Quick Reaction: Raptors 128, Jazz 131

The Raptors move to 2-3 on their western conference road trip.

Box Score
S. Barnes41 MIN, 18 PTS, 14 REB, 3 AST, 1 STL, 7-23 FG, 2-6 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -2 +/-

It was the case for a lot of Raptors tonight, but the shot just was not falling early tonight, and the trend continued for Scottie. Unfortunately, he couldn’t supplement his struggles with his usual playmaking prowess to have an impact in the half-court.

P. Siakam40 MIN, 21 PTS, 10 REB, 5 AST, 0 STL, 9-22 FG, 0-0 3FG, 3-6 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, -8 +/-

Between an abysmal first quarter and fouling out late in the fourth, it was an off night for Siakam in what has otherwise been a phenomenal season. He picked up his play as the game went on but he never really looked comfortable or found a rhythm offensively.

P. Achiuwa25 MIN, 13 PTS, 6 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 6-8 FG, 0-0 3FG, 1-4 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 3 +/-

Achiuwa was the Raptor’s only real hope in dealing with Utah’s size, and while he played well it still wasn’t enough to matter.

G. Trent Jr.38 MIN, 20 PTS, 2 REB, 3 AST, 3 STL, 6-14 FG, 3-4 3FG, 5-5 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 0 +/-

An incredibly odd performance from Trent tonight, who somehow ended up with 20 points in spite of the fact that it felt as though he disappeared offensively in a matchup that was desperate for some outside presence.

F. VanVleet38 MIN, 34 PTS, 12 REB, 10 AST, 1 STL, 12-25 FG, 4-9 3FG, 6-6 FT, 1 BLK, 3 TO, 2 +/-

I don’t really have much to say here, other than that Fred was the sole reason this game remained close in spite of the fact that we had no business doing so. When Fred gets cold; it’s ugly, we know this; but when he is on he looks damn near unstoppable.

C. Koloko09 MIN, 2 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 1-4 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -1 +/-

The rookie got some run early in hopes of combatting the size of Walker Kessler. Like most young players with high potential, it was a mixed bag. He showed what he’s able to do around the rim on both ends but also showed that he’s not quite ready to do those things consistently.

C. Boucher20 MIN, 16 PTS, 5 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 7-9 FG, 1-2 3FG, 1-3 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -3 +/-

Boucher put up solid numbers on decent minutes and hit a huge three in the fourth to give Fred his triple-double. He played well but didn’t see enough of the floor to dramatically change the outcome of the game.

T. Young14 MIN, 2 PTS, 0 REB, 2 AST, 3 STL, 1-2 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -5 +/-

Maybe I’m crazy, but I thought Thad played well tonight. He forced at least 3 or 4 turnovers in the first quarter, and while he didn’t have much to contribute offensively, I think we’re well past the point of Thad not seeing consistent rotation minutes anymore.

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

Flynn got some early minutes, and while the playmaking was a nice addition off the bench, it wasn’t enough to get him more playing time.

D. Banton09 MIN, 0 PTS, 1 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 0-1 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 3 +/-

In his first game back from injury it was nice to see Banton hit the floor again. His speed and additional ball handling are always welcome off the bench even if it didn’t lead to much production tonight.

Nick Nurse

I have to level with you folks here, I have no idea how to assess Nurse at this given moment. It is incredibly easy to criticize his decisions regarding the scheme offensively, the lack of defensive intensity, and (what might be causing issues in both) the heavy minutes rotation. But I also fail to come up with any solutions what he should be doing instead. The Raptors’ problems do not end with Nick Nurse. They are cyclical, they feed off of one another. At this point, trying to evaluate Nurse reminds me of that feeling you get when you say the same word over and over again, until it doesn’t sound like a word at all.

Things We Saw

  1. The Raptors took 27 more shots than Utah tonight. The Jazz made five less shots than the Raptors tonight.
  2. Achiuwa did not take a single three-pointer tonight. I say this after I noted his timid offensive performance against Phoenix in which he missed the only three he took. The Raptors need every inch of floor spacing they can get and Precious needs to shoot in order to make this happen. He had his chances too and opted to pass out or drive instead. It’s nice to see the Precious drives improving but the three ball still needs to be a shot in his arsenal.

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