The Toronto Raptors have been playing some great basketball lately, despite being shorthanded due to injuries. They beat the Dallas Mavericks in a hard-fought game tonight, handing the Mavs their third straight loss. The Raptors led by Fred VanVleet, OG, and Chris Boucher. They also received great contributions from players like Thad Young and Bo Cruz.
OG oh My!
In what was an up-and-down game, it was OG who stole the show. With 26 points on 10 of 15 shooting from the field, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks, OG proved his worth once again. OG clamped down on Luca Doncic, who had to settle for 24 points on 8 of 15 from the field, not particularly good with his standards. Luca is Luca, but the Raptors once again proved that they are a team that can slow down superstars. Tonight's victory proves that anything is possible when you have defensive studs like OG leading your team! Raptors doubled team Luca often and randomly to ensure he was out of his comfort zone! Raptors took the ball out of Luca's hand and forced other Mavericks players to step up.
Chris Boucher for 6th man of the year?
Chris Boucher plays absolutely out of his mind tonight. He started the second half and ended up playing 22+ minutes. His energy was contagious for the entire team, finishing with 22 points and 13 rebounds. It's also worth mentioning that Chris was in sync with his point guard, Fred VanVleet, and had great court vision. Chris should be a candidate for 6th man of the year if he keeps playing this way.
Steady Freddy is always steady!
Fred VanVleet stepped up big as well in his return to the lineup. Steady Freddy was steady with 26 points and 7 assists. Freddy VanVleet's leadership and ability to stay composed in big moments are what make him so special. We take his leadership for granted. He is excellent defensively, and he makes the Raptors' offense smooth.
Juancho Hernangomez was also impressive, scoring 10 points on 4 of 6 shooting from the field and grabbing five rebounds. The Raptors had a distinct advantage in rebounds, coming out ahead of the Mavs 48 to 34. With 25 second-chance points from their 48 rebounds, they established + 20 advantage on that category alone. Additionally, they had a +12 point advantage in the paint. This was a good win for the Rapotrs and better days are ahead with Pascal set to return soon the starting lineup.