Quick Reaction

Quick Reaction: Raptors 98, Magic 93 (Raptors lead series 2-1)

TOR Raptors 98 Final
Box Score
93 ORL Magic

A+
P. Siakam42 MIN, 30 PTS, 11 REB, 4 AST, 0 STL, 13-20 FG, 3-4 3FG, 1-1 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 13 +/-

Spicy P was on fire from the get-go. While many of the Raptors were slow to find their footing, Siakam torched the Magic for 12 points in the opening quarter. Amidst Leonard’s nightmarish performance, Siakam scored a crucial bucket off of the dribble with just under two minutes remaining.

C
K. Leonard37 MIN, 16 PTS, 10 REB, 4 AST, 1 STL, 5-19 FG, 0-3 3FG, 6-7 FT, 0 BLK, 6 TO, 1 +/-

So, Kawhi Leonard is human. This was one of the most disappointing performances Leonard has had in a Raptors jersey – ice cold shooting, careless turnovers, and questionable decision making. Leonard remains a force even during his worst games, it is clear that he is the focal point of the Magic’s defensive schemes after his outburst in game two. Quicker reads will be needed in the future from Leonard.

B+
M. Gasol26 MIN, 9 PTS, 3 REB, 1 AST, 4 STL, 4-6 FG, 1-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 5 +/-

Gasol looked set to continue his dominance over Nikola Vucevic until foul trouble put him on the bench. The flow of the offense stagnated without Gasol’s presence, but limited minutes impacted his fingerprints on the game.

B
K. Lowry40 MIN, 12 PTS, 5 REB, 10 AST, 1 STL, 4-10 FG, 2-6 3FG, 2-2 FT, 1 BLK, 3 TO, 8 +/-

As polarizing as Lowry has become during the playoffs, this was a middling performance. He hit a couple of threes (which is better than none!) but did not provide much of a scoring boost. Lowry is an integral member of this team and needs to be used more during the closing moments of the game. Still, Lowry finds a way to get involved and slithered in for the critical offensive rebound in the dying moments.

A
D. Green33 MIN, 13 PTS, 1 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 5-11 FG, 3-7 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 10 +/-

Hasn’t had a breakout performance during the series yet, but Green has been pivotal in solving the DJ Augustin issue as the primary defender for the Raptors. He continues to knock down threes when needed which provides a welcome stability for the Raptors come playoff time. Green seems to have a uncanny knack of dislodging the ball when opponents barrel towards the rim.

B-
F. VanVleet24 MIN, 4 PTS, 3 REB, 3 AST, 0 STL, 2-7 FG, 0-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, -11 +/-

Not the best night for FVV. Van Vleet posted the lowest +/- of the night for the Raptors and struggled to find his shot. On several occasions Van Vleet got to the cup but just couldn’t finish at the rim.

B
S. Ibaka21 MIN, 6 PTS, 8 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 3-9 FG, 0-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 0 +/-

It was nice to see Ibaka find his touch from mid-range with Gasol in foul trouble. However, Vucevic is proving to be a difficult matchup for Ibaka as he started to pile on the points in a variety of ways in the third quarter.

B+
N. Powell14 MIN, 8 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 3-5 FG, 2-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 2 +/-

This is what Norman Powell’s playoff role should be. Powell injected some energy in the 14 minutes that he played and knocked down some shots late in the shot clock.

B+
Nick Nurse

It wasn’t the prettiest of nights, but securing this road win was critical for Nurse. No Ibaka-Gasol lineups was a pleasant surprise and keeping Green on DJ Augustin has proven to be a great decision to stabilize the series. Kawhi Leonard is the closer, but five straight poor possessions by him down the stretch was unacceptable given Siakam’s otherworldly performance. Nurse had to draw up a set that would involve Siakam.

Things We Saw

  1. Performance without Peak Kawhi – A 5-19 night with 6 turnovers from Kawhi Leonard is not ideal. But, the performances from Siakam and other role players showed that the Raptors aren’t entirely dependent on their superstar. If the Raptors are to reach new heights, their ancillary players have to contribute at this level.
  2. Defense – A chippy night against a raucous home crowd that has been starved of playoff basketball could have been a troubling recipe for the Raptors. However, Toronto’s defense tightened the screws and hushed the home arena. I don’t want to look too far ahead, but this bodes well for future rounds.
  3. Surviving the Ross Revenge Game – We have all been waiting with bated breath for the T-Ross revenge game and tonight it finally came. The halfcourt heave at the buzzer to close the half sent me down a dark spiral – Toronto was doomed to lose this game. Still, Siakam stuck to Ross when it mattered most and the Raps squeaked through. On to the next one.
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