Quick Reaction: Raptors 107, Heat 103

Raptors edge out Heat on the back of Fred VanVleet.

5 mins read

TOR Raptors 107 Final
Box Score
103 MIA Heat

B-
P. Siakam36 MIN, 22 PTS, 5 REB, 3 AST, 1 STL, 7-14 FG, 4-7 3FG, 4-4 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 14 +/-

Siakam had a great first half but finished poorly. His aggression was really strong out of the gate, scoring eight of the Raptors first 15 points. But Siakam really struggled to create his own shot in the second half and was almost completely taken out of the game by Bam Adebayo.

B+
O. Anunoby33 MIN, 7 PTS, 4 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 1-5 FG, 1-1 3FG, 4-6 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 0 +/-

Anunoby did an incredible job defending Heat big man Bam Adebayo, holding him to just 10 points and eight rebounds. Anunoby also made himself available for a lot more corner threes than he took, but the ball rarely found him. Also, Anunoby’s finishing lacked the same finesse we have seen from him early in the bubble.

C-
M. Gasol22 MIN, 6 PTS, 6 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 1-2 FG, 1-2 3FG, 3-4 FT, 0 BLK, 4 TO, 11 +/-

Gasol is such an outstanding defensive player and he did more than hold his own tonight, particularly doing a good job guarding perimeter players when the Raptors switched. However, Gasol needs to do more offensively. Two shots and one assist with four turnovers is not going to cut it.

A-
K. Lowry35 MIN, 14 PTS, 8 REB, 5 AST, 1 STL, 2-8 FG, 1-1 3FG, 9-9 FT, 2 BLK, 4 TO, 10 +/-

Lowry picked up three early fouls, which meant he didn’t close the half like he usually would. However, Lowry was key down the stretch even if he wasn’t getting all the calls he deserved. He pressured Jimmy Butler into a late turnover and set up his teammates for good looks throughout

A+
F. VanVleet42 MIN, 36 PTS, 5 REB, 3 AST, 2 STL, 8-15 FG, 7-12 3FG, 13-13 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, 1 +/-

A career-night for the VanVleet, who scored a career-high 35 points including seven made three-pointers. He punished his defender almost every time they went under the screen, playing Kendrick Nunn off the court for most of the second half. VanVleet also finished at the rim against lengthy defenders, which is rare for him.

D
N. Powell29 MIN, 7 PTS, 3 REB, 4 AST, 0 STL, 3-9 FG, 1-4 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, -5 +/-

Powell just did not have his usual touch around the rim tonight, but I am not worried. He’ll be fine. Also, he played exceptional defense in the fourth quarter, pressuring his man without picking up any fouls.

C-
S. Ibaka26 MIN, 15 PTS, 7 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 7-12 FG, 1-4 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, -7 +/-

Ibaka kind of had the opposite problem of Gasol in this one. He was pretty good offensively, although his shooting touch wasn’t there, but he just looked lazy on the defensive end. That might be because he was asked to guard perimeter players throughout the game, but he needs to be better regardless.

D
R. Hollis-Jefferson11 MIN, 0 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-0 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, -6 +/-

His spacing hurts the Raptors a lot, especially if he isn’t getting offensive rebounds or finishing inside.

B
Nick Nurse

Nurse stuck with his guns in this one and his starters were great for him throughout. It is clear that Nurse does not trust anyone outside of his top seven players, which was a problem tonight but shouldn’t be in the playoffs when rotations shorten.

Things We Saw

  1. VanVleet took real steps towards being the playoff performer we know he can be. His scrimmages and game against the Laker were all lackluster, but he is a supremely confident player who has proved he can go it on the biggest stage. Him punishing defenders for going under screens and his ability to finish at the rim were encouraging.
  2. OG on Bam… must I say more? It was really fun to watch OG Anunoby defend Bam Adebayo and do more than hold his own. Anunoby is truly one of the most versatile defenders in the world and he proved it guarding the 6-foot-9, 255-pound center.
  3. Siakam needs to be aggressive throughout. I loved his start to the game but he has to find ways to be involved in the offense when he has missed a couple of shots in a row.

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