Quick Reaction: Raptors 107, Magic 85 (Raptors lead series 3-1)

8 mins read
TOR Raptors 107 Final
Box Score
85 ORL Magic

P. Siakam36 MIN, 16 PTS, 6 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 7-14 FG, 2-6 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 2 TO, 11 +/-

As NBA on TNT acknowledged today, Siakam is a bad, bad boy. He and Leonard eviscerated the Magic on both ends of the floor to pull away in the first half. Corner threes, alley oops, attacking off of the dribble; Siakam’s evolution was on full display. The Magic were presumed to be one of the most well-equipped opponents to stop Spicy P but he has delivered emphatically.

K. Leonard35 MIN, 34 PTS, 6 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL, 12-20 FG, 2-5 3FG, 8-9 FT, 2 BLK, 1 TO, 20 +/-

That was dope. An absolute masterclass. Leonard imposed himself physically and gave the referees no option but to send him to the line. Got Isaac in foul trouble within minutes and then started to find his patented mid-range game, weaving his way into the paint at will. The most exciting moments were the shades of peak ‘Defensive Kawhi’ on display, his presence on that end of the floor genuinely strikes fear in opponents.

M. Gasol25 MIN, 2 PTS, 6 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL, 1-3 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 2 BLK, 0 TO, 11 +/-

As the elder statesmen on the team, it is fitting that Gasol and Lowry’s contributions don’t necessarily show up on the boxscore. They are noticed nonetheless. Gasol shut down Orlando’s primary scorer Vucevic once again – the Magic big man will have nightmares of Gasol throughout the summer. He was also prominent in many of the beautiful passing sequences on the offensive end.

K. Lowry39 MIN, 9 PTS, 4 REB, 9 AST, 4 STL, 3-8 FG, 2-5 3FG, 1-2 FT, 0 BLK, 6 TO, 26 +/-

Although he didn’t need to shoulder the offensive burden today, Lowry was the one to wake the Raptors up early as the Magic came out firing to start the game. His defensive deflections fired up the team’s engine, Toronto began to dismantle the Magic defense in transition. That off the dribble bounce-pass to Siakam in the third quarter was also just filthy.

D. Green26 MIN, 8 PTS, 2 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL, 3-8 FG, 2-6 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 10 +/-

One of the few Raptors that was ice cold today. Green had wide open looks due to incredible ball movement and his shot simply didn’t drop. However, it did not deter his defensive effort. It never really does. Green has completely erased DJ Augustin from this series and is always a nuisance doubling onto Vucevic.

F. VanVleet23 MIN, 9 PTS, 2 REB, 4 AST, 1 STL, 2-5 FG, 1-2 3FG, 4-4 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 9 +/-

VanVleet has probably been the biggest concern for the Raptors. The length of the Magic has definitely stifled the small point guard. VanVleet needs to get others more involved when he triggers the defensive switches.

N. Powell21 MIN, 16 PTS, 4 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 7-9 FG, 1-2 3FG, 1-1 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 14 +/-

Powell has been sneaky good thus far in the playoffs. Today he got plenty of buckets and maintained the defensive intensity that the starters brought. The best part of Powell’s game in a minimal role is his decisiveness, he doesn’t hesitate with the ball in hand.

S. Ibaka20 MIN, 13 PTS, 8 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 5-6 FG, 1-2 3FG, 2-2 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 11 +/-

Ibaka is still trying to find his feet in a lesser role this playoffs, but today was a lot better. He nailed his shots and sent Aaron Gordon to another dimension with a rejection at the rim. The Vucevic matchup is difficult, but Ibaka crashed the offensive glass and is very comfortable in his offensive skillset.

J. Meeks5 MIN, 0 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-1 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 1 +/-

Other than a minute in the first quarter, Meeks only appeared in garbage time.

P. McCaw3 MIN, 0 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-0 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 0 +/-

Garbagio time.

J. Lin3 MIN, 0 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-1 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 0 +/-

Garbagio time.

E. Moreland3 MIN, 0 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-0 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 0 +/-

Garbagio time.

M. Miller2 MIN, 0 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-0 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -3 +/-

Garbagio time.

Nick Nurse

It feels as if Nurse and the Raptors have figured Orlando out. The defensive matchups continue to stagnate the Magic’s offense. Credit must also be handed to Nurse in the way that the Raptors have focalized their offense around Leonard. Nurse wisely took a timeout to open the second half and drew up two great plays to deflate the arena. The decision to reward the bench with extended minutes was also a smart move.

Things We Saw

  1. Bench Boost: The Raptors don’t have the ‘bench mob’ of last year, but if the backups can come out even during those minutes then the starters will often take care of the rest. Powell and Ibaka were brilliant and brought an energy to the game each time they were introduced. It hasn’t quite clicked with VanVleet yet, but the trio of backups have meshed seamlessly with Leonard, Siakam, or Lowry during bench stints.
  2. Feasting Inside: Kawhi Leonard went to work inside, and then the rest of the Raptors followed suit. The Magic are a tough interior defensive unit and don’t foul, but it didn’t matter. Leonard and Lowry were collapsing the defense with dribble penetration and once outside shots went down the Magic just had to pick their poison. The Raptors closed the game with 50 points in the paint.
  3. Tip Drill: The amount of deflections that Toronto generates on defense is otherworldly. The Raptors suffocated Orlando and forced 17 turnovers which leads to fast break opportunities and subsequently caffeinates the entire offense. If this is the standard that Toronto hold themselves to for the rest of the playoffs we could be in for a long run.

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