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Post Game Ratings: LeBron hail-mary sinks Raptors [0-3] in Game 3 at the buzzer

Raptors of the Night: Kyle Lowry & OG Anunoby

Kyle Lowry (8.5)
41 MIN, 27 PTS, 3 REB, 7 AST, 2 STL, 9-13 FG, 4-8 3FG, 5-6 FT, 0 BLK, 5 TO, -6 +/-

Kyle Lowry over everything. Was the greatest contributing factor in the Toronto Raptors’ fourth quarter squad that clawed back from the deficit to tie it up at 103. Still a bit of concern on defence, not from effort but from how high he picks up Hill and Green allowing blow-bys. On the other hand, it prevents the ball from getting to James’ hands earlier. Is it really worth the 3 seconds saved?

DeMar DeRozan (5.5)
27 MIN, 8 PTS, 4 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL, 3-12 FG, 0-0 3FG, 2-2 FT, 2 BLK, 3 TO, 0 +/-

Got frustrated early with some questionable foul calls. Then had some difficulty getting into space. Seems incredibly concerned with Cavaliers taking charges and needs to get back into his tricky game of pull-up floaters and mid-rangers. Picked it up on the defensive end on a couple LeBron switches and saved the Raptors some baskets. Still hasn’t hit a three against the Cavs this series.

OG Anunoby (8.5)
32 MIN, 18 PTS, 4 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 7-12 FG, 4-7 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 0 +/-

This kid is something special. Name the last Raptors rookie you looked at with this much admiration and hope for his development. Naturally drew the straw to guard LeBron and got in the future Hall of Famers head a number of times. Oh, that three to tie the game? As the great Chuck Swirsky said “Onions, baby, onions!”

Serge Ibaka (6.5)
28 MIN, 11 PTS, 8 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 3-7 FG, 1-3 3FG, 4-4 FT, 4 BLK, 2 TO, 3 +/-

Started on the bench, showed us he still had a heartbeat, and that heart was racing with intensity. Still struggling with his shot but he rolled hard to the basket and challenged the Cavs lack of shot-blockers at the rim. He’s the ideal matchup against Love. Unlike JV he has the footwork to keep up with Love’s trickiness in the post while not giving up any strength.

Jonas Valanciunas (6.0)
19 MIN, 10 PTS, 11 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 3-6 FG, 0-0 3FG, 4-4 FT, 2 BLK, 4 TO, -3 +/-

Mixed bag from JV tonight. Looked ugly guarding Love in space, but during Cavalier drives stood firm to challenge shots in the paint. The series has gone further and further away from his play in the post and his 19 minutes tonight shows that.

Fred VanVleet (6.5)
33 MIN, 8 PTS, 1 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 2-9 FG, 1-7 3FG, 3-4 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 14 +/-

Started in place of Ibaka as Casey touted out a small lineup to begin the game. As always fearless attacking the paint and seemed the only Raptor to attack the forward leg of LeBron James on defence. Off shooting night and in the hole the Raptors are in they just can’t afford that.

Delon Wright (5.5)
8 MIN, 2 PTS, 1 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 0-1 FG, 0-1 3FG, 2-2 FT, 2 BLK, 0 TO, 1 +/-

Limited run for Delon tonight as Casey looked to give his best shooters ample opportunities tonight. Big block on Kevin Love at the rim and pushed the pace when the opportunity presented itself.

Norman Powell (N/A)
DNP – Coach’s Decision

CJ Miles (6.5)
34 MIN, 13 PTS, 6 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 5-9 FG, 3-7 3FG, 0-1 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 6 +/-

Got a lot of run tonight as Casey wanted to always have the extra three-point shooting threat on the court. Did well in his run and seemed to finally get free of the Cavaliers defenders coming off screens. Didn’t get exposed as strongly on defence tonight but not being asked to guard Love in the post will certainly help.

Pascal Siakam (6.5)
14 MIN, 6 PTS, 3 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 3-6 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -2 +/-

Racked up a ton of fouls in a short span of time which really limited his time to contribute. If James isn’t on the court there’s no need for him to be present as his contributions offensively are negligible and the Raps haven’t been looking to push the pace and take advantage of his speed. Fun to see LeBron bothered by the young Cameroonian.

Jakob Poeltl (N/A)
DNP – Coach’s Decision

Lucas Nogueira (N/A)
DNP – Coach’s Decision

Lorenzo Brown (N/A)
DNP – Coach’s Decision

Alfonzo McKinnie (INC)
Inactive

Malachi Richardson (INC)
Inactive

Malcolm Miller (INC)
Ineligible

Thoughts:

  • Casey went out with a smaller lineup today, trotting out Fred Vanvleet in place of Serge Ibaka. By the end of the match it was clear Ibaka should have been at the 5 to challenge Kevin Love. Ugly start to the game and that’s all that really needs to be said.
  • A bit annoying to hear Jalen Rose speak of the Raptors as a team “Coming out, ready to go home” when he publicly and famously acknowledges his career of  “Champagning and Campaigning”. Needless to say, the Raptors fight to tie the game with 8 seconds left in regulation surely let the world know they are always game. Too bad they couldn’t tightly defend a one-footed, one-handed, drifting runner, from the sideline to beat the buzzer.
  • The world will say the Cavs and LeBron are in the Raptors heads. The basketball savvy mind will acknowledge they’re just deeper in the basket than the Raps. Raps succeeded when they allowed single coverage on LeBron and stayed home on shooters as the fatigue accrued from Siakam and Anunoby led James to lean on some difficult contested shots.
  • 0-3 is not where the Raptors thought they would be at this point in the season. No team has ever come back to win a series after trailing 0-3. There is an opening to win a game. It’s just a wonder if they can follow through.

Raptors – Cavaliers Game 4 is Monday, May 7th at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. Tip-Off 8:30pm. Sigh.

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