Quick Reaction

Quick Reaction: Timberwolves 104, Raptors 109

Minnesota 104 Final
Box Score
109 Toronto

B+
S. Ibaka34 MIN, 15 PTS, 7 REB, 3 AST, 0 STL, 6-12 FG, 2-6 3FG, 1-2 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 7 +/-

The starters as a whole struggled early in the game, and Serge’s energy wasn’t great coming out. He really made up for it late, with a big drive in crunch time, and he made some solid passes tonight as well.

C
O. Anunoby16 MIN, 3 PTS, 3 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 1-2 FG, 1-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 4 +/-

This was a rough night for the rookie, as Jimmy Butler gave him all sorts of trouble, and he just didn’t seem to have any answers defensively. To be fair though, there’s a long line of Raptors who have struggled guarding Jimmy.

A+
J. Valanciunas29 MIN, 18 PTS, 10 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 8-12 FG, 0-1 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 14 +/-

Jonas’ great January continues. He dominated the paint once again, controlling the offensive boards and scoring with ease, and his defense was solid tonight too. Jonas is really establishing himself as a force to be reckoned with every night.

A
K. Lowry34 MIN, 15 PTS, 4 REB, 9 AST, 0 STL, 4-9 FG, 2-5 3FG, 5-5 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 9 +/-

Started a bit slow, but Lowry showed up when the Raptors needed him, and his intensity really carried the team as far as keeping it close until the bench run to take the lead in the fourth.

B+
D. DeRozan37 MIN, 23 PTS, 3 REB, 8 AST, 1 STL, 6-18 FG, 1-6 3FG, 10-11 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 1 +/-

This was a really frustrating DeMar night for most of it, as he struggled with his scoring and took a lot of shots that he made tougher than they had to be. Then, in the fourth quarter, he played within the offense, was strong on defense, and didn’t force his own game as the Raptors finally won some clutch minutes. That’s what the team needed, and he came through when it counted.

A+
F. VanVleet21 MIN, 10 PTS, 2 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 4-7 FG, 1-3 3FG, 1-1 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 6 +/-

Fred Van Vleet probably hasn’t had much sleep in the last few days, as a new father, but it didn’t show in this game. He was the architect of the fourth quarter run when the team took the lead back, and I’m running out of superlatives for how impressive he is right now.

B
N. Powell20 MIN, 8 PTS, 4 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 3-7 FG, 2-5 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, -1 +/-

Good Norm showed up!

Solid defensive effort, hit a couple catch and shoot threes, this is what the Raptors need from him. Sure, there were some adventurous possessions dribbling into traffic where he got himself into trouble, but on the whole, you take it from a guy who needed a night like this.

B-
J. Poeltl19 MIN, 12 PTS, 4 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 6-7 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 2 BLK, 1 TO, -9 +/-

Tale of two halves for Poeltl. First half he really struggled, didn’t have much of a positive impact and looked like he was due for a rough one. Second half, he controlled a bunch of offensive boards, got the Raptors some easy buckets inside, and blocked a couple shots. Good job recovering from the rough start, would be nice to see him going from the get-go though.

C+
D. Wright17 MIN, 2 PTS, 0 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 0-4 FG, 0-1 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -4 +/-

Rough night for Delon when they really could’ve used his shot being on, but he did have one brilliant pass to Jak for a bunny, and had some good second half minutes.

B-
P. Siakam14 MIN, 3 PTS, 2 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 1-3 FG, 0-0 3FG, 1-3 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -2 +/-

Although Siakam did a lot of good things, I’m still going to mention that he gets his center in trouble a lot when he doesn’t rotate over to help after the center has helped on a driving guard. Needs to help the helper.

A
Dwane Casey

Sure, the energy wasn’t great for three quarters, and there were some terrible defensive possessions at time. However, the Raptors didn’t run isolation in the clutch, created good shots, and that’s enough for me to be happy. Casey showed trust in his whole team when they needed to score late, and that’s a good sign for the playoffs.

Things We Saw

  1. In the first half, Minnesota took a lot of tough shots, and couldn’t miss. It felt like the Raptors were just snakebit with the looks that were going down, and thankfully that didn’t hold up the entire game. A big part of the halftime lead for Minnesota.
  2. No CJ, no problem? Despite missing one of their best three point shooters, they still managed to go 9-29 from downtown, which isn’t great but is respectable. There were some tough minutes though with lineups that really didn’t have to be defended outside the paint. Thankfully Norm hitting a couple of threes helped to open that up.
  3. Three more games in the next five days, so good to get the win in this one with a busy weekend ahead.
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