Quick Reaction: Raptors 104, Pistons 118

9 mins read
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Cover Photo by Chris Young/CP
TOR Raptors 104 Final
Box Score
118 DET Pistons

D-
P. Siakam28 MIN, 14 PTS, 6 REB, 5 AST, 0 STL, 5-14 FG, 0-3 3FG, 4-4 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, -1 +/-

Went right at Jerami Grant two minutes into the game to give him his second foul, which is heady play. Was also his best play of the game, maybe. After that, he missed a lot, which let the Pistons get out in transition. He was left alone to rebound and picked up a boatload of fouls wrestling on the glass. Settled a night after playing exceptionally well through contact.

C-
O. Anunoby31 MIN, 19 PTS, 5 REB, 3 AST, 0 STL, 6-12 FG, 3-8 3FG, 4-4 FT, 3 BLK, 1 TO, -19 +/-

His shot was wayward early, even airballing a fairly uncontested triple. It came back later. Still, he’s been on a hot streak, and this was not that. Even when he applied himself on defense, forcing Saddiq Bey back to half-court with a draining shot-clock, Bey still hit a banking leaner to beat the clock. That kind of night. He picked up on offense after the game was out of reach in the fourth quarter, creating for himself inside the arc, which is nice to see.

C-
F. VanVleet32 MIN, 22 PTS, 5 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 7-20 FG, 4-10 3FG, 4-7 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, -10 +/-

Really struggled to score on the drive. Also fell asleep on defense once or twice, letting his man cut behind him to get open for triples, which is extremely uncharacteristic. Immediately after I typed that he hit a layup, a deep catch-and-shoot three, then a deep pull-up three, so shows what I know. After that explosion, he had very little interest in passing on the fastbreak, which is something of a regular problem for him. Weird, opposite game for VanVleet. He shot well but misfired on the little things — he rarely screws up the small stuff. Went to the locker room at the end of the first half with a jammed leg, though he stayed in. Somehow was asked to play in garbage time? As a punishment? Who knows?

B
G. Trent37 MIN, 15 PTS, 4 REB, 5 AST, 2 STL, 6-15 FG, 3-7 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -9 +/-

Hit his first triple! Part of Toronto’s swing-swing goodness after a Fred VanVleet paint touch. Then another, this time directly from a VanVleet pass. Got unlucky getting called for some ticky-tack fouls early, though, to take him out of the game. When he re-entered the game, he had an awkward floater attempt after curling around a flare screen. That was Norm’s pet play, but Trent threw the ball directly into the shot-blocker’s arms. His offense was better in the second half, even converting a tough one-on-three break. He sure does love his mid-rangers, though. Was a half step slow on defense, just like the rest of the guys.

D-
K. Lowry23 MIN, 10 PTS, 1 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 3-8 FG, 0-3 3FG, 4-5 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -23 +/-

Struggled to make much of an impact on either end. Really could not contain anyone at the point of attack. On the plus side, he did have some patented 100 mph drives that conjured up some good shots. One of his least impactful games I can remember.

B
R. Hood20 MIN, 7 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 2-5 FG, 1-3 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -11 +/-

Defended Grant exceptionally well in the post shortly after entering the game. Hit a smooth middy pull-up attacking a rotation, which means he’s already maybe … the third-best Raptor at such shots? In the grand scheme, this is about what the Raptors want from Hood off the bench. It just came on a night when practically no one else fulfilled their role.

C-
M. Flynn18 MIN, 5 PTS, 3 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 2-4 FG, 0-0 3FG, 1-2 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 2 +/-

Was fairly passive on offense, and actually committed some glaring defensive mistakes, which is uncommon for him. When he was asked to run plays, he struggled to create separation at the point of attack and was forced to take a late clock triple, which he missed.

D-
C. Boucher15 MIN, 4 PTS, 3 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 1-4 FG, 0-2 3FG, 2-2 FT, 3 BLK, 1 TO, -15 +/-

A very rough outing. Despite the blocks, his defense was often shockingly ineffective around the rim, as Pistons waltzed around him for layups with ease. At one point Lowry really reamed him out for jumping early before Lowry’s man had used all his steps. Was even worse offensively.

D-
S. Johnson13 MIN, 0 PTS, 4 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 0-0 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, 4 +/-

Only entered the game when things were going poorly. He was not the answer to Toronto’s problems, which, he shouldn’t be asked to be that. Still, didn’t even attempt a shot, but did throw the ball away on what felt like every touch.

B
Y. Watanabe9 MIN, 4 PTS, 4 REB, 0 AST, 2 STL, 2-2 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 5 +/-

Untethered from the bench! Had a nice putback, and hustled on the glass in a way that few Raptors did. I’m convinced that Watanabe is a playable bench piece if alongside a specific group of teammates, but I’m not sure if the Raptors have such a group. He isn’t much of a finisher around the rim or self-creator, which means Toronto needs that from other guys. He’d pair well with a Serge Ibaka type, to say the least!

C-
A. Baynes8 MIN, 4 PTS, 1 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 1-2 FG, 0-0 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 7 +/-

Set some big screens for Fred and Malchi when he got in the game. That was kind of all, and he didn’t see the court again until garbage time.

D
Nick Nurse

Toronto started the second quarter in zone because the person defense was such trash, but it still gave up an uncontested catch-and-shoot triple. That was a solid anecdote for the type of night from Nurse; even when he seemed to push the right buttons, nothing good happened. His rotations seemed fine. But at a certain point, a collective malaise has to reflect, at least partially, on the coach.

Things We Saw

  1. Not defense. Even the few times Toronto gave solid effort, the Pistons made some improbable threes. That’s what happens when you let an entire roster get hot early because you don’t bother playing defense.
  2. A lot a lot of arguing with the refs early. More than usual, and that’s saying something. Then they seemed to stop caring? That was strange. Just, defeat and resignation. It’s bizarre watching a group of players who have spent years as collective winners becoming accustomed to losing. Expecting it. I don’t like it.
  3. …This is what you kept Kyle Lowry for?

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