Quick Reaction: Raptors 90, Magic 83

9 mins read
TOR Raptors 90 Final
Box Score
83 ORL Magic

C-
P. Siakam40 MIN, 10 PTS, 13 REB, 5 AST, 1 STL, 4-22 FG, 1-7 3FG, 1-3 FT, 1 BLK, 3 TO, 13 +/-

Jonathan Isaac is one of the league’s best defenders and is uniquely suited to bother Siakam. We saw it in the first round last spring, and now for third game on the season. On the other end though Pascal caused equal or greater problems for Isaac who didn’t record his first bucket until the final minute of the second quarter.

This was Siakam’s worst performance of the season.

C
O. Anunoby35 MIN, 2 PTS, 7 REB, 4 AST, 3 STL, 1-5 FG, 0-3 3FG, 0-2 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, -1 +/-

Seeing OG switch across 3 players on one defensive possession is something to behold, and something that is very easily underappreciated. His work on Gordon in particular was strong. Another good night on the glass as well for OG.

The shot just wasn’t there though.

B-
M. Gasol32 MIN, 6 PTS, 7 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 1-6 FG, 0-4 3FG, 4-4 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 10 +/-

With Vucevic out of the lineup due to injury the Magic do not have a natural counterpart and he was forced to guard smaller/quicker players like Birch or Gordon. Gasol once did not offer much in regards to scoring, but his screen setting and defence made a big impact.

A-
F. VanVleet41 MIN, 22 PTS, 5 REB, 4 AST, 8 STL, 7-20 FG, 5-12 3FG, 3-5 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, 9 +/-

The Raptors missed Lowry tonight. Fred had some moments and was seemingly the only Raptor who could hit a 3 in the first half, but the length of the Magic defenders caused him issues when driving and he struggled getting past Fultz.

Fred’s calling card tonight was his defence. He caused some chaos despite coming away with 7 steals.

A+
N. Powell39 MIN, 33 PTS, 0 REB, 1 AST, 2 STL, 12-18 FG, 5-8 3FG, 4-4 FT, 1 BLK, 2 TO, -3 +/-

Can hit a bomb 3 as a trailer on one possession, then drop the ball on the next, and follow it up with either a steal or a lazy foul. He did all of that within a 3 minute run in the second quarter. The consistency Nurse asked for was missing tonight.

And then he can get hot and drain 3 triples in the first 5 minutes of the second half. Elite third quarter for Norm as he turned the game for the Raptors. He was so good he was even making his layups.

We got good and bad Norm tonight, just not consistent Norm. His second half was so good though it more than makes up for his early game struggles. Norm almost outscored the Magic in the second half and set a new career high with 33 points.

A
R. Hollis-Jefferson22 MIN, 6 PTS, 6 REB, 3 AST, 1 STL, 2-3 FG, 0-0 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 6 +/-

We’ve asked a lot how Terence Davis went undrafted, but how did RHJ get passed over by so many teams in free agency? Outside of shooting and dribbling he does everything far above average. And yes, those are two important parts of basketball, but they are also easy to avoid if you stick to your role.

RHJ crashes the boards, earns second chance opportunities, and can be trusted with any defensive assignment. Late in the first quarter RHJ got an offensive board from the baseline and managed to make a bouncepass to Siakam (who was behind him) in the lane while still in the air.

While his lack of a jumpshot can clog up the offence at times, his passing and work from the dunker spot certainly makes up for it. He’s a keeper.

B
T. Davis15 MIN, 4 PTS, 5 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 2-4 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 0 +/-

Davis is decisive and fearless, taking shots when the opportunity arises but never forcing his game. On his first play after entering in the first quarter he drove for an open lay-up, and a few plays later he beat Mo Bamba for a rebound.

The only rookie part of Terence Davis’ game is the whistle, as he continues to get some questionable calls made against him. Davis was called for 3 fouls before halftime and never truly found a rhythm when he returned later in the game.

B
C. Boucher12 MIN, 7 PTS, 3 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 2-4 FG, 0-1 3FG, 3-6 FT, 2 BLK, 1 TO, -1 +/-

Terrence Ross became the latest victim of having Chris Boucher run out at their 3 point shot. He’s just so long it has to be terrifying to try and get the shot up over those arms.

Raptors got bodied on the boards and caught with some back-cuts with Boucher and RHJ on the court together in the first half, but Boucher was better when returning in the fourth quarter. His length was a different maker when challenging shots and securing defensive rebounds to end possessions.

Boucher also showed he can be a high level roll-man.

D-
M. Miller5 MIN, 0 PTS, 0 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 0-2 FG, 0-2 3FG, 0-2 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 2 +/-

Was called into duty to end the second quarter due to early foul trouble on both Davis and Powell, giving him the opportunity to try to carry forward his hot play from Wednesday against the Knicks. Sadly he missed his first two attempts from long range, both wide open. He then missed both of his free throws at the end of the half.

Nick Nurse

The Magic have elite level defenders on their roster and really mucked up the Raptors offensive flow in the first half. Some of the Raptors early struggles were simply missing shots, but Nurse didn’t help matters with some of his play calling. For example, I have no idea why he continues to run regular isolation plays for Siakam on Isaac. That’s not the match-up to target.
On the other end he was far more consistent and strong. The Raptors mixed a variety of defenses including several zones to challenge the Magic shooters. Overall the Raptors looked unmotivated for much of the night, similar to the Hawks game last week.

I would love to hear Nurse’s halftime speeches because the Raptors can flip the switch at will it seems. Raptors played down to the Magic record in the first half and then played to their own in the second.

Things We Saw

  1. The Magic debuted their new orange city addition jersey and court tonight, making them look far more like the Phoenix Suns than any team should want to. While the jersey is unspectacular, I do have to admit the court design looked sharp with a large orange ORL as the centre logo.
  2. Following Wednesdays game against the Knicks where 4 Canadians were on the court at the same time, tonight fellow Montreal natives Chris Boucher and Khem Birch shared the court together. Canada basketball is on the come-up.
  3. Stuff is a top 5 mascot and even saying that feels low.

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