Quick Reaction

Quick Reaction: Hornets 96, Raptors 132

Comment away ya’ freebooters and landlubbers.

CHA Hornets 96 Final
Box Score
132 TOR Raptors

A+
P. Siakam35 MIN, 20 PTS, 8 REB, 5 AST, 1 STL, 7-14 FG, 3-6 3FG, 3-3 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 38 +/-

Really nice to see his offense come easy after the road-trip seemed to take everything out of him. Monster on the fastbreak, and his best defensive game in a little while.

A+
O. Anunoby27 MIN, 24 PTS, 5 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL, 10-13 FG, 4-7 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, 27 +/-

By far his most prolific game as a pull-up artist. Showed a glimpse of that oh-so-tantalizing future we all imagine for him. He’s a terror prowling the baseline as a cutter and he matched that and then some above-the-break in this one. His best game sans-Kyle Lowry, and one of the best of his career. Had some bad luck with his eye again, but ended up fine. What more could you want from him?

A+
M. Gasol29 MIN, 5 PTS, 8 REB, 9 AST, 0 STL, 2-4 FG, 1-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 28 +/-

Best game of the year without question. The Hornets weren’t looking to work on the inside to begin with, but Gasol’s presence in the paint was a fantastic deterrent. He spaced the floor on the offensive side of the ball, and then organized traffic – creating a highway to the rim and corner triples for his teammates. Very, very good game.

A-
F. VanVleet31 MIN, 11 PTS, 4 REB, 8 AST, 4 STL, 3-12 FG, 2-6 3FG, 3-4 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 21 +/-

Did a great job of finding Gasol middle, in what was Gasol’s best offensive game of the season. Recognizing the best place to attack from is a huge part of any point guards game, and he let the game flow from the inside out in this one. Always a factor defensively, especially against the small guards that the Hornets employ.

A
N. Powell25 MIN, 17 PTS, 2 REB, 6 AST, 2 STL, 7-15 FG, 2-8 3FG, 1-2 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 29 +/-

Brought a significant offensive punch to the early part of the game when the Raptors were still slightly sluggish. Best downhill playmaking we’ve seen from him this year as he utilized the shovel pass and the bounce pass with regularity. Great stuff.

A+
T. Davis21 MIN, 16 PTS, 1 REB, 7 AST, 1 STL, 5-7 FG, 4-5 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 11 +/-

Good grief. A very quiet game of moving the ball above-the-break was turned into another really impressive scoring night off the bench in the span of 3 minutes. It’s hard to be sure if he’s *this* good a shooter, but the offensive punch he’s brought has been so much fun.

A+
R. Hollis-Jefferson20 MIN, 15 PTS, 8 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 6-10 FG, 0-0 3FG, 3-3 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 11 +/-

The biggest benefactor of the added Gasol and Powell playmaking tonight. His knack for floating to the open spots on the floor is something I’ve touched on quite a bit, but it’s a massive part of his game. Not all players learn how to read the game as an off-ball threat like that, and it seems like second nature for him. Lifted the Raptors through some bleak play at times.

A
C. Boucher18 MIN, 11 PTS, 11 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 5-11 FG, 1-2 3FG, 0-1 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 10 +/-

Gasol was masterful, and RHJ was great in his time on the floor, which suppressed Boucher’s minutes in this game. His length was a big factor in his minutes on the floor, and his energy on offense seems to bleed onto the floor. This seemed like the easiest 11 & 11 I’ve ever seen. It’s great that he’s already establishing a floor to his game, and a good one.

A-
M. Thomas16 MIN, 6 PTS, 1 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 2-5 FG, 2-4 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 13 +/-

Sling it, man. Just watching him come off of pin-downs and the defense enter into a panic is great. It’s even better when he’s hitting them (which is often). A sharpshooter who hit his shots.

Inc
D. Hernandez6 MIN, 2 PTS, 4 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 1-2 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 2 +/-

Tough to glean anything from his minutes. Very up and down style of play. But hit a floater!

Inc
M. Miller6 MIN, 5 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 2-2 FG, 1-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 2 +/-

Tough to glean anything from his minutes. Very up and down style of play. But hit a triple!

Inc
O. Brissett5 MIN, 0 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-2 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -2 +/-

Tough to glean anything from his minutes. Very up and down style of play.

A
Nick Nurse

Liked the decision to extend VanVleet’s rest at the start of the second quarter. Taking those opportunities should help as the season wears on. Opted for RHJ as the first off the bench in this game and that was a good read of the game. This game appeared to be on cruise control, but he made good decisions at the margins.

Things We Saw

  1. Has the Anunoby pull-up arrived or was this just a little flash of something that’s not fully developed yet? If it’s the former, wow, I’m not sure how defenses will guard a healthy Raptors starting line-up. Even when he hit that side-step triple his body looked so balanced, which isn’t how it’s always been. The control while in motion has always been a hiccup in Anunoby’s game, but if this is the norm, that’s a considerable jump.
  2. Devonte’ Graham seems like one of those guards that’s going to stick around the league for a long time. A Patty Mills, Monte Morris type of guy. Even though this wasn’t his best game, I love what he brings to the table.
  3. A franchise record for assists, a lot of fun. There was a point in the third quarter where the Raptors were passing at an unfathomable pace. This is what it looks like when Gasol is optimized against a defense that isn’t mobile on the back end. The Raptors ripped them to shreds.
  4. It’s funny how most of the Raptors optimism has been continuously rewarded. Players like Siakam, OG, and Fred have done nothing but improve at ridiculous rates, and we romanticize their games for it. The Celtics romanticized Rozier and there just hasn’t been upside to that. Whether it’s turning down trades, or eventually letting him walk, it shows how tough it is to truly evaluate in house. Well, if you aren’t the Raptors (hehe).
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