Quick Reaction: Mavericks 93, Raptors 116

Don't look now, but the Toronto Raptors are on a three game winning-streak.

DAL Mavericks93Final
Box Score
116TOR Raptors

C
A. Baynes11 MIN, 0 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-1 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 0 +/-

While he almost got skunked on the box score, Baynes had more of a positive impact early in this one than his numbers reflected. He made a few strong challenges at the rim, preventing Porzingis from getting into a rhythm during his first few touches, and he almost took a charge. Definitely his best showing in a while, however, the 11 minutes played are a clear indication that Toronto still has a gaping hole to fill at the center position.

B
P. Siakam33 MIN, 19 PTS, 3 REB, 5 AST, 0 STL, 7-19 FG, 0-4 3FG, 5-5 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, 13 +/-

This was a tale of two halves for the the Raps spicy franchise big. Pascal started with a steady diet of fadeaway jumpers and poor decisions with the basketball, en route to a 1/9 shooting performance in the first half. Even with his early woes, Pascal was still a positive to have on the floor for his team, making the right pass and playing hard-nosed defence. But he finished in the drivers seat, executing in several key moments down the stretch, leading the Raptors as they demoralized the Mavs during their third quarter run.

B
O. Anunoby32 MIN, 13 PTS, 11 REB, 0 AST, 2 STL, 5-12 FG, 3-5 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 11 +/-

OG did a good job tonight creating separation from his defenders and attacking open space off the bounce. His first step, physicality and sneaky quick bounce around the rim were nothing short of elite, however, he needs to stop forcing so many iso opportunities at the expense of his team. Dallas got a few transition opportunities in this one because Anunoby had horse-blinders on and tried doing a bit too much.

B-
F. VanVleet33 MIN, 6 PTS, 4 REB, 6 AST, 4 STL, 2-10 FG, 1-6 3FG, 1-1 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 18 +/-

A bit of a statistical stinker for Freddy in this one, but before people kill him for his lack of fantasy production, there’s a reason Nurse kept him out there 33 out of 48 minutes. Plus/minus in the NBA can sometimes be a misleading stat, but it reaches a certain tipping point where a players impact becomes irrefutable. Fred couldn’t buy a bucket tonight, but make no mistake, his passing, defence, commincation (and all the other things that don’t show up in a box score, were a big reason why Toronto pulled this one out.

A+
K. Lowry35 MIN, 23 PTS, 9 REB, 7 AST, 0 STL, 9-12 FG, 3-5 3FG, 2-2 FT, 1 BLK, 4 TO, 15 +/-

Porzingis made the mistake of trying to post up Kyle Lowry on his first touch of the night, and I think that made Kyle feel some type of way to start this one. From the tip, Lowry was applying constant pressure to the Mavs defence with ruthless dribble penetration and an appetite to feast in transition. He shot 75% on a near triple double performance and was overwhelmingly the best player on the court tonight. Yes, MVP betting favourite, Luka Doncic, also took part in this game.

A
C. Boucher27 MIN, 21 PTS, 10 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 8-12 FG, 2-5 3FG, 3-3 FT, 3 BLK, 1 TO, 19 +/-

At first it was a pleasant surprise. Then it was a sustained run of overproduction. Now? It’s what you expect from Chris Boucher every damn game. The lovable Montrealer and his pool noodle arms were back at it again on Monday evening, draining 3s, blocking shots and cleaning up his teammates misses around the cup. Stop pinching yourself, because Chris Boucher might be the most consistently productive Raptor not named Kyle Lowry.

A-
N. Powell22 MIN, 17 PTS, 2 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 6-11 FG, 1-3 3FG, 4-5 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 15 +/-

In what was easily his best game of the season, Powell was microwave off the bench in Tampa on Monday, filling it up from multiple spots on the court.Just when you thought the Mavs might creep back in this one, Powell made a play to snuff out any inkling of hope Dallas had less. This is the version of Norm that Raptors fans hoped to see earlier in the season, and one that can really swing the results of these tight games Toronto often finds themselves in.

B+
S. Johnson21 MIN, 6 PTS, 3 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 2-3 FG, 1-2 3FG, 1-2 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, -3 +/-

Johnson’s statistical contributions were appreciated in this one, sure. But Raptor nation should be most excited about Stanimal’s ability to get under Luka Doncic’s skin. The two were going at it all night long and Johnson didn’t back down once from one of the leauge’s best young talents. Luka was held to 15 points on the night, which was due in part to the real estate Stanley Johnson was renting in his head.

B+
T. Davis11 MIN, 6 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 3-5 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 2 +/-

TD and his explosive first step were on display all evening long. Davis was productive in this one, netting his first 6 points in just 4 minutes of action. He hasn’t been a mainstay in the Raps lineup, but if he continues to produce like he did in this one, we should be expecting to see more of Davis as the season progresses.

Inc
Y. Watanabe2 MIN, 0 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-0 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 5 +/-

Nick Nurse if you’re reading this, we want more Watanabe minutes.

A
Nick Nurse

The box and one was back in flashes tonight as Nurse did everything he could to throw the Mavs’ star player off his game. NN ran some extremely effective lineups, which proved to be too much for the Mavs D to hang with, especially during the third quarter.

Things We Saw

  1. For the first time all season, the Raptors throughly outplayed an opponent, without unexpectedly wobbling and falling over like a Mortal Kombat boss. Every team gets leads in the NBA, but it’s only the ones who keep them that have much to show for it. Toronto did a great job at both ends of the floor tonight, and they did so consistently enough to ensure the result was never really in doubt.
  2. After starting the season 2-8, Toronto is finally starting to gain some momentum, posting their first 3 game winning streak of the year. Toronto faces a depleted Heat team and a Levert-less Indiana Pacers over their next four contests. Might that be the recipe of a resurgence brewing?
  3. You can complain about missed calls, missed layups and missed free throws all you want, but Toronto got themselves in this early season mess for one larger reason – bad defence. Tonight, they looked like the polar opposite of the 2-8 team that we we’re all loosing our minds about a few weeks ago. The Raptors held one of the best young star tandems in Doncic and Porzingis, to pedestrian offensive evenings, and held their opponents to under 100 points for the first time this season.

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