Quick Reaction: Raptors 103, Bulls 104

That was "basketball is a game of runs," on steroids.

Box Score
S. Barnes38 MIN, 22 PTS, 10 REB, 10 AST, 0 STL, 9-14 FG, 1-2 3FG, 3-4 FT, 2 BLK, 7 TO, 15 +/-

If there’s anything positive to take from this game, it’s the leap we saw from Scottie Barnes. He was hunting mismatches in the post (mostly against Coby White), creating open looks for his teammates, and even showed his ability to hit turnaround-fading jumpers. His second career triple-double would’ve been enough for an A+ had it not been for the seven turnovers in the loss, and two costly plays at the end of regulation.

P. Siakam41 MIN, 18 PTS, 8 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 7-15 FG, 1-5 3FG, 3-5 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, -2 +/-

After a quiet first half with six points, six rebounds, and zero assists in 19 minutes, it was positive to see Siakam wake up after the break. However, what’s plagued him since being given the keys to this squad has been an inability to close out games consistently, and despite hitting some timely baskets throughout, those missed free throws towards the end of OT are hard to ignore.

J. Poeltl19 MIN, 8 PTS, 6 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 4-5 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, 20 +/-

His early production was stymied by foul trouble in the second half. Nikola Vucevic averaged a double-double against the Raptors through three games last season, and with Poeltl out there, it was looking like that was going to be a thing of the past. The Austrian matched up well with Chicago’s bigs and was doing a decent job as a deterrent out there when he could stay on the floor.

O. Anunoby28 MIN, 11 PTS, 3 REB, 0 AST, 2 STL, 5-8 FG, 1-4 3FG, 0-1 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 28 +/-

The seventh-year forward was clearly missed after going down with what appeared to be a leg cramp midway through the fourth. He was a steadying presence for the team all night, whether it was his dunk at the buzzer to end the first or his slam over Vucevic to tie the game up in the third. Anunoby’s timely scoring and elite defence is exactly what the Raptors could’ve used in the clutch.

D. Schroder35 MIN, 10 PTS, 2 REB, 10 AST, 0 STL, 3-11 FG, 2-5 3FG, 2-3 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, -6 +/-

His first double-double as a member of the Toronto Raptors and tied with Barnes for a team-high in dimes. It was a quiet game for Schröder, especially in the closing minutes as the guard took just four shots throughout the fourth quarter and overtime. He didn’t seem nearly as assertive with the ball tonight, possibly due to

G. Trent Jr.36 MIN, 16 PTS, 5 REB, 1 AST, 2 STL, 6-15 FG, 3-10 3FG, 1-4 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -15 +/-

It was a tale of two halves for Gary, who after scoring just five points through the first two quarters, more than doubled it the rest of the way. His off-ball activity in the second half was a positive sight as he seemed much more engaged on that end of the floor. However, his playmaking chops we saw in the team’s win against Minnesota didn’t seem all that present in this one, something the Raptors will need given their lack of depth at the guard spot.

J. McDaniels18 MIN, 0 PTS, 3 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 0-4 FG, 0-4 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -25 +/-

Hard to make much of McDaniel’s minutes as he provided next to nothing on the offensive end. He did show his value on defence, and that might be what his role’s going to be on this squad. A majority of his time on the floor was spent guarding Zach Lavine who ended the night with just eight points on 3-14 shooting.

M. Flynn04 MIN, 0 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-1 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -14 +/-

Flynn’s been given an abundance of opportunity early in games to show that he can be the backup point guard this team desperately needs. Unfortunately for him, we’ve yet to see much positive during his early stints. He’s now a combined -28 through two games into the season and his only chunk of minutes tonight ended with a wayward pass to the corner that eventually led to a shot-clock violation. Begging the question, is he capable of being the Raptors lead guard off the pine?

P. Achiuwa23 MIN, 8 PTS, 9 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 2-5 FG, 1-3 3FG, 3-3 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, -22 +/-

A less than ideal night for Achiuwa after we saw the athletic rim-running, lob-catching forward he could be in the game against the Wolves. He struggled holding Vucevic off the glass on multiple occasions and wasn’t nearly as aggressive at attacking the basket.

G. Dick06 MIN, 0 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-2 FG, 0-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -6 +/-

Hard to read much out of his six minutes of action, but the rookie is making decisive moves and that’s positive to see. Whether it’s driving baseline and kicking it out, or pulling up immediately when given good looks, he’s showing good decision-making. Now his shot just needs to start falling through the basket.

C. Boucher17 MIN, 10 PTS, 6 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 3-4 FG, 0-0 3FG, 4-5 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 22 +/-

The only positive off the bench (literally). He entered the game for the first time with four minutes left in the second and ended the frame a +12. The Montréal product showed a level of energy that no one else on the bench brought, and it wasn’t a coincidence that his play led to numerous timely baskets, especially down the stretch. He doesn’t solve the backup point guard issues, but this bench needs all the help it can get, and he’s earned himself some more minutes with that kind of effort.

Darko Rajakovic

In the latest Open Gym episode, the most powerful quote came from Rajaković when he said “Adversity is okay, competitiveness is okay, and getting under each other’s skin is good for us…but never forget one thing, we address s*** and we stay together…”. Let’s see how he gets his team to respond to the adversity that was this bizarre loss.

Things We Saw

  1. To summarize how drunk this game was, the Raptors started the game on a 14-2 run, then the Bulls responded with a 40-9 run, and the the Raps answered with a 20-0 run…and still lost.
  2. The Raptors’ first 10 points of the night came from a basket by each of their starters, they could use some more of that ball movement later in games.
  3. Despite going into overtime, only one starter (Siakam), logged 40+ minutes. It really is a new era under coach Rajaković, let’s see if it pays dividends as the Raptors take on the 76ers tomorrow in the second of a back-to-back.