Nothin’ But Positives – Raptors vs. Thunder – December 8th

9 mins read
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) plays against the Indiana Pacers during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

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:

  • Well the anthem is better than Jacquees’ version (I still love him though).
  • “The St. Lucian Solution” is an absolute MONSTER of a nickname.
  • Chris Boucher wins the tip, sends it to Fred and then screens for him to get him open for a three point attempt.
  • Chris Boucher slams it down off of the pick and roll for the first points of the game.
  • Pascal with the spinning fadeaway.
  • Scottie throws a very complicated pass to Chris Boucher under the basket, who by some miracle is able to save it but unfortunately steps out of bounds.
  • Boucher blocks Josh Giddey at the rim, and slams it down at the other end. The meditation he has been doing before games is working for him.
  • Pascal makes the finger roll look easy through traffic, and gets the and one.
  • Fred steps in front of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to break the play and draw the offensive foul early in the game.
  • The inlet pass from Fred to Scottie, who bodies his way to the basket for the make.
  • And another one for Scottie as he goes inside again and puts in his own rebound off of the miss.
  • Step-back Pascal for the make, and he’s the first one to run down to the other end of the court.
  • Isaac Bonga creates a turnover for the Thunder off of the inbounds, getting the ball back to Toronto and a bucket for Gary Trent Jr.
  • Yuta finds the cutting Bonga, who receives the pass and drives baseline, drawing the foul.
  • ISAAC BONGA FOR 3! BING BONG! I’VE BEEN TELLING EVERYONE TO WATCH HIM!!!!
  • Fred finishes with his left on the inside from the jab step. He really can score from anywhere.
  • Fred hits a wide open three thanks to the screen and timing from Isaac Bonga to end the quarter.

 

Second Quarter Positives:

  • An OKC turnover to start the quarter as Svi steals the inbounds and sends it ahead to Yuta who draws the foul and makes a free throw.
  • Josh Giddey loses his defender and sends the pass inside, but Bonga is there to stop them in the paint and break up the play.
  • Yuta grabs the defensive rebound and brings it up to Scottie in transition who nails the three. Yuta’s court vision is something that isn’t talked about often, but there is almost a 99% the Thunder expected the pass to go to Gary Trent Jr. instead, leaving Scottie completely unattended.
  • Bonga’s shadow defence on Tre Mann, cutting off all passing options and forcing him to shoot a three that misses.
  • Pascal strips Kenrich Williams by using his length and being aggressive.
  • The Raptors just had a possession where they attempted about four different shots from four different spots on the floor. The ability to reconfigure the offence so quickly is a sign of a good team with good chemistry.
  • Scottie chases down the Thunder and swats the shot off the glass.
  • Josh Giddey picks up his third foul after getting frustrated with the Gary Trent Jr. relentless commitment to saving a loose ball.
  • Gary Trent Jr. side-step three with the clock down. He is feeling his french vanilla fantasy.
  • Chris Boucher denies Mike Muscala right in his face as he attempts the three, with the steal finding its way to Pascal for the make.
  • Another Gary three! SHANTAY YOU STAY!
  • Boucher and Yuta with the double length denial on the inside.
  • Yuta is once again in the exact right position to catch and shoot the three off of the pass from Fred, bringing the lead back to double digits.

 

Third Quarter Positives:

  • Boucher cleaning the glass on Fred’s miss.
  • Boucher’s defence on the inside allows for a Pascal rebound who sends it back to Boucher in transition for the dunk and the foul.
  • Scottie’s realization of his body as of late has been massive. He once again forces his way inside through three defenders for the make.
  • Fred’s leadership, telling Nick Nurse not to challenge a prior foul and to save it instead, then telling him to challenge Chris’ Boucher’s defensive foul and having it deemed successful. It is so hard to see these things while also being active in the game.
  • Fred hits Isaac Bonga with a bounce pass in the lane. Bonga is unable to finish but Fred’s trust in the end of bench guys speaks to his leadership.
  • Scottie in the corner for three.
  • Solid defence to end the quarter and not allowing the Thunder to enter the final quarter with more than an 11 point lead.

 

Fourth Quarter Positives:

  • Pascal gets the first bucket in a very long time by forcing it left through traffic.
  • Scottie directing the offence, telling Banton to clear out and sending it to Svi for a three point attempt.
  • Scottie runs the floor like Sonic the Hedgehog and the ball still falls in. Incredible.
  • Fred catch and shoot three from deep that was much needed.
  • Some guy is doing finger guns with two giant foam fingers.
  • Justin Champagnie bringing some of the energy he brought to the 905, cutting baseline and getting the make and the foul.
  • Scottie denies it at one end and makes it at the other. The deficit is back to single digits.
  • Fred defensively forcing Lu Dort to shoot a contested three as the shot clock winds down, getting possession back to the Raptors.
  • Takeover Freddy hits the three.
  • Scottie with the defensive rebound AHEAD TO FRED FOR ANOTHER THREE!
  • Fred making the difficult outlet pass to Gary Trent Jr., who misses the corner three but Pascal comes in like a wrecking ball and saves the basket.
  • Scottie out to Pascal for the corner three. They’re back?
  • GARY FROM THE CORNER IT’S A ONE POINT GAME WHERE DID THIS COME FROM OH YEAH IT WAS ALWAYS THERE EVERYTHING ELSE WAS SO UNNECESSARY.
  • FRED FROM THE CORNER! TIE GAME!
  • Fred finds baseline Justin Champagnie for the up and in. THAT’S THAT RAPTORS 905 BASKETBALL BABY!
  • Getting your game-winning buzzer beater taken away? Awful. The unbridled joy from your teammates who thought it went in? Priceless.

 

 

FINAL SCORE: OKC 110 – 109 TOR

POSITIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: CHRIS BOUCHER, JUSTIN CHAMPAGNIE (ALMOST)

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.