By: Papa Minnow

Dear Raptors,

After a disappointing loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday, you guys came out last night and played a complete game beating the Detroit Pistons 123-94 at home, and improving to 42-17 on the season while holding on to the top spot in the east.

The first quarter wasn’t the prettiest, and it did have me worried. You guys were too lackadaisical with the ball turning it over six times for six points. And while the defence was mostly up to par, there was a lack of physicality on that end.

But, what kept you guys in the game was your great three point shooting which came from penetrating Detroit’s defence and finding the open man. The “Bench Mob” continued to do what they do, and got you guys going by pushing the pace which sparked an 8-0 run to end the quarter.

That energy carried into the start of the second as you guys extended the lead by going on a 10-0 run. I thought Poeltl did an excellent job of locking down Blake Griffin,Kyle Lowry hadn’t missed a shot yet, and DeMar DeRozan stayed aggressive by getting to the line and leading the team with 13 points.

However, you guys took your foot off the gas ending the quarter which let Detroit get back to within six before the half: 59-53.

Conversely, from the jump of the third, you guys were locked in and focused. That extra hour of practice on Monday really started to show.

The ball continued to move on the offensive end with DeRozan leading the team in assists and Lowry just couldn’t miss from deep going 6/8 from three.

You guys did a good job of cranking up the defensive intensity by banging down low to secure rebounds, getting blocks, taking charges, and hustling for loose balls.

That pushed your lead to a high of 21 points and essentially ended the game as you guys went into the fourth with an 18 point lead: 93-75.

The bench played the entire fourth quarter and closed out the game without any scares, securing the victory and adding another complete win to the season.

As a whole, you guys made 31 assists on 42 made field goals and limited Detroit to under 100 points. If you guys lock in and play like this every night you’ll be a hard team to beat. Colour me impressed.

Notes

To: Poeltl

Your cocked back slam on Drummond was absolutely filthy. It even got Griffin big mad and he didn’t even get dunked on…

To: The Bench Mob

You guys brought energy on both ends of the floor and helped shaped this game as you’ve done so many times before. Props to you guys and I can’t wait to see what y’all do in the playoffs.

To: Ibaka

You played one of your best games of the season. Those few days of rest has you playing like you got new knees.

To: Kyle

You came locked-in from the jump and on fire from deep. I wish you had that same energy in the three-point competition, but I’ll take this performance over that. Don’t think I forgot you took two key charges in the third as well.

To: DeMar

You stayed aggressive throughout the game and it paid off for not only you; getting  to the line for 11 FTAs, but it opened up the game for every one else to make shots as you led the team with 7 assists. Don’t worry about the missed dunk, happens to the best of us.

 

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