Quick Reaction: Raptors 113, Lakers 104

8 mins read
TOR Raptors 113 Final
Box Score
104 LA Lakers

P. Siakam42 MIN, 24 PTS, 12 REB, 4 AST, 1 STL, 9-25 FG, 1-8 3FG, 5-8 FT, 2 BLK, 3 TO, 15 +/-

This was not an efficient night for Siakam, whose outside shot deserted him on the evening. It’s also difficult with Anthony Davis in your grill for most of the night. But how Siakam responded in the second half showed his budding superstardom, destroying the likes of Kuzma or Bradley whenever they dared to single-team him and wreaking havoc defensively. He kicked into another gear once it got to winning time, nailing a few game-sealing buckets. That block on LeBron James should make the rounds on Twitter for the next 24 hours.

O. Anunoby26 MIN, 7 PTS, 3 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 2-6 FG, 1-3 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -4 +/-

Two early fouls put Anunoby on the back foot, but his defence never wavered. Anunoby didn’t have much of an offensive rhythm and Nurse opted to ride the bench freight train for a majority of the second half.

M. Gasol33 MIN, 2 PTS, 7 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 1-2 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, 7 +/-

Opened with a great spin move on McGee but wasn’t an offensive threat on the night. Gasol was a step slow as the help defender, although stopping LeBron and Davis enroute to the rim is no easy task.

F. VanVleet39 MIN, 23 PTS, 7 REB, 10 AST, 2 STL, 8-18 FG, 4-9 3FG, 3-4 FT, 1 BLK, 3 TO, -6 +/-

VanVleet looks like he has finally fixed his ailing ankle. Got to the hole at will against the Lakers guards and ate them alive on defensive switches. VanVleet also triggered a lot of turnovers by leaving poor shooters and helping inside which got Toronto the transition baskets that they dearly needed to stay alive early. His pull-up three off of the dribble is buttery smooth.

N. Powell26 MIN, 14 PTS, 5 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 5-8 FG, 1-3 3FG, 3-3 FT, 2 BLK, 2 TO, 2 +/-

It’s funny that you can tell what kind of Powell you are going to get within thirty seconds. Powell was aggressive early, bagged a couple shots, and attacked closeouts with precision. Especially loved Powell’s great block on Daniels’ three point attempt.

C. Boucher24 MIN, 15 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST, 2 STL, 7-11 FG, 1-4 3FG, 0-2 FT, 4 BLK, 0 TO, 3 +/-

Boucher epitomized the energy that the bench brought to the game. He quickly forced Davis into a turnover, then kicked the ball out to Thomas for an open jumper for a five-point swing to close the first quarter. He repeated a similar defensive play as a help defender on Davis to close the third. Then Boucher went bezerk in the fourth, knocking down jumpers and soaring for offensive putbacks. That is the kind of efficiency he needs to bring to the team. Oh, also, Boucher swatted LeBron and then Davis on back-to-back possessions. Yes, that was a thing that happened.

T. Davis17 MIN, 13 PTS, 4 REB, 4 AST, 0 STL, 5-8 FG, 3-5 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 13 +/-

Started with a confident early triple. Then hucked one that hit the underside of the backboard. Then shimmies for a beautiful side-step triple. Then another brick. Davis’ offensive game was inconsistent. And then the fourth quarter happened. Holy smokes, that is what we call a breakout performance. He continues to show enough upside to warrant minutes, I expect Davis to grow into a different player by the end of the season.

M. Thomas15 MIN, 5 PTS, 0 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 2-3 FG, 1-2 3FG, 0-1 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 11 +/-

The sparkplug sniper nailed a couple of huge shots off of the bench to bring Toronto back into the game early. Took a step back as Boucher and Davis caught fire in the second half.

R. Hollis-Jefferson15 MIN, 10 PTS, 3 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 4-6 FG, 0-0 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 6 +/-

Gritty on-ball defence against LeBron, getting right into his jersey. Hollis-Jefferson’s versatility was awesome as he worked his tail off on the offensive glass and finished as the roll man. That turnaround jumper on Danny Green late was just pure.

S. Johnson3 MIN, 0 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-1 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -2 +/-

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but Johnson looked beyond lost offensively. On one particularly painful occasion Johnson froze for an eternity after Powell drew three defenders and found him wide open. Give the bench’s performance, Johnson has fallen to the bottom of the ladder.

Nick Nurse

I cannot reasonably give Nurse anything lower than an A+ given that he finally managed a successful challenge! Additionally, Nurse had great defensive adjustments in the half-court to address the Lakers megastars and his bench lineups were quality. This game had the potential to get out of hand early, but Nurse out-maneuvered Frank Vogel.

Things We Saw

  1. Sluggish Start, Bench Bump: The Lakers number one defence entering the game paired with Lowry’s absence made a recipe for disaster. And boy, was it ugly to start. The Raptors had the ball stripped from them early and often, turning the ball over five times in the first quarter. They also missed the few open looks that were offered. Then, the bench entirely changed the tenor of the encounter to claw Toronto back into the game.
  2. Getting zonal: A key part of the Raptors not completely falling out of this one was their transition to a 2-3 zone and Nurse’s funky lineups. The tactical move and energy spike rattled the Lakers briefly and got Toronto out in transition. They smartly sagged off of poor shooters everytime Davis received the ball in the post and flew around the court on every proceeding pass. The frenetic energy completely rattled the Lakers’ rhythm.
  3. AD is inevitable: I’m not sold on the Lakers pieces surrounding Anthony Davis and LeBron James. However, it may not even matter if Davis looks like this, and it wasn’t even one of his best games! His presence as a rim deterrent is frightening enough, but then picking up Siakam on-ball and matching him step for step? Sheesh. Credit to Toronto for sending defensive help Davis’ way immediately rather than letting him gash individual defenders for multiple quarters. It is also fortuitous that Toronto have Chris ‘AD Stopper’ Boucher.

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