Quick Reaction: Raptors 128, Grizzlies 113

TOR Raptors128Final
Box Score
113MEM Grizzlies

B+
A. Baynes18 MIN, 7 PTS, 6 REB, 3 AST, 0 STL, 2-6 FG, 1-3 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -5 +/-

Good activity around the rim, made the Grizz bigs feel his presence in the paint, and took his opportunities on offense when they came to him. Baynes is finally starting to find his feet in a Raptor uniform. I can’t remember the last time he put up a stinker.

Inc
K. Lowry7 MIN, 4 PTS, 0 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 2-2 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 0 +/-

Went to the locker room with back spasms in the 1st Q, and never returned. Godspeed to a quick recovery for KLOE.

A
P. Siakam39 MIN, 32 PTS, 5 REB, 6 AST, 1 STL, 11-18 FG, 5-8 3FG, 5-7 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 11 +/-

Pascal plays his most effective brand of basketball, when he lets the game come to him. Capitalizing on transition opportunities, exploiting mismatches and getting into the paint are chief among Siakam’s biggest strengths, and all three were on display tonight. He burned Memphis for taking his potent offensive game for granted, torching them for a juicy. 32 points on the evening, and was that a smile I saw? You really love to see it.

A
N. Powell37 MIN, 29 PTS, 1 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 10-17 FG, 6-9 3FG, 3-3 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, 14 +/-

Yet again, Powell was the one of the Raptor’s best offensive player tonight. He spearheaded Toronto’s early run, pushing the ball in transition and knocking down 3 corner triples in the first, then carried that momentum over into the second half, providing his team with an efficient scoring boost when they needed it desperately.

A+
F. VanVleet38 MIN, 32 PTS, 3 REB, 9 AST, 3 STL, 8-14 FG, 4-7 3FG, 12-12 FT, 0 BLK, 5 TO, 14 +/-

With Kyle out early, Fred had the opportunity to have another statement game. He got to his spots and weaved around perimeter ball screens with savvy, putting some very important points on the board to keep his team in it. He was the motor his team needed on the night to plow through a gritty Ja Morant led squad. Fred’s becoming a better player this season, no doubt, but it’s games like these that demonstrates the strides he’s taken in his leadership abilities. Feels like he’s got command of the locker room these days.

B
C. Boucher29 MIN, 12 PTS, 10 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 4-11 FG, 2-6 3FG, 2-2 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 20 +/-

Boucher had his opportunities tonight, but failed to capitalize on several of them. He moved well, getting to his usual spot around the rim and three point line, but his shots never started falling. He was impactful on D, changing and challenging a host of Grizzly shots, but the Raptors need more from Slimm Duck on offense to get themselves out the holes the so frequently dig for themselves

B+
D. Bembry25 MIN, 6 PTS, 2 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL, 3-3 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 13 +/-

Last game I questioned what Bembry brought to the table at an elite level. Pesky perimeter D was what he hung his hat on tonight. There were stunted fast breaks, closed dribbling lanes and bothered shots that Bembry had his name all over tonight. He made some key stops that prevented this game from becoming a blowout in Memphis’ favour, early in the 3rd quarter.

B+
Y. Watanabe16 MIN, 0 PTS, 7 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 0-2 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 12 +/-

The common denominator with every single Yuta Watanabe performance, is energy. He only shot the ball twice tonight, but he was competing for every lose ball, swimming around box outs to grab offensive boards and rotating his behind off on D. Great minutes from a guy who has yet to take a second of his professional career for granted.

B
T. Davis16 MIN, 3 PTS, 2 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL, 1-3 FG, 1-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 16 +/-

His minutes were limited in this one, but he played with a real spark while he was on the court. Within 10s of him checking into the game, he nailed a straight on three. Despite his turbulent season, you’ve got to admire his commitment to staying ready.

C+
Nick Nurse

Correlation doesn’t necessarily indicate causation, but Nurse’s team played a hell of a lot better after Coach received his 2nd technical. He was just sticking up for his players, but Nurse let his emotions get the better of him tonight, as he got ejected in the 3rd quarter. Nurse is a hell of a coach, but he’s not much use when his players aren’t allowed to hear a word he says.

Things We Saw

  1. In a game where Toronto could’ve easily folded, with their star point guard and head coach out, they did the exact opposite. Led by FVV, Pascal and Norm, Toronto dug deep and pulled out maybe their most impressive win of the season. Super encouraging to see that the Raptors can manufacture offense without two of their most important leaders on in the gym.
  2. Toronto is living and dying by pushing the ball up and down the court at a torrid pace this season, and boy were they living tonight. This uptempo style of play makes it hard for Toronto to set their defence, but when their transition game is humming like it was tonight, it looks like a damn fine game plan.

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