|A. Baynes14 MIN, 9 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 4-9 FG, 1-4 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, -2 +/-|
Baynes clearly has a lot more pep in his step since righting his early season wrongs over the past few games. Tonight was another stride in the right direction. Indiana’s bigs were cheating off of him on numerous occasions, and Baynes burned them for it. The big Aussie displayed some really soft touch around the rim, and helped free up space for his guards with some rock solid screens on the perimeter.
|K. Lowry32 MIN, 12 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 2-11 FG, 1-5 3FG, 7-7 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, -4 +/-|
Kyle started this one looking a little hungover from his 2 game absence, turning the ball over and playing quite sloppy basketball by his standards in the first half. Lowry failed to counterbalance his shoddy offense with any other sort of real contribution in this game. He notched up the intensity up a bit in the fourth quarter, but relied heavily on his teammates for points as he struggled to put the ball in the net all night long.
|N. Powell39 MIN, 24 PTS, 6 REB, 6 AST, 1 STL, 8-19 FG, 2-7 3FG, 6-6 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -14 +/-|
Powell provided the offensive spark Toronto needed in this one, filling it up from multiple areas from the moment the game tipped. Shades of 2017 Playoff Powell were on display tonight, as Norm was both ultra aggressive and efficient whenever he touched the ball. He slashed to the cup like a madman in control, and his jumper was looking buttery. Without Norm’s immeasurable offensive boost, this one might have been over at halftime.
|O. Anunoby27 MIN, 10 PTS, 5 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 4-8 FG, 2-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -5 +/-|
OG followed up his best game of the season with a fine performance on Monday evening. The work he’s putting in to his jump shot is clearly paying off, as he’s been an absolute marksman to start the year. His night was cut short by a bloody lip, but he still managed to hit double figures for the 9th consecutive game. Yeah that’s cool.
|F. VanVleet34 MIN, 25 PTS, 4 REB, 6 AST, 2 STL, 11-21 FG, 3-5 3FG, 0-1 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, -16 +/-|
With Lowry back at his side, FVV demanded less defensive attention on Monday evening than he did yesterday, which directly increased his appetite to score. Fred did a solid job of supplementing his barrage of pull up jimmys with attacking open space early and often. Offense was tough to come by at points in this one, but Fred was one of the few who seemed to keep it rolling all night long.
|C. Boucher29 MIN, 9 PTS, 9 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 3-12 FG, 1-6 3FG, 2-4 FT, 2 BLK, 2 TO, -15 +/-|
The boy was back tonight. Well, at least from a defensive standpoint he was. After a couple rather pedestrian outings for the wacky-waving-inflatable-arm-flailing-tube man, Boucher served up a tasty defensive performance on Monday. Boucher saw the fear in his teammate’s eyes when they looked at Myles Turner in the first half, then said, “hold my beer”. He was an absolute shot-bothering stud during the second half, anchoring a performance which could’ve only been improved by a much more accurate jump shot.
|S. Johnson25 MIN, 4 PTS, 4 REB, 6 AST, 2 STL, 0-1 FG, 0-0 3FG, 4-4 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 3 +/-|
Stanimal began his night with one hell of a nasty swat on an Aaron Holiday transition lay-up attempt, and never looked back. Johnsons value might not be recognized from those lightly skimming the stat sheet, but if you watch him play, his impact on the game is pretty clear. He’s an intuitive disruptor who’s skillset shone bright in the minutes he played tonight.
|Y. Watanabe15 MIN, 9 PTS, 5 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 2-6 FG, 1-4 3FG, 4-4 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -8 +/-|
Yuta had a couple bad turnovers and didn’t show the touch around the rim that we’re used to seeing from him, but he still made a few great plays in timely spots. He’s got a smooth-looking jumper, and as has been mentioned in many a QR before, is extremely agile for a player his size.
|T. Davis6 MIN, 3 PTS, 0 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 1-2 FG, 1-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -9 +/-|
Not much to say about TD’s 6 min in this one. Took two 3’s and made one. He was part of a unit that gave up a ton of points in the 2nd quarter.
|D. Bembry5 MIN, 2 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 1-2 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, -4 +/-|
He filled in for OG for a couple minutes in the forth while he was getting his lip tended to, but didn’t do much that was noticeable.
|M. Thomas2 MIN, 4 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 1-1 FG, 1-1 3FG, 1-1 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 4 +/-|
Thomas was standing out of bounds when he caught the ball on his first touch of the game, but swiftly made up for it with a 4-point play on the next possession. Great work staying ready from a guy who hasn’t seen the court much since the first couple games of the season.
Nurse definitely did a good job of instilling some change in the locker room at half time, turning his clubs defensive performance around. However, he was 2 quarters too late, not being able to respond to the small ball, rapid pace which Indiana played from the jump.
Things We Saw
- Talk about a tale of two halves. The Raptors were god awful from a defensive stand point for the first 24 minutes, then came out looking like a totally different team in the third quarter. They outscored the Pacers by 9 in the frame, but more importantly, they held them to 28 points. That doesn’t sound like much of an accomplishment, but for the pace this game was being played at, it was.
- Maybe it’s nagging pain from the toe infection, or it might be rust from being out of game action for a few days, but the Raps need their star player in Kyle Lowry to make more of an imprint on the game if they hope to keep trending in the right direction. Very peculiar to see Lowry, who usually contributes in multiple areas, be pretty ineffective across the board tonight. Let’s hope it’s just an aberration in the perennial All-Star’s game.
- Toronto has righted the ship somewhat, going 6-2 in their last 8 contests against several banged up teams. Now a real test presents itself in the form of their next game. The Raptors play the Bucks at home on Wednesday, in what should be a good litmus test for how far this club has come.