Quick Reaction: Blazers 122, Raptors 117

9 mins read
Photo source: Raptors.com
POR Trail Blazers 122 Final
Box Score
117 TOR Raptors

A. Baynes14 MIN, 4 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 2-5 FG, 0-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 2 BLK, 0 TO, -1 +/-

He had a few okay defensive possessions to start the game. It didn’t stop the Blazers from scoring, but it’s good to see Baynes in the right place. When he was on the court, Toronto’s offense was miserable, with his defender sloughing across the court to muddy up the road. That being said, he did have a drive and YAM on Norm, then a little floater a moment later. However, his rebounding was horrific. Also, blocked Norm later, poor guy. Either his pick-and-roll defense is a problem (not in this game!) or his offense is (yes in this game.) Toronto desperately needs a starting center.

G. Trent28 MIN, 6 PTS, 7 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 2-10 FG, 1-5 3FG, 1-2 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -9 +/-

He went AT Norm when he got the ball. Was very aggressive defensively. He’s still missing his jumpers, but the process is good. Battled on the glass, too. Was shakier in the second half on both ends. Finished with a near team-low minus-nine; still, don’t condemn the guy. It takes time to fit into Toronto’s schemes, and Trent has at least been in the right places on both ends. It’ll come around.

F. VanVleet37 MIN, 20 PTS, 5 REB, 8 AST, 1 STL, 7-19 FG, 2-10 3FG, 4-5 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 5 +/-

Some incredible defense on Damian Lillard. Hit a wild layup where he got his body into the much longer Robert Covington; that’s his path to respectability around the rim. When Kanter dropped too low in the pick and roll, he drilled an open pull-up three. He passed quite well to shooters. He did struggle with his jumper in the long run, though, and he didn’t actually jeopardize the integrity of Portland’s defense when he drove. He did hit some hero-ball shots in clutch time. Like, a bunch. Almost stole an inbounds pass with six seconds left, but stepped out of bounds as he was coming down with it.

O. Anunoby38 MIN, 19 PTS, 10 REB, 3 AST, 1 STL, 7-15 FG, 3-7 3FG, 2-4 FT, 0 BLK, 7 TO, -7 +/-

He’s just an incredible post player at this point. Like, so good. He’s finally starting to realize that he’s just the strongest dude on the court 90 percent of the time. McCollum on him is about as easy as a bucket can get, although he did go for a slip and slide once he saw a double team. Did hit a circus shot on the iso drive, which is nice. When Kanter sealed him in the post to score, he hit a triple on Kanter’s head going the other way. Fought hard on the glass; was Toronto’s best rebounder on both ends, and he had a few strong putbacks, too. Did commit a costly offensive foul with three minutes left, though.

P. Siakam39 MIN, 26 PTS, 8 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 8-16 FG, 2-3 3FG, 8-10 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 3 +/-

He started the game with a gory defensive possession on Covington, forcing him into a nonsense shot he’ll miss every time. An amazing and-1 bank floater in the half-court over Norm. Was physical on the drive, taking contact and continuing on towards the rim. He’s basically unstoppable when he does that. Also hit his shots from distance. Was fantastic in the post. Drew a boatload of fouls by leaping into contact, even if it involved wrong-footing himself, on the drive. Played like the best player on the court for virtually the whole game.

R. Hood27 MIN, 13 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 4-8 FG, 2-5 3FG, 3-3 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, -1 +/-

Hit his first shot of the game, which was a spinning and-1 floater after a pick and roll with Boucher. Then drove for a layup, and later splashed a pull-up three and a corner three to beat the halftime buzzer. Best self-creator on the bench. He did fall asleep on defense in the first quarter, giving up an alley-oop on a sidelines out of bounds, lol. But was probably a defensive positive, using his hands well, and generally playing solid positional defense. There’s a role for him on this team.

C. Boucher23 MIN, 18 PTS, 11 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 6-8 FG, 2-4 3FG, 4-5 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 3 +/-

He punished Enes Kanter in the battle of bench bigs, at least in the first half. Hit his first shot of the game, a pick-and-pop triple, then swatted Kanter’s dunk attempt on the other end. He was fairly inactive at times on the defensive end, giving easy passing lanes for good shots. Committed some iffy fouls. All that being said, he scored extremely well, so hard to fault him. But if he’s going to be the huge positive that he can be, he has to clean up the little stuff on the defense end.

S. Johnson20 MIN, 11 PTS, 1 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 3-4 FG, 2-3 3FG, 3-4 FT, 2 BLK, 0 TO, -8 +/-

He guarded Portland’s bigs when he was on the floor, which, he battled well, but not sure that’s a long-term solution. Also, had a gorgeous alley-oop to Boucher on the drive. Portland asked him to shoot all third quarter, which was part of the offensive drought, but he did can a pair of open triples to start the fourth after Siakam collapsed the defense. Ultimately, he was a big part of Toronto’s issues, but he wasn’t really put in a position to succeed. Hard to blame him.

M. Flynn10 MIN, 0 PTS, 1 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 0-2 FG, 0-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -10 +/-

Still in the rotation, which is really nice to see. His defense has been fantastic for a rookie guard, and that remained true here. But he didn’t offer much on offense and missed two triples, the only shots he took. Let’s hope he keeps playing going forward.

Nick Nurse

On the plus side, he ran some gorgeous sets to get Pascal attacking downhill from the perimeter. I thought he was a little stingy on using timeouts to hit pause on Portland momentum at times. Toronto went through a long third-quarter offensive drought — which included a 14-0 run — and Nurse responded by playing Stanley Johnson rather than a more diverse offensive player. When he settled on a much more stable rotation in the fourth quarter, Toronto fought back into the game. I don’t think he maximized Toronto’s winning chances in this one.

Things We Saw

  1. Watching Norm play in another team’s jersey was weird as hell. He lined up the wrong way at tip. He missed some clutch free throws late and tore his jersey, and it was Dame who consoled him after. Damn that was weird to see. Norm’s in a great situation for him, but that doesn’t make it any less bizarre.

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