Quick Reaction: Raptors 135, Nuggets 111

The end of a 9 game losing streak (and potentially an era) as Kyle Lowry leads his team to victory in a +42 performance.

DEN Nuggets111Final
Box Score
135TOR Raptors

P. Siakam34 MIN, 27 PTS, 8 REB, 6 AST, 1 STL, 8-16 FG, 3-7 3FG, 8-9 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 34 +/-

Pascal got his juices flowing early in this one, canning a couple triples and attacking at every given opportunity in transition. Once he got his confidence up, it was all gravy from there – Siakam played like he thought he was the best player on the floor on Wednesday night, and when he does that, it’s a scary thing for opposing defenses. Undoubtedly one of his best games of the season.

O. Anunoby28 MIN, 23 PTS, 6 REB, 3 AST, 1 STL, 8-16 FG, 5-9 3FG, 2-2 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 20 +/-

In a dystopian world where the GROAT and Norman Powell aren’t around to jack up 30+ combined shots each night, OG gave Raptors fans something to dream about with potential for a very large increase in usage moving forward. Anunouby was ultra efficient on offense, taking and making smart shots in between his NBA All Defense level efforts on the other end of the floor.

K. Lowry33 MIN, 8 PTS, 5 REB, 9 AST, 0 STL, 3-5 FG, 2-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 3 TO, 42 +/-

In what many are speculating could be Lowry’s last ever game as a Toronto Raptor, it was quite fitting that he was hyper-focused on setting his teammates up for success throughout this game. Kyle set the tone early, playing his usual role of conductor of his team’s offense, racking up several assists as he drove the Dinos to an immense first half lead. His stats weren’t godly in this one, but Kyle Lowry’s value has never been measured through a boxscore. His value is measured in winning and his ability elevate the play of all 4 teammates that share the court with him each night. Who knows if this really was the last game we’ll see Kyle play in a Raptors uniform, but if it was, +42 in a blowout victory was a damn fine way to make his exit.

F. VanVleet30 MIN, 19 PTS, 0 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 5-12 FG, 5-9 3FG, 4-4 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 6 +/-

Freddy did a tremendous job shooting the basketball tonight, manufacturing several buckets out of very little to work with at the end of the shot clock. He handled the ball with confidence and kept the Nugget’s perimeter D on their heels all night long.

N. Powell24 MIN, 22 PTS, 2 REB, 3 AST, 1 STL, 8-12 FG, 3-4 3FG, 3-4 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 13 +/-

Aggression is Norman Powell’s calling card and it was on display from the jump tonight. He flew to the rim with purpose and gave Denver several problems on the defensive end before they were even settled into the game. Powell gave every buying team at the NBA trade deadline a damn good reason to pick up the phone and try to make something happen. His development as an offensive weapon and shot creator this season has been nothing short of admirable.

P. Watson20 MIN, 12 PTS, 6 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 4-7 FG, 4-7 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 21 +/-

He enjoys late night movies, long walks on the beach and ripping his defender’s hearts out by nailing a barrage of corner triples. Watson did an excellent job of playing within his role tonight. He played hard, moved well on the defensive end, and answered the call when his teammates found him for several three point looks.

D. Bembry20 MIN, 9 PTS, 7 REB, 4 AST, 0 STL, 4-5 FG, 0-1 3FG, 1-1 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 22 +/-

Bembery used his energy and high basketball IQ to help his team sustain their lofty lead during every minute he was on the court tonight. He attacked the rim with confidence and made an effort to get out and run on a Nuggets team that looked to be a step slow for the entire game.

C. Boucher16 MIN, 7 PTS, 6 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 2-5 FG, 0-1 3FG, 3-3 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 17 +/-

Boucher had a quiet game by his standards – 7 points and 6 boards in just 16 minutes of play. Nurse ran with the units that were scoring in bunches on Wednesday night, and Slim Duck wasn’t a part of any of the lineups doing major damage.

A. Baynes3 MIN, 0 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-0 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -4 +/-

3 minutes too many.

Nick Nurse

Nurse did a fine job of tinkering with his lineups early on in this game, until he found a small ball unit that Denver simply could not keep up with. It’s a testament to Nurse’s ability to treat each game as it’s own challenge, as there were a few players, Boucher included, who didn’t see their usual amount of minutes. Halftime adjustments were also stellar tonight as Toronto never really loosened their grip on their commanding lead in the final 24 mintues

Things We Saw

  1. Lowry threw up deuces to the camera as he walked down the tunnel towards the locker room – 8 fingers, one for each year he’s served as a Toronto Raptor. If it was his final game, he made his exit with a performance that embodied exactly what he gave to this franchise during his 8 year tenure. Leadership, playmaking and elevating the play of those around him. There will be a certain void in Raptors fan’s hearts if Kyle does get dealt tomorrow, but they can find solace in the fact that he gave everything he had to this franchise each night he stepped out onto the court.
  2. Toronto shot the lights out tonight, netting a franchise-high 24 triples in a fast paced shootout where everyone was feeling themselves from deep.
  3. For the first time ever, we saw an all female broadcast team cover the game on TSN. To no one’s surprise, Kayla Gray, Kia Nurse and company did an excellent job on the call. Hopefully we can see more of those women incorporated into future Raptors broadcasts.