Quick Reaction: Raptors 137, Wizards 115

9 mins read
Photo Source: Raptors.com

TOR Raptors 137 Final
Box Score
115 WSH Wizards

B+
A. Baynes21 MIN, 8 PTS, 4 REB, 4 AST, 0 STL, 3-6 FG, 0-1 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 3 +/-

While he was slightly trigger happy on the threes, Baynes still brought a little bit of everything to the table tonight. He rebounded the ball well, racked up several screen assists and even drew a charge. When Baynes has an impactful game, you won’t necessarily see the highlights on Sportscenter; but his ability to play to his strengths, without taking opportunities away from his high-usage teammates, contributes to winning basketball in a big way.

A
P. Siakam34 MIN, 26 PTS, 5 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 9-18 FG, 3-4 3FG, 5-7 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 27 +/-

He looked for his own shot early, got to the line at a great clip and overall, really looked like his old self yet again. Raptors fans know that the ceiling for Siakam is far from being reached, but he needs his 2019 confidence back if he hopes to get there. Not only did Siakam have the stats to suggest he was one of Raptor’s strongest players tonight, but he carried himself like it. A prickly detail that’s huge for his climb back to into the tier of special young talent.

A
K. Lowry32 MIN, 21 PTS, 4 REB, 5 AST, 2 STL, 8-14 FG, 5-8 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 14 +/-

If there was ever a game suited to Kyle Lowry’s style of play, it was the track meet that unfolded in Washington on Wednesday night. Kyle was in his happy place in this game, pushing the ball in transition, turning broken plays into pretty finishes and keeping the Washington defence on their heels all night long. Lowry kept the tempo of the game where it needed to be for four straight quarters, feeding the right guys at the right time and taking things into his own hands when he needed to. A classically great performance from the greatest Raptor to ever do it.

A-
F. VanVleet34 MIN, 14 PTS, 4 REB, 7 AST, 0 STL, 5-10 FG, 2-5 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 4 TO, 27 +/-

Although he didn’t get to play his usual brand of methodical half court basketball, Freddy still managed to have himself a super effective (and efficient) game. Due to the track meet that this game turned into, his shot attempts were way down from his season average. However, when opportunities did present themselves in something resembling organized basketball, VanVleet seized them. He took great shots and made clever passes – both key ingredients to his team’s success.

A
N. Powell31 MIN, 28 PTS, 7 REB, 4 AST, 2 STL, 10-18 FG, 3-4 3FG, 5-5 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 11 +/-

Getting off to his usual hot start, Powell had his handprints all over this one early. Norm’s aggression and eagerness to push the basketball at every given opportunity really helped set the table for how the Wizards wanted to play this game – as fast as humanly possible. Powell’s shot making lately is nothing short of impressive. So impressive that Nick Nurse is really going to have to weigh the pros and cons of sending him back to the bench in lieu of OG’s return – a very good problem to have.

A+
C. Boucher24 MIN, 17 PTS, 16 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 5-10 FG, 1-2 3FG, 6-7 FT, 2 BLK, 1 TO, 16 +/-

BONJOURRRR! Boucher made up for his discrepancy in thickness with Robin Lopez, by dominating literally every other facet of their match up. He would not be denied his opportunities on Wednesday as the tallest Energizer Bunny north of the border threw his body at every rebound, block, and put back opportunity that presented itself. If the Washington D.C. area wasn’t familiar with the stylings of Chris Boucher before tonight, they damn sure are now.

A-
D. Bembry23 MIN, 10 PTS, 3 REB, 3 AST, 0 STL, 4-5 FG, 2-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -1 +/-

It can be tough to get subbed into a game where your team is absolutely rolling and keep that momentum going. Well, that just what Bembry did tonight. We saw some excellent decision making on Bembry’s part on Wednesday, which was an integral part of what kept Toronto in control for such a large portion of the game. Great performance from one of the Raps’ top glue guys.

B+
T. Davis18 MIN, 13 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 5-10 FG, 3-5 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 12 +/-

TD was ready to let it fly when he checked into the game, and his execution on offense really helped sustain his team’s momentum. I’m not sure he had a play run for him all night long, but he took his chances as when came to him and ultimately played a valuable role in Toronto’s win.

B-
S. Johnson13 MIN, 0 PTS, 0 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 0-1 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -5 +/-

Was part of a second unit that kept the mojo going while they were out there, and played great perimeter defence, but he was probably the only Raptor who didn’t do anything to make you notice him.

A
Nick Nurse

Nurse knew the style of game that needed to be played in order to overpower this deceptively talented Washigton team, and executed it to perfection. Not only was the tempo and offensive game plan looking as good as it has all season, the Raptor’s perimeter defence as a team really helped to keep the Wizard’s shooters at bay. Great stuff from a coach who snuffed out any jokes around his team’s 2nd half performance in Memphis having anything to do with his absence.

Things We Saw

  1. If you’re a sucker for a defensive battle, this game was not for you. Toronto engaged in what was probably it’s fastest tempo game all season, in what ended up being an all out offensive affair. Not the recommended tempo for most opponents in the NBA, but it turned out to be a briliant move as the Wiz just could not muster the firepower to keep up.
  2. With this win, Toronto improves to 4-1 on their recent road trip, and 1 game below .500 on the season. For all the turmoil that this team has experienced so far, they remain in a fairly good position to make a run in a wide-open Eastern Conference where they sit only 2 games back of the third seed.
  3. Is it time to start having the Norman Powell should be a full time starter conversation? I don’t have to tell you the impact that Powell has had since entering the starting lineup, nor do I have to explain OG’s elite defensive tools. But which skillset is most likely to stay in tact if it’s not featured in the starting 5? Nurse and Co. have a big decision to make in the coming days when OG makes his return, one which could seriously impact the Raptor’s ability to keep this thing rolling.

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