Quick Reaction: Hornets 99, Raptors 96

CHA Hornets 99 Final Box Score 96 TOR Raptors C+ R. Hollis-Jefferson28 MIN, 4 PTS, 9 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 2-8 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -2 +/- The RHJ experience provides three game-breaking moments followed up by three mind-numbing decisions. He busted his ass on the glass, doing his…

CHA Hornets99Final
Box Score
96TOR Raptors

R. Hollis-Jefferson28 MIN, 4 PTS, 9 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 2-8 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -2 +/-

The RHJ experience provides three game-breaking moments followed up by three mind-numbing decisions. He busted his ass on the glass, doing his best to account for Gasol and Ibaka’s absence, but he was ultimately unable to match-up with Biyombo. Now, the offensive end of the floor was a different story, as RHJ was one of many Raps who struggled to be effective. His late-game foul was simply inexplicable. His loose ball foul a few possessions earlier was equally as absurd.

O. Anunoby40 MIN, 16 PTS, 9 REB, 3 AST, 6 STL, 5-12 FG, 2-6 3FG, 4-5 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 0 +/-

Was the main instigator causing turnovers in a frenetic first half. Anunoby got the Raptors in transition which allowed the scoreboard to tick over, his activity on the defensive end really patched over Toronto’s offensive warts.

P. Siakam39 MIN, 24 PTS, 9 REB, 4 AST, 2 STL, 9-23 FG, 1-5 3FG, 5-9 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 6 +/-

Looked for his shot early and was offered plenty of wide open looks to find his rhythm but nothing seemed to go down for Siakam. After the halftime break, Siakam decided to put his head down and barrel to the rim relentlessly, leaking out in transition at every opportunity. The constant pressure that Siakam applied was the primary reason that Toronto got back into the game as he lived at the free throw line in the third quarter. He was also a menace defensively, berating every player that he switched onto.

K. Lowry38 MIN, 21 PTS, 6 REB, 6 AST, 2 STL, 5-14 FG, 3-12 3FG, 8-10 FT, 2 BLK, 2 TO, 5 +/-

Early foul trouble minimized Lowry’s ability to put leave his fingerprints on the game. His omission was palpable as the rest of the sputtered in his absence. If his scoring game hadn’t deserted him for three-and-a-half quarters,, this could’ve been a comfortable win for the Raptors. Instead, Lowry turned it on in the dying minutes with a heroic stretch that fell just short.

N. Powell36 MIN, 22 PTS, 1 REB, 3 AST, 0 STL, 8-19 FG, 4-11 3FG, 2-4 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 4 +/-

No signs of early rust for Powell, confidently stepping into three triples in the opening quarter of the game. Powell kept Toronto afloat as the rest of the team were clanking on the offensive end of the floor. His scoring acumen is going to be sorely needed on the upcoming road trip.

P. McCaw20 MIN, 0 PTS, 4 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 0-6 FG, 0-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -16 +/-

Not exactly what McCaw would have envisioned on his return from the flu. Those bench units really struggled with his non-existent offensive skill-set combined with others failing to knock down shots. He also lost Devonte’ Graham on two occasions that resulted in made triples. Tough.

C. Boucher16 MIN, 4 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 2-3 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -2 +/-

Couldn’t provide his usual spark during his short opening stint, however Boucher did show a few glimpses in transition and on a couple strong rotations at the rim to close the third quarter. Boucher’s size earned him minutes late, but he equally struggled to get Biyombo off the offensive glass.

T. Davis15 MIN, 2 PTS, 4 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 1-6 FG, 0-4 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -3 +/-

A blah performance from Davis. Missed his open catch-and-shoot opportunities and it seeped into his confidence in other facets of his game.

M. Thomas7 MIN, 3 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 1-4 FG, 0-2 3FG, 1-1 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -7 +/-

If Thomas is on the floor, then it would be prudent for Toronto to actually run plays that maximize his one elite skill. Instead, Thomas was fairly invisible during his minutes and then struggled defensively.

Nick Nurse

I mean, how can you really critique a coach who was missing both of his centres and one of his two true point guards? Nurse went to his usual tricks to try and inject some life into the team, going deep into his bench while busting out full-court presses and funky zones. Blitzing the pick-and-roll was a deft decision that created havoc in the second half, but the shooting woes were too much to overcome.

Things We Saw

  1. No supporting cast – The Raptors bench were glaringly absent tonight. Usual reserves were called up into starting roles, however the Thomas-Davis-Boucher-McCaw quartet only combined to chip in nine points. In particular, McCaw (and I’m sorry for dumping on the guy) was a team-worst -14. Depth will be key given the injury news.
  2. Pack your bags – Tonight was a disheartening loss, and is amplified by the fact that Toronto head off on a grueling five game western road trip. It is beneficial that they will kick things off on Sunday with what should be their toughest game against Denver before a more relenting slate, but there is minimal room for error.