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:
- Not retreating on the miss. Fred’s missed 3 had 2 rebound attempts before the Raptors got back on defence. Second chance points have been the difference maker in the last few games, particularly the losses.
- Khem stealing the pass and sending it to Gary, who gives it right back to Khem.
- Fred getting his own rebound after getting blocked. There we go again, already, with those second chance points.
- Gary with the steal. Is this even a positive anymore (duh) or is it just expected? Rather than take it on the fast break though, he sent it ahead to Scottie for the make.
- Scottie grabbing the rebound on a Raptors miss and keeping it inside for Khem, giving the Raptors back the lead.
- Back to back Khem on the inside. Is starter Khem the new starter Gary?
- Fred drawing the foul on the short roll, extending the lead to 3.
- Doubling Donovan Mitchell.
- Chasing Bogdanovic away from the 3 point line.
- Boucher rebounding Fred’s miss and kicking it to Scottie on the elbow for the make.
- Gary sending the bounce pass to Chris Boucher on the inside for the fadeaway.
Second Quarter Positives:
- Pascal gets his first bucket of the night on the first possession of the quarter.
- Chris Boucher with the bullet pass, assisting Malachi on the inside with the floater.
- Happy for my best friend, Rudy Gay.
- A beautiful screen from Khem gets Malachi wide open to sink the 3.
- Svi Mykhailiuk playing some serious lockdown defence on Trent Forrest, not allowing him to get the ball to one of Utah’s primary scorers.
- The Fred and Khem short roll strikes again, this time with Khem sinking the floater from the inside.
- Scottie’s help-defence creating a Jordan Clarkson turnover and a Jazz timeout.
- Another Khem floater, this time out of the screen he had set for Pascal, who sent it back to him for the shot.
- BACK-TO-BACK TRIPLES FOR FRED VANVLEET!
- BACK-TO-BACK-TO-BACK TRIPLES FOR FRED VANVLEET!!
- Gary Trent Jr.’s effortless jumper over Royce O’Neale for the tie.
- Gary up and under for the lead!
- Another Gary bucket from another Khem screen. His ability to get his teammates completely open is so impressive.
- Pascal running down the clock and finding Scottie under the basket to give the Raptors the lead heading into half-time.
Third Quarter Positives:
- Scottie with the turnaround, ending the Jazz’ 5-0 run to start the second half.
- A Donovan Mitchell turnover off of a Pascal Siakam turnover leads to a Gary Trent Jr. spot up 3 and a Jazz time out.
- Khem boxing out Rudy Gobert on Mitchell’s 3 point attempt. Keeping the league’s leading rebounder away from the basket is a key piece of stifling the Jazz’ offence.
- Malachi choosing to pass to Gary at the top of the arch instead of Fred. Fred looked disappointed momentarily but Malachi’s choice was the right one, as the defenders were closer to Fred and Gary is the master of finding his own shot.
- Malachi securing the rebound and sending it ahead to Fred.
- Transition Freddy after a Hassan Whiteside turnover.
- Malachi Flynn has been consistent on the offence tonight, even when it is falling apart. He isn’t forcing anything and his shot isn’t falling, but he is playing team basketball and keeping the energy alive.
Fourth Quarter Positives:
- Still very happy for my best friend Rudy Gay.
Final Score: UTA 119 – TOR 103
Positive Player of the Game: Rudy Gay