Quick Reaction

Quick Reaction: Raptors 123, Warriors 109 (Series 2-1)

TOR Raptors 123 Final
Box Score
109 GS Warriors

P. Siakam39 MIN, 18 PTS, 9 REB, 6 AST, 0 STL, 8-16 FG, 0-3 3FG, 2-2 FT, 2 BLK, 1 TO, 22 +/-

Aggressive from the tip-off, Siakam took umbrage to the Warriors putting Livingston on him early and busted out his foray of dazzling flipshots. Then things got ugly for Spicy P. His handle was getting disrupted on drives to the lane as Siakam faded down the stretch.

K. Leonard38 MIN, 30 PTS, 7 REB, 6 AST, 2 STL, 9-17 FG, 2-6 3FG, 10-11 FT, 1 BLK, 4 TO, 6 +/-

Kicked things off with a few signature rebounds and I loved his early aggression attacking Bogut when he dropped in the pick-and-roll. There is something clearly amiss with his explosiveness — this isn’t the force of nature that was eating worlds the past two months — but he fit in well as an off-ball scorer while Lowry ran the show. Decision making as a ball handler is still a lingering issue in this series. It feels nitpicky to call out Leonard after a 30 point night, but he hasn’t maximized his potential thus far in the Finals.

M. Gasol26 MIN, 17 PTS, 7 REB, 3 AST, 0 STL, 6-11 FG, 1-4 3FG, 4-4 FT, 1 BLK, 2 TO, 14 +/-

This was the most forceful Gasol has been rolling to the rim in his entire Raptors tenure. His battle with Cousins off-ball is a heavyweight bout. Gasol finishing 1 for 4 from deep usually spells disaster, but he conjured up scoring moves from yesteryear to contribute offensively. He also emerged as the essential ingredient in bringing energy to an often stale offence.

K. Lowry43 MIN, 23 PTS, 5 REB, 9 AST, 1 STL, 8-16 FG, 5-9 3FG, 2-2 FT, 1 BLK, 3 TO, 14 +/-

Golly, are we going to get some US media personalities begrudgingly give Lowry backhanded praise tomorrow morning. He was losing Curry on defence to start which was a tough look, but Lowry found his groove with orchestrating the offence alongside the bench unit to open the second quarter. In fact, he was the only player that did anything during that painful second period with 11 points. Then it was KLOE from then on.

D. Green27 MIN, 18 PTS, 5 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 6-10 FG, 6-10 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 11 +/-

It was huge to see three early triples go down for Danny tonight, especially as the Warriors sent help Leonard’s way. As soon as that first one dropped, Green began to shoot freely without hesitation. Great resilience to remain locked in despite not starting the second half.

F. VanVleet33 MIN, 11 PTS, 3 REB, 2 AST, 3 STL, 4-8 FG, 3-6 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 4 +/-

Couple of fouls early, but remains the best defender on Curry. Rightfully started the second half over Green for defensive reasons, it is paramount that they match his minutes with Curry ala Embiid-Gasol. His backbreaking three to seal the game came down with damn snow on it!!

S. Ibaka22 MIN, 6 PTS, 4 REB, 1 AST, 2 STL, 2-4 FG, 0-0 3FG, 2-2 FT, 5 BLK, 2 TO, 0 +/-

Ibaka was on his way to a classic anxiety-inducing performance, but changed the entire tenor of the evening with his energy in the fourth quarter. There was a block, and then another. Then another. AND another. There was plenty more to be happy with: great work on the boards, a rediscovered mid-range jumper, and a couple of nifty passes steadied the team when they seemed fully prepared to gift the game to Golden State.

N. Powell6 MIN, 0 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-0 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -2 +/-

After a solid outing in Game 2, Norm was back to a periphery role tonight. Toronto’s backcourt were the driving force of the team so Powell’s slim chance to make an impact vanished.

P. McCaw2 MIN, 0 PTS, 0 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 0-0 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -5 +/-

Got the nod over Norm again, but didn’t do much in his brief stint.

Nick Nurse

The gameplan early to apply pressure to the rim seemed to work, but the rest of the team performance left much to be desired. Toronto got what they wanted offensively, but the communication errors on Curry is inexcusable. There probably isn’t a potion to antidote Golden State’s runs, but Nurse did use his timeouts to limit the momentum shift. I also liked his willingness to start FVV in the second half to guard Curry (although he remained unstoppable) and it didn’t even dissuade Green’s confidence.

Things We Saw

  1. Attacking the paint early:
    It was clear that the Raptors were intent on getting inside early tonight. They got to the line nine times in the first quarter to go along with 14 points in the paint. Gasol rolled hard off of screens while Siakam and Leonard were intent on beating their matchups off of the dribble.
  2. Steph is still scary:
    Man, I cannot believe the shots Curry hit in this game to keep the Warriors from being blown out. They had no right to even sniff this game. He scored or assisted on 24 of the Warriors first 29 points. It was individual brilliance, yes, but Toronto have to be sharper as a team locating Steph off-ball and playing him tighter on-ball.
  3. Failing to gain separation:
    This may not be exact, but the Raptors had roughly 453 chances to take a stranglehold on this game and failed to do so. Sure, the Warriors are masters of the comeback run, but these Warriors were not the same. This was all on Toronto’s inability to execute for an extended period on either end. But hey, a win is a win.
  4. Stat of the night:
    The Toronto Raptors are TWO games aways from winning an NBA Championship people!
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