Nothin’ But Positives – Raptors vs. Cavaliers – November 5th

9 mins read
Photo credit: Trung Ho /

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:

  • Forcing a Cleveland turnover in the first 15 seconds.
  • A Gary 3! And we’re off!
  • Precious in the paint off the rebound! He found his footing quickly on the mismatch and shot over the defender.
  • Precious locking down Jarrett Allen early, unfortunately giving Evan Mobley a clear path to the basket, but he “understood the assignment” as the kids say.
  • A Gary Trent Jr. deflection, obviously.
  • Leading to an OG dunk.
  • Fred kicking out to OG, who swings it right back to Fred for a catch and shoot corner 3, causing Cleveland to call an early time out after a 7-0 Toronto run.
  • Scottie’s screen allowing Fred to reposition himself to ensure the basket before the time out.
  • Scottie’s defence on Evan Mobley was air tight. There isn’t much you can do when your man has arms as long as the CN Tower.
  • Precious’ vertical defence on Mobley creating the miss, though it was eventually made on the rebound by Sexton.
  • Gary Trent Jr. with another 3, this time off of a skip pass from Scottie.
  • OG on the drive blowing by Jarrett Allen off of the bounce pass from Fred.
  • Khem Birch swatting Collin Sexton’s shot away at the rim.
  • Khem screening tightly to give Fred space to shoot. He is the screen and roll doctor.
  • DALANO! A nice make on the inside but where did you even come from?
  • There are a lot of yellow shoes on the court at the same time.
  • Scottie jumper!
  • Khem and Dalano double-teaming Mobley, allowing Scottie to grab the rebound.
  • The length of Dalano, even when it looks like he’s losing his man, he still has an arm out or a single step and he’s right back with him.
  • Fred stuck in traffic but finding Khem at the side to tip it in.
  • Cedi Osman I’m sure you’re a darling but Dalano just put you on skates, plus the finish.


Second Quarter Positives:

  • Sky hook Scottie grabbing the rebound and putting it in off of the Dalano miss.
  • Pull up Scottie off of the defensive rebound. Whoever fixed his thumb must have put magnets in his hands.
  • Toronto’s switch defence, Svi in particular, resulting in a last second airball by Cleveland to avoid a shot clock violation.
  • Svi for 3!
  • Followed by a 5 second violation. When is the last time we saw one of those?
  • Khem flying in to grab the rebound on Svi’s miss, pulling it out and kicking it to Fred for another 3, forcing Cleveland to call a time out.
  • Fred’s defence out of the time out on Darius Garland.
  • Scottie’s pass ahead to Fred was so smart and so quick, but Fred was just half a step behind, and the Raptors call a time out.
  • OG bounce pass to Fred in the corner after the time out for a 3.
  • The Raptor just walked by and put someone’s hood on their head. He’s so silly.
  • Precious grabbing the rebound on a Jarrett Allen miss and bringing it ahead to OG. He’s doing the right things.
  • Malachi on the steal, kicks it ahead to OG FOR THE DOUBLE CLUTCH REVERSE DUNK.
  • Precious rebounding the OG miss and immediately kicking it to the corner for Boucher instead of driving.
  • Scottie checks back in. When is the last time we felt this calming aura surround us when a rookie checks back in?
  • And he just shot (and made) the basket over Mobley and Allen.
  • Malachi with the driving floater for a 5 point lead.
  • Malachi with the strip ahead to Scottie for the make.
  • Another Cleveland turnover, saved from going out of bound by OG who pushes ahead and misses, but Precious is right there to clean it up.
  • The Malachi game? Why not!


Third Quarter Positives:

  • A Fred basket to start the quarter right out of the gate.
  • Steal by Scottie, ahead to Fred for an alley-oop to OG and it’s a 5-0 run to start the half.
  • Fred rebounding and sending it ahead to OG, who gives it to Precious in the paint where he makes one of the free throws to extend the lead to 15.
  • Another rebound by Fred ahead to Precious. A 15 point lead is as good a time as any to try and work on that two man game.
  • Aggressive Gary driving down the middle for the make, avoiding the length of the defenders.
  • Fred drawing the foul on Sexton from beyond the arch, making 2 out of 3 free throws with what appears to be a tweaked back (this is not a positive though).
  • Scottie passing it to OG for the spinning fadeaway. The shot doesn’t go, but everything OG adds to his game is a positive.
  • Scottie finding the waiting Gary Trent Jr. under the basket for the make. His court vision is so beyond his years.
  • Gary Trent Jr. hitting the 3 over the head of Jarrett Allen, while his dad is being interviewed about how proud he is of him.
  • Gary Trent Jr. has a career high 6 steals tonight already. He entered the game with the second most steals per game in the entire NBA.
  • Gary Trent Jr. elbow side step off of the Dalano pass.


Fourth Quarter Positives:

  • Khem Birch soaring in for the rebound and kicking it out for an OG 3.
  • Scottie just missed a shot, grabbed his own rebounds, missed again, stripped Jarrett Allen, and slammed it down with both hands. He’s here and he’s perfect.
  • Ball movement! Sitting on the arch was Fred, who swung it to Khem who moved it down the side to OG for another 3.
  • Scottie finding about a millimetre of  space between the double team to pass out to Khem, who gives it to Fred for the stepback 3 (later turned into a 2, but we know the truth).
  • OG with the running block that sends himself into the crowd.
  •  Gary driving through traffic on the make like he’s in whatever the latest Fast and Furious movie is.
  • Evan Mobley scored on the wrong basket. It’s okay, you’re learning!
  • Scottie just threw Jarrett Allen to the floor like a rag doll. That man is 250 lbs.
  • And a 7th steal for Gary Trent Jr. with 17 seconds left!


Final Score: CLE 102 – TOR 101

Positive Player of the Game: Everyone


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