|A. Baynes17 MIN, 12 PTS, 7 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 5-9 FG, 2-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 2 +/-|
He’s on a lil mini hot streak! Baynes was ultra productive during his 17 minutes on Sunday afternoon. He fought hard for some big boards and tips around the rim, made things very tough for Turner and Sabonis in the paint and did a fine job of putting the ball in the net. Great to see Baynes trending upwards recently, this was his best game as a Toronto Raptor.
|O. Anunoby39 MIN, 30 PTS, 8 REB, 1 AST, 5 STL, 9-16 FG, 4-6 3FG, 8-10 FT, 1 BLK, 4 TO, 14 +/-|
Picking up where he left off last game, OG just kept the good times rolling today. Anunoby was his usual ultra-efficient self on defense, racking up a season high 5 steals, plus, was a stud on the other end of the court. But the best part of his performance might be the fact that he wasn’t forcing anything. When OG plays within himself, he’s really a special talent. Make that 8 straight game double digit scoring games in a row for the 4th year wing. 30 points? Yeah that’s cool.
|S. Johnson31 MIN, 3 PTS, 6 REB, 4 AST, 1 STL, 1-6 FG, 0-2 3FG, 1-2 FT, 1 BLK, 3 TO, 3 +/-|
Johnson drew the start in place of Siakam, and played an important role in the excellent team defense the Raptors played. He didn’t do much to contribute offensively in this contest, but his defense alone (including the game winning block) was enough to have Raps fans singing his praises.
|N. Powell36 MIN, 20 PTS, 2 REB, 6 AST, 0 STL, 7-18 FG, 2-5 3FG, 4-7 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 15 +/-|
Aggression was the theme for Powell today as he stepped up big time in the scoring department. Norm was a force in the up-tempo game that the Raps were playing in this matinee. He was a consistent outlet on the fast break that his teammates leaned on all game, anchoring a few Raptor scoring runs with his eagerness to get out and kick it.
|F. VanVleet40 MIN, 21 PTS, 5 REB, 4 AST, 3 STL, 6-15 FG, 4-9 3FG, 5-5 FT, 1 BLK, 3 TO, 12 +/-|
FVV gave his team a bit of everything tonight – Active hands on defense, great leadership of his younger teammates, and although slightly inefficient, stepped up on offense when his team really needed it during the second half. It’s great to see that Kyle Lowry’s absence hasn’t affected how Fred approaches the game. His uptick in usage didn’t force him to do anything he usually doesn’t do, and that helped motor his club to a W.
|Y. Watanabe21 MIN, 3 PTS, 6 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 1-7 FG, 1-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 2 BLK, 1 TO, 0 +/-|
When you look at some players in action, there’s some guys that you don’t need to watch play for very long to think to yourself “that guy knows how to play ball”. Watanabe is one of those guys. He didn’t wow us in any one area on the court this afternoon, but he was constantly contributing to winning basketball. Sound decisions, confidence and excellent lateral quickness on defense were all on display today, which were elemental in the Raptors victory.
|C. Boucher21 MIN, 12 PTS, 7 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 5-12 FG, 2-5 3FG, 0-0 FT, 2 BLK, 1 TO, -6 +/-|
Boucher bounced back nicely from his out of character game on Friday with a solid outing on Sunday. He rebounded the ball at a great clip, helped clean up a lot of garbage around the rim and did really well to hang with his bulkier defensive assignments in Turner and Sabonis. Nothing spectacular for his standards, but he was a key cog in the Raptor’s strong effort today.
|D. Bembry20 MIN, 4 PTS, 3 REB, 3 AST, 0 STL, 2-3 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 2 +/-|
Similar to Johnson, Bembry earned his minutes in this one by getting into the other team’s shorts on defense. He was one of the guys that helped prevent a frisky Pacers team from gaining control of the game in the third quarter, doing a great job of staying ready despite his lack of minutes so far this season.
|M. Flynn7 MIN, 2 PTS, 0 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 1-3 FG, 0-2 3FG, 0-2 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -7 +/-|
Flynn got a real opportunity to run the offense with the second unit today, and he looked the most poised he has all season. It wasn’t for long, but Flynn is slowly but surely starting to gain confidence on the court. Nothing huge from him today but things are inching in the right direction.
|T. Davis3 MIN, 0 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-1 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -4 +/-|
Not enough run to have a real impact in this one.
In his first matchup against his understudy, Nick got the best of Nate. Once again, communicative, strong team defense laid the foundation for the fast break opportunities generated all afternoon long. Defense was elemental in building Toronto’s lead and it was just as crucial in protecting it with under a minute to play. Nurse seems to be figuring out what’s working with this group of guys – an encouraging sign for Dino fans everywhere.
Things We Saw
- It seems like Toronto has figured out that the recipe for them to consistently hang with other teams, starts with a plentiful serving of all-out team defence. The basketball being played at times was an absolute mess in this one, but that was a product of the Raps ultra aggressive D across the board. Rotations were on point, all the guys were talking to each other, and no matter how things were going when they had the ball, they played like absolute winners when they didn’t.
- It’s a great sign that Toronto is playing its best basketball of the season, when their two best players are sidelined. We need to see it work with the Raps’ entire rotation out there, but when it’s the 2 guys you need to worry about the least being plugged in, you’ve gotta be pretty optimistic about where things are headed.
- After beginning the season with a start that had many hitting the panic button, Toronto seems to finally be finding their groove, winning 5 of their last 6 contests. Yes, it’s been against shorthanded opponents, but you can only play the hand your dealt. The Raptors are doing a substantially better job of playing that hand, as of late.