Quick Reaction: Raptors 86, Wolves 81

9 mins read
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TOR Raptors 86 Final
Box Score
81 MIN Timberwolves

B
C. Boucher21 MIN, 9 PTS, 3 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 3-9 FG, 1-3 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 7 +/-

Got his first career start in this one! He had a few impressive defensive stands against the much larger Karl-Anthony Towns, especially when Towns was driving towards the rim. He didn’t score well or set particularly good screens, but he was massive on the defensive end. Fought hard.

B-
D. Bembry25 MIN, 7 PTS, 6 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 3-9 FG, 0-3 3FG, 1-2 FT, 1 BLK, 2 TO, 6 +/-

Ran a nice pick-and-roll with Boucher, and when the defense sold out to recover to a popping Boucher, Bembry kept the ball and glided in for the dunk. Then cut for a dunk before dripping in a one-handed runner off the glass. His offense tailed off after that, as he missed triples and chose poor driving angles to attack rotations. Slung some passes, though.

B
P. Siakam35 MIN, 10 PTS, 9 REB, 6 AST, 1 STL, 4-10 FG, 0-2 3FG, 2-3 FT, 3 BLK, 2 TO, 12 +/-

He opened the game by absolutely burying Karl-Anthony Towns in the post and finishing a physical layup. Then, it got rough. He faded away, letting his teammates do the damage during the early romb. But when the game got close in the third quarter, he tried to isolate over and over and couldn’t get anything going. Redeemed himself with some of the best defense he’s ever played in the fourth quarter, as well as a block on a 3 and then runout for a dunk to tie the game late. Hard to grade.

A+
N. Powell37 MIN, 31 PTS, 6 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL, 10-19 FG, 6-10 3FG, 5-5 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 12 +/-

Will he ever miss again? Powell isn’t just on a heater, though. He is becoming fantastic at orbiting around drives to create open passes for his triples, which allows him to get up so many attempts. His defense is improving dramatically from the lows of the early season. When he wasn’t getting touches on offense, he went and got the ball off the offensive glass. Dude has basically become the NBA’s version of Mariano Rivera. He was always there to hit a triple when Toronto’s offense stagnated.

C-
F. VanVleet36 MIN, 12 PTS, 7 REB, 3 AST, 3 STL, 4-20 FG, 2-9 3FG, 2-2 FT, 2 BLK, 5 TO, 17 +/-

Put in most of his energy on the defensive end, clogging lanes, digging, doing his usual goodies. He stripped players from behind and stopped fastbreaks by himself. Normal stuff. Finished very poorly, though, as he opened up a number of layups to contests from Towns and others. He hit some key triples in the third quarter, but he clanked some big ones in the fourth. Just gassed, man. Chalk it up to fatigue.

C-
A. Baynes19 MIN, 2 PTS, 9 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-3 FG, 0-2 3FG, 2-4 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, -12 +/-

He was very indicative of the difference between the first two halves. Was great in the first, playing phenomenal defense. Struggled in the second as he tried to anchor some rough lineups. Gave very little on offense aside from a few big screens.

C-
M. Flynn14 MIN, 4 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 1-6 FG, 0-3 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -15 +/-

Got himself some first quarter minutes, and he opened his game with an impressive defensive stand, challenging a Ricky Rubio 3 and forcing an airball after digging in on a drive. Ran a nice pick-and-roll with Baynes and created an open free throw line jumper. Took a couple head-scratchers, but he did go to the G League to get his confidence up, so no criticism there. Was not able to dig Toronto out of its hole in the third quarter.

B+
S. Johnson11 MIN, 0 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 0-1 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 11 +/-

Played some big defense in the fourth quarter. Struggled to contain Towns in the post, of course, but that’s not his fault at all. Was part of Toronto’s late comeback, which was needed. Very little criticism, despite the muted box score numbers. Energy, he gave it.

C
Y. Watanabe11 MIN, 0 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-0 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -10 +/-

Pray for him. Dunk of the decade came at his expense. Otherwise, he’s back, baby. Played great defense, and played offense with pop, especially in the first half. Cut, passed, vibed. He blew up Minnesota’s pick-and-rolls by exploding into the gaps (which, that’s how Norm hurt his shoulder last year, but when it works, it looks good.) Was on the floor during the fated third quarter, which really dragged his plus-minus down.

A+
T. Davis11 MIN, 11 PTS, 4 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 3-5 FG, 3-4 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 11 +/-

Didn’t play much until the fourth and started raining some clutch triples. He hit the go-ahead 3 with 30 seconds left in the game. Nick Nurse was searching for someone to crack the game open, and Davis finally delivered as late as someone could.

D
M. Thomas7 MIN, 0 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-3 FG, 0-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -5 +/-

Entered the game during the third-quarter collapse, and he promptly threw a skip pass 30 feet in the air. So. You know. Also, wasn’t ready to shoot when he came off screens.

A+
P. McCaw6 MIN, 0 PTS, 0 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 0-0 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -9 +/-

Back after a long year off. Congratulations to him. Rusty, as expected. But wonderful to see him back on the court. Tonight for Pat was just about being there. No criticism.

A+
O. Anunoby0 MIN, 0 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-0 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 0 +/-

Want to know how much the Raptors need Anunoby? Just watch that one.

B
Nick Nurse

A tale of two halves. Toronto was incredible in the first and tragic in the second. Tough to know how much of the good or the bad to put on the coach. But the team played defense throughout. I thought Nurse left some rotations to wither and die in the third quarter for too long, which allowed the lead to dry up and turn into a deficit, but you have to trust your guys to pull it out against the Wolves.

Things We Saw

  1. One point over eight minutes in the third. One. There’s obviously a lot of fatigue at play here, and some emotional dissonance after the two big Bucks wins. Still. Sucky to see, at the very least.
  2. Credit to Siakam for his defense in the fourth quarter. He had a really, truly rough third, and Jaden McDaniels was putting him in jail defensively. He fought back and found a number of ways to be a positive.
  3. Back to .500!