Breakfast – Monday, January 7



10 Things I've Seen From Raptors-Pacers (January 6) – The Defeated

Spark: Norman Powell bounced back from a miserable run against the Bucks with a 23-point high on the bench in 10 of 12 pitches. He was decisive in his drives, he froze Kyle O'Quinn with a Eurostep before sinking a soft tear, he wreaked havoc on the passing lanes, and he was money away. Powell has been a major upgrade over C.J. Miles in the last three weeks.

The importance of Kyle Lowry to the Raptors is never as clear as in the game against Pacers – The Athletic [paywall]

If there were any complaints about Lowry's return, maybe it was him who returned to the game at the end of the room after a few minutes. As he helped drive neutral performance for the starters and started some solid bench races, the Raptors were ahead 14 with four minutes to play when he re-entered. The Raptors certainly wanted to guarantee another quality win – they are somehow 7-1 on the second straight night – against a difficult team close to them in the standings, and even with the last re-entry Lowry played only 32 minutes. He would return two minutes later, sealed the victory, giving way to Chris Boucher for his now usual ceremonial time of three.

Statistically, Lowry's impact was a bit muted. He scored 12 points, with eight assists and three steals, and finished six more in the evening. Asked to try to describe what Lowry adds in addition to the numbers after the game, his teammates lost a bit. Intangibles are intangible for a reason, and things like energy and heart rate and rhythm are sometimes difficult to describe properly. Much of what Lowry brings, and what Lowry has always brought, eliminates finite measurability, and so while advanced metrics on large samples point to him being an All-NBA player, sometimes it takes a night like Sunday where he returns and stability appears to be restored to put its importance back into perspective.

"Very good leadership. You can feel an organized attack on both sides, "said Nurse. "He does 4-to-10, 12 points, 8 assists, but there are about 32 other things out there that you're not seeing what he's doing that is not recorded in the technical file. "

For the Raptors, Lowry's return could not have come at a better time. Thursday's loss to the San Antonio halted a mediocre stretch largely in the absence of Lowry, an 8-8 on the timeline in which the Raptors were ranked as half-pack at both ends of the floor. Will be measured for. Down Lowry and Jonas Valanciunas still on Friday, Leonard helped lead the Raptors to a shaken victory in Milwaukee against a team that won nine of 10. Lowry and Leonard's roles reversed on Sunday, the Raptors served and more as light favorites , Empathically beating a team with a rest advantage that came in to have won 13 of their last 15.

The hope now is for Tuesday to mark the beginning of some time with Lowry and Leonard together. Lowry had not expected to be out for so long, saying on Sunday he initially believed his brief return to the 76ers was an adequate return, just to see his back not respond as expected. He will have to continue doing maintenance work to keep his back in excellent condition from here, but mostly went through the Sunday game without problems.

"Oh, hell yes. I hoped to be back quick. I thought the Philadelphia game would be, but my back did not respond in the right way. We had to be smarter about the next step, "he said. "It was very difficult, but my team did a great job in holding the strong. I believe in my teammates in one of the highest ways you can, and I knew they would hold you. For me, it was just getting healthy and making sure that I was ready to go individually to help this team.

Pacers final score: Raptors go through Pacers 121-105 – Indy Cornrows

The Indiana Pacers started work tonight against the Toronto Raptors, breaking the six-game winning streak, dropping 2 ¼ games behind first-place Raptors and losing the season to Toronto if a tiebreaker appeared later this year. At no point did the Pacers manage to attack the Raptors, and unlike recent shootouts against lottery teams, the Raptors had no problem stopping the Pacers on the other side when they needed to.

The Pacers took the lead early in the second quarter, allowing 37 in the first but Indiana's second drive faltered from that point, allowing the Raptors to turn a deficit into a double-digit lead in a 12-0 run. The Pacers would spend the rest of the half cutting the deficit just for Toronto to push him back to double figures.

Indiana got the end of the game to finish the half and opened the second with the best stretch, showing offensively the confidence and the defensive goal, tying the game in 72-72. Then Danny Green hit a three. Pascal Siakam scored four in a row, including two in a Pacers round. Serge Ibaka and Kyle Lowry hit three straight sets.

Suddenly, the game tied was 12 points again and the Pacers struggled to close the gap in the same way. Indiana had a fourth-place finish when they lost by nine, only to be empty in three consecutive occupations, only to see Toronto rush from a 6-0 run in response. In all, the Pacers went scoreless for three minutes, and they did not make a bucket that was not an obstacle for five minutes.

When they finally did, Toronto emphatically put a limit on the game the way they did all night, hitting a three-pointer pointer. That was the most glaring difference in the game. Toronto were 17-33 in three points, while the Pacers were only 4-17. Toronto let fly with a purpose while the Pacers let their hesitation take the best, firing shot after shot while the Raptors appeared at home apparently in all attempts.

Indiana Pacers awakens Jurassic opportunity in Toronto – 8points9seconds

Banco Raptors made the difference
Despite playing on the second night of a back-to-back, the Raptors got a big boost from their bank in this contest. Last night against Milwaukee, Toronto's reserves scored 5 points. This was a completely different story tonight, as their bench put an absurd 49 points against the Indiana of 27. Typically, you can count on the depth of the Pacers to keep the team afloat while the beginners rest a little, but not tonight.

Pacers Fail to Resolve 3-Point Raptors – Indy Star

As the NBA season hits the center mid-season mark, what's clear for the Indiana Pacers is that the only Eastern team they still have to deal with is the Toronto Raptors.

Toronto faced Indiana again Sunday night, 121-105 for the second time at the ScotiaBank Arena.

"They simply take us out of our element. They raised 33 3s tonight. We raised 17, "said Victor Oladipo, who was eliminated by 6 to 15 that included the lack of four of his blows of depth. "They did most of them. We have not done enough of ours. It felt like we were getting cold. Just a difficult loss. Looks like we were exhausted out there.

Against other Eastern Conference teams, the Pacers are 1-1 against the Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers and 1-0 against the Boston Celtics. They lost to the Raptors without Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka earlier, and this time without Kawhi Leonard, who was resting in the second straight game.

Game Recap: The Raptors Score the Pacers in a 121 to 105 victory – Raptors HQ

In total, five Raptors scored three points, scoring 6 of 9 overall. This game was not about offense, though it was nothing more than that. After a quarter, with Toronto up 37-35, it was clear that it would be a defensive battle – or, more clearly, a battle to defend itself.

That defense did not materialize exactly in the second quarter as much as the fans expected, but it was better. An unmarked three-minute period for Indiana between 10:00 and 7:00 minutes helped spark a 17-4 run by the Raptors, giving them a considerable lead over the rest of the period.

Despite that, a little hiccup at the end of the shortened half that took just seven points and the Raptors would take a 70-63 lead in the third quarter. Of note, this was only the second time in all season that the Pacers allowed 70 points in the first half.

The man's (second quarter) hour, however, was Norman Powell – who scored 10 points in the second quarter in just 15 minutes off the bench. He was a perfect 2-for-2 behind the arch and 4-for-5 overall, culminating in his stellar play with a steal break and burying in the middle of the second. The trainer nurse trusts Powell more with each passing game, and in the third year the UCLA student is rewarding him with a shocking match.

Not to be outdone, though, was Danny Green and his shooting performance in the first half exciting. Green managed to hit 4-of-6 three points (4-of-7 overall)

Overall, in the first half, Toronto shot 0.568 of the field and 10 of 18 by 0.556 beyond the arc. It's not hard to see the difference in the way Toronto plays when Lowry is leading the show. Your style of play is always a place of urgency. If he is begging for an entry pass after an opponent makes a basket, or looking for a way out after catching a rebound, Lowry always plays as if the score was tied.

Norman Powell shines for Raptors when they needed him most –

The 25-year-old has been on a roller coaster ride with the Raptors since the team acquired him in a nighttime drafting trade four years ago. From the G-League's standout to surprise the playoff as a rookie – and whose break came against a Pacer with only one remaining player from the team that took the floor on Sunday night in the injured big man Myles Turner – to the potential sixth man, occasional starter and, more recently, a strange man out.

After something of a disappearance last season – a disturbing development for a Raptors organization that had just highlighted the former UCLA in a $ 42 million contract – Powell was on his way to earning consistent minutes on Nick Nurse's rotation this season, But a shoulder injury sustained against Utah in early November cost him 21 games.

He returned to the Raptors list at a time when the team needed a sparkplug like it – especially one that could create problems for opponents at either end of the floor – given the difficulties of the rotation players like CJ Miles and the fact that the team Have I been timid about resting Leonard when deemed necessary.

Powell has put together some good games together in all eight games since his return, but he has not exactly made a statement. Until Sunday, that is.

After a two-point game the night before, a motivated Powell scored 23 points in 10 of 12 – including 3 to 3 deep – in just 32 minutes of action.

In the first half, Powell helped the Raptors maintain their first considerable advantage, turning the defense into an offense.

In the next possession, Powell crossed McDermott and took a step back three to put the Raptors by seven, and remained aggressive during the game as the leadership of Toronto grew.

The Raptors have been trying to embrace the "next man" mentality as they keep a record of wins as they deal with a series of injuries throughout the season. Dealing with minutes and floating papers is not easy for most players, but in this team it is a necessary ingredient for regular season success.

No, Kawhi, but Lowry's return unleashes the Raptors' loss to Pacers | Toronto Sun

Lowry played in his first game in Toronto since Dec. 9 against Milwaukee, which coincidentally was the last time he and fellow star Kawhi Leonard were on the Raptors' lineup at the same time. Lowry had lost six straight overall and 10-of-11, with Toronto going 6-4 without the second NBA man (former MVP Russell Westbrook spent Lowry in assist-per-game while the Philadelphia product was out due to a back injury).

After playing 38 difficult minutes in Milwaukee on Saturday night, Leonard had the night off for cargo management.

Perhaps as important as Lowry's strong performance was his admission after that, in addition to a few moments when he felt a little sore, his back went well into the game. He added that he will be a little smarter about managing the problem after he failed to keep playing after his return to Philadelphia on December 22, the only other recent game he has been in.

"My back did not respond in the right way. We had to be smarter about the next step," Lowry said of the wait since then.

"It's going to be something that will not disappear completely, but we have to continue to make sure it's as little as possible," he said.

Lowry looked like his old self, doing a little of everything while displaying his suitcase full of tricks. If he was passing, shooting, catching a load (or two), taking rebounds or stealing, the little agitator made him feel his presence in this one.

"He tightens his pace and I do not know, just him, you can not put that into context, but he just does a good job of bringing energy, pushing the pace, doing the little things, taking on burdens, being uncomfortable. ", Was how Delon Wright tried to explain Lowry's contributions beyond the obvious box numbers.

Lowry plays catalyst in exchange for Raptors deliver full game –

It's a lot, is not it? But it's what Lowry offers, and what the Raptors are missing since their uncomfortable backs forced him out of action in mid-December.

And with Kawhi Leonard set aside in the last half of one of the toughest counterattacks a team will face, that's exactly what the Raptors needed to dispatch the rested Indiana Pacers, 13-of-15 winners, 121 -105 Lowry finished with 12 points and eight assists in a nearly 32-minute turn. But he contributed much more.

"That's what he does," said Raptors coach Nick Nurse. "There are about 32 other things out there that you're not seeing that he's doing this and that are not recorded on the statistics sheet."

Lowry played all his first seven minutes as if trying to prove a point. He was running around on the offensive side, walking around the perimeter of the ball, scoring picks to help his teammates change into clothes, and crawling into the paint after the shots, looking for rebound ambushes.

On the defensive side, he was constantly talking, guarding with arms outstretched, cheating for steals, trying to push the pace of the buckets and turnovers. In the second quarter, he called another charge, moving to second in the league, only two out of rhythm. Moments later, he went from coast to coast in transition from a Pacers foul, sinking a float of paint, while he was missing.

"He's just the heart of the team," said Fred VanVleet, who had 12 and 8 of his own. "He's a leader. Rhythm, energy, aggression, exchange, recovery, finding guys, making shots – he does it all. "

Kyle Lowry and the bank return in the Raptors' win in Indiana | The star [paywall]

The Raptors became the first team to win 30 games this season when they returned to first place in the NBA. And the fights that surfaced in the absence of Lowry and center Jonas Valanciunas – Toronto was 8-8 in their last 16 games for the weekend – seemed to disappear in victories over Milwaukee and Indiana.

Led by Lowry, who had lost all but one game since Dec. 12, the Raptors continued from where they had stopped on Saturday night. They scored 37 points in the first quarter and 70 points in the first half. They shot 51% of the three-point range, going to 17-of-33. And the bank, which had fought in Milwaukee, beat the Pacers 52-25 reserves. The performance of the second unit allowed coach Nick Nurse to split the minutes more evenly throughout the rotation: eight of the 10 players between 21 and 34 minutes.

The nurse did not punch in describing what he wanted from his bank after Norm Powell's quartet, OG Anunoby, Delon Wright and Greg Monroe were 1 to 15 from the floor with six innings between them on Saturday against the Bucks.

"They have to step up, man," said the pre-game nurse. "They have to play better, they need to play more, they need to play with more passion, they have to bring it in. I'm looking for that today.

Powell led the fight with 23 points this season. But it was Lowry who helped bring back arrogance to Toronto by pulling the ropes all night long, jotting down the minutes with the innings and the bench. He finished with 12 points and eight assists.

Raptors dealt with the first half of crises leading the NBA most of the time | The star [paywall]

The bench game has been a problem throughout the season, perhaps the most troubling aspect of the first 41 games.

With a team in perfect health, the starters would be Kyle Lowry, Danny Green, Leonard, Siakam and Serge Ibaka, with Fred VanVleet and Jonas Valanciunas reserving the support unit.

But finding two or three consistent players to complete a second group was impossible. Choosing from the group of Anunoby, Norm Powell, Delon Wright and C.J. Miles to fill the remaining two or three slots of the second unit may be the biggest task of the second half of the season.

This inconsistency has been tiresome.

"Defensively, we have had some steps back in some games, and sometimes we show phases of where we do well and phases where we do not get along," Green said. "Offensively, the same. It seems that, watching some movies, we are passing the movements a little, not being sharp, not going out the way we needed or not coming out. "

Lesions have been a big part of history and problems.

Lowry's back, Valanciunas's thumb, and the desire to sacrifice a game here and there to keep Leonard healthier in late spring denied the nurse the chance to really massage the spin. But this can be a temporary thing. And when everyone is healthy, 20 or 25 games should be enough time to put everyone on the same page.

So the half mark has come and gone, and the Raptors were exceptional except when they were not. A half season of ups and downs and good and bad and reeling from one supposed crisis to the next.

And when it is seen one or two steps back, with the Raptors in a tense battle for the first place in the league, the first half should be considered a success.

Did I miss anything? Send me any piece / video related to Raptors for [email protected]


Source link