Quick Reaction: Raptors 98, Heat 90

There's a new Board Man in town. His name's Precious Achiuwa.

Box Score
O. Anunoby33 MIN, 6 PTS, 7 REB, 0 AST, 2 STL, 2-4 FG, 1-3 3FG, 1-2 FT, 1 BLK, 3 TO, 16 +/-

I didn’t actually notice Anunoby was on the court tonight until about mid way through the second quarter when he attempted his first shot. The intangibles that OG brings to the court obviously extend far beyond scoring points, but those skills were not on display for much of this one. He did however, secure a very key board late and stuff Jimmy Butler’s final shot attempt — a silver lining of an otherwise forgettable night for OG.

P. Siakam42 MIN, 23 PTS, 9 REB, 6 AST, 2 STL, 7-22 FG, 2-6 3FG, 7-8 FT, 2 BLK, 5 TO, 10 +/-

Siakam opened the first play of the game with excellent help side defence and a series of takes toward the bucket, setting the tone for a game that needed his leadership. It was not the most efficient outing for Pascal, but he was consistently relentless. It was his “next shot” mentality that helped his team stay in this one.

C. Koloko18 MIN, 2 PTS, 2 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 1-2 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, -10 +/-

In his fist ever NBA start and 3rd game as a pro, the lights looked a tad bright for the Arizona big man early on. But he contributed in several ways that were missed by the scorers table. Solid screens, clearing out space down low, and not getting in the way. Room for improvement for the young buck.

G. Trent Jr.42 MIN, 18 PTS, 1 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 7-19 FG, 4-12 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 5 +/-

Trent Jr. quietly had himself a nice night. It was up and down, until the 4th quarter, where he hit a dagger corner three with 22 seconds remaining to suck the life out of South Beach. His 7/19 shooting performance wasn’t his finest evening from an efficiency standpoint, but he scored in pockets when his team needed it most.

F. VanVleet39 MIN, 24 PTS, 4 REB, 9 AST, 1 STL, 6-16 FG, 4-6 3FG, 8-9 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 13 +/-

Matched up against his former mentor and backcourt partner, much of Vanvleet’s attention was occupied by Kyle Lowry for a few stretches of this one. Holding the GROAT to a 1/8 shooting was just one of Fred’s contributions on this night. Fred was an unwavering pest on the offensive end, initiating dribble penetration and fast breaks in bunches in between long bombs. Several Heat players had their heads on a swivel Monday night. Fred VanVleet was almost always to blame.

P. Achiuwa34 MIN, 10 PTS, 22 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 5-12 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-1 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 10 +/-

There’s a new Board Man in town. Nabbing a career-high 21 boards, Precious was an absolute spark plug off the bench tonight. On numerous occasions, the 3rd year big could be found bouncing up for 2nd, 3rd and 4th efforts around the rim all night long.

C. Boucher12 MIN, 10 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 4-5 FG, 2-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 1 +/-

Great to have Boucher and his pool noodle arms back on the floor for the Raptors. The shooting, rim protection and unmatched energy that the Montreal native brought the second unit tonight was vital to keeping them in the game.

D. Banton08 MIN, 0 PTS, 3 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 0-2 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -5 +/-

Rexdale’s finest looked a little deer in headlights-ish in this one. He was unable to help his team beat the Heat’s full-court press a couple times, committed a few silly fouls around the rim, and hung out in the corner too much on offense. As a bench guy, you need to bring more to the table than you take away. Banton wasn’t able to do that tonight.

K. Birch06 MIN, 2 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 1-2 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 4 +/-

Birch came off the bench and did a really solid job of making things tough for Bam Adebayo in the paint. You didn’t see it etched into the box score, but you couldn’t ignore it if you watched this game. The Raps big didn’t try to do too much out there, which can be a really valuable trait in its own right.

M. Flynn06 MIN, 3 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 1-2 FG, 1-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -4 +/-

A triple and some solid on ball D, didn’t hurt his team while he was out there.

Nick Nurse

What a coaching matchup. One of the coolest parts about the NBA’s new doubleheader scheduling is the playoff-like game to game adjustments. The Nurse-Spolestra sequel did not disappoint. NN countered Miami’s press with offensive pressure, and kept their defense on their heels all night long

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