Rick Zamperin: Toronto Raptors show what they’re really made of

17 Avril, 2019, 13:09 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • Lowry scores a layup during the second half of his 22-point effort in Game 2

The Raptors should be considered favorites to come out of the East if Lowry plays like this consistently throughout the playoffs. He went 0 for 7 from the field including a disappointing 0-6 from deep.

Kyle Lowry, who had gone without a point in Game 1, rebounded with a 22-point night on 8-of-13 shooting, along with seven assists, while Pacal Siakam had a 19-point, 10-rebound double-double. "He was doing it all", added Nick Nurse. I thought we had Kyle in a really good place all the last half of the season. "I've got to do everything I can do to help him succeed". Many of his teammates have said that in various ways over the past 48 hours, backing him up after his Game 1 goose egg, and providing the proper antidote to the anxious who were ready to hand the starting job to VanVleet in his stead.

"Going back and watching the film, I wasn't as aggressive as I could've been and tonight was a little bit different - being more aggressive and more assertive".

Nurse has to say that of course. Support his guy, display the utmost confidence in your squad, that kind of thing. We've proved we can definitely score more than we did last game. Coming off a season in San Antonio that saw him play just nine games because of a serious quadriceps injury, the MVP of the 2014 National Basketball Association finals had praised Toronto's staff for the careful load management program that got him to the playoffs feeling healthy and rested. His field goal percentage averaged out at 28.8 percent.

At his best, Lowry is a roving, relentless ball of energy. This is the Magic's leading scorer and All-Star center, a highly skilled big whose inside-out game buoyed the team's offense for much of the season. Yesterday, he missed all six from beyond the arc.

Four - Encouragement: Even by Toronto standards, this was an outstanding crowd, and they were determined to cheer on their point guard. Gasol then hit a barrage of threes, and Lowry and Siakam were attacking the rim. And in true Steve Clifford fashion, the Magic are not taking their Game 1 victory for granted.

82 points is the third-lowest scoring total for the Magic this season, while that's the least amount of points Toronto has given up this season.

Perhaps it's the jitters, perhaps its nerves or maybe he is forcing bad shots up.

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The best-of-seven series moves to Orlando for the next two games, Friday and Sunday. Orlando only shot 40 per cent in the game, but won despite off nights from three key offensive components.

Members of the media just love to blow things out of proportion, don't they? Yesterday he made it there twice, missing both. In four of those five-game twos, Lowry got to the stripe six or more times. The next year, he went eight of nine from the free throw line.

Toronto scored the first 11 points of the game and led 26-18 after the first quarter.

Orlando, you have waited a long time for a team you could embrace - a team that is much like the beloved "Heart & Hustle" team of 20 years ago. Part of that appeared to be due to a slight hesitance on Siakam's part to shoot, something he worked out of his game throughout the regular season, but that crept back in Saturday, no doubt due to the importance each possession, each decision, carries in the playoffs.

Look for Lowry to look for shots closer to the basket, drawing contact and getting to the line more frequently Tuesday night.

The Raptors have found their desired intensity, if one game late.

On Saturday, Lowry couldn't hit the side of a barn with his shot but had seven assists and only one turnover. And if everyone did not know, now they know, the Magic can win this series. They have discovered they have a fight they always knew that can translate to the playoffs. But they won't persist with a team like Toronto. Well, the time has come for Orlando fans to show that "We The South" and bring a heaping helping of southern-fried pride and passion to the playoffs. Against this Magic team, rebounding is going to be at a premium. You have a team filled with unheralded, underappreciated players who have bonded together when nobody gave them a chance. His impact on the game was terrific for them.

They feted Kawhi Leonard with chants of "M-V-P!" Toronto, conversely, are a team that excels in transition. There are areas he can and will improve upon. No one said it was going to be easy.


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