Quick Reaction: Raptors 125, Celtics 119

We watched two different games tonight. Raps are undefeated during preseason!

Box Score
O. Anunoby24 MIN, 10 PTS, 3 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 4-8 FG, – 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -27 +/-

I think we should go out of our way to track what OG provides in isolation or when he has to create his own look. It didn’t go well against Utah and it was a mixed bag tonight in Boston. OG relies on brute force – justifiably so – but got away with a pair of push offs that resulted in buckets early. The refs finally called him for an offensive foul in the second quarter. While Rich Paul will disagree, it seems evident that OG is at his best when his possessions are schemed. For instance, the DHO that got him moving downhill early in the game or the post look Nurse drew up after a timeout were all positive possessions.

S. Barnes24 MIN, 8 PTS, 3 REB, 3 AST, 0 STL, 3-6 FG, – 3FG, 2-2 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, -22 +/-

Things looked promising early when Scottie flashed the midrange turnaround fadeaway for a second straight game. Unfortunately, it quickly unravelled which was surprising considering tonight’s hectic pace normally suits Scottie’s style of play. Our sophomore sensation needs to be more assertive, particularly when the offense becomes stagnant. The cuts and passing lanes he instinctively looks for will open when he prioritizes his own offense.

P. Siakam23 MIN, 13 PTS, 6 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 5-11 FG, – 3FG, 3-4 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, -3 +/-

He certainly got his reps in early and often. Despite the missed attempts, Pascal got what he wanted and manufactured the type of looks he is known for. Like many of his veteran teammates, Pascal just needs to focus on conditioning and staying healthy.

G. Trent Jr.25 MIN, 9 PTS, 4 REB, 0 AST, 2 STL, 4-10 FG, – 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -6 +/-

It pains me to say this because I’m a fan of how Gary’s game translates to the postseason but I don’t know if there’s a fit on this team. You can’t properly scheme against a player that can create his own look. Gary is simply one of our best shot creators. In terms of being able to consistently create his own look without a screen in short clock scenarios, he may challenge Pascal as the best on the team. The question remains – is his skillset being wasted in the starting lineup? How can we best weaponize him before he opts out in the summer?

F. VanVleet19 MIN, 7 PTS, 3 REB, 3 AST, 0 STL, 3-12 FG, – 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -3 +/-

Like Pascal, we can’t really put too much stock into what Freddie does during preseason. It really is all about conditioning and getting reps in. It’s crucial that he remains healthy throughout the season. We’re a poor shooting team with VanVleet. We could be historically bad without him. Receiving a technical foul during preseason is pure Lowry vibes. He gets a grade bump from me for that alone.

P. Achiuwa19 MIN, 13 PTS, 7 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 4-12 FG, – 3FG, 4-4 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -18 +/-

Precious did not have the pop he had against the Jazz. While he was active on the glass and moved to open space on the offensive end, there was a general disconnect between what he wanted to do and what ended up happening. Nights like this will happen and it’s part of what makes his development exciting. It is concerning that we rely on him to be one of our best shooters. We definitely need extra firepower off the bench.

C. Boucher16 MIN, 4 PTS, 4 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 2-5 FG, – 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 1 +/-

We’ve seen enough to know what Boucher is. He was one of the only players that consistently showed up against Philly in the playoffs and will play an important role this year. However, it would be nice to see him string together a classic Chris Boucher quarter where he stuffs the stat sheet.

T. Young10 MIN, 0 PTS, 2 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL, 0-4 FG, – 3FG, 0-2 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -12 +/-

Thad Young did not provide much but it’s tough to hate on him. He got his wind sprints in and that is what matters most. It will be interesting to see how much of his playing time will be taken by Otto Porter Jr. I like that Thad can initiate the offense from the free throw line extended areas, but like Marc Gasol in the bubble, it’s less of a weapon without the threat of a deep ball.

J. Hernangomez13 MIN, 0 PTS, 3 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 0-1 FG, – 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 11 +/-

Through two games, Juancho is now 1-of-4 from deep. His direct path to making the team and finding playing time is an ability to knock down shots and to make the occasional hustle play on defense. Raptors fans are still waiting and there is still time, but it has been a rough start for the Hustle star.

C. Koloko13 MIN, 6 PTS, 3 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 3-4 FG, – 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 12 +/-

The bar is obviously set lower for a second-round rookie, but Koloko looked impressive for a second straight game. A bloody nose took him out of the contest early but he didn’t waste time leaving an impression in the second half. I loved his touch around the basket which looks to have improved since Summer League.

K. Birch14 MIN, 10 PTS, 4 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 4-4 FG, – 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 18 +/-

Bless this man’s heart. He did not belong out there late in the game but he battled and made several big plays. Birch played like he was annoyed to be out there. I would have been devastated if he got hurt.

D. Banton10 MIN, 8 PTS, 3 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 4-8 FG, – 3FG, 0-1 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 8 +/-

I loved what Banton brought to the floor tonight. Unlike Scottie, Banton took advantage of the rec league pace and showed off his unique combination of size and speed in the open court. I don’t think it’s lost on him that he may have the inside track to the backup point guard position with Malachi Flynn sidelined. He needs to keep working on that three ball to put a close to this competition.

J. Jackson17 MIN, 13 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 5-8 FG, – 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 24 +/-

Let’s face it, Josh Jackson is a net positive whenever he’s on the court. He excels in transition and plays steady defense, making him a great fit for the Raptors. He also struggles to shoot the ball, so he would seamlessly fit in. Jackson is not a bad player to have on the roster, but we desperately need shooters off the bench. Give Jackson credit though, he’s been one of the early intriguing storylines of preseason.

J. Dowtin14 MIN, 10 PTS, 2 REB, 5 AST, 0 STL, 5-7 FG, – 3FG, 0-2 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 16 +/-

Confident scorer and played a big role in our comeback. I’m not sure there’s room for him as a full-time player on the main roster but there’s skill there. Likely destined for the 905.

D. Wilson13 MIN, 9 PTS, 8 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 2-5 FG, – 3FG, 5-6 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 14 +/-

DJ Wilson bet on himself with that three-point attempt late in regulation and lost. You can tell he’s fighting to make the Raptors. If Koloko and Jackson keep playing like this, it’ll be an intense competition down the stretch.

G. Brown11 MIN, 5 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 2-4 FG, – 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 17 +/-

Another confident shooter. Throw him on the 905 and let’s see what he becomes. Though he is a dark horse sleeper to make the team.

J. Champagnie00 MIN, 0 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-0 FG, – 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 0 +/-


M. Flynn00 MIN, 0 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-0 FG, – 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 0 +/-


Nick Nurse

It’s preseason!

Things We Saw

  1. We didn’t hit our first three until the 7:16 mark of the second quarter. We were 1-for-10 at that point. This weakness was something the 76ers exploited in our playoff series and it doesn’t look like we’ve addressed the issue. Otto Porter Jr. will help but he will need to have one of his best shooting seasons to compensate for our shooting woes
  2. Our switch and help heavy defense is so easily manipulated by good teams with players that don’t panic with the ball. It’s preseason but the same holes in the defense are still glaringly present, like those annoying corner threes.
  3. Let’s not be all doom-and-gloom, especially after a win! Like many other successful iterations of the Raptors, this team looks deep on paper. That alone will result in regular season wins and an enjoyable season.

1 thought on “Quick Reaction: Raptors 125, Celtics 119”

Leave a Comment