5 3FG, 2-3 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 17 +/-

By far the best player on the floor, getting anything he wanted. Liked his energy when jumping opposing players on defense, and he seemed to have a strong lurking presence in this one. The Pelicans had no answer for his unshakeable physicality on the offensive end. He was great.

B
M. Gasol19 MIN, 4 PTS, 9 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 2-6 FG, 0-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 2 BLK, 2 TO, 6 +/-

We’re all waiting for the shooting touch to come back, because, of course. With that being said, his presence grants teammates the space to make loads of plays off-ball. His defense was about as good as most of the team’s in the first half, but he had a couple stand-out plays in the second half that show his pedigree.

A
K. Lowry34 MIN, 13 PTS, 11 REB, 12 AST, 2 STL, 4-12 FG, 3-9 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 11 +/-

Keeping his past games in mind, the shooting performance doesn’t really bother me. His clever offensive and defensive decision making looms large against a scrambled and young team like these Pelicans. Captured a lot of long rebounds to jump-start transition and set up his teammates with aplomb. Pedestrian shooting game, but still had massive contributions.

A-
D. Green26 MIN, 13 PTS, 3 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 5-8 FG, 3-4 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 14 +/-

Runs around a dozen screens on defense and still catches up to Siakam in transition to space the floor. Such a pleasure to have him on this team. Really like the DHO’s up top as he sets up his man to come off the flare screens as it adds a lot of hesitation to how the defense will defend the on-ball action. Top quality.

A
S. Ibaka25 MIN, 12 PTS, 10 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 6-10 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 5 BLK, 0 TO, 11 +/-

Stands out as the best defender on the night, and keeps up his run of great rebounding games. Super encouraging to see him working back into his mid-range game after a bit of turbulence with Lin and Powell. He and Gasol contrast each other pretty nicely if I’m being honest. Nurse just has to figure out how to make everything fit.

B+
J. Lin22 MIN, 14 PTS, 1 REB, 3 AST, 0 STL, 6-9 FG, 2-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, 8 +/-

The first half was littered with mistakes and unfamiliarity, but the second half was a huge sigh of relief for him. His first triple went down, he found his place in the pick n’ roll and he started bouncing around the perimeter on defense. Strong finish, and hopefully this is building towards a sustainable peak for him.

B-
O. Anunoby21 MIN, 7 PTS, 3 REB, 3 AST, 3 STL, 3-4 FG, 1-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 11 +/-

Any game with a made triple is a win on offense. When he was forced to dodge screens on defense he was slow, but his man on man ‘D’ remains phenomenal. The fast paced game was a boon for him and Powell especially.

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

The second half saw him get a couple baskets off-ball which is all anybody wants. His defense was awesome tonight (to my eye) as he’s really adept at working through screens and chasing players around the floor. Hate to see the Lin + Powell minutes, but we all try.

C+
P. McCaw7 MIN, 0 PTS, 2 REB, 3 AST, 0 STL, 0-1 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 11 +/-

Strong defense and showed off his Golden State lineage as he pinged the ball around as the second arm in side-top-side actions and any type of synergistic ball movement.

Inc
C. Boucher4 MIN, 0 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-1 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 2 BLK, 0 TO, 6 +/-

Slimm Duck!

A+
M. Miller4 MIN, 6 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 2-4 FG, 2-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 6 +/-

Love when shooters, shoot.

A-
Nick Nurse

Would love to see a version of the Raptors that phases out the Lin+Powell minutes, but alas. Leonard only played 27 minutes, no one fell hard, and they didn’t cough up the lead in any worrisome fashion. Clean win.

Things We Saw

  1. This was a nice game for the Raptors to run into. With all the bench struggles on offense, injecting pace into the game was a blessing. The schedule did the team a favour in this one, and let’s hope it builds a semblance of unity in those 3 bench players we need to pick their games up.
  2. I’m not throwing my hat into the ring of Gasol vs. Ibaka, but Ibaka was really great tonight. I was really excited to see him help transform the bench in this one, and his superb interior defense was a major help in getting the aforementioned bench players out on the run.
  3. First game in some time where no one was a negative in plus-minus, how fun? The first half was a horrible watch, so to everyone who viewed this game, let’s join hands and appreciate that a few fun nuggets came out of that second half. Onto South Beach!
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