Title: Raptor Recalibration, Game 3: Kyle Lowry’s control, Jarrett Allen’s rare line
Date: August 21, 2020
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic, my playoff day-after playoff column looked at the Raptors going up 3-0 on the Nets in the first round.
It’s unfamiliar to Toronto Raptors fans. When you’re a heavy favourite in the first round of the playoffs, the goals can take on a similar form to the last few tuneups of the regular season or, in this case, the reseeding window. With wins assured to some degree of comfort, the opening series becomes about finding out whether your stuff works in the playoffs.
In that respect, Stanley Johnson and Paul Watson Jr. still have some work to do.
The stars of the final two bubble games received four and three minutes of playing time in Game 3 on Friday, combining to shoot 1-of-4. Johnson missed an enterprising pull-up 3. Watson was blocked after making a great attack on the rim out of the corner. Both players wore a negative net rating, a major change from earlier in Orlando. The Raptors simply have to execute better when their bench is emptied at the end of a 25-point (117-92) playoff blowout.
As established last postseason, the morning (or for a 1:30 start, evening) after each playoff game, we’ll reconvene here to try to sort through all of it. We’ll look at key plays, key statistical trends, the major between-games adjustments, coaching decisions and whatever else strikes me as noteworthy.