Quick Reaction

Quick Reaction: Raptors 101, 76ers 96, Series tied 2-2

TOR Raptors 101 Final
Box Score
96 PHI 76ers

B-
P. Siakam29 MIN, 9 PTS, 3 REB, 2 AST, 3 STL, 2-10 FG, 0-4 3FG, 5-6 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -5 +/-

Siakam’s calf clearly limited his play today, so his stat line comes with a more than a few grains of salt. Regardless, Siakam’s defensive activity stayed high all game, despite his struggles. Gutsy performance from Spicy P.

A+
K. Leonard43 MIN, 39 PTS, 14 REB, 5 AST, 0 STL, 13-20 FG, 5-7 3FG, 8-12 FT, 0 BLK, 7 TO, 7 +/-

I’ve run out of superlatives to praise Leonard at this point. That late step-back dagger three over Embiid is a perfect encapsulation of why you make the trade ten times out of ten. If Kevin Durant wasn’t tearing through the west right now, Leonard would hands down own the title of best player in these playoffs thus far. As always, Leonard was lights out from the floor and his menacing defence stymied Ben Simmons.

A
M. Gasol39 MIN, 16 PTS, 5 REB, 3 AST, 0 STL, 7-13 FG, 2-7 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, 13 +/-

Easily Gasol’s best game in these playoffs. In addition to once again limiting Embiid, Gasol was as aggressive as we’ve seen in a while. He and Lowry’s two man game kept the Raptors afloat numerous times, and his outside shooting finally coming around provided much more space for Leonard to work with.

A
K. Lowry41 MIN, 14 PTS, 6 REB, 7 AST, 0 STL, 6-13 FG, 2-6 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 11 +/-

THIS is the Kyle Lowry the Raptors need to reach their ceiling. Lowry was aggressive from the jump, hunting both his pull-up 3 and runner the most he has all series. Additionally, his savvy in the pick and roll helped get Gasol going, finally. With Siakam being hampered by injury going forward, Lowry needs to sustain this level of play.

B-
D. Green40 MIN, 11 PTS, 4 REB, 0 AST, 2 STL, 1-4 FG, 1-3 3FG, 8-8 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 9 +/-

Tough night for Green from the floor, but he contributed in plenty of other ways. In addition to his two steals, he led the team in charges with two and consistently got to the line. Butler’s gotten the best of him this series, but by god, Green has made him work for it.

A
S. Ibaka32 MIN, 12 PTS, 9 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 6-12 FG, 0-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 3 BLK, 0 TO, -1 +/-

Solid game from Ibaka. His effort level was the highest it’s been in a while, evidenced by numerous fast break dunks and a chasedown block. Ibaka also defended fairly well on switches and grabbed some of the game’s biggest rebounds. He and Gasol’s chemistry is something to watch going forward as the Raptors’ start favouring bigger lineups.

D
F. VanVleet7 MIN, 0 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-2 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -6 +/-

I’m as big of a VanVleet guy as it gets, but this just isn’t the series for him. Philly’s size dwarfs him in every context. He can’t get his shot off. His only possible matchup is Redick. Don’t be surprised if this is the last we see of VanVleet this series.

B+
P. McCaw5 MIN, 0 PTS, 1 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 0-1 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -1 +/-

McCaw’s performance tonight was eerily similar to his days playing spot minutes during Golden State’s recent playoff runs. The Raptors’ swiss army knife, McCaw made numerous winning plays without scoring a point.

B
N. Powell4 MIN, 0 PTS, 1 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 0-1 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -2 +/-

Norm made solid reads in his limited minutes, but missed his only shot. Honestly, I’m quite surprised Norm didn’t get more minutes tonight. With VanVleet struggling, playing Norm as de-facto backup point guard to buy Lowry rest seems logical.

A
Nick Nurse

Spectacular bounce back game from Nurse. He kept VanVleet on a short leash, finally shortened the rotation, found success experimenting with numerous big lineups, and utilized McCaw excellently to spark the team. However, his biggest contribution was waking up Lowry and Gasol from the collective malaise that’s plagued them as of late.

Things We Saw

  1. Although 12 points is nothing special, Ibaka giving a meaningful contribution off the bench is a welcome sign going forward. With Nurse cutting the rotation ostensibly down to a six, Ibaka needs to stay productive the rest of the series.
  2. After combining for 14 points in game three, Lowry and Gasol finally looked like offensive threats generating 30 points and 10 assists combined.
  3. Gasol stifling Embiid after his breakout game three performance is extremely encouraging. Gasol winning that matchup gives the Raptors a much larger margin for error.
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