|P. Siakam43 MIN, 16 PTS, 15 REB, 8 AST, 1 STL, 6-16 FG, 0-5 3FG, 4-4 FT, 1 BLK, 5 TO, -4 +/-|
Siakam had it all going for him early on, but when the team needed him to take over (or at least will them to the win) he came up short. Siakam missed OG Anunoby wide open in the corner late in the fourth and just couldn’t finish around the rim. However, his first step looks faster than ever and his balance on his drives is looking great. Plus, he is playing the best defense I have seen him play in a long time.
|O. Anunoby35 MIN, 10 PTS, 6 REB, 1 AST, 2 STL, 3-6 FG, 2-5 3FG, 2-4 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 2 +/-|
Anunoby finally saw his shot start to fall in the second half, but he couldn’t make anything happen other than spot-up attempts. His defense on DeRozan was good, but DeMar went 10/17 from the field and ultimately willed them back for the win.
|K. Lowry35 MIN, 16 PTS, 0 REB, 10 AST, 2 STL, 6-15 FG, 2-6 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 3 +/-|
Lowry looked more or less like himself, but he couldn’t get a favourable call and never really asserted himself like we are used to seeing in tight games.
|F. VanVleet35 MIN, 27 PTS, 3 REB, 9 AST, 1 STL, 10-20 FG, 5-12 3FG, 2-3 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -2 +/-|
VanVleet was probably the best Raptor. Shwishes on shwishes. He had a great look to end it and it went in and out. Sucks.
|A. Baynes19 MIN, 13 PTS, 7 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 6-11 FG, 1-4 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 4 +/-|
Baynes was really good in this one (in fact, their center minutes were all really good. Offensively, at least). But the defensive rebounding was a bit of an issue and he still hasn’t gotten used to Toronto’s defensive scheme, which hurt them a lot early.
|C. Boucher28 MIN, 22 PTS, 10 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 9-13 FG, 3-4 3FG, 1-2 FT, 7 BLK, 0 TO, -9 +/-|
Boucher had one of his best games as a Raptor. Give credit where it’s due: his three-point shot looks clean, his offensive rebounding is impressive, and his screen setting was nice too. However, the defensive rebounding was a BIG issue tonight. Spurs outrebounded them 53-46, and Boucher was the center for most of the game.
|M. Thomas18 MIN, 8 PTS, 3 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 3-8 FG, 2-5 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -10 +/-|
Thomas is having trouble getting catch-and-shoot attempts, and he missed a couple really good looks tonight, but his defense keeps improving and I like his fit around Kyle or Fred.
|N. Powell17 MIN, 0 PTS, 1 REB, 1 AST, 2 STL, 0-5 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -2 +/-|
Powell was really bad. He had 0 points and his main job is to score, so ya. I see people saying that he shouldn’t have played much in the second half and I agree, but I also understand Nurse wanting to keep his confidence up so early in the season. It’s just one game, but he had no business being out there in the second half (in a vacuum).
|D. Bembry5 MIN, 2 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 1-2 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -7 +/-|
Bembry barely played but he had a layup that looked SMOOTH so I gave him a grade.
Nurse might never trust more than eight players in a game, which is why Siakam played 43 minutes (lol). He probably should have pulled Powell and given some minutes to Terence Davis or Malachi Flynn. Still, Raptors rebounding was the biggest issue, so he needs to figure out how to grab the boards if they are going to play Boucher at the 5.
Things We Saw
- Rebounding was awful. I talked to Zarar in the most recent Pardon the Corruption about the rebounding issues, and they were on full display tonight. Baynes has been a below-average rebounder so far this season and Boucher is really struggling there, not that he is getting enough help from his wings. Maybe the Raptors only play Boucher if Siakam AND Anunoby are on in order to shore up rebounding issues, but their small lineups are getting killed and the Spurs aren’t even an elite rebounding team. next game is against the Sixers and Joel Embiid: it will be a real test.
- The Raptors offense looks really smooth early on this season. They got good looks all game long, I thought. Siakam was failing to convert and they went back to FVV for the final two looks, but if Siakam is matched up with Rudy Gay, he needs to win that, especially late. Still, the ball is humming and the Raptors are generating good looks. One day the offense is going to click and we are all going to stop worrying.
- Defensively, the Raptors are not playing on a string at all. They want to be really aggressive with double-teams and traps, but it only works if the other guys cover up for you. It’s a hard system to learn, so I think they just need some time, but they will continue to look a bit ridiculous until they get it right.
- Everyone, calm down. It’s only two games into the season and the roster underwent major changes and then went through a short training camp. It’s not even close to time to panic.