The Raptors held off a spirited charge from Patrick McCaw and the Golden State Warriors as the 1-seed overcame the 16-seed 75-69 to move on in the playoffs. Toronto will now take on the Minnesota Timberwolves, led by Kris Dunn, and look like a serious contender to take home the Summer League title, however meaningless that may be.
The first half of this game was the Patrick McCaw show, despite the Raptors clinging on to a 39-35 lead. While the Raptors spread the scoring out over the first 20 minutes with seven players between 4 and 7 points at the break, McCaw scored 19 of the Warriors' first 35. The Warriors may have found themselves a gem here, as if they needed any more talent.
On Toronto's side, Delon Wright struggled with his shot, missing two layups at the rim in the first half, but did a terrific job of running the Raptors' offence. Wright and Poeltl, in particular, flashed some promising chemistry. They worked a nice pick and roll, which must have come as welcome relief for fans hoping to see Poeltl more integrated into the summer league offence. Poeltl also had a beautiful dish inside to a cutting Wright after posting up on the left block. Bruno capped the half by hitting a teardrop 3 at the buzzer.
The third quarter provided a stern reminder of just how meaningless Summer League is, as all of Raptor nation held its collective breath when Norman Powell went down with what looked like a knee injury. Fortunately, he came back onto the court shortly to quell our fears. Whether he should have or not is a separate conversation altogether. The Raptors did manage to end the 3rd quarter on another buzzer-beater, this time of the 3/4 court variety by Fred VanVleet. They led 53-49 after 3.
Ognjen Kuzmic was proving to be a pest in the 4th quarter as the Warriors stormed out to take a 62-59 lead. Kuzmic drew an and-1, bullied Poeltl in the post for an offensive rebound on one possession and a basket on another. Norman Powell answered back with a score, steal and foul drawn of his own to continue the back and forth and keep the Raptors in the game with 5 minutes left. An and-1 and a wide open three from Drew Crawford pushed the Raptors to a 5-point lead which they never ended up relinquishing. A series of silly turnovers by the Raptors (up 6 with under a minute left) made the game a little closer than it needed to be, but they closed it out in the end 75-69.
- Poeltl looks to be an efficient offensive player moving forward, but at the age of 20, he still has a long way to go in terms of having an NBA body that matches the style he's trying to play. He was having some trouble establishing deep post position, and boxing out for defensive rebounds. It was good to see him get involved in the pick and roll game with some success though.
- Delon Wright had one of his weaker summer league performances of the past two years, but he's just such a smart floor general at this level, he manages to have a positive impact regardless. He shot 3-10 from the field, but still managed to be a +20 on the night.
- Norman Powell. He was somewhat invisible before his injury, but went on an absolute tear when he returned. He had a stretch in the 4th quarter where he scored 6 straight points, and generated a turnover in between. He's too good for this shit. 4-of-9, 17 points.
- Bruno Caboclo is coming along. I vacillate between thinking he won't amount to much to thinking he's almost ready to contribute at the NBA level. When he's reining himself in and taking smart shots, he looks like a legitimate weapon. His length on defense is also promising at times, as showed in the final minute of the 4th quarter when he rejected a dunk attempt at the rim. 3-of-8, 12 points
- Patrick McCaw, man. 28 points on 17 shots, 5 threes. Golden State is unfair.