We already have your pre-game, your post-game, and your quick reactions for every game, but by popular demand (a few people on Twitter) I am bringing my quarterly positives right here in long-form. Rather than try to sum them up in 240 characters or less, I can now expand on what I liked each quarter of the game. If you’re familiar with this format, you’ll know what to expect. If you aren’t, just know that if there is a baby wearing noise-canceling headphones, it counts as a positive and it’s going on the list.
First Quarter Positives:
- TORONTO WON THE TIP AGAIN!
- Scottie with the first basket of the game.
- And the second! He is setting the tone (and quieting the doubters) early.
- AND THE THIRD! FOR 3!!!
- And the rebound. Every game thus far has been the Scottie Barnes game, but this might really be the Scottie Barnes game.
- The defensive switching has been great through the first half of first quarter. If it keeps up the Magic will really struggle to get open looks.
- A steal for Scottie. At this rate his stat line is going to look like a phone number.
- Doubling Jalen Suggs, whose shot has not been consistent, especially from deep, to start the season.
- Taking an early timeout when the Magic were up by 4. Nick Nurse mentioned pre-game that the goal was to finish the game +5, so not allowing Orlando these mini runs will certainly help.
- Scottie attacking the basket off of the rebound. He has 9 of the Raptors’ 11 points.
- Gary Trent Jr. hunting down the open look to make the 3.
- Khem Birch grabbing the offensive rebound off of the screen, then making both free throws after getting fouled by Robin Lopez (when did he get here?).
- OG knocking down the basket immediately after the timeout.
- Dalano Banton grabbing the offensive rebounds and dropping it in.
- Dalano swinging the rebound to Boucher on the next possession for Boucher to make the basket.
- 4 HEADBAND LINEUP FOR THE MAGIC!
- Toronto finished the quarter with a 9-0 run to give them the lead, 23-20.
Second Quarter Positives:
- Chris Boucher’s vertical defence on Mo Bamba, causing him to miss the 3.
- Robin Lopez just tried a sky-hook? And Scottie said no?
- Khem cleaning the glass on Dalano’s miss, and getting the and-one.
- The energy that Dalano brought from the second he checked into the game has been the difference maker for Toronto.
- Orlando already have 2 fouls in the first 2 minutes of the 2nd. They were in early foul trouble in the first quarter as well.
- COAST TO COAST SLAM FOR SCOTTIE OFF OF THE DEFENSIVE REBOUND!!!!
- Scottie hitting the pull-up after the deflection.
- Gary keeping rhythm, getting fouled by Franz Wagner on a tiny fadeaway and making the free throw.
- Catch and shoot Scottie from OG. He has 17 points and counting.
- OG elbow stepback!
- Gary Harris stripped by OG Anunoby.
- Gary Trent Jr.’s defence on Suggs, causing him to airball the 3.
- Og patiently waiting for the mismatch and draining the shot over the top of Gary Harris.
- Gary Trent Jr. catch and shoot 3 off of the OG inbounds save.
- Midrange Scottie. What can’t he do, honestly?
Third Quarter Positives:
- Big Body Precious grabbing his own rebound and out-hustling everyone to make the basket and get the and-one.
- Gary Trent Jr. coast to coast jumper.
- Gary immediately getting the deflection after his made basket. You can’t teach hustle and he has it in spades.
- Precious chase-down steal on Franz Wagner. It was called out of bounds but the energy was there.
- Jalen Suggs is heating up, much to the dismay of the fans booing him before the game (very dumb).
- Gary has always been strong on the offensive, but his footwork on both ends of the floor is improving with each game.
- 4 fouls on Franz Wagner with 4:45 remaining in the fourth quarter. He has quickly become a key piece of both the Magic’s offence and defence (5 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal so far), so Toronto would be wise to use the time without him on the floor to press urgently.
- Dalano slam off of the Khem Birch bounce pass! This duo is one to pay attention to this season. They seem to just get each other.
- Chris Boucher steal! We don’t get to see this often, but him running the court after grabbing the steal is a reminder that he is as quick as he is lanky.
- Only down a single point heading into the 4th quarter, despite the Magic coming out of the half with much more energy.
Fourth Quarter Positives:
- A Chris Boucher 3 to give the lead back to Toronto.
- Banton picking off the pass from Wagner to Ross.
- Dalano to OG in the corner for 3.
- Raptors applying immediate pressure on every Magic possession.
- Another OG corner 3! From the other side this time!
- Fourth quarter Freddy is just a regular thing now, I guess.
- Scottie floater. He’s got 21 points and 9 rebounds so far.
- Fred gliding to the basket for the make and the foul. This is also Cole Anthony’s, the Magic’s top scorer tonight’s, fourth personal foul.
- There has not been a loose ball this season that Gary Trent Jr. has not put his life on the line to save. He kicked it ahead to OG who brought Toronto’s lead back up to 10.
- Fred with another 3. Toronto is already over the foul limit with 2 and a half minutes to go, so a basket on every possession is necessary.
- Fred immediately grabbing the ball when it slipped out of Banton’s hands off of the jump ball. This is the veteran presence needed from him.
- Fred for 3 to give the Raptors the largest lead of the game (12).
- A win is a win!
Final Score: ORL 109 – TOR 110
Positive Player of the Game: Scottie Barnes