Quick Reaction: Pistons 118, Raptors 119

Raptors first home win vs Pistons since October 2019. Far from easy though.

Box Score
A-P. Siakam: 38 MIN, 28 PTS, 4 REB, 6 AST, 0 STL, 10-19 FG, 1-3 3FG, 7-10 FT, 2 BLK, 2 TO, 6 +/-
Siakam forced some drives early, looking for foul calls that weren’t there. Shot only 2-9 in the first half. Better rhythm in the second half with over 20 points. Funny moment when he lost the ball on a drive that Boucher picked up in stride for a dunk. Played it off with the goggles like that was the plan all along. The midrange game was going again in the fourth. Three straight good scoring games for Pascal after a tough road trip.
B+P. Achiuwa: 33 MIN, 11 PTS, 11 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 4-10 FG, 0-2 3FG, 3-6 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 5 +/-
Probably affected the most in a big lineup with fewer driving lanes. Achiuwa focused his attention on the boards. Sweet hesitation by Bojan Bogdanovic in the fourth, followed by a spin drive in the final minute. Took advantage of that mismatch in space the few times it presented itself. Eighth double-double of the season, scoring in double digits in 13 of the last 14 games.
A-J. Poeltl: 25 MIN, 6 PTS, 5 REB, 1 AST, 2 STL, 3-5 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 3 BLK, 0 TO, 11 +/-
Poeltl’s first start since returning to the Raptors, and fifth in his career with the team overall. Jak played a “master of the little things” type game. Freed up FVV on screens, stayed in front of Killian Hayes for a block, and helped out Precious to swat Bogdanovic. Also dropped in a couple of hook shots. Fouled out for the first time this season.
B+S. Barnes: 37 MIN, 20 PTS, 4 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 5-6 FG, 3-4 3FG, 7-10 FT, 0 BLK, 4 TO, 5 +/-
Efficient game for Scottie outside of the turnovers, helping with the spacing making three treys on only six total shots. With the bigger lineup, Barnes was moreso on the perimeter instead of utilizing his post up game. Handled the ball more in the second half, getting to the line.
A+F. VanVleet: 37 MIN, 35 PTS, 3 REB, 8 AST, 0 STL, 12-26 FG, 6-13 3FG, 5-7 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, -4 +/-
Fred did a great job working off Jakob screens for clean looks. Made three treys in the first quarter, 20 points overall by half. Nothing seemed forced early on, maybe would take a couple third quarter drives back where he got a little shot happy. Helped to get Siakam going after a subpar first half. Ninth 30-point game for Fred this season, which is a new career-high. Player of the game.
BT. Young: 24 MIN, 4 PTS, 5 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 2-5 FG, 0-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -9 +/-
Biggest contribution from Thad was key tip-in during a five point game, when the Raptors were in a drought and Detroit was threatening.
B+C. Boucher: 18 MIN, 7 PTS, 5 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 3-6 FG, 0-2 3FG, 1-1 FT, 2 BLK, 1 TO, -9 +/-
Had a tip-in and block on the perimeter during his first stint. Had the play of the game with a steal and two handed dunk + the foul the other way. Had another vicious slam after Pascal went behind the back but lost the ball.
BM. Flynn: 18 MIN, 5 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 2-5 FG, 1-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -3 +/-
Malachi’s transition three to put the Raptors up 10 with Fred and Pascal resting allowed for some breathing room.
CD. Banton: 10 MIN, 3 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 1-5 FG, 0-2 3FG, 1-2 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 3 +/-
Got his first action in three games during the second quarter. Made a turnaround shot in the paint, also drew a foul on a cut. Was aggressive with his shot in the second half but they all missed.
B+Adrian Griffin: (Interim coach for Nurse – out for personal reasons)
Won a challenge after Alec Burks was originally awarded a foul after kicking out his legs on a shot. Good timeout after some sloppy play cut the lead to 10 in the fourth, considering what happened on Friday vs Utah. Took another one when Bogdanovic cut the lead to seven with two minutes left. Defence was good in some stretches, inconsistent in others. This team desperately needs to learn how to finish games.

Things We Saw

  1. Detroit wore its 90s era teal jerseys. Made me long for the Raptors purple dinos that we shamefully haven’t seen since the 2014-15 20th anniversary season. Why aren’t those permanent alternates?
  2. Expected worse spacing and clunkier offense than I saw because of the big non-shooting lineup. Actually worked well with Jakob opening things up with screens.
  3. Pistons dominated the bench play. Alec Burks’ shooting and Hamidou Diallo slashing helped Detroit’s bench outscore Toronto 43-19.
  4. Fred and Pascal combined for 63 points, the rare time that Toronto’s top two offensive options both ate well in the same game.
  5. Detroit-Toronto games are never easy, even when they should be. Really uncomfortably close in the final seconds.

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