Quick Reaction: Magic 102, Raptors 115

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TAMPA, FL- JANUARY 31: Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors dribbles the ball against the Orlando Magic on January 31, 2021 at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Scott Audette/NBAE via Getty Images

Land Ho! A win has been secured!

ORL Magic 102 Final
Box Score
115 TOR Raptors

A. Baynes29 MIN, 8 PTS, 16 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 3-6 FG, 0-2 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 18 +/-

Best game of the season. His physicality kept Vucevic from muscling inside at will, and his recently spry legs were able to keep up when ‘Vooch’ tried to put on the finesse. More mobile on offense getting after the offensive glass and motoring around the court to set screens. Not to mention the 16 boards are massive. Well done.

F. VanVleet30 MIN, 9 PTS, 2 REB, 5 AST, 1 STL, 4-12 FG, 1-7 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 4 TO, 17 +/-

Looked like he got concussed, and a bunch of turnovers followed. He was in the backseat in this game regardless, with Lowry putting on his playmaking wizardry cap. Quiet game, but that’s okay.

K. Lowry36 MIN, 12 PTS, 6 REB, 15 AST, 2 STL, 4-13 FG, 2-9 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, 30 +/-

When he’s playmaking at this level he transforms every lineup he touches. Yuta Watanabe, DeAndre’ Bembry, whoever – they got looks. Brilliant in the way he occupies lanes to open up others for rim-runs. No one else on this team can lead their comrades into buckets the way Lowry can when he has it going. Not to mention, he looks like the ultimate bad*** because of how he handled the Gordon drama.

T. Davis26 MIN, 12 PTS, 4 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 5-11 FG, 2-5 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 8 +/-

Scoring pop! In any game where he earns minutes, that’s typically what’s keeping him out on the floor. Found himself open when running in transition, or relocating after an offensive rebound. The defense and on-ball stuff is still laden with mistakes, though.

P. Siakam33 MIN, 30 PTS, 10 REB, 3 AST, 3 STL, 12-23 FG, 0-2 3FG, 6-6 FT, 1 BLK, 2 TO, 27 +/-

All-Star form. Attacked an array of defenders, and found himself at the rim repeatedly. He got out in transition against a team that usually limits that playtype, and he knew they had no one who could guard him straight up. When he’s able to attack with this balance, this speed, and this touch the All-NBA level isn’t far off. He was brilliant.

D. Bembry21 MIN, 12 PTS, 2 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 4-6 FG, 1-1 3FG, 3-4 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 16 +/-

Loved his minutes tonight. Loved his minutes most games he’s played, actually. Very range-y on defense, and an absolute hound on-ball and in passing lanes. Anytime he hits a 3 that’s a bonus, and he slid in wonderfully to the Raptors vertical attack. He’s making a serious case for minutes.

C. Boucher18 MIN, 9 PTS, 4 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 3-8 FG, 1-5 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -8 +/-

With bruising big men opposite of him, this wasn’t a game I’d imagine him dominating. However, I liked his work on the inside offensively. He was toast in the pick n’ roll on defense, and the 3-pointer *appears* to be regressing. These next few games should show us what kind of player the Raptors will have in their rotation for the rest of the season.

Y. Watanabe18 MIN, 11 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 3-4 FG, 3-3 3FG, 2-2 FT, 3 BLK, 1 TO, -7 +/-

Basically all the defensive attributes that I listed about Bembry apply here. He is the master of contain. If you dropped a jar of ants on the floor, smashing it and leaving thousands of ants in the open, he could corral them with his exceptional closeouts. And how about that help-side block?? Hell yeah. It’s also not so bad to hit every single corner triple.

S. Johnson12 MIN, 2 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-2 FG, 0-1 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -6 +/-

Had the most muted performance of the ‘Defenders 3’, but he still flashed his utility on defense. The playmaking we’ve come to expect didn’t jump off in this game, but that’s alright.

P. Watson8 MIN, 6 PTS, 1 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 2-3 FG, 2-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -14 +/-

Check in, cash a triple. Check in, cash a triple. A scorer is gonna score. He’s still giving up quite a bit on defense, but consistent minutes *should* help iron that out.

M. Thomas2 MIN, 0 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-1 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -8 +/-

Too short a spurt.

M. Flynn2 MIN, 4 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 1-1 FG, 0-0 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -8 +/-

Too short a spurt, but a hell of a floater!

Nick Nurse

I’m still of the mind that the starting position would be better filled by one of Bembry, Johnson, or Watanabe, but oh well. The game plan for ‘Vooch’ was excellent. Got the team to play what was one of their best games of the season, and with very little drop-off throughout. Nice.

Things We Saw

  1. What’s stopping Siakam from doing this every game? Well, a good Kyle Lowry helps a lot, and maybe as the team rounds into form (if they do) these nights can become more commonplace from Siakam. For tonight, I’m just glad to see him explosive and having fun.
  2. I am very curious what Nurse’s rotation looks like in his head right now. You can’t ignore the games that Yuta and Bembry have been having.
  3. Aaron Gordon does not want the smoke with Kyle Lowry, outside of a cheap shot. Lowry continues to leave me speechless as he strikes fear into the heart of men who are much, much larger than he is.

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