Led by a miraculous two-way performance with a sore back from Kyle Lowry, a career game for Norman Powell, and a night of distribution from DeMar DeRozan, the Raptors dominated the Bucks for the first time in the series.
For Toronto to look like themselves in the playoffs is a wacky occurrence, and last night’s game was no exception. Here’s some of the crazy moments from the Raptors bizarro Game 5 win:
DeMarre Carroll’s Performance
Carroll has been Raptor fans whipping boy for most of this series, and rightfully so, as his offensive performance has been non-existent and he hasn’t been able to contribute much beyond shooting fouls at the other end. But he was a major factor in the Raptors energetic start to the game.
Sr. Swag Daddy looked like his Atlanta self for the first time in a long while. He was moving without the ball and attacking the offensive glass, keeping his hands active on defence and seeking steals. He even had a confident three point stroke working.
Carroll capped it off in the 3rd, hitting this floater from 19 feet out through contact from Malcolm Brogdon, because why not?
Carroll finished with 12 points on 4-of-6 from the field and six rebounds, and finally provided the production at small forward that a team with aspirations for a conference championship needs in the system they play.
More importantly, he was finally able to take a smiling post-game Instagram pic for the first time in months.
Norm Powell’s Bailout Three Ball
Powell has been masterful since entering the starting lineup — you know that, I know that, and many words have already been written about it by people much smarter than I.
So here’s the highlight tape. Just admire this three ball he was thrust into with the shot clock expiring, and how it dropped, after bouncing around the rim, to keep himself perfect from long distance since being inserted into the starting five.
Jonas Valanciunas Responding to the Moose
Full disclosure, JV was awful in the first half, as Thon Maker was poking the ball away and forcing turnovers on post ups, and he was woefully slow with help defense on the other end.
At the 4:20 (blaze it) mark of the 3rd quarter, he was finally able to block a shot from the equally slow footed Greg Monroe, which led to a scuffle on the other end.
First of all, the best part of that exchange was Monroe throwing Khris Middleton out of the way like he was trying to grab a TV on sale for $100 at Wal-Mart on a Black Friday.
After telling Monroe that he’d make him his own personal itty bitty baller, Jonas finally woke up, as he blocked another shot (?!) on Giannis Antetokounmpo of all people and started finishing through contact at the time and capped off the performance with a Lithuanian Catholic baptism of Thon Maker.
Super sub JV has arrived, and let’s hope he’s here for an extended time on this playoff run.