Quick Reaction: Raptors 118, Pacers 100

First home win of the season.

Box Score

P. Achiuwa28 MIN, 10 PTS, 6 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 4-9 FG, 0-1 3FG, 4- FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, +18 +/-

Precious is slowly losing his grip on that starting centre spot. It makes sense considering age, experience and where is he at this point of his development. But it’s not a coincidence that he was on the court during that late Pacers surge. To his credit, he battled against Sabonis tonight.

O. Anunoby34 MIN, 25 PTS, 3 REB, 3 AST, 5 STL, 9-21 FG, 4-10 3FG, 4- FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, +18 +/-

The last two games hint at the formula for OG’s success offensively, at least early in the season. Bully ball and catch and shoot threes.

S. Barnes36 MIN, 18 PTS, 7 REB, 7 AST, 0 STL, 8-17 FG, 0-0 3FG, 2- FT, 2 BLK, 2 TO, +6 +/-

If Scottie didn’t end up recovering after that slow start, no one would have blamed him. However, the electric rookie followed it up with one of the best games of his young career. It was only a matter of time before the assist numbers piled up. His comfort level with the ball gives Freddie a chance to play offball and catch his breath.

F. VanVleet37 MIN, 26 PTS, 10 REB, 6 AST, 1 STL, 10-18 FG, 6-7 3FG, 0- FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, +20 +/-

This was Fred’s best game of the season. He still gets blocked too often in the paint, but he was finally able to find his midrange game tonight. He’s talented enough where if he can open a second level of scoring to compliment his three point shooting, then we’ll have a chance every night.

G. Trent Jr.35 MIN, 12 PTS, 4 REB, 2 AST, 5 STL, 4-14 FG, 1-6 3FG, 5- FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, +18 +/-

The shooting is a major concern but we’re slowly inching towards Gary earning the reputation as a defensive pest.

C. Boucher18 MIN, 5 PTS, 3 REB, 1 AST, 2 STL, 2-4 FG, 0-1 3FG, 2- FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, +7 +/-

This was Boucher’s best game of the season. I loved his energy on the defensive end. He was more selective with his jumper and it feels like it has been forever since we’ve seen an emphatic weakside block like the one we saw tonight. Chris needs to continue to stay within himself and he’ll be a valuable piece off the bench.

K. Birch20 MIN, 5 PTS, 6 REB, 0 AST, 2 STL, 2-5 FG, 0-0 3FG, 1- FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, +5 +/-

He’s slowly working his way into game shape and making up for the lost preseason. Precious should still be the starter, but Khem isn’t too far behind. He doesn’t have that eye popping athleticism or potential that Precious occasionally flashes, but he brings a needed steadiness to the team.

D. Banton16 MIN, 10 PTS, 1 REB, 3 AST, 0 STL, 4-7 FG, 2-3 3FG, 1- FT, 1 BLK, 2 TO, +11 +/-

Score one for Nick Nurse. If Banton can continue to have games like this, then it’ll be tough to find minutes for Dragic and Flynn. His jumper looks like it can sustain a respectable three point percentage as well!

S. Mykhailiuk11 MIN, 7 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 2 STL, 3-4 FG, 1-2 3FG, 0- FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 0 +/-

It’s obvious why Nick likes him. If Svi can continue to focus on the little things defensively and consistently bring energy, he’ll hold onto meaningful minutes even when Pascal and Yuta come back from injury. Zero random jump passes too? Sign me up.

Nick Nurse

For a second straight game, Nick did a solid job with the personnel he had at his disposal. He stayed true to his words and went with Dalano as the first guard off the bench. One thing we can count on with a Nurse-led team is that they’ll allocate several resources to taking away the opposing team’s best options. It doesn’t always work out but it clearly affected Sabonis.

Things We Saw

  1. Part of me wants to see us go big when Pascal returns. That means OG sliding to the two and Gary moving to the bench. But with how Gary has been playing defensively, it probably means Scottie comes off the bench instead.
  2. This team is really impressive defensively. All it needs is a half-court offense that can sustain itself at an average rate at the very least. We had that with OG in the first half and VanVleet in the second half. I’m excited to see what Pascal can do for us.
  3. Lamb and McConnell will always flash superstar potential against us…

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