Grades for Sunday’s 123-116 OT thriller over the San Antonio Spurs
A+ Scottie Barnes, OG Anunoby
Barnes has ranged from good to great so far this season, but Sunday he was on another level. He took a game the Raptors looked to be throwing away and got it in the win column on sheer will. Anunoby shares the most responsible for this win category with Barnes because he managed to slow down Wembanyama who was coming in full of confidence and then offensively kept the Raptors in the game with his three-point shooting.
A Dennis Schroder
Too often the veteran point guard seems to get overshadowed by his younger teammates but his speed and his ability to get the Raptors organized offensively can’t be overstated. Schroder’s 24 points and six assists were pivotal in this one.
A- Otto Porter Jr
Finally Porter Jr. gets the opportunity to impact a game. The rarely used veteran whose first year was wiped out by injury was clutch in this one organizing the defence in the 19 minutes he was out there, providing the odd bit of offence form the three point line. Six points, four rebounds and a block doesn’t sound overly impressive but it was. The hope is his minutes don’t come at the expense of Chris Boucher who did not see the floor in this game.
B – Jakob Poeltl, Malachi Flynn
His return to San Antonio was a success. Poeltl wasn’t quite the factor the three previously mentioned starters were in this one but he continues to be that steady bail out for the offence when things get scrambled. He had 16 points, 10 rebounds, three steals and a block and the Raptors needed every one of them. Flynn was solid for the most part if unspectacular, but that is all the Raptors require of him. He was a plus-6 in his 15 minutes on the floor and most importantly did not force anything. He and Dick led the bench with four assists each.
C Gary Trent Jr, Gradey Dick
Trent Jr. continues to struggle but there are signs he’s starting to find some shooting rhythm. Trent Jr. made two of his four three-point attempts and led the bench in scoring with 10. You can see he’s getting there, but it’s not all the way back just yet. Dick didn’t make a shot in this one but he did have four assists including an incredible feed on OG Anunoby’s three with Victor Wembanyama all over him. He’s finding a way to have a positive impact on the game even when his shot is not falling.
D – Pascal Siakam
The veteran scorer on this team had a rough afternoon making just two of his 12 attempts. It’s a new role for Siakam no longer being the primary focus of the offence and his gamely embracing it as his five assists will attest, but the transition remains a work in progress. He did have a big three early in the OT period.
The Spurs were without Devin Vassell who was out with an adductor strain. He would have made a difference. Wembanyama is making them a must watch and probably will for the remainder of the season, but this is still a very young team with plenty of growing pains ahead. Wembanyama will be a steady contributor to the highlight reels and keep the Spurs league relevant, but the winning days for this franchise are in the future, probably not this year.