Quick Reaction

Quick Reaction: Pelicans 122, Raptors 130 (OT)

NO Pelicans 122 Final
Box Score
130 TOR Raptors

P. Siakam38 MIN, 34 PTS, 18 REB, 5 AST, 0 STL, 11-26 FG, 2-5 3FG, 10-11 FT, 1 BLK, 4 TO, 5 +/-

The shooting wasn’t as efficient as you’d probably like, and there were moments where he struggled finishing shots that he definitely can hit. But what you want from a max player is that they find a way to repeatedly impact the game, and that’s what Siakam gave the Raptors tonight, and then some. He just kept coming through, and even though he fouled out late in the fourth, he got the team to the point where they could finish it without him. Looked the part of a star, and had the numbers to back it up.

O. Anunoby36 MIN, 11 PTS, 7 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 5-12 FG, 1-4 3FG, 0-1 FT, 2 BLK, 1 TO, 12 +/-

OG was aggressive offensively, and looked really comfortable attacking off the dribble, but it was his defense where he really made his mark on this game. Tasked with Jrue Holiday with the game tied late, he was the key to holding the Pelicans scoreless and getting the game to overtime, where the Raptors were able to win. He’s suffocating at his best and he was at his best when he had to be in this game.

M. Gasol32 MIN, 6 PTS, 4 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 2-9 FG, 1-4 3FG, 1-1 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -2 +/-

This was a tough one for Marc. He looked like he was still celebrating the ring ceremony for most of the game, and maybe the long playoff run and then playing for Spain caught up with him a little. Had very little energy in the first half, and wasn’t as aggressive offensively as you’d want from him. Still, he woke up late and made some good plays at the end of the game.

K. Lowry45 MIN, 22 PTS, 5 REB, 6 AST, 2 STL, 4-15 FG, 3-11 3FG, 11-13 FT, 0 BLK, 4 TO, -1 +/-

Not a great shooting night for Kyle, despite the 22 points. He’s so tough though, and he showed through when the team needed him, as always, with a couple of huge shots in the fourth and overtime and drawing timely fouls as well. NBA Champion Kyle Lowry sounds so good, and his joy during the ring ceremony was incredible to see.

F. VanVleet44 MIN, 34 PTS, 5 REB, 7 AST, 2 STL, 12-18 FG, 5-7 3FG, 5-6 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 18 +/-

Fred picked up right where he left off in the NBA Finals. Unbelievable shooting, finishing strong in traffic, and making great decisions. If Pascal Siakam was the best player on the court tonight, then Fred VanVleet was the second best. The Raptors will have nights where they need him to step up, and he showed tonight what that can look like. He’s really improved his decision making driving to the hoop, finding space when it’s there, and resetting the offense when it isn’t.

N. Powell29 MIN, 5 PTS, 8 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 2-7 FG, 1-5 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 2 +/-

It’s not entirely on Norm, but the last possession of regulation was a disaster. Should not be seeing him isolate for a game winning shot, because that’s just not his game. His contributions after Siakam fouled out, that aside, were huge for Toronto and he was important to getting the win in overtime.

S. Ibaka26 MIN, 13 PTS, 5 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 4-10 FG, 0-1 3FG, 5-6 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, 6 +/-

Ibaka gave the Raptors the minutes they need from him in this one. He was strong on the boards, he scored timely buckets, and he was solid enough defensively. When Gasol didn’t have it in the first half, Ibaka did.

T. Davis15 MIN, 5 PTS, 5 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL, 2-6 FG, 1-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 0 +/-

Terence Davis just belongs in the NBA. It’s not a flashy box score line from the rookie, but he was confident and comfortable, and fit in playing alongside seven NBA Champions in the rest of tonight’s rotation. He’s going to be a player in this league for a while, and he’s showing why already.

Nick Nurse

The last play of regulation was a mess from Nurse. I’ll let that one go. It’s not on him that the Pelicans shot the lights out in the first half, or that the Raptors looked sluggish. All of that can be understandable when you have the emotional hangover from the banner and rings as part of the night. Still, he found answers continually late, which was the calling card of last year’s Raptors, and he got his team to pull out the win.

Things We Saw

  1. The rings and banner are beautiful. The players named on the edging of the banner is a great touch, and it was a fantastic video tribute and ceremony, and everything any Raptors fan could ask for. The Raptors are NBA Champions, and they clearly took pride in making sure they delivered on how important that is to the fans.
  2. The Raptors offense, expected to be the issue this season, really wasn’t in this game, despite some players struggling individually. They found enough answers, and they created shots where they had to. There’s some process things to work on, and the rotation needs to expand as the season goes to lower the minutes, but there were some real positive signs to look at.
  3. The defense on the other hand was an issue, aside from the end of the fourth quarter and overtime. The Raptors showed their potential when they absolutely had to at that end of the floor, but they could’ve made their lives a lot easier if they had shown some of that earlier in the night. They looked sluggish, and weren’t the team that they can be. That’s something to look at for them to improve as we move on to Boston on Friday night.
  4. Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet showed that the future is bright in Toronto. The attention in the summer has been on the Raptors veterans and what decisions the team makes surrounding them, but FVV and Siakam were the stars in this game, and showed that whatever decisions Masai Ujiri makes, there’s a lot to be excited about in Toronto.
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