Quick Reaction: Raptors 129, Wizards 131

The Raptors fought hard to the end, but it wasn't enough.

10 mins read

This game didn’t need to be this stressful.

Oren and Sahal:

WSH Wizards 131 Final
Box Score
129 TOR Raptors

K. Birch36 MIN, 17 PTS, 9 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 7-11 FG, 1-2 3FG, 2-2 FT, 4 BLK, 1 TO, 6 +/-

Such a breath of fresh air. Remarkably consistent since his arrival in Toronto, and that’s been something the Raptors have sorely lacked from every player save for maybe OG. His playmaking out of the post isn’t Gasol level obviously, but it’s enough to let Nurse to be more liberal with his offensive playbook. Seriously, how was he so misused in Orlando? It feels like every shot he makes is going in. That may as well be the case, with 62% TS since joining the Raps. Unfortunately committed a foul on a Bradley Beal three point attempt with 30 seconds remaining, and then got caught in a challenge where he locked arms with Lopez late in overtime.

S. Johnson29 MIN, 0 PTS, 2 REB, 5 AST, 1 STL, 0-2 FG, 0-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 0 +/-

He was largely unnoticeable tonight besides some nice defensive possessions. I almost forgot he was playing until his technical foul late in the third quarter. His effort to get a jump ball at the end of the game was awesome, but he fouled out shortly after. At this point in the season, let’s just unleash Point Stanley. We deserve a repeat of his performance against the Sixers in the bubble.

G. Trent36 MIN, 25 PTS, 3 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 8-16 FG, 5-10 3FG, 4-4 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 4 +/-

Love to see Gary back. Came out firing with two threes on his first shots of the game. Man hates the Wizards, and who can blame him? Some solid defence as well tonight. He posted excellent efficiency and was certainly a bright spot, hitting some great late game shots, reminiscent of his performance on April 5th.

F. VanVleet44 MIN, 22 PTS, 6 REB, 5 AST, 2 STL, 7-25 FG, 4-12 3FG, 4-4 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -3 +/-

He was very inefficient on offence which is unfortunately in line with what we can expect with him, and it’s frankly getting tiring to watch him throw upwards of 20 shots every night while making a very low percentage of them. He provides value elsewhere to be sure, but no team can expect to win much when you have constant inefficient outings like this. A large chunk of these shots would be better utilized if given to other players. He had a late night snack on Brad Beal’s elbow in the fourth, and it looked like he was okay enough to hit a clutch shot to tie the game with 1 second to go. Unfortunately he couldn’t continue that into OT.

P. Siakam42 MIN, 44 PTS, 11 REB, 7 AST, 1 STL, 17-28 FG, 2-6 3FG, 8-11 FT, 0 BLK, 4 TO, 0 +/-

Pascal’s been playing excellently recently, and capped it off with a masterclass tonight. It’s frustrating that this version of Pascal is arriving so late in the season when the playoffs are practically out of reach already, but it’s a relief to see him play at this level again. To be fair, the Wizards don’t really have the personnel to guard him anyway, and his playmaking was solid tonight. He kept attacking Bertans all night, and it worked for him. Regardless of his missed free throws in the clutch hurting his grade a bit, it’s good to see him getting back into a somewhat familiar form and we can only hope that he uses this recent play as a springboard into next season. He deserves absolutely no slander for the loss tonight, get outta here.

D. Bembry23 MIN, 10 PTS, 5 REB, 1 AST, 2 STL, 3-6 FG, 2-3 3FG, 2-4 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, -7 +/-

Back to back threes in the second quarter to redeem an offensive foul turnover, but he was quiet after that. Had some good defensive energy in the second half, including a nice steal at the start of the fourth quarter that he was unable to convert.

F. Gillespie16 MIN, 3 PTS, 7 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 1-4 FG, 0-0 3FG, 1-2 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, -6 +/-

His energy, as usual, was excellent. He got a little turned around when guarding in space, and he got taken off the dribble a few times. But his rebounding effort and intensity is breathing some semblance of life into this team. Challenged several shots at the rim which is impressive for a rookie. He ultimately didn’t see much time late, which made sense with how much Lopez was cooking.

M. Flynn15 MIN, 4 PTS, 2 REB, 3 AST, 0 STL, 2-7 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -3 +/-

Flynn may have ended the month of April with a bang, but the beginning of May has been mostly a whimper. In the three games in May leading into this one, Flynn has been averaging 3/3/3 on 19% from the field and 18% from three. This game didn’t do much to help him out, as he finished the game 2/7 in only 15 minutes. He moved the ball well enough, as he usually does, but was mostly a non-factor.

R. Hood11 MIN, 2 PTS, 5 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 1-3 FG, 0-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -2 +/-

His limited play time and low offensive production tonight doesn’t really give much in the way of evaluation. It was the hope that he would strengthen the Raptors’ bench and give them a bit of firepower, but he hasn’t really shown that yet.

J. Harris8 MIN, 2 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 1-3 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 1 +/-

A sweet stepback off Russ at the start of the second quarter. Followed that up with a dumb foul on a Bertans heave. Obvious rookie IQ issues that will hopefully improve with the rest of his game. His offensive arsenal is impressive given his lack of experience, so it’ll be interesting to see where he goes from here.

Nick Nurse

Y’know, it’s difficult to criticize Nurse at all given this season from the Bad Place. He was kind of running the Raptors’ starters into the ground recently, which doesn’t make a lot of sense given their position, but his rotations were fairly even tonight. The ultra green light with Fred remains puzzling, as there were other players who were hot tonight.

Things We Saw

  1. The Wizards are atrocious on the defensive end. Like, absolutely horrendous. How they’ve managed to stay in the play-in race is beyond me.
  2. Leo Rautins turned his trigger fingers into twitter fingers with some Westbrook stans during the game and that just about says it all about how this season is going for the Raptors.
  3. The story of the night was the Wizards’ supporting cast. Robin Lopez outscored the entirety of the Raptors bench by himself. Raul Neto is a sniper and should be respected. The amount of open looks he got tonight was insane. The Raptors’ defensive scheme sometimes relies on over-helping a little too much, and it was exemplified tonight with Neto’s standout performance.
  4. If you think Pascal is to blame for this loss tonight, you’re weird, and I direct you to some very inefficient play by Fred VanVleet.
  5. Beal absolutely took over late. Took him a while to get going, but that just shows you the value in an all-star player who can create his own shot and close games.

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