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:
- Fred’s tight defence on Damian Lillard during the first possession. He forces Dame to pass high in the post to Jusuf Nurkic who has to kick it out to Norm on the weak side, and misses.
- Fred blowing by Damian Lillard off of the Pascal hand off and making the layup, giving Toronto a 10 point lead less than 3 minutes into the first quarter, and forcing a Portland time out.
- OG stealing the pass from Lillard and giving it to Pascal for the go-ahead.
- Gary quickly screening for Pascal who gets the bucket in transition after grabbing the rebound.
- Khem and Fred connecting on the pick and roll after Nurkic checks out.
- Ball movement! Fred throwing the ball to the inside Khem, who swings it to the weak side and back out to OG for a 3.
- Pascal corner 3!
- EARLY DALANO MINUTES!
- Point Dalano?
- Dalano off of the inbounds to Scottie who makes it off the glass!
- The quick switch defence that allowed Dalano to get off of Dame and Scottie to guard him instead.
- Khem Birch chasing Damian Lillard off of the dribble, forcing his shot and sending it to Scottie who pushes it ahead to Gary who makes the transition basket. The ball movement has been exceptional this quarter.
- Fred triple-teamed in the paint but still finding Dalano open on the wing for a 3 point attempt.
Second Quarter Positives:
- Sneaky Svi in the corner for 3, bringing the lead back up from 1.
- Dalano Banton passing over the heads of the double team and into the paint to Khem, who swings it to OG for another 3.
- OG backing into the post off of the pass from Banton and bodying his way to a basket.
- OG Anunobdy crossing up Larry Nance Jr. and draining a 3 in his face at the top of the arch, quieting C.J McCollum in the process.
- Sneaky Svi again! This time he grabs the rebound on Siakam’s missed 3 and tries to put it back in, with Scottie cleaning it up for the make.
- Siakam finding the baseline cutting Scottie who drops it in for a 6 point lead.
- OG saving the out of bounds, which finds its way to Gary who steps inside on the reach and sinks the basket.
- Baby’s first technical! They grow up so fast! Wait. This is his second technical. This is like missing your baby’s first steps.
- Gary stealing the cross court pass.
Third Quarter Positives:
- OG chasing down Norman Powell and creating a shot clock violation for Portland.
- Transition jumper Scottie!
- Gary Trent Jr. getting a hand up after Fred bites on the corner pump-fake.
- Pascal straight to the rack with his off hand. He’s got 14 of Toronto’s 66 points, and he ties the game.
- Gary from 3! Breathing some much needed life into the Raptors.
- Khem is as active as he can be for someone who doesn’t look like he is 100%. This is a mental positive, but not necessarily a physical one.
- Transition Gary through contact for a bucket.
- Khem waiting patiently in the paint and dunking.
- Malachi flies to the rim off of the inbound and makes the last second layup to tie the game!
Fourth Quarter Positives:
- Well Scottie got the and-one. Woohoo! 7 point game!
- OG deflecting the pass and sending it to Gary for the slam.
- Fred pull-up 3 in transition! It’s a 9-0 run!
- OG JUST SPUN SCOTTIE AROUND ON HIS BUM AND SMILED.
- Pascal grabbing the rebound for another Fred transition 3. It was Scottie’s defence that allowed him to grab it in the first place.
- SCOTTIE BLOCK!
- ANOTHER FRED 3! KING OF THE FOURTH!
Final Score: POR 118 – TOR 113
Positive Player of the Game: Robert Covington