Quick Reaction: Raptors 93, 76ers 100

It was the OG Anunoby/Alex Len game... and then it wasn't.

7 mins read

It was the OG Anunoby/Alex Len game… and then it wasn’t.

TOR Raptors 93 Final
Box Score
100 PHI 76ers

P. Siakam34 MIN, 20 PTS, 6 REB, 0 AST, 2 STL, 8-23 FG, 4-9 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 2 TO, -14 +/-

I gave Norman Powell a F in his last game, and I’m giving Pascal one here. He simply failed to do his job, and based out how he left the court after fouling out, he knows it.
I’m the biggest Siakam sympathizer here, but excuse time is over. He needs to stop settling for jump shots when he has a path to the rim, because his first step is lethal. And he needs to draw way more free-throw attempts. Defensively, he let Ben Simmons blow by him twice just by being unaware. Siakam was not good.

O. Anunoby36 MIN, 20 PTS, 6 REB, 2 AST, 5 STL, 7-11 FG, 4-7 3FG, 2-2 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 5 +/-

On the bright side… OG! Anunoby looked like the Most Improved Player candidate we thought he would be, locking down Ben Simmons (who went just 3-11 from the field). Anunoby’s shot and playmaker were both on display.

K. Lowry37 MIN, 24 PTS, 8 REB, 9 AST, 1 STL, 6-15 FG, 3-8 3FG, 9-9 FT, 0 BLK, 4 TO, 12 +/-

Kyle Lowry was fantastic; the only reason the Raptors kept it close for most of the game. But he shouldn’t play 38 minutes a night. Nurse needs to figure out how the Raptors can play without Kyle on the floor, whether it’s by bringing in Malachi Flynn or giving the ball to someone beside VanVleet.

F. VanVleet36 MIN, 8 PTS, 6 REB, 6 AST, 1 STL, 3-12 FG, 2-8 3FG, 0-0 FT, 2 BLK, 3 TO, -15 +/-

I didn’t even realize Fred only had 8 points, because he seemed to be shooting a lot early on, but he never really shows up against the 76ers. Size still bothers VanVleet, especially at the rim. Good off-ball stuff, though.

A. Baynes22 MIN, 2 PTS, 6 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 1-8 FG, 0-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, -13 +/-

Baynes closed the game out with a good stretch defending Embiid, but he has negative chemistry with Toronto’s ball-handlers and continues to turn the ball over on the pick-and-roll. Defensively, Baynes needs to react quicker and get to his rotation quicker, because when he doesn’t, other Raptors have to help and it messes everything up.

S. Johnson21 MIN, 7 PTS, 8 REB, 0 AST, 2 STL, 3-7 FG, 1-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, -9 +/-

Johnson was as good as he has been in a Raptors uniform, possibly stealing minutes from Bembry. He was great defensively, challenging shots with verticality at the rim and racking up two steals and a block.

A. Len21 MIN, 2 PTS, 5 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 1-1 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-2 FT, 1 BLK, 4 TO, 3 +/-

Len really impressed me in this one. I thought he was better than Baynes and should have closed the game defending Gasol. Like Baynes, though, he has bad chemistry with the guards and racked up 4 turnovers.

N. Powell17 MIN, 6 PTS, 1 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 2-7 FG, 2-4 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 2 TO, -5 +/-

Wow! 5 minutes for Powell tells you how Nurse felt it went. He made some shots early but continues to play sloppy defense and his handle is off.

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

Thomas isn’t moving the needle as much as we hoped he would. He needs to do a better job of finding himself space coming off screens, because 3 field goals isn’t enough.

Nick Nurse

Nurse’s early rotations looked good, matching size for size to take an early lead. But the problem with matching size for size when your roster is thin on skilled big men is that it inevitably means some of your best (most skilled) players are left riding the bench. He needs to figure out how to play without Lowry on the floor, but I didn’t mind the Len/Johnson minutes.

Things We Saw

  1. This is absolute poverty. Being 0-3 is one thing, but watching the team be as sloppy and poorly coached as they appear is even worse. As Evin Gualberto pointed to on the “Bouncing Around” podcast (which is great), the Raptors are trying to take away everything defensively, and instead they are taking away nothing. Maybe it will work and eventually they will get their where they are limiting the rim and challenging three-point shots, but until that happens they are fudged.
  2. Siakam looked like bubble-Siakam. I said it. He is settling for the jump shot every time instead of taking weak defenders off the dribble. He needs to learn how to get to the line and slow the game down because right now all he has is his shot.
  3. Please, sir, can we see Malachi Flynn on new years? The Raptors need someone to organize their bench when Kyle is not on the floor, and Flynn is a good point guard. Let him get some minutes.
  4. If we lose to the KNICKS to go 0-4 on New Years some Raptors fans including myself are going to do shameful things. Let’s not go there.

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