Quick Reaction: Nets 108, Raptors 109

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Courtesy: nba.com

 

Nets 108 Final
Box Score
109 Raptors

B
P. Siakam35 MIN, 18 PTS, 8 REB, 6 AST, 1 STL, 7-19 FG, 0-2 3FG, 4-4 FT, 0 BLK, 4 TO, +15 +/-

Most aggressive game since the break. He attacked James Johnson in isolation on the very first possessions and tossed in an and-1 hook. His touch wasn’t there from deep or really anywhere. He was making great moves, getting to his spots, but missing his 4-to-6 foot shots. He fouled out after playing a very strong defensive second half.

A+
S. Barnes41 MIN, 18 PTS, 10 REB, 4 AST, 1 STL, 8-13 FG, 0-1 3FG, 2-2 FT, 1 BLK, 3 TO, 0 +/-

Made a swooping lefty hook early — the dude’s got so much skill, it’s ridiculous. When he has a mismatch in the post (which is gonna be pretty much always when he plays alongside Siakam), he’s automatic. One thing to keep a small tab on: he went back to turning down threes. That’s small, though. Really nice passing vision through all angles of Brooklyn’s zone. Some cluuuutch shots and hustle in the fourth, including a game-saving block with under 30 seconds remaining.

B
K. Birch18 MIN, 11 PTS, 5 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 5-7 FG, 0-0 3FG, 1-2 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, -4 +/-

His best game since the break. Much more active offensively, with a pair of offensive rebounds on an early possession. He had some finishes too, with a big dunk and nice reverse lurking in the dunker spot. Nifty job slipping off-balls screens when defenders overplayed the shooter and then tossing in push shots. Defensively he didn’t settle things down at all, but it’s still good to see him improving on one end.

A
M. Flynn43 MIN, 15 PTS, 6 REB, 8 AST, 0 STL, 6-11 FG, 2-5 3FG, 1-2 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, +3 +/-

Aggressive and impactful! Hit pull-up jumpers, dished in the pick and roll, and sauced LMA out of his shoes in transition. He did a great job finding shooters, especially Trent, in transition. Guys didn’t always hit their shots, but he did his job of creating them. When the game got close in the second quarter, he made some mistakes, including a silly foul on Seth Curry shooting a triple. In the third quarter, when he was asked to carry a ramshackle lineup, he really couldn’t do it. Huge in the fourth, so altogether a huge positive despite the hiccups.

A
G. Trent Jr.39 MIN, 24 PTS, 2 REB, 7 AST, 2 STL, 6-17 FG, 3-9 3FG, 9-9 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, +20 +/-

When he’s handling in the pick and roll and splashing pull-up threes, the Raptors have to be cackling all the way to the bank. He was shooting free and easy on the catch, too. Had a gorgeous play where he dribbled through the zone and dumped down to Boucher for the dunk — a really nice development play for him. Lots of steals on the defensive end with timely blitzes and leaps into the lane. He did not shoot well in the fourth. Still, the box score was quiet, but he was absolutely critical for the Raptors.

B
T. Young23 MIN, 11 PTS, 3 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 4-9 FG, 2-3 3FG, 1-2 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -9 +/-

The Raptors put him in the middle of the zone, and he slung some solid side-to-side passes, but his teammates turned down a bunch of open threes. Took matters into his own hands in the second half, hitting a few corner threes to keep Toronto alive. For three quarters, he didn’t do enough. Part of that was the lineups in which Nurse placed him, but he also tended to blend into the background. Then in the fourth he played alongside Toronto’s best, and he dominated.

C+
C. Boucher19 MIN, 8 PTS, 6 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 3-6 FG, 0-2 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -3 +/-

Blocked Goran Dragic on the latter’s first possession of the game. Champion stuff. (To be fair, had a questionable foul called on the play.) Otherwise, he cut hard but without doing too much damage. Tried to do too much off the bounce a few times.

C+
P. Achiuwa18 MIN, 4 PTS, 7 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 2-7 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, -5 +/-

Even though his scoring wasn’t where it’s been recently, he still was closer to his recent good-on-both-ends than the one-dimensional defender he was earlier in the season. Cut hard and had a few skillful finishes from the short midrange. He couldn’t create for himself to score, which isn’t much of a surprise, and he shouldn’t have been asked to do it anyway, but was still a negative in the game.

Inc
D. Banton6 MIN, 0 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-1 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, -12 +/-

When he doesn’t know when his minutes are coming, he hasn’t proven to be consistent. That puts him on a long list that probably includes most role players in the league, so it’s not too damning. Still, Toronto really could have used his up-pace frenetic style. He had a brief chance and couldn’t bring it. Very tempted to give him a low, low grade, but it’s hard to do that with only six minutes. Plus Toronto won.

D
Nick Nurse

He tried to let his young guys play through mistakes without timeouts, but this was a critical game against a play-in-chasing foe that Toronto really had to win. Not sure it was the time. He als closed the third quarter with a lineup that lacked Barnes, Siakam, or Trent. Self-inflicted wounds. He also wasted his challenge on a very clear offensive foul, which was Siakam’s fifth, but it had a zero percent chance of being overturned. His team bailed him out in the fourth.

Things We Saw

  1. Brooklyn’s non-shooters drilled their threes, and Toronto’s non-shooters missed them (Trent was the only Raptor to hit a three in the first half!) — basically the inverse of last night. The second half was more realistic. A a result, the tides swung all the way to … a close victory for Toronto, rather than a reverse beatdown. Talent gap!
  2. Dragic played well. Sushed the crowd, too. Shrug.
  3. The Raptors just did not guard at all in the first half. No aggression to force turnovers, very few second-efforts to challenge shots. The Nets shot a lot a lot of in-rhythm jumpers. Would have liked to have seen the fight Toronto gave in the fourth through the whole thing.
  4. Siakam and Barnes spent a lot of time looking for each other. Great two-man play, moving off ball, creating space, and feeding passes at the perfect moments. Good stuff.

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