Raptor of the Night: Jonas Valanciunas
Kyle Lowry (6.0)
39 MIN, 18 PTS, 3 REB, 10 AST, 1 STL, 6-12 FG, 3-6 3FG, 3-3 FT, 0 BLK, 4 TO, 0 +/-
You could see it turning from back-to-back bad plays by Lowry. Dribbling into no man’s land, calling a timeout, then not getting the ball inbounds. Aggresive to start the match and made some excellent passes and great defence on Cavs guards. Unfortunately a strong effort on the ball is all for naught if the ball ends up in James’ hands anyway.
DeMar Derozan (6.0)
40 MIN, 22 PTS, 7 REB, 5 AST, 1 STL, 10-20 FG, 0-4 3FG, 2-3 FT, 3 BLK, 2 TO, 0 +/-
DeMar loves to dribble out to the sideline and challenge the defences feet on the double. Sometimes it works, sometimes he walks himself into an essential three-man trap (man-man-line). Some nice scrambles on D and took a elbow to the jaw that should be flagrant, intention or not. Two chances to win it, two chances failed.
OG Anunoby (6.5)
30 MIN, 7 PTS, 2 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 3-5 FG, 1-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 4 +/-
OG said he wasn’t afraid and he didn’t look it. Said he’s pretty strong too and he looked it. We might grade OG on a curve because we don’t expect much of him but he did as good a job as could’ve been asked of him. Missed one assignment that led to a highlight inbound jam, but stifled more than his share of LBJ drives forcing James to make some tough fadeaways.
Serge Ibaka (5.5)
28 MIN, 9 PTS, 2 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 3-8 FG, 0-3 3FG, 3-3 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 7 +/-
Raps need more production from Serge on the offensive end and they surely can’t be scarce for rebounding from him. With so much offensive attention on the paint for the Raps it’s his opportunity to get on the offensive glass too. Got roughed up by JV’s fall and James sliding under, but seemed to recover just fine.
Jonas Valanciunas (7.0)
34 MIN, 21 PTS, 21 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 7-19 FG, 0-1 3FG, 7-9 FT, 1 BLK, 3 TO, -3 +/-
A tale of two JV’s. Was absolutely unstoppable in the paint, making Love look like that high school freshman who checked in way before expected. On the other hand, JV missed so many bunnies Moses Malone would be proud of how he got his extra boards. Did what needed to be done, but just went dry. Proved Ty Lue wrong with his choice and no matter the change, this is a series for JV to dominate.
Fred VanVleet (6.0)
15 MIN, 9 PTS, 3 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 2-7 FG, 1-5 3FG, 4-4 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, -7 +/-
His shooting was off today but made some good plays pushing the ball up the court to beat the Cleveland defence. Tasked with the last shot of the game. Gotta make it, free and clear, gotta hit that.
Delon Wright (5.5)
16 MIN, 5 PTS, 0 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 2-6 FG, 1-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, -4 +/-
Cleveland guards collapse in the paint on drives and it limits Delon’s ability to get his sneaky layups. Hit a three but has to do better than to pull it out after a failed drive and let Fred ISO.
Norman Powell (N/A)
CJ Miles (5.5)
21 MIN, 6 PTS, 5 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 2-6 FG, 2-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 0 +/-
Cavs stayed tight to his jersey and held him up on a ton of runs off screens. CJ has a pump-and-drive game that is commendable and made for some interesting movement. Looking for CJ to step up more but his looks are a product of others as much as his own.
Pascal Siakam (7.0)
22 MIN, 11 PTS, 1 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 4-5 FG, 1-1 3FG, 2-5 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, -5 +/-
Pascal is an absolute hound on defence. Seeing LeBron get annoyed by his pick-up is exactly what you need out of him. Hit a three, made himself open for drop-offs, and overall played a good shift.
Jakob Poeltl (5.5)
16 MIN, 4 PTS, 6 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-3 FG, 0-0 3FG, 4-4 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 3 +/-
Odd night for Yak. Missed some bunnies all over the place but fought well for position when Thompson was on the court to show he could cope and give JV a deserved rest. Why a team would want to run a PnR with he and Pascal as the primary defenders makes no sense to me.
Lucas Nogueira (N/A)
Lorenzo Brown (5.5)
Alfonzo McKinnie (INC)
Malachi Richardson (INC)
- The Raptors are the laughing stock of the NBA digital community. For what it was, they objectively choked to finish out this game. The Raptors are also clearly and objectively the better team in this series. Cavs play aside, the Raptors showed how they can beat this team and unfortunately went away from it entirely. When JV isn’t hitting inside, it doesn’t mean he’s the only option to take it to the hoop.
- Ty Lue took a gamble with his lineup today and failed. He’ll surely be smug in his analysis of the game but he very much failed his first move as a coach in this series. It’ll be interesting to see if he rides his decision or if he brings back Thompson who had a great game.
- The Cavs are now comfortable and have won back home court. The Raptors only perceived advantage for this playoff. The Raps need to respond in Game 2 to bring the ball back in their court.
Raptors – Cavaliers Game 2 is Thursday, April 3rd at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Tip-Off 6pm.