Quick Reaction: Timberwolves 126, Raptors 137

MIN Timberwolves 126 Final Box Score 137 TOR Raptors A+ P. Siakam37 MIN, 34 PTS, 6 REB, 5 AST, 2 STL, 14-21 FG, 6-8 3FG, 0-1 FT, 1 BLK, 3 TO, 12 +/- In a game this loose defensively, it was inevitable that Siakam would fill up the stat sheet. It is a testament to…

MIN Timberwolves126Final
Box Score
137TOR Raptors

P. Siakam37 MIN, 34 PTS, 6 REB, 5 AST, 2 STL, 14-21 FG, 6-8 3FG, 0-1 FT, 1 BLK, 3 TO, 12 +/-

In a game this loose defensively, it was inevitable that Siakam would fill up the stat sheet. It is a testament to his season thus far that he ended the game with 34/6/5 stat-line without definitive heatcheck moments (other than maybe the late-game domination on Russell.) He bettered his opposition consistently and efficiently. That help side block on Towns followed up by backing down his opponent for an easy two in the fourth are the momentum-shifting moments that true All-Stars produce.

O. Anunoby36 MIN, 25 PTS, 12 REB, 3 AST, 3 STL, 10-13 FG, 3-4 3FG, 2-2 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 10 +/-

Anunoby did his best to alleviate the team’s lack of size today. He battled on the glass and was used a little bit more as the dive man in lieu of a traditional big. Anunoby really asserted himself in the third quarter, filling it up for 16 points in the frame. He ran the floor well, got putbacks on effort plays, attacked the rim, and nailed his jumper. Was easily the best defender on Towns tonight as well.

R. Hollis-Jefferson34 MIN, 21 PTS, 6 REB, 1 AST, 3 STL, 8-13 FG, 0-2 3FG, 5-8 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 20 +/-

Played great offensively in the make-shift centre role. Hollis-Jefferson finished well around the rim, his unorthodox herky-jerky moves leaving rim protectors befuddled. He flew around the court defensively in the second half, his frenetic energy throwing Minnesota off-kilter. I might have to take up meditating after that RHJ performance.

K. Lowry40 MIN, 27 PTS, 7 REB, 11 AST, 1 STL, 9-16 FG, 4-8 3FG, 5-6 FT, 2 BLK, 8 TO, 11 +/-

His performance personified the first half of the game, with 18 points on 6-for-7 shooting paired with five turnovers. Lowry snapped into his usual form in the second half, maintaining his offensive efficiency, getting others quality looks, and cutting down on the giveaways. In standard KLOE fashion, drew the necessary charges and anchored a bench lineup to ensure victory.

F. VanVleet37 MIN, 16 PTS, 2 REB, 8 AST, 3 STL, 5-13 FG, 2-7 3FG, 4-4 FT, 0 BLK, 4 TO, 21 +/-

Started the game equally as sloppy as his back-court partner, but VanVleet’s shot also wasn’t dropping tonight. However, VanVleet’s patented defensive chippiness reemerged in the third quarter and he got more comfortable working with different screeners in the pick-and-roll. That deeeeep triple over Towns really set Toronto on their way mid-way through the fourth.

P. McCaw26 MIN, 5 PTS, 4 REB, 2 AST, 3 STL, 1-2 FG, 1-2 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 5 +/-

Pretty anonymous in his minutes, took two shots in his 26 minutes on the floor. But, hey one went in, talk about efficiency! Followed that triple up with a great deflection that led to a turnover and easy transition bucket.

T. Davis15 MIN, 3 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 1-5 FG, 1-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -13 +/-

A come back to earth game for Davis tonight. He inexplicably turned the ball over on his first drive in transition and couldn’t find his range from deep. Can’t be an All-Rookie every game, I fully expect Davis to bounce back quickly.

C. Boucher13 MIN, 6 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 3-5 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -6 +/-

Boucher was his usual energetic self, although the results were middling. He clogged the lane a couple times in the two-man game, but then started to slip into cracks in the defence and Lowry found Boucher for some easy close-range finishes. He was a little overmatched in the possessions he faced Towns.

M. Thomas3 MIN, 0 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-1 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -5 +/-

Nick Nurse

The Raptors came out half-asleep today, something that is common in the games leading up to All-Star break. Despite this, Nurse stuck with the RHJ at centre lineup that struggled early and it paid dividends in the second half. The improved team defence to stop Towns was critical, and the late-game decision to get Siakam switched onto Russell put the game to bed. Nurse managed minutes fairly well with the limited bodies available.

Things We Saw

  1. Turnovers tell the story – In an ahorrent first half Toronto coughed the ball up 15 times. When VanVleet, Lowry, and Siakam contribute for 12 of those, you know you have a problem. Whatever Nick Nurse told them at half must have worked, because it took nine minutes for the Raptors to turn it over in a dominant third quarter. Once Toronto’s backcourt regained their composure it was only a matter of time before they blew the new-look Wolves porous defence apart.
  2. Efence – There was no D being played whatsoever during the first half of the game. The Wolves led at the break 75-74, that thoroughly tells the story. Minnesota fired away from deep and Toronto looked keen to run at all times without a true centre in the rotation; mix this with neither team feeling any urgency to stop the ball and you get All-Star game vibes. The Raptors lack of size was an issue as Towns found cutters all across the floor.