Philly take Game 1.
|P. Siakam40 MIN, 24 PTS, 3 REB, 7 AST, 0 STL, 9-18 FG, 1-2 3FG, 5-5 FT, 3 BLK, 0 TO, -19 +/-|
Very poor off-the-ball defense to start the game where he got mixed up on defensive coverages and conceded open threes to Maxey and Green, during which Philly built the lead they’d never relinquish. The offense looked shaky in the first half where he didn’t look for his shot much, even in stagnant sets where we’re looking for him to take command. Was more aggressive in the second half with predictably positive results but it was too little, too late. If there’s an adjustment for Game 2 it’s that just like Philly utilizes their main weapon to the max, so should we.
|O. Anunoby33 MIN, 20 PTS, 7 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 9-15 FG, 2-5 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -11 +/-|
Nurse went with OG post-ups to start but the results were poor (turnover, low quality shot), but OG found his rhythm on the outside by hitting a couple threes, and playing solid perimeter defense on the countless switches he was part of. The slashing game is there as Philly is chasing him off the line, and he’s intelligent and skilled enough to put in on the floor when the seam is there. I would’ve gone to him more on the post-ups in the third, it seems like the Raptors weren’t interested in exploring that any further. Also, props for guarding Embiid well on switches. The big was 5-15 from the floor.
|S. Barnes32 MIN, 15 PTS, 10 REB, 8 AST, 0 STL, 4-6 FG, 0-0 3FG, 7-9 FT, 1 BLK, 2 TO, -10 +/-|
Looked like a vet out there. High compete-level, no nerves, making the right reads and unfazed by the occasion. Had Danny Green at his mercy in the post on a couple occasions which he took advantage of, but surprisingly, Nurse didn’t look to exploit Barnes in the block much at all even though he had an edge there. Ended up leaving the game after Embiid crushed his ankle.
|F. VanVleet36 MIN, 18 PTS, 1 REB, 6 AST, 1 STL, 7-12 FG, 4-7 3FG, 0-0 FT, 2 BLK, 0 TO, -19 +/-|
Not great when the vet picks up two cheap fouls to start a playoff game, then proceeds to get beat off the bounce by Maxey on pretty much every occasion, and then fouls out. Fred hit some deep threes while the teams were swinging back and forth between an 18 and 12 point lead, but that was also while Maxey was torching the Raps. Overall, we saw a lot more of Fred handling the ball than we’ve seen in the last few weeks. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but we’ve had more success with him deferring to Siakam.
|G. Trent Jr.26 MIN, 9 PTS, 4 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 2-11 FG, 2-7 3FG, 3-4 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, -23 +/-|
Famine. Missed most of his clean looks and kicked out on a three to pick an offensive foul in the first. Defensively, failed to put any pressure on whoever he was guarding, either on the switch or straight-up. The second half was marginally better in terms of shooting, but he showed himself to be very one-dimensional on an occasion where we needed to overcome a more talented team. We need him to step up. Actually, it doesn’t matter if he does or not since he’ll continue to play as we have no bench.
|T. Young6 MIN, 0 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-1 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -1 +/-|
Left the game with a sprained thumb, but while he was in there Nurse used him as a post-up option where he looked to find cutters. The strategy was surprising and the results mixed.
|C. Boucher15 MIN, 7 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 3-3 FG, 1-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -8 +/-|
Hit a three early and then picked up a questionable foul where the offensive player kicked out, and soon picked up his third and went to the bench. Nurse had no choice but to go with Achiuwa and didn’t see any reason why the Raptors should go big again since they couldn’t even run when they were small. And they need to run to score. Fouled out in the fourth.
|P. Achiuwa29 MIN, 9 PTS, 4 REB, 3 AST, 0 STL, 3-9 FG, 2-4 3FG, 1-1 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, -8 +/-|
Rusty on the outside jumper to start and did better in the second half. Defensively, let Embiid get deep post position too often. However, got better as the game progressed, notably against Harden in some 1v1 situations where his length allows him to stay on his feet while contesting Harden’s flails. Had a couple nice drives as well, one against Embiid, but never really connected with teammates to get into a sustainable rhythm so everything was disparate and one-off.
|Y. Watanabe5 MIN, 2 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 1-2 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, +2 +/-|
Garbage time participation ribbon. Did not get dunked on.
|K. Birch8 MIN, 4 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 2-2 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -3 +/-|
If he happens to find his own offense through some broken up plays or some late shot-clock bail outs, then great. Otherwise, other than setting above-average screens, he remains wholly unintegrated into anything the Raptors are doing offensively. This has been the case all season and continues to be the case. He did play Embiid OK in the brief time he was there before he hurt his face again.
|M. Flynn3 MIN, 0 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-0 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 0 +/-|
Garbage time gold medal.
|D. Banton3 MIN, 1 PTS, 0 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 0-0 FG, 0-0 3FG, 1-2 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 0 +/-|
Still masquerading as an NBA player
|A. Brooks3 MIN, 0 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-3 FG, 0-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 0 +/-|
Glad we gave him that contract.
|I. Bonga3 MIN, 2 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-0 FG, 0-0 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 0 +/-|
What…why is he here? This isn’t a 905 game.
Did not use Barnes in the post even when the Raptors were struggling to produce anything. Defensively, wasn’t able to give Embiid a look he wasn’t comfortable with, and credit goes to Philly for establishing good early positions. The Raptors transition D was simply slow (and a little surprised) to react.
Did go to the zone a couple times but Philly was able to move the ball around, either through skip passes or even through Embiid in the post. Plus, they were also hitting their outside shots so the zone was a bit of a non-starter.
It’s hard to be critical of Nurse. The guy is trying to win a playoff series without a bench.
Things We Saw
- It’s the Raptors who are supposed to get Embiid in foul trouble, run on the break, and have Siakam beat them off the bounce. Instead it was Fred in foul trouble, Philly running on the break and Maxey beating everyone off the bounce. Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.
- The Raptors did not get their first offensive rebound till the third quarter. They led the league in that category and were completely shut out on the glass.
- Philly only had two turnovers in this game. The Raptors rely on forcing turnovers to generate easy points, and tonight it was Philly who outscored them 29-10 on the break.
- The Raptors shot well, but just could not defend and when you don’t defend you rely on offensive firepower to win you the game. And no matter how you slice and dice it, Philly has more of that than us so it’s a game we don’t want to play.
- Having said all that, if we just take out the shaky start and if only we had the ability to quell that early Philly run at 8 instead of letting it get to 18, then we’re in this game. We can stop Maxey – he had a one-off game. A series doesn’t start until the home team loses a game. They held serve. That’s all.