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Quick Reaction

Quick Reaction: Kings 120, Raptors 124

SAC Kings 120 Final
Box Score
124 TOR Raptors

A+
O. Anunoby37 MIN, 18 PTS, 7 REB, 5 AST, 0 STL, 7-11 FG, 3-4 3FG, 1-3 FT, 3 BLK, 0 TO, 7 +/-

Another standout performance from Anunoby tonight to continue an incredible start to his season. Anunoby is playing like an All-NBA defender, but more surprising is his confidence driving and as a shooter on offence. During one sequence, Anunoby followed a smooth catch and shoot triple by blocking Buddy Hield’s jumper at the other end of the floor.

A
P. Siakam37 MIN, 23 PTS, 13 REB, 5 AST, 2 STL, 8-13 FG, 0-3 3FG, 7-8 FT, 1 BLK, 3 TO, 9 +/-

Did anyone else enjoy seeing Siakam finally play not in foul trouble? Seeing Spicy P on the floor with five fouls to his name is anxiety-inducing. Following a slow start, Siakam ditched the outside shot and took off in the third quarter with patented acrobatic finishes at the rim. He was also a beast on the glass.

B+
M. Gasol24 MIN, 12 PTS, 4 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 4-6 FG, 1-2 3FG, 3-4 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 6 +/-

The opening half tonight was one of Gasol’s best of the season. It’s been ugly early with Gasol, but hopefully more games like these are on the horizon. This was an ideal collective performance from the centre duo.

A
K. Lowry40 MIN, 24 PTS, 2 REB, 7 AST, 2 STL, 8-15 FG, 5-7 3FG, 3-4 FT, 0 BLK, 6 TO, -6 +/-

Despite a couple of uncharacteristic turnovers, this was a classic Lowry game. As always, Lowry sensed the moments where he needed to inject himself with pull-up threes and knifing drives. Lowry broke down his defender twice in the fourth quarter for a pair of crucial layups. The two-man game with Ibaka saw Toronto through in this one.

B-
F. VanVleet35 MIN, 12 PTS, 2 REB, 5 AST, 1 STL, 3-9 FG, 2-3 3FG, 4-4 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 7 +/-

A quiet night for VanVleet. His hot shooting has really quelled pre-season concerns about Toronto’s ability to score from the outside. Unfortunately VanVleet couldn’t get any other shots to drop tonight.

A+
S. Ibaka24 MIN, 21 PTS, 6 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL, 9-16 FG, 1-4 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -2 +/-

Ibaka got limited run during the first half, partially because Gasol finally found a groove. However, Ibaka remains as consistent as ever and is the lone bench piece that can score consistently. If his thunderous dunk in the fourth quarter didn’t get you off of your couch, then you have no pulse.

C
N. Powell19 MIN, 6 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 2-6 FG, 0-3 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 3 +/-

Powell’s outside shot deserting him this season has been particularly frustrating. It may be prudent to squeeze Powell in with the starters for a few minutes to generate easier looks. As it stands, Powell has not been effective in a larger role when playing alongside the bench.

A-
M. Thomas11 MIN, 8 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 2-3 FG, 2-3 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -3 +/-

No triples were launched by Mr. ‘99%’ during his first stint, but he pleasantly surprised defensively in limited minutes. He canned two of his three looks in the fourth quarter, however it will be Thomas’ ability to be a passable defender that will dictate the minutes he earns.

B-
T. Davis7 MIN, 0 PTS, 1 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 0-0 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 2 +/-

Davis brought the energy we have come to expect of him. However, that energy did result in foul trouble. He delivered a tidy pass to Ibaka in the second half, but remains an inconsistent presence on offence. I’m excited to see how Davis fares doing the road trip.

C
C. Boucher5 MIN, 0 PTS, 0 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 0-0 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, -3 +/-

Really struggled to insert himself in the game. Boucher looked lost on the floor and it is becoming increasingly difficult to envision where he fits into this team.

B+
Nick Nurse

Yes, Nurse ran the starters a lot. Again. But he did give the bubble rotation guys some brief minutes to audition! Nurse has to find a way to sprinkle in the bench without sacrificing the lead that the starters earn, hopefully Thomas’ performance can be replicated. I also liked Nurse’s decision to give Ibaka a long shift in the second half as he brought some much-needed energy in a game that could’ve easily slipped out of the Raptors’ hands.

Things We Saw

  1. Heavy Rotation: The starters are very good at basketball, they have championship pedigree across the board. But man, this bench is problematic. Nick Nurse can justify running the starters into the ground due to the extensive rest between games thus far and desire to get off to an early start, but it is not a tenable strategy during the upcoming western road trip.
  2. O.G., Oh My: I needed another section to gush about Anunoby. The dude’s defensive presence can shift the momentum in games. Not to be one that dwells on the past, but performances like these do raise questions as to why Nurse was so hesitant to bring Anunoby back on the floor against Milwaukee on the weekend. Also, the guy had a career-high five assists too!
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