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Quick Reaction: Raptors 116, Hornets 119

Raps wake up in the final 12 minutes, but still come up short.

Box Score
O. Anunoby36 MIN, 11 PTS, 3 REB, 4 AST, 1 STL, 3-12 FG, 0-6 3FG, 5-5 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 0 +/-

He was subbed back in towards the end of the fourth to close out the game, and had completed an and-one. He missed two wide-open threes at the end. In the first half, he finished plays others had created for him.

P. Siakam33 MIN, 25 PTS, 5 REB, 4 AST, 1 STL, 11-15 FG, 0-1 3FG, 3-4 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -9 +/-

Was a monster in the second quarter with 14 points. Charlotte had a 20-point lead at one point in the second quarter, but Siakam’s efforts helped them get it down to 12 by halftime. Siakam had a defensive highlight in the second, going under a screen and applying enough pressure on Gordon Hayward to throw an errant pass into the sidelines. He was happy to take a step back in the second half, allowing Scottie to shine. But the two played extremely well with each other.

J. Poeltl26 MIN, 8 PTS, 8 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 4-4 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -7 +/-

He’s a steady hub on the offensive end. Towards the end of the second quarter, Poeltl attacked the basket, collapsed the D, kicked it out to Scottie, and him swinging it to Pascal led to another bucket. After that play, Poeltl took matters into his own hands with a nice spin and easy bucket. These two plays were indicative of how so many offensive plays run through Poeltl.

S. Barnes36 MIN, 31 PTS, 10 REB, 10 AST, 2 STL, 12-18 FG, 3-6 3FG, 4-8 FT, 1 BLK, 5 TO, 1 +/-

Scottie was very quiet in the first half, but obviously, steps up when needed. Again, his playmaking with Pascal was great to in the third, and his vision allows him to initiate the transition offense. His confidence is sky-high — he knocked down the pull-up 3 in the third to swing the tide in the Raps’ favour, and wasn’t afraid to shoot the last two shots of the game. Even if this team is very mid, Scottie is on a different echelon.

D. Schroder30 MIN, 7 PTS, 1 REB, 5 AST, 1 STL, 3-10 FG, 0-4 3FG, 1-1 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, -9 +/-

He had one solid drive in the third, and that’s about all I’ve got to say about him.

G. Trent Jr.20 MIN, 0 PTS, 2 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 0-7 FG, 0-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -7 +/-

Some of his misses were off poor decisions too. Pull-up threes with time left on the shot clock aren’t always the best shots to take when your team is down. Especially against a team like Charlotte, he’s gotta put something on the board.

P. Achiuwa22 MIN, 17 PTS, 10 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 7-10 FG, 3-4 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 4 TO, 4 +/-

Achiuwa had an extremely consistent game today. Strong take in Q1. Played with energy since the jump; he tried to save the ball from going out of bounds in the first quarter, tipped in a GTJ missed layup, and hit a triple from the top. In Q2, he hit a left corner three and had another tip-in. In the third, he had a great downhill attack after a timeout. Hit his third triple in the fourth quarter. This is the Achiuwa we needed in a game we did not.

M. Flynn18 MIN, 8 PTS, 0 REB, 4 AST, 2 STL, 3-7 FG, 0-4 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 8 +/-

Flynn still can’t shoot threes, but had a huge fourth quarter. He played with a lot of confidence — he rejected a screen and went right at Rozier. He helped the Raps inch within two points, hit a lay-up to increase the lead to three. He continues to handle the ball with confidence, and shot a perfect 3-for-3 on two-point field goals.

O. Porter Jr.06 MIN, 0 PTS, 0 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 0-1 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -7 +/-

Went out with a left foot contusion.

C. Boucher13 MIN, 9 PTS, 3 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 4-9 FG, 0-3 3FG, 1-1 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 11 +/-

Even if the plays aren’t sexy, Boucher continues to be a sparkplug. He may not be physically strong and can get pushed around on offense, but finds away. In Q2, he had a three-point block, but nullified his defensive effort by getting an offensive charge. But things like this led to him getting the ball on a fastbreak play with OG and Schroder. In the fourth, he had a tip-in and him fighting for an offensive board forced a jump-ball between him and Miller. Boucher continues to remain reliable in limited minutes.

Darko Rajakovic

Raps are now 9-12. Right now, the issue isn’t so much coaching as the inability to shoot threes. When role players like GTJ, who shot 0-for-7, and Malachi Flynn (who had a solid game today despite his lack of long-distance shooting) are playing in important fourth quarter stretches, it goes to show the limitations of this roster.

Things We Saw

  1. Entertaining fourth quarter, but the Raps only really played 12 minutes. They had some great runs in the fourth quarter even with an abysmal three-point shooting night (19%). Scottie and Precious were the only players to hit threes. The two went 3-for-6 and 3-for-4, respectively.
  2. Even if the Raps won this game, I think it would have been a C+ at best. Charlotte didn’t have LaMelo Ball, and the only player we were missing was Christian Koloko. Raps failed to capitalize against a subpar defensive team after losing to a Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro-less Heat. Scottie or Pascal can’t carry this team when offensive role players can’t shoot threes.
  3. Two positives were Pascal and Siakam playing off each other. Scottie was really quiet in the first half, and Pascal led the team in the second quarter. Pascal gave way to Scottie to shine in the third, and the two played well with each other. This duo is one highlight amongst many lowlights. Secondly, they were making lots of extra passes and moving the ball around the perimeter (even though three-point shooting sucked).