Quick Reaction: Hawks 132, Raptors 121

Lowry and Co. drop the second half of a back-to-back, snap 3 game winning streak to the hot-shooting Hawks

TOR Raptors121Final
Box Score
132ATL Hawks

D
A. Baynes15 MIN, 2 PTS, 0 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 1-5 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 2 TO, -10 +/-

Baynes wasn’t invisible out there on Saturday night, but he sure as hell didn’t do anything to make you notice him. Given the size of the Atalanta frontcourt the Raptors needed the big Aussie’s size to avoid getting dwarfed in the paint, which he helped with at times, but the missed lay ups and poorly set screens really hurt his team throughout the night.

B+
F. VanVleet38 MIN, 25 PTS, 6 REB, 10 AST, 2 STL, 6-18 FG, 3-7 3FG, 10-11 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, -1 +/-

Fred ran the show tonight. If he wasn’t setting up a shot for his teammate, he was creating a scoring opportunity for himself. His efficiency was poor, going 5/17 from the field – but he partially made up for the misses by getting to the line a hefty 11 times, by far the most for a Raptors player on Saturday.

D+
K. Lowry36 MIN, 9 PTS, 3 REB, 5 AST, 0 STL, 4-16 FG, 1-7 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -12 +/-

Kyle just didn’t have it in this one. It’s nights like this when you wonder if Kyle’s aggression can be a detriment to his team, when his shot’s not falling. Raps fans are accustom to loving when our franchise PG puts his head down and goes, but his poor decision making on Saturday made it look like he had horse blinders on.

A
N. Powell32 MIN, 20 PTS, 4 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL, 7-15 FG, 1-5 3FG, 5-6 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -12 +/-

Powell continues to shine in the absence of his scarf-loving backcourt running mate. He was the first outlet option on nearly every fast break that Raptors had in this game, using his speed and aggression to attack the Hawks defence while they were on their heels. Powell didn’t settle for looks, getting most of his buckets from inside the paint. If it weren’t for his offensive contributions, this one may have gotten ugly early.

B-
P. Siakam32 MIN, 15 PTS, 6 REB, 3 AST, 3 STL, 6-15 FG, 1-3 3FG, 2-2 FT, 2 BLK, 0 TO, -7 +/-

Fresh off a season best 33, the elephant in the room with Siakam aren’t questions regarding his skill, but his ability to show that skill at a high level every night. Pascal was no scrub in this game, but he certainly didn’t look like an all-star. For spurts, his production in isolation sets and around the rim was great. But when his team needed a kick in the ass, he was not jumping to provide it. Franchise players don’t recede into the hedge like Homer Simpson, however, it’s something that we’ve seen quite often from Spicy P this season.

A+
C. Boucher32 MIN, 29 PTS, 10 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 10-13 FG, 2-4 3FG, 7-13 FT, 2 BLK, 1 TO, -1 +/-

In a game where several of the Raptors struggled to find the bottom of the net, Boucher had no such issue. It was like throwing a pebble in the Ocean (Or the pool, CC: Luka Doncic) for Montreal’s longest wingspan, as he put up an ultra-efficient night on offense en route to a career-high 29. His energy and activity around the glass cannot be understated, as he fought tooth and nail to compete with opposing bigs who were in a much higher weight class. Très bien.

B-
D. Bembry16 MIN, 6 PTS, 3 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 2-4 FG, 2-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -4 +/-

It was another 16-18 minutes of okay basketball for Bembry. He shot the ball well and played serviceable D while he was out there, but I still can’t figure out what he does well? The Raptors need more than “meh” from their rotation players if they want to compete in the east come playoff time.

D+
T. Davis16 MIN, 7 PTS, 3 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 2-6 FG, 1-5 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 1 +/-

TD’s playing time has been nothing short of erratic this season, and tonight was a prime example why. When he checked in the game in the 3rd, he played uber aggressive defense on the biggest foul baiter in the league in Trae Young. He fouled him on consecutive possessions which stunted Toronto’s momentum.

B+
S. Johnson10 MIN, 8 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 3-4 FG, 2-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -6 +/-

Johnson didn’t wow us with his counting stats, but he turned in a damn good defensive performance as he usually does. He bothered the hell out of the Hawks sharpshooters on nearly every defensive possession he was out there for, which helped his team stay in the game until the very end. If he could tighten things up on offense, he’d be a consistent A level student.

Inc
Y. Watanabe7 MIN, 0 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-1 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -3 +/-

Quite curious why we only saw Yuta for the short time we did tonight. The Raptors missed his switft rotations and shot making in this one.

C
Nick Nurse

Nick spent a lot of time shouting at the refs in this one, but I think he should’ve saved that for his players. The Raptors came out incredibly flat to begin the first and second halves, which ultimately resulted in his team playing from behind nearly all night. The Raptors didn’t seem to expect a flurry of moves and sets that should have been scouted for, and that falls on the coaching staff.

Things We Saw

  1. Consistency among your best players is what separates good from great in this league. Unfortunately, it was yet another night where we didn’t know if we could depend on any one of Lowry, VanVleet or Siakam. Boucher and Norm were the team’s most reliable options tonight, and while that’s great from a player development standpoint, it does nothing to instil confidence that Toronto is going to give themselves a chance to win each night.
  2. Basketball is a game of runs, and far too often, Toronto finds themselves on the wrong end of them to start games. The first and second halves were both opened with awful defence from Toronto, which forced them to spend the entire 1st and 3rd quarters trying to claw back into contention. Better starts are going to be something to focus on moving forward.
  3. If a basketball team could have multiple personality disorder, I think it might be the Toronto Raptors? One moment, they’re going toe to toe with the most talented teams in the league, racking up double digit leads with regularity. The next, they’re playing olay defence to the NBA’s basement dwellers and losing by 20. Can we send the Raptors to NBA therapy? I think it might help.

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