Response Podcast | Rap Up Dwell | Fast Response | Nothin’ However Positives
David beat Goliath on Wednesday night time. Not in expertise, nor in expectation — however in sheer bodily dimension discrepancy. In Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner alone, the Indiana Pacers boast Philistine, giant-like people who hail from the guide of Carlisle. The younger, teeny-sized Raptors possess a transparent identification — one which takes a latest league-wide metamorphosis of “small-ball” to heights by no means seen earlier than, with no pun meant. And that’s all by design, in addition. A youthful group that lives and dies with its ultra-effort, size and speed-dependent, hyper-switching scheme. So the query is, how do you cease a group that walks into your house and possesses the polar reverse in group qualities and traits?
The Indiana Pacers depend on All Star frontman, Domantas Sabonis because the anchor of their offense. The success and prosperity on that aspect of the basketball is constructed primarily upon the Lithuanian star. His recreation hinges on the inside dominance of his opponent, his superior passing capacity in addition to his unparalleled ability to dictate a whole basketball recreation as a glass-gobbling (good luck saying that quick 5 occasions), instinctually elite rebounder. Coming into Wednesday night time’s recreation, Sabonis led the league in rebounds per recreation at a stellar 15.8. Missing in athleticism, defensive maneuverability and his clear deficiency in perimeter taking pictures — Sabonis, like another NBA star wants a participant who enhances his taking part in type and hides his weaknesses.
Enter Myles Christian Turner. A participant who is sort of actually a lab-created, purely ideally suited complement to Domantas Sabonis. Missing in athleticism? Turner has sufficient for each of them, after which some. Defensive maneuverability and rim safety? Turner’s among the finest shot blockers on the earth who additionally navigates across the court docket (offensively and defensively) with unimaginable mobility. What about his perimeter taking pictures? Turner’s 3PA per recreation has steadily elevated from 0.2 as a rookie contemporary out of Texas to an astonishing 4.8 per recreation this present season. At a profession 35% clip, Turner provides sufficient stability and consistency from 3PT land to maintain NBA defenses sincere. Now you see why this partnership makes whole sense regardless of the fixed commerce rumors that appear to encompass Turner on a semi-annual foundation.
A mid-week recreation smack-dabbed within the coronary heart of Toronto’s Scotiabank Area homestand, the physically-imposing lndiana Pacers introduced a supposed downside to Toronto’s supposed weak spot — dimension. In an identical boat, Toronto introduced their very own set of points to Indiana — however in pace. From the beginning of the sport, it appeared as if Toronto had the early edge. Nevertheless, the ‘Navy and Gold’ started to creep again as the primary quarter got here to an in depth. What stood out for Toronto within the first 12 minutes was unsurprisingly their calling card — hard-nosed, bodily POA protection with extra switches than the Nintendo headquarters. It helps that Toronto’s traditional two largest gamers on the court docket in Khem Birch and Valuable Achiuwa transfer and shuffle across the court docket like guards defensively. The Pacers made it a mission to feed Sabonis early. Nevertheless regardless that he made two baskets early on, it’s remiss to disregard how troublesome the Raptors made Sabonis’ life across the rim. Asphyxiating double groups, smothering traps and constant assist across the rim was the clear gameplan for Nick Nurse and his protection to finally stifle Sabonis. And it labored to perfection. Sabonis went completely silent for the remainder of the sport, making an attempt just one extra basket and ending with an abysmal 3 for 4 from the sector, equaling to 9 factors in 34 minutes performed.
Mentally? Checked out.
At each potential second, Toronto basically created a whirlwind round Domantas Sabonis as quickly as he obtained an entry cross inside the 3PT line. So the query is, how did Rick Carlisle and the Pacers reply to this gameplan? Humorous sufficient, they spent the following three quarters falling completely into Nick Nurse’s intelligent plan. They determined that the very best counter-move to negating Sabonis from the sport was… accepting it. The one downside is, they didn’t have the requisite firepower to permit Sabonis to vanish and open the sport up for others. To make issues worse, their co-leading scorer in Malcolm Brogdon left the sport early within the third quarter with an harm. That left a Pacers group with out Brogdon, LeVert (who entered the sport with a ‘Questionable’ harm tag), and TJ Warren. So who was there to choose up the slack versus a chaotic, suffocating Raptors protection? Properly solely rookie Chris Duarte, who to present him his personal credit score — entered the sport as one of many nice rookie tales across the NBA. The Dominican-Canadian rookie hailing from the College of Oregon was thrusted right into a beginning function with LeVert out with an harm. He’s responded extraordinarily effectively this season, averaging 19.8 ppg on a forty five% 3PT clip as he entered Wednesday night time’s exhibition.
Indiana Pacers’ Canadian-Dominican rookie, Chris Duarte is taking pictures at a forty five% 3PT clip whereas averaging 20 ppg AND taking part in 38 mpg as a rookie.
— Sahal Abdi (@sahaIabdi) October 27, 2021
Okay, in order that’s one — barely I believe. He’s a rookie. You even have Myles Turner, who averages simply over 12 ppg for his profession. Okay, two — possibly. And that’s about it for Indiana. Past these gamers named above, their main minute-loggers on this recreation had been Justin Vacation, Oshae Brissett, TJ McConnell and Brad Wanamaker.
For Toronto, you had Fred VanVleet step up and ship a taking pictures efficiency Raptors followers have been ready for. To be truthful, Fred hasn’t essentially disillusioned this season. He’s been plunged right into a brand-new function this season for the new-look Raptors — the ‘Kyle Lowry’ function. The ‘you principally gotta do every part to assist your group win and make it look simple’ function. On this week alone, we’ve seen shades of VanVleet excel in that function. Not completely however nearly in items, so to talk. The career-high 17 assists on Monday night time versus Chicago was the appetizer.
Final night time versus Indiana was the three-course meal.
Fred VanVleet's career-high 10 rebounds offers him profession highs in rebounds, assists, and turnovers this week. So 60 factors coming quickly, I assume.
— Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) October 28, 2021
“I assumed we had been positively very bodily tonight,” VanVleet stated. “OG set the tone within the paint offensively. I assumed all 5 guys had been on the identical web page defensively to start out the sport.”
The Raptors type of play wasn’t simply praised by gamers, but additionally by the opposing coach.
“They’ve received fast, angular guys,” Carlisle stated of the Raptors. “They had been ripping on the ball all night time they usually knocked a whole lot of balls unfastened. Give them credit score, they executed effectively.”
The Raptors’ rookies additionally set and pushed the tempo for Toronto all all through the sport. Dalano Banton particularly was the center, soul and engine of Toronto’s bench. Nearly instantly after his preliminary substitution, your complete pace of the sport took a nitrous enhance. Banton and Barnes each performed wonderful video games, exhibiting why Nurse has given them free reign inside the rotation to often lead the starters (Barnes) and the bench (Banton). And boy oh boy, have the 2 rookies proved their head coach proper. Barnes scored 18 factors and posted 7 assists whereas Banton lead the bench with 10 factors.
The opposite clear shiny spot of the sport was OG Anunoby, who posted a season-high 25 factors and helped lead the Raptors to their first win at residence in Toronto in almost 20 months. Crew-wise, the Raptors matched their season-low in turnovers with solely 12, whereas forcing 22 Indiana turnovers. The distinction within the group statistic was key to not simply successful the sport for Toronto, however completely dominating Indiana all through the night time.
Oh and by the way in which, Goran Dragic was wholesome and didn’t play a single minute.
This was my fully severe tackle the state of affairs backed by my private 367 Raptors confidential sources I refuse to call:
goran dragic: “coach why cant i get any minutes”
nick nurse: pic.twitter.com/EnlesyW3Rz
— Sahal Abdi (@sahaIabdi) October 28, 2021
So what comes subsequent?
The Raptors proceed their homestand and welcome fifth-overall choose Jalen Suggs and the Orlando Magic on Friday night time. That ought to in all probability function the night time we honour Masai Ujiri for his annual NBA draft mastery. You understand? Simply because.
Tip Sahal Abdi
Raptors muzzle Sabonis, conquer mammoth-sized Pacers originated on Raptors Republic.