Quick Reaction: Raptors 102, Magic 89

Box Score

P. Siakam43 MIN, 16 PTS, 11 REB, 3 AST, 0 STL, 7-18 FG, 0-3 3FG, 2-3 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, +4 +/-

Not super efficient scoring, but when he did score, it looked incredible. Ridiculous extension in the post early. Magic Johnson pass in the transition, leaving a drop-off pass behind his back for a Barnes dunk. Had an outrageous defensive stand on Fultz; he’s so incredibly mobile and long and strong, his defense is ridiculous. Not his best game, but it was good enough, and he never really had to extend himself. Microcosm of the team!

O. Anunoby35 MIN, 14 PTS, 6 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL, 4-8 FG, 2-5 3FG, 4-5 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, +17 +/-

He’s burning blue he’s on such a hot streak with his jumper. It feels good not to be shooting with a fractured finger! Mixed in some smooth passes and terrific defense, and it was kind of just a ho-hum game for Anunoby, which makes it an excellent game for anybody. Really chilled out after the Raptors took the lead, but his defense was huge huge.

S. Barnes36 MIN, 19 PTS, 8 REB, 7 AST, 0 STL, 6-13 FG, 1-3 3FG, 6-6 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, +32 +/-

Really engaged defensively, not allowing blow-bys, which allowed him to use his length as a weapon. Super aggressive on the offensive glass, and finished well. This is kind of what the prototypical game looks like for him when he’s, rightly or wrongly, the fifth option in the starting lineup. Took “you want the ball, go get it off the glass” to heart. Great utility stuff around the scoring too — good passing, and his defense was an improvement.

F. VanVleet39 MIN, 19 PTS, 5 REB, 3 AST, 5 STL, 7-19 FG, 5-16 3FG, 0-0 FT, 2 BLK, 3 TO, +30 +/-

Heavy hands, heavy hands. The mant just rips away basketballs that come anywhere within his sphere of influence. (Honestly, unfriendly score keepers, he should’ve finished with four steals in the first half.) Was not shy turning to the pull-up jumper, which I prefer to his drives at the moment, but haven’t been working since his knee injury. Drilled his catch-and-shoot looks though. The arc was back on his jumper. Threw in a 30-footer with four minutes left in the game to close the door on Orlando, just for fun.

G. Trent Jr.40 MIN, 17 PTS, 1 REB, 3 AST, 1 STL, 6-16 FG, 3-8 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, +15 +/-

His hot streaks seem to extend between games. Hit his first shot, which was about as tough as they come in a spinning, late-clock, contested pull-up. Stayed hot for about a quarter and a half, then the game was out of reach, and he cooled down. Whatever — he made them in the 15 minutes of game time that mattered.

T. Young12 MIN, 1 PTS, 3 REB, 2 AST, 3 STL, 0-2 FG, 0-2 3FG, 1-2 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -13 +/-

Still firing away from deep, which is what his lineups need. (Making his 3s would obviously have been better, but no one makes them all.) I prefer Young playing the 4, but instead the Raptors had him running shooting guard (lol) alongside Siakam, Anunoby, Boucher, and Achiuwa. It didn’t work great in the half-court — in fact, despite Thad’s assists and steals, he lost his minutes by a whopping 11 points. If the Raptors want to win Thad’s minutes (they should!) they should deploy him in friendlier lineups.

C. Boucher15 MIN, 5 PTS, 3 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 2-3 FG, 1-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 2 BLK, 0 TO, -4 +/-

Took his shot-blocking seriously. Ran hard in transition. It was a quiet game with a quiet minute total, but seeing how Toronto’s effort meter never really ramped up, Boucher’s major advantage wasn’t needed.

P. Achiuwa16 MIN, 11 PTS, 3 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 4-6 FG, 1-3 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -10 +/-

His first make was a pull-up midranger, which would have been a wild attempt a few months ago but was instead smooth as DeRozan. Great finish in transition, too. A slick pass in the half court, too; in general, he fit in really nicely.

K. Birch4 MIN, 0 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-1 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -6 +/-

Bobbled a perfect dump-off pass from Anunoby that should have been a dunk, threw away a poor attempt for a layup, and committed a few offensive fouls. With Precious, Boucher, and Thad all outplaying him at the moment, it’s hard to see where his minutes are going to come from.

Nick Nurse

I didn’t love the way Nurse used the bench, with Boucher and Achiuwa being part of a jumbo jumbo lineup rather than just energy boosters alongside a more traditional unit. To that same point, Thad played alongside Boucher and Achiuwa, and I prefer when he only plays with one. Still, an easy win, so hard to complain too much. Especially considering the Raps lost to these guys so recently and needlessly.

Things We Saw

  1. Toronto’s seven-foot-wingspan lineup did not go particularly well. The half-court was rough, they didn’t close out to shooters with enough speed, and there wasn’t enough shooting.
  2. How casual can a game be? The Raptors just vibed out, didn’t really push themselves very hard, and won the game in transition. Easy does it! Don’t put in more effort and energy than you have to, I guess. 20-4 run to end the first half to put the game away, and the Raptors didn’t leave second gear during the whole thing.
  3. Remember when the Raptors lost by 20 on a random Sunday matinee game to the Magic during the championship season, and then lost game 1 of the playoffs, and everyone was freaking out? Lol me neither
  4. I’ve never seen so many airballs, whew.

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