Quick Reaction

Quick Reaction: Magic 96, Raptors 115 (Raptors win series 4-1)

ORL Magic 96 Final
Box Score
115 TOR Raptors

A-
P. Siakam32 MIN, 24 PTS, 6 REB, 4 AST, 0 STL, 8-16 FG, 3-5 3FG, 5-6 FT, 1 BLK, 2 TO, 22 +/-

Siakam spent most of the night as an off-ball shooter/cutter and the Raptors ran very little offence through him intentionally. Then you look up and he has 24 on 16 attempts and added 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Even when he doesn’t jump off the page he just stuffs it across the board.

A+
K. Leonard32 MIN, 27 PTS, 7 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 8-11 FG, 5-5 3FG, 6-6 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 38 +/-

There is so much to like about Kawhi, and outside of playmaking he is absolutely elite at everything, but his ability to get a big rebound jumped out tonight. He reads the flight of the ball so well that for the second game in a row he got to the spot on an air-ball to earn bucket on a put-back. He goes out of his area to pursue rebounds well, but picks and chooses his moments on the offensive glass as to not give up transition opportunities.

With that out of the way, it’s important to recognize that the Magic will have nightmares of Kawhi. 27 points on just 11 attempts and a perfect 5-for-5 from 3.

lol

A
M. Gasol24 MIN, 9 PTS, 9 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 2-5 FG, 1-3 3FG, 4-4 FT, 1 BLK, 2 TO, 24 +/-

It’s been gushed about repeatedly but the defence that Gasol has provided against Vucevic is next level. Not only has he absolutely shut down the All Star, but he has been coordinating a dominant team defence from the pivot. The Magic are forced to go to their 3rd or 4th options constantly, and those aren’t good options.

He also blocked a D.J. Augustine floater and stole his soul in the process.

A+
K. Lowry27 MIN, 14 PTS, 4 REB, 9 AST, 1 STL, 6-10 FG, 2-4 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 31 +/-

Lowry came out with a purpose and it was clear he was ready to close this one out in 5, scoring the first 9 points for the Raptors. He drove into the lane from the right corner for a lay-up, drained a 3 from above the break, and got lost behind the defence for an open lay-up. He was everywhere in setting the tone for what was a great night.

Also, so many charges taken. So many.

The downside is that Kyle Lowry appeared to jam his thumb in the second quarter. Although he did stay in the game immediately following getting it looked at, he went to the locker room to end the second quarter. The good news is that it was merely to get his hand stretched out and he would return.

We got KLOE.

B-
D. Green28 MIN, 6 PTS, 5 REB, 3 AST, 2 STL, 2-5 FG, 2-5 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 28 +/-

This dude is a luxury. Can go out for a couple of quick buckets to push the lead or stabilize a struggling unit, but doesn’t need anything run for him to be productive. Chipping in blocks from the backcourt, shutting down his cover one-on-one, and being able to instinctively switch to make the right play.

B-
F. VanVleet21 MIN, 7 PTS, 1 REB, 10 AST, 0 STL, 3-8 FG, 1-4 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 10 +/-

Fred is struggling right now. From the moment he entered in the first quarter the Magic went on a 12-4 run, in which Fred contributed with a one turnover (led to an easy transition bucket) and one blocked shot. It hasn’t been an issue in what was an easy first round victory, but Fred has to get right moving forward.

And then he goes and does something like hit a 3 from 5 feet behind the line and finishes with 10 assists.

B+
S. Ibaka19 MIN, 10 PTS, 4 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL, 5-8 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-1 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 11 +/-

Didn’t have to deal with Vucevic very often this evening, a head-to-head battle he has lost throughout the series, which certainly helped. The Magic had Aaron Gordon or Khem Birch guarding him for stretches and neither had the size to challenge him in the post.

Still needs to clean up his screens which will become more important the deeper the Raptors go, but if he continues to rebound well and shoot 80 percent then we’re still fine (started 5-for-5).

A-
N. Powell18 MIN, 11 PTS, 4 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 5-9 FG, 1-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 5 +/-

Norm dunked all over Aaron Gordon midway through the second quarter and it was a delight. It was a game 5 so you know Norm was performing.

B-
J. Meeks14 MIN, 5 PTS, 3 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 2-8 FG, 0-3 3FG, 1-2 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, -15 +/-

Jodie Meeks started the second quarter which tells you exactly how good the Raptors started the game. Didn’t do anything during his first half run but found ways to contribute during garbage time (I mean…the real late garbage time). Meeks even got a block and made a great pass leading to an Ibaka dunk.

C+
P. McCaw8 MIN, 0 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 0-1 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -11 +/-

Nothing of note. Like the way he plays passing lanes and how he defends around screens, but being a part of the Victory Cigar line-up with Lin, Miller, Meeks, and Moreland isn’t exactly a place to find success.

Inc
M. Miller6 MIN, 0 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-2 FG, 0-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -16 +/-

I say this with no ill will and all kinds of admiration: has Malcolm ever met a shot he doesn’t like? He’s always ready to let it fly and is confident.

C
J. Lin6 MIN, 2 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-1 FG, 0-1 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -16 +/-

Well…he hit free throws. But I got nothing else to say here.

D
E. Moreland5 MIN, 0 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-1 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -16 +/-

Not that it mattered in the least, but poor showing from Moreland. Fouled too easily, wasn’t a factor on the glass, and looked downright comical whenever he was tasked with defending in space. He also attempted a comically bad lefty hook shot.

Nick Nurse

Dominant from start to finish, and not a single moment of worry. Nurse gave the starters an extended run together to start the game (9 minutes) with a big lead and it worked. The Raptors never looked back despite the occasional flurry from the Magic and Nurse did a good job settling the team whenever something extra was needed.

A good example of this came just over four minutes into the second half. The Magic were on a small run to cut the lead to 17 and Nurse responded with a timeout to reset. Out of the timeout the Raptors ran a Lowry/Siakam pick-and-roll. Siakam got the ball on the roll which drew a defender from the corner to tag him, but Siakam kicked it out to a wide-open Kawhi for an easy 3. Nurse pulled some good strings.

Congrats to Coach Nick on his first series win as an NBA Head Coach.

Things We Saw

  1. Tonight marks a new experience for Raptors fans: having to wait for the next round to begin. We’ve never closed out a series in less than 6 games before today. So this is new territory and a damning condemnation about our franchise history.
  2. The Raptors chased Vucevic from the game early with 3 fouls in the first 5.5 minutes, which brought about a tech from Terry Ross.
  3. Khem Birch benefited from Vucevic foul trouble and showed some real good positives. Great to see him contributing and shouts to the Canadian who has earned his way in the league.
  4. ucks that Chris Boucher is still out with a back issue as he could have gotten some real playoff burn tonight.
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