Quick Reaction

Quick Reaction: Hornets 115, Raptors 114

CHA Hornets 115 Final
Box Score
114 TOR Raptors

K. Leonard34 MIN, 28 PTS, 9 REB, 3 AST, 0 STL, 10-18 FG, 2-6 3FG, 6-6 FT, 2 BLK, 2 TO, 10 +/-

Kawhi the closer… or so we thought. Every time Leonard rises for a mid-range jumper I have the utmost confidence that he is making the shot. Leonard is also starting to ramp up his performances on the defensive end. Plus, his Jurassic Park themed kicks were absolutely nasty.

P. Siakam36 MIN, 23 PTS, 7 REB, 5 AST, 1 STL, 9-14 FG, 1-1 3FG, 4-4 FT, 1 BLK, 5 TO, 8 +/-

Despite cooling off midway through the game, Siakam was dominant during the opening and closing moments. Unfortunately, his turnovers as a playmaker mirrored his outing on Friday. Still, the variety of baskets he scored to open the game was a delight to watch. He’ll now know to not let Lamb shoot from fifty feet ever again. Jeez.

M. Gasol23 MIN, 17 PTS, 4 REB, 6 AST, 1 STL, 7-9 FG, 2-3 3FG, 1-1 FT, 3 BLK, 1 TO, 3 +/-

First field goal of the game, Big Spain cans a three. How about that for more aggressive? Gasol was great with the starting unit and picked his scoring opportunities wisely without breaking the flow of the offense.

D. Green27 MIN, 2 PTS, 4 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 1-5 FG, 0-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 2 BLK, 0 TO, 16 +/-

A quiet night for Green. He was a team-high +14 on the night without any discernible highlights, which speaks volumes as to how Green goes about his business. His recovery block on Miles Bridges displayed his All-Defense abilities.

K. Lowry28 MIN, 7 PTS, 2 REB, 6 AST, 1 STL, 3-5 FG, 1-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 3 TO, -8 +/-

It was just nice to see Lowry out there today and not be hampered by another injury. Lowry looked smooth with the starters and didn’t miss a beat as the lead dog with the bench unit. Oh, and another drawn charge in the fourth. The usual.

F. VanVleet31 MIN, 12 PTS, 5 REB, 3 AST, 0 STL, 5-9 FG, 2-4 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 1 +/-

Crafty finishes all night, FVV was very patient in the pick-and-roll. I would love to see more chemistry with him and Ibaka as the go-to bench guys. Nailed two huge threes in transition during the fourth which brought the crowd to their feet. His ability as a catch and shoot option is pivotal in crunch time minutes when Lowry is the primary ball handler.

S. Ibaka18 MIN, 10 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 4-6 FG, 0-0 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -11 +/-

Ibaka is still finding his feet coming off of the bench. Starter or not, Ibaka needs to be logging more than one rebound during a game.

O. Anunoby15 MIN, 3 PTS, 2 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 1-3 FG, 1-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, -7 +/-

Looked a little hesitant in his decision making today. OG was visibly stuck in two minds when receiving the ball on a number of occasions and his indecisiveness stagnated the offense. At this point, Anunoby’s leash looks increasingly short when the playoffs begin.

N. Powell12 MIN, 10 PTS, 0 REB, 1 AST, 2 STL, 4-5 FG, 2-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 8 +/-

Literally non-existent in the first half which was curious. Nailed an important corner 3 upon entering as the Raptors clambered their way back. A few great plays on defense and in transition positioned Toronto to try and steal this one late.

P. McCaw11 MIN, 2 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 1-2 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -17 +/-

Like Lin, McCaw and the bench were porous defensively. McCaw’s value to this team is solely on the defensive end and generating transition opportunities. Didn’t happen today.

J. Lin6 MIN, 0 PTS, 1 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 0-1 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, -8 +/-

His only stint came with a bench unit that got completely roasted by Charlotte. Lin and the full bench unit continue to struggle.

Nick Nurse

The goal of this game seemed to be distributing more minutes, yet I would’ve liked to see some more proactive moves once Charlotte went nuclear from deep. Gasol needed to be reintroduced earlier during the second quarter slump. Thankfully, Nurse brought Powell in to replace Lin in the second half which reignited Toronto. I did enjoy his decision to trap Kemba Walker in pick-and-roll situations, however subsequent missed rotations allowed some open looks. Small ball to close was also a fun wrinkle.

Things We Saw

  1. Ball movement: I may now have to just tune in to watch the opening quarter of Raptors games. They started the game with 13 assists on their first 15 field goals as the ball zipped across the court. Gasol, Lowry, and Siakam sharing the floor creates an even higher playmaking ceiling for the team. It will be interesting to see what their offense will look like in small-ball scenarios.
  2. Turnovers: After such an optimistic start, Toronto coughed up the ball ten times in the first half. These uncharacteristically sloppy moments allowed Charlotte to get back in the game. It’s not common to shoot 58% from the floor but still lose the game, sloppy passes and loose handles were the main reasons for this result.
  3. Three-point defense: Back to back games now where the Raps opponents have been unconscious from outside the arc. The Raptors were sluggish in their closeouts until late in the third quarter where they made their push to get back in the game. Toronto cannot afford to keep switching on and off during these games, no matter how meaningless the dog days of the regular season may be.
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