10 things from Raptors-Clippers
theScore

Welcome to the 10 things recap by theScore features writer William Lou, which serves to highlight emerging trends from a Raptors perspective.

  1. Sleepy: The Clippers didn't stand a chance playing in an afternoon game on the second night of a back-to-back. They ran out of gas by the second quarter and never tried to launch a comeback. Toronto cruised to one of their easiest wins of the season and not a single starter needed to log over 30 minutes.

  2. Sharp: Kawhi Leonard responded to his worst game of the season against the Bucks with a crisp showing against the Clippers. Leonard was decisive with his offense, money on the pull-up three, made the right passes when he was double teamed, and poor Avery Bradley looked like an empty purse dangling off his shoulders when Leonard drove to the rim.

  3. Witness: Clippers chairman Steve Ballmer flew all the way north to finally catch a glimpse of Leonard, after the Raptors held him out of their previous two visits to Los Angeles. The Clippers are rumored to be the frontrunners for Leonard's services when he hits free agency.

  4. Active: Delon Wright stole the show while leading Toronto's second unit to one of their best performances of the season. Wright was clinical in transition, showcased his crafty handles, used his length to create turnovers, and played with the type of aggression that is too often missing from his game.

  5. Local: The Clippers had an impressive point guard of their own in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who hails from nearby Hamilton, Ontario. SGA showed an uncommon calm to his game, and was able to use his size advantage to score easily over Fred VanVleet. He finished with 19 points to lead the Clippers.

  6. Clamped: Aside from SGA, the Raptors managed to keep a lid on the rest of the Clippers. Toronto's game plan was to deny the 3-point line and force them to drive, before sending help at the rim. The Clippers finished with just two 3-pointers on 12 attempts, which is almost unthinkable in the modern game.

  7. Steady: Serge Ibaka was especially effective in timing his help defense at the rim. Ibaka's presence forced the Clippers' guards to trade layups for floaters, but nobody on the Clippers had the touch to shoot over his contests.

  8. Spark: Greg Monroe and C.J. Miles both delivered positive contributions off the bench, which is exceedingly rare. Monroe was surprisingly effective on defense and even hit a mid-range jumper, while Miles got three triples to drop.

  9. Stretch: OG Anunoby is clearly trying to expand his game, but the results are hit and miss. He made a pair of clever dump-off passes out of the pick-and-roll, and even drove in once for a layup over the 7-foot-4 Boban Marjanovic, but he's not doing it within the flow of the offense and he isn't enough of a threat to score off the dribble to consistently create.

  10. Hype: Chris Boucher is the new Bruno Caboclo, except he's actually leaning into the attention. Boucher always draws a huge cheer when he comes in for garbage time, and he doesn't disappoint. Boucher delivered a two handed finish over Marjanovic, and hung onto the rim after throwing down a two-handed jam.

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