Quick Reaction: Raptors 115, Pistons 111

The Raptors break the Dwane Casey curse.

Box Score
O. Anunoby37 MIN, 19 PTS, 7 REB, 3 AST, 0 STL, 6-19 FG, 1-6 3FG, 6-7 FT, 2 BLK, 3 TO, 1 +/-

Call it the law of averages game for the DPOY candidate. After being on an absolute heater the past 6 games, things came back down to earth ever so slightly for OG this evening. He took a while to get going on offense, and did a lot of dribbling early on, but his excellent court vision, and elite on-ball defense salvaged what was a below average game by his standards. But hot damn that dunk was nasty.

O. Porter Jr.12 MIN, 0 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-2 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 3 +/-

Porter was an active body down low tonight out of necessity. While you can usually find the lanky wing on the perimeter, you wouldn’t have guessed it by the way he got position on his defenders for rebounds. His shot wasn’t falling, but he helped his teams in other ways. Missed the 2nd half with a foot injury.

T. Young26 MIN, 6 PTS, 6 REB, 4 AST, 2 STL, 2-4 FG, 0-1 3FG, 2-2 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 5 +/-

Thad Young brought excellent on-ball pressure tonight. The Raptors were trapping early and often in this one and you could find Thad chasing down defenders and making them uncomfortable. He looked to score early and rebounded the ball well. Good minutes from him in this one.

S. Barnes34 MIN, 8 PTS, 5 REB, 4 AST, 1 STL, 4-9 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 3 TO, 1 +/-

With several of his teammates looking for their shots, Barnes didn’t feel the need to force it on offense tonight. But he understood how locked in the Pistons’ D was on him and used it to his advantage, drawing help and kicking it out to the open man. His aggressive on-ball defense, instinct to fill open space and rim-running served a very important role for the Raptors.

D. Banton25 MIN, 27 PTS, 4 REB, 4 AST, 3 STL, 9-16 FG, 3-7 3FG, 6-6 FT, 2 BLK, 2 TO, 0 +/-

The Danalo Banton game! In his first start of the season, Banton looked as comfortable as he has all year. Rexdale’s finest was using his speed and length to his advantage, attacking defenders off the dribble and leading the fast break in between hitting some outside shots. He had a few errant passes, but he was there for his team when they needed him late. He was the best player on the floor tonight. Easily the most complete game that we’ve seen him play in the NBA.

C. Boucher31 MIN, 20 PTS, 4 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 7-12 FG, 1-3 3FG, 5-5 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -3 +/-

If I had to describe Boucher’s play tonight with one word? Comfortable. The Montreal native made strong, purposeful moves to the hoop and knocked down that catapult jumper of his with ease. The depleted Raptors needed their bench to step up and Boucher led the charge in that effort, making his mark on the game almost immediately. An excellent, efficient evening for Slim Duck in the Motor City. You gotta give him his flowers.

C. Koloko17 MIN, 8 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 2-2 FG, 0-0 3FG, 4-4 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 2 +/-

The rook took advantage of the opportunities he was presented tonight. But it still feels like he’s leaving something on the table, which you’d hope would improve with experience (and time in the weight room). But god damn do I wish we could bottle Jalen Duren’s tenacity and give it to Koloko. Wouldn’t that be fun?

M. Flynn15 MIN, 12 PTS, 3 REB, 4 AST, 0 STL, 3-6 FG, 2-4 3FG, 4-4 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 8 +/-

The moment he checked into the game, Flynn was looking to score. On a night where Toronto was missing 4 rotation players, the pressure that Flynn was consistently putting on the defence opened up opportunities for the other guys. Excellent, aggressive minutes from him in this game.

J. Hernangomez24 MIN, 9 PTS, 6 REB, 3 AST, 0 STL, 4-8 FG, 1-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 11 +/-

Between trying to contain Jalen Duren and closing out on pistons shooters all night, Juancho had his hands full in this one. Despite all the running around he was doing on D, Bo Cruz was a key contributor off the bench tonight. Hit a couple 3’s, made the extra pass, and fought for a couple key rebounds when his team needed them. Classic glue guy performance.

J. Dowtin Jr.15 MIN, 4 PTS, 4 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 2-3 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, -5 +/-

The rookie came into the game with some flair. From cutting towards open space on offense, looking to create off the dribble and burning defenders with his speed, he looked like he belonged out there. But the only play we’ll remember from Dowtin Jr. in this one was his game-winning defensive coverage of Jaden Ivey on the Pistons second-last possession of the game. If you weren’t screaming at your TV during that one, I don’t know what to tell you.

K. Birch04 MIN, 2 PTS, 0 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 1-1 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -3 +/-

Great to have him back in the lineup after a multi-game absence.

Nick Nurse

In very anti-Nurse fashion, 10 players played over 15 minutes for the Raps tonight. The Raptors were spread thin and Nurse was tinkering with weird lineups all night long until he found one that stuck later in 3rd quarter. A stellar coaching job by NN. That’s how you make lemonade, baby.

Things We Saw

  1. Without 4 of their top 6 rotation players, the Raptors needed a big showing from their bench, and that’s exactly what they got. Led by Boucher (20) and Flynn (12), the bottom of Toronto’s rotation banned together to produce their highest scoring bench game of the season.
  2. Death, taxes and Dwane Casey owning the Toronto Raptors. Not anymore. The Raptors defeat their former head coach for the first time in 7 contests.
  3. What a moment for Dalano Banton. This guy went from having Raptors fans calling for him to get a November G-Leauge assignment, to being the most important player on the floor for his NBA team. He better have gotten that game ball.

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