I didn’t really realize Anunoby was on the pitch tonight until he attempted his first shot about halfway through the second quarter. The intangibles OG bring to the court obviously go well beyond scoring, but those skills weren’t showcased for much of this game. However, he secured a key board very late and darned Jimmy Butler’s final shot attempt – a silver lining to an otherwise memorable night for OG.
Siakam opened the first game of the game with an excellent side defense and a series of bucket-going takes, setting the tone for a game that required his leadership. It wasn’t the most efficient outing for Pascal, but he was consistently relentless. It was his “next shot” mentality that helped his team stay in that one.
In his first-ever NBA start and third game as a pro, the lights were looking a bit bright early on for the big man from Arizona. But he contributed to what fell short of the scorer’s chart in more ways than one. Solid screens that free up space below and don’t get in the way. Potential for improvement for the young buck.
Trent Jr. quietly had a good night. It was an ebb and flow until the 4th quarter, where he hit a corner three dagger with 22 seconds remaining to suck the life out of South Beach. His shooting performance on 19.07. wasn’t his best night from an efficiency standpoint, but he scored in pockets when his team needed it most.
Playing against his former mentor and backcourt partner, Kyle Lowry kept Kyle Lowry busy for a few stretches of this game. Keeping the GROAT on a 1/8 shot was just one of Fred’s contributions that night. Fred was a steadfast nuisance on offense, initiating dribbles and quick breaks in bunches between long bombs. Several Heat players had their heads swiveled Monday night. Fred VanVleet was almost always at fault.
There’s a new board man in town. With a career-high 21 boards, Precious was an absolute spark off the bench tonight. On numerous occasions the big 3rd year could be seen hopping around the edge all night for 2nd, 3rd and 4th tries.
Great to have Boucher and his pool noodle arms back on the ground for the Raptors. The shooting, rim protection and unmatched energy the Montreal native brought to unit two tonight were crucial in keeping them in the game.
Rexdale’s best looked like a little deer in the headlights in this one. He couldn’t help his team beat the Heat’s full-court press a few times, committed a few stupid fouls on the edge, and hung around the corner too much on offense. As a bench guy, you need to bring more to the table than you take away. Banton couldn’t do that tonight.
Birch came off the bench and made it really solid to give Bam Adebayo a hard time in the suit. You didn’t see it engraved on the box score, but you couldn’t ignore it if you watched this game. The big raps haven’t tried to do too much, which in itself can be a really valuable trait.
A three point and some solid on Ball D didn’t hurt his team while he was out there.
What a coaching matchup. One of the coolest parts of the NBA’s new doubleheader schedule is the playoff-style game-to-game adjustments. The Nurse-Spolestra sequel didn’t disappoint. NN countered Miami’s press with offensive pressure and kept their defense on their heels all night
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