Even as everything collapsed around him, Anunoby was the lux in Tenebris of defense. He swallowed opponents one-for-one, choking everyone he switched to, taking passes on the lane and rushing back to raise eyebrows in one of the team’s few impressive switch stops. Throw in a few coordinated on-the-move layups and much-needed rebounds, and it was an excellent night for Anunoby.
While clearly recovering from his right ankle sprain, Barnes continues to be a positive contributor for the Raptors on offense. In particular, he is one of the team’s best connectors, putting the ball in possession where it could easily stagnate. He was also one of Toronto’s best answers when it came to the zone, as he was able to create advantages by operating right inside the key.
What can you say about Siakam at this point? He miraculously started the season building on his All-NBA record from last year, and that continued tonight in the second matchup against the 76ers. Philly learned his lesson about leaving him open on the rim, so Siakam attacked the color again, working deep on anyone who picked him up, rotating and pivoting for layups and forcing his way to the free-throw line. For a long time, Siakam was the only Raptors player to gain an advantage in this game.
Along with VanVleet, Trent struggled a bit on this one. While his shot was a bit erratic, it was at the other end that most of the problems occurred. Toronto’s perimeter players just couldn’t stop penetration at the point of attack, and GTJ was a part of that. That’s not to say he didn’t try hard though – he’s broken his tail over a number of possessions.
VanVleet is a brilliant player but tonight was his worst performance in a long time. He had trouble containing opponents along the perimeter, couldn’t hit shots that are usually money for him (even open catch-and-shoots!), and generally seemed unwell. He even went to the dressing room for a brief portion of the second quarter. Whatever is wrong with him, the Raptors will be hoping he can shake it off quickly.
It was a quiet night for Achiuwa in almost every way. Like many of his teammates, he seemed caught up in the defensive confusion of a rapidly changing game plan. He was better in the second half and helped Toronto put together some stops but ultimately failed to summon the boost they needed.
Boucher was the first Raptors player off the bench to score tonight, and for a moment it looked like he was the only one. Though he didn’t deliver much individual offensive power, his presence in the first quarter helped erase an early lead and his energy in the second half was palpable, even if it didn’t meld into direct results.
Banton didn’t play many minutes, nor was he particularly effective in them. This is where the lack of clout made itself felt.
After falling out of rotation for a couple of games, Young resurfaced tonight as Nurse tried to inject some energy into his club. However, not much came of it.
Koloko is a rookie, and as such he will look very much like a rookie on certain nights and even certain possessions. That’s what happened tonight, true, but he also showed more flashes of what he could ideally become as a legitimate center for edge-runners and shot-blockers. I continue to be happy with his performances and getting real minutes of rotation at this stage is positive for his development.
Aside from his trash time, Flynn only came into play during a chaotic second quarter when the Raptors were reeled from Maxey-led Haymakers. Nurse was certainly trying to search for answers, for life, but it didn’t come from Flynn. However, it’s important to keep in mind how difficult it can be to have gotten yourself into this kind of situation, especially if you haven’t been able to build a rhythm for yourself up to this point.
#Fast #Response #76ers #Raptors #Raptors #Republic