At the same time as we progress, we will’t lose one of the best elements of ourselves.
A livid 9-0 run from the 76ers in direction of the again finish of the fourth quarter gave them the lead for the primary time for the reason that center of the third. Led by the jittery stylings of the ascendant Tyrese Maxey, the 76ers regarded able to steal victory from the jaws of defeat. Then, the Raptors regained management the identical approach they’d earlier within the recreation – by reverting to a few of the hallmarks of their video games.
OG Anunoby, whose first forays into any efficiency off the bounce had been at all times displayed in opposition to massive males, put Drummond within the mixer twice. Drummond, with a misstep in decide n’ roll protection (coming too excessive) gave a driving lane to Anunoby. The protection collapsed, and in flip he discovered Trent Jr. for 3. The very subsequent possession, Drummond was on the level of assault, and Anunoby watched him, as if by means of some kind of Kafka-esque metamorphosis, rework right into a turnstile. Drummond, left hopelessly out on the perimeter, three 76ers converged into the paint to discourage Anunoby, who discovered Fred VanVleet for a triple. Six fast factors, and the sport is again below management.
Whereas Anunoby is new to the function of “crunch-time ball handler”, he isn’t new to the ethic of “Expose the massive!”. The 76ers lineup picks down the stretch created an surroundings the place Anunoby obtained to harmoniously tie collectively the previous and new of his recreation – and to nice impact.
The Raptors opted for the “EXPOSE HIM” offense, and OG created 2 seems to be in a row. I find it irresistible.
— Samson Folks (@samfolkk) November 12, 2021
And who else was left to tie collectively the previous and new in significant style? The aforementioned VanVleet, who lower his tooth within the NBA as a hellish defender and regular (Freddy) catch and shoot operator, has since been thrust into the function of lead guard (and he’s carried out admirably). Questions on VanVleet’s court docket imaginative and prescient, and his decide n’ roll chops have been requested, and rightfully so, however in final night time’s recreation he discovered exceptional steadiness between the 2 roles. Glad to grease wheels as an off-ball participant as Scottie Barnes and Anunoby proceed to check simply how far their legs stretch as creators. The specter of his capturing and motion opened up numerous alternatives for his teammates, and after they had been converged upon, the specter of his capturing was realized. Harking back to the NBA Finals, the place a possession might solely be saved by the hand of VanVleet who stood 26 toes away from the basket, and heaves had been free throws. VanVleet was additionally a steadying hand when on-ball – taking account of when Drummond left the paint so his drives stood a greater likelihood, and pushing in pseudo-transition. A masterful sense of the place the sport was and assert himself.
And to not be forgotten, the Raptors accessed the funky defensive thoughts of coach Nick Nurse, as they took the lead within the third quarter with a zone protection that featured the like-sized quartet of Dalano Banton, Barnes, Chris Boucher, and Treasured Achiuwa – and the very not-like-sized, VanVleet. An amorphous blob of protection that made it almost unimaginable to penetrate into the center of the ground with a stay dribble, and a sequence of gang rebounding that recruited all the go-go-gadget arms within the neighborhood. The 76ers had been restricted to 10 factors over 7 minutes and a few change of recreation time, and because of a burst of offense from VanVleet and Barnes on the opposite finish, the Raptors took management of the sport for a time.
And final however not least, Boucher had his most explosive recreation of the younger season. A spitting picture of his Tampa self, Boucher lent all of the issues to the Raptors that had been lacking up to now this season. He was a vertical menace within the decide n’ roll, one thing the Raptors are remarkably quick on, and he pushed tougher than the opposite bigs on the ground in transition to search out advantageous lanes to the bucket and offensive rebounding alternatives. Boucher isn’t completely important to what the Raptors are doing this 12 months, however there’s no substitute on the roster for what he brings. He’s a totally novel expertise, and one which added important punch to the Raptors bench as they stormed to victory in opposition to the 76ers.
The Raptors proceed to deal with this season with a brand new playstyle and new items, but it surely’s good to see the previous within the current, particularly when it really works.
Have a blessed day.
Tip Samson Folks
The Raptors discover new victory by taking part in the classics originated on Raptors Republic.