Quick Reaction: Raptors 105, Pistons 92

8 mins read
TOR Raptors 105 Final
Box Score
92 DET Pistons

A+
P. Siakam36 MIN, 30 PTS, 8 REB, 4 AST, 0 STL, 12-19 FG, 2-4 3FG, 4-5 FT, 1 BLK, 3 TO, 26 +/-

Our All-Star has found his groove. Blew by Maker right away off of the dribble and then perfectly timed his pass to a backdoor cutter on the next possession as he drew the help defender towards him. Then Siakam’s three-ball started flying, and at that point it’s over my friend. Hugely efficient offensively with 30 points on 18 shots, and an eye-popping +26 says all you need to know about Siakam’s dominance.

B
O. Anunoby24 MIN, 6 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 3-6 FG, 0-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 1 +/-

A quiet one offensively for Anunoby tonight. Dug down well on ball-handlers from the perimeter as they entered the paint, which contributed to Detroit’s inside scoring woes.

A+
S. Ibaka29 MIN, 21 PTS, 6 REB, 3 AST, 0 STL, 9-14 FG, 3-4 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 5 TO, 5 +/-

Along with Siakam, Ibaka set the tone early and often for the Raptors. His consistency all year has really just personified the entire season for Toronto. Ibaka remains a shot-altering presence, but the growing comfort with the ball in his hands has been most noticeable. That drive and one-handed kick-out to Anunoby followed by a laser pass to him at the rim on the next possession was non-existent a year ago. The notion that Ibaka would get traded at the deadline is nonsensical.

B
K. Lowry31 MIN, 7 PTS, 2 REB, 6 AST, 1 STL, 2-9 FG, 1-4 3FG, 2-3 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 11 +/-

Lowry was in facilitator mode in the first half and sat back as Toronto’s other weapons fired away, much to the chagrin of the jabronis on the TNT desk. Not a dominant KLOE evening, but his saucy ankle-breaker will surely make the highlight reel.

A
F. VanVleet38 MIN, 16 PTS, 8 REB, 9 AST, 2 STL, 7-11 FG, 2-4 3FG, 0-1 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 21 +/-

Another day in the office for Steady Freddy. Toronto’s backcourt anchored the team in a matchup where the talent disparity across the floor was clear to see. Once things began to look a little dicey in the second half, VanVleet made a handful of crucial buckets and a steal to restore Toronto’s healthy lead. Didn’t break a sweat and still almost notched a triple-double!

A-
N. Powell29 MIN, 12 PTS, 7 REB, 1 AST, 3 STL, 6-13 FG, 0-4 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 2 TO, 18 +/-

Cheeky backdoor cut immediately upon checking in. Then took it hard off of the dribble and crammed it in Drummond’s face. How many posters did he give us this game?! Powell has become simultaneously explosive and nimble driving to the rim, a necessary ingredient for this offence to thrive.

B
P. McCaw19 MIN, 0 PTS, 2 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 0-0 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 0 +/-

Made the extra pass several times and was decisive with the ball, not allowing it to stick in his hands. McCaw was solid as a defender at the top of the zone, causing a few deflections and closing out shooters on Detroit’s sluggish ball movement.

B+
C. Boucher18 MIN, 8 PTS, 7 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 3-8 FG, 0-2 3FG, 2-2 FT, 3 BLK, 0 TO, 14 +/-

His energy has to be commended amidst an extended shooting slump. Blocked a lazy Jackson drive and fought for a few extra possessions on the offensive glass early. Boucher’s aggressive rolling to the rim is a unique wrinkle compared to Toronto’s other pick-and-roll bigs. Was a little late on a few defensive rotations, especially in the zone, but Detroit’s putrid offence didn’t punish these errors. Great work on the boards against Drummond.

B+
T. Davis11 MIN, 5 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 2-4 FG, 1-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 2 BLK, 0 TO, -7 +/-

Man… this guy. Davis didn’t even blink on his first catch-and-shoot opportunity from deep. He quickly followed that with great footwork to backpedal and swat Brown’s layup in transition. Then flashes to the rim like a blur to receive a dump-off pass from Siakam. The second half was less impressive, but this dude is a baller, and no Rising All-Star nomination is needed to validate that.

Inc
P. Watson2 MIN, 0 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-0 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -6 +/-

Garbagio time.

Inc
S. Johnson2 MIN, 0 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-1 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -6 +/-

Garbagio time.

Inc
M. Thomas2 MIN, 0 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-0 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -6 +/-

Garbagio time.

Inc
O. Brissett2 MIN, 0 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-1 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -6 +/-

Garbagio time.

A+
Nick Nurse

This grade is a reflection of the entire season. Congratulations to Nick Nurse and the entire coaching staff on earning the honour of representing the Eastern Conference and Team Giannis during the All-Star game. Nurse has achieved more in his first eighteen months as an NBA head coach than others would hope to accomplish in a whole career. On to Chicago!

Things We Saw

  1. A ‘road’ game: I suppose a great way to grind through a road trip is to have you team’s fans dominate the opponent’s arena. A raucous “Let’s go Raptors” chant circulated the building five minutes into the game with Siakam at the line, and then ‘MVP’ serenaded him in the fourth quarter. An aside, the Little Caesars arena crew plugging in artificial ‘Defence’ chants with no fan support and failed attempts to drown out Toronto cheers was one of the more embarrassing moments of the season.
  2. Eating inside: Too much has been made about Toronto’s lack of force inside, but tonight they dominated around the rim all game long. Without the services of Gasol, the Raptors outscored Detroit 36-6 in the paint during the first half. They did this in a litany of ways: pick-and-roll dives to the rim, backdoor cutters, Powell curling off of pindown screens and soaring to the hoop.

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