Raptors win play-offs with Pascal Siakam’s masterclass

The Toronto Raptors have 10 takeaways in their 118-108 win over the Atlanta Hawks.

One – The Raptors have won the play-off spot for the eighth time in nine seasons. The Red-Hot Hawks stood in their way, winning five out of an average of 130 points per game during that stretch, but the Raptors won with a believable performance where they dominated the paint and kept Trey Young in check.

Elsewhere in the East, the Cleveland Cavaliers surrendered against tanking Orlando Magic, wasting their chance to regain their place in the top six from Toronto, and as a bonus, the Chicago Bulls were blown away by the Milwaukee Box, which moved away. Raptors in the fifth.

Two – Pascal Siakam dominated every level of the game. Siakam scored 31 points by carving the defense of the Hawks separately. Atlanta opened the game in single coverage and to check out Siakam without the actual lockdown wing, so he went straight to work. Between the spin move, the floater, the turnaround jumper, and his handle were all the tricks of Siakam that allowed him to patiently go anywhere on the floor before getting up for the shot.

He was in such a rhythm that at one point, Siakam skied to block a pass aimed at his own teammate, settling his attack in the middle of the floor, before scoring two goals in the third of his 13 points in the paint. Quarters, which put the Raptors ahead.

Three – Siakam Pass also delivers the win. Atlanta finally concedes and starts sending double or triple teams to Siakam, which eventually ends his scoring, but he still defeats them with a pass. For the open shooters, Siakam had a pair of kick-out passes that didn’t read, but he didn’t change his attitude, and in a game where he drove hard on paint, three defenders hung him in the air while sandwiched him, Siakam was able to find Fred Vanvalit on a perimeter three. For which the Raptors made five points with one minute left.

Siakam took 23 shots, attempted eight foul shots and collected six assists in 40 minutes without a single turnover. His game is much more mature than it was in his last All-NBA season.

Four – No matter how hard he struggles, Vanvillit is always good for at least one clutch shot. Vanvalet had a tragic game on the offensive end, shooting -21 for just 4 off the field, including a 11-for-11 before tripping the clutch from deep before, and when he was too eager for a few attempts. Most of his face was open then. Vanvolit’s main reason for stopping the game on a cold night was because he missed a pair of wide-open three where there was room for extra dribbling before the shot started, and yet he couldn’t drop it. .

Still, his defense on Young was error-free, and in addition to the late triple, he went on a mini-run to start the fourth where he drove and kicked Chris Boucher for a pair of triplets, posting Scottie Burns, and finishing a clever format where he Switch hands in mid-air to avoid blocks.

Five – Vanvolit may take time to heal his bad knee. Vanvolit said after the game that he pushed through the injury when the Raptors pushed their play-offs to a significant stretch in the schedule and now that the work is over, the team can give him a full week’s rest before the start. The first episode. Nick Nurse said of Vanvolit after the victory: “We’ll get him off his feet here for a few days.”

Six – Containing Young was the main focus of the Raptors game plan. The Raptors had to be very careful with him, knowing that he was always threatening to shoot and that he was a slippery player who could go anywhere using his speed and elite handles to bend the defense, but the Raptors were mostly up to the task. Vanvolit was always there to pressure Young on the ball and to indicate which way he could drive, then the Raptors’ Bigra was timely to challenge Young on the basket as well as be aware of the lobe pass.

It’s a true testament to Young’s talent that a good defensive performance against him looks like 26 points and 15 assists, but considering that most of Atlanta’s offense runs through him, it was a good show by the Raptors. He needed 23 shots to get 26 points, and Young only went to the foul line four times, two of which came at the generous call of Malachi Flynn, who stood on his ground as Young broke through the ball to make contact.

Seven – The Raptors have won the war of occupation again. Toronto doubled Atlanta from 20 to 10 on the offensive rebound and the result was a plus-20 on point points. Khem Birch was tough to start with, but the strength of the Raptors really increased when Boucher, Thad Young and Precious Achia checked in from the bench. The lineup of those three forwards with Siakam and Gary Trent Jr. allowed the Raptors to return to the lead against the Hawks’ bench, and this was largely by dominating the glass. Afterwards, Burns continued to charge with his own six and those extra chances were crucial on a night where the team shot from deep for 9-35.

Eight – Boucher leads the bench with 18 points. The Raptors lack a traditional bench scorer, but everyone who has three strong Big in their Boucher, Achiuwa, and Young can provide a scoring punch for the second unit. Boucher continues it today, knocking three triplets, two putbacks and two transition dunks, but capable of any of the three. The strategy is to get at least one of them to go, otherwise, it puts pressure on the starters to bear the brunt, but overall, since the acquisition of Young’s trade deadline, the Raptor Bench has become much more stable, with a calm and selfless presence.

Nine – Burns moved forward when needed. He was quiet to start with Siakam’s dominance, but scored 11 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter. He started with a post-up, sealing a guard on his back before finishing through communication. He then drops three corners from Vanvalit to back up the Raptors 10 in a wild pass corner, when the Hawks hit just a triple nail, then he musclefully removes Bogdan Bogdanovich to secure an airball from Achilles. In the corner for a putback to lift Toronto to number two, then Clint caps the game to lose a full-court press with a finger roll over Capella and finally cash two free throws. He finished his ongoing pursuit with the Rookie of the Year award with 19 points and 14 rebounds.

Ten – Raptors fans really blessed. Since Masai Waziri took office in 2013, the Raptors have suffered only one losing season, which came during a global pandemic that forced the team to relocate, with the only exception being the eight playoff runs. During that blip, Waziri was able to recreate a former champion in a new group with a new identity, using a new crew with two main parts of the title and athletic prospects who showed great growth whenever the opportunity arose. Trent Jr. was acquired over the course of last year, Burns was considered a bold choice in the draft, and Kyle Lori had an Achiwa score on a great departure.

Meanwhile, Vanvilit has made her first All-Star appearance, Siakam is on her way to a second All-NBA node, and as sharp as a nurse tactician. Waziri himself said on the opening night that it would be a developmental year, and as it is seen as the career year of many franchises, the Raptors sit comfortably with 46 wins and a core that is fully under the control of the team at least until next year. . Enjoy this moment, because it is not new, but the vizier and his staff have made it routine.

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