Quick Reaction: Raptors 115, Cavaliers 109

9 mins read
TOR Raptors 115 Final
Box Score
109 CLE Cavaliers

C-
O. Anunoby31 MIN, 9 PTS, 3 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 4-9 FG, 1-1 3FG, 0-2 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, -3 +/-

Overall was a disappointing showing from OG. He left too many points on the floor with misses at the rim, and while he had some nice assists he also committed too many turnovers with bobbles or bad passes. Did a good job overall on defence, where he primarily had the assignment of Cedi Osman or Kevin Porter Jr, but the game continues to feel a little off for OG.

Rightfully was left out of the closing line-up for Norm. Wouldn’t often advocate for that, but it worked tonight.

B+
P. Siakam34 MIN, 19 PTS, 5 REB, 2 AST, 4 STL, 5-12 FG, 1-3 3FG, 8-10 FT, 1 BLK, 3 TO, 10 +/-

Tristan Thompson is not the same mobile defender he was years ago, but he still has the size profile that can often cause problems for Siakam. Rather than shying away we saw Siakam go at Thompson with aggressive drives and adjusting with a variety of spins/counters in the paint.

Would have liked to see Siakam assert himself more regularly, and his defence too often left much to be desired.

A+
S. Ibaka33 MIN, 26 PTS, 4 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 10-14 FG, 3-6 3FG, 3-3 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 12 +/-

Having a player of Ibaka’s caliber to step into the starting line-up when needed is a luxury, and he brought the energy early and often tonight. There are nights when Ibaka looks disengaged and going through the motions, but from the tip tonight he was running the open court and using his physical tools to create mismatches inside or stretching the floor from the 3 point line.

Serge’s second chance scoring was a significant need for the Raptors, especially in helping extend the lead at the start of the third quarter.

A+
K. Lowry37 MIN, 23 PTS, 5 REB, 5 AST, 4 STL, 8-16 FG, 2-6 3FG, 5-6 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, 10 +/-

On a night where he was named an All Star for the sixth time in his career, Lowry did exactly what we have come to expect. He dominated on the margins, made players around him better, and forced his will on the game. You saw it as he beat Sexton (21 years old) up the court for a lay-up after a made Cleveland bucket, or in fighting on defence to prevent a player like Kevin Love from gaining post position. He does so much and I’m glad that the coaches recognize it, especially after his early career reputation as a difficult player to deal with.

After a close score at halftime Lowry came out and put the gas pedal down, scoring 10 points in the first 5 minutes. He even got a continuation call late in the third quarter, a seemingly rare occurrence.

B+
F. VanVleet37 MIN, 8 PTS, 7 REB, 12 AST, 1 STL, 3-13 FG, 2-7 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, -5 +/-

A poor shooting night for Fred but he was a great facilitator to the roll man, finding both Ibaka and Boucher multiple times. When playing with the starters he was a positive, but was not enough to raise the level of the all-bench line-ups.

A-
N. Powell26 MIN, 16 PTS, 5 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 5-12 FG, 3-7 3FG, 3-4 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 6 +/-

His shot is so pure. When he has the opportunity to hop into the shot off the catch it feels like it will always go down. I particularly like Norm filling the lane in transition, as his ability to either go to the rim or pop to the corner keeps defences off balance.

With the Raptors up just 1 late in the fourth Powell scored 7 straight points to help put the game out of reach.

B
P. McCaw20 MIN, 4 PTS, 3 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 2-2 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-1 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 4 +/-

Mask McCaw >>> Pat McCaw. At least for one night. It wasn’t that he did a lot to contribute positively, but he also wasn’t someone who hurt the team. In fact, I was particularly pleased with how often he fought through/over a screen successfully on defence, an area where he has often struggled. While he was on the court during a 10-0 Cleveland run in the fourth quarter, the blame was not solely on McCaw for such a stretch.

Not great, but okay. The Pat McCaw experience.

B
C. Boucher15 MIN, 10 PTS, 4 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 4-5 FG, 0-1 3FG, 2-2 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, -6 +/-

His impact faded as the game went on, although this is at least partly due to the line-ups he was a playing with. Early on his was a dominant rim-runner and threw down multiple dunks, but he could not impact the game offensively during his fourth quarter minutes.

Thankfully in the same stretch he did come up with two big blocks, including a massive recovery block on former Raptor Alfonzo McKinnie in transition.

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

Not sure why Davis didn’t get more of an opportunity, but I guess we can call this the McCaw Effect.

One first quarter posssesion in particular I want to highlight. Davis threw a double at Larry Nance on the perimeter, and it was clearly an impromptu read on his part. Nance was trapped by Davis, Norm, and the sideline, only to throw the ball out of bounds when trying to recover. Another nice moment from Davis.

C+
Nick Nurse

Midway through the second quarter the Raptors had a frontcourt pairing of Chris Boucher and Pat McCaw. Yes, Pat McCaw at PF. And it was the best stretch of offensive rebounding the Raptors had on the night. Sometimes getting weird is awesome.

The Raptors were sloppy in allowing penetration by Garland and Sexton, and too often left Love open (or relatively so) from deep, but the game plan was steady. The Raptors exploited mismatches and mixed in some zone throughout the night to give different looks o the Cavs

Nurse left the bench unit in too long in the fourth quarter, giving the Cavaliers some life/momentum late. But he also made the decision not close with Norm over OG which was a decided victory on his part. Bit of a mixed bag from Nick tonight.

Things We Saw

  1. Congrats to Kyle Lowry on being named an All Star reserve tonight, becoming the first 6-time All Star in Raptors history. Well deserved and an incredible accomplishment for the franchise GOAT. And while 6 is a great achievement, I’ll still fight anyone who picked Joe Johnson over Lowry years ago. Kyle should be the 7-time All Star.
  2. Cleveland refers to the jumbotron as the Humongotron. And I’m torn whether this is wonderful or if I should hate it irrationally.
  3. I’m not a big fan of Sexton or Garland, but there is a lot to Kevin Porter Jr. that I like. Seems to be a good find for a Cleveland team in sore need of talent.

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