The Toronto Raptors play their fourth Summer League game tonight, their final contest of the preliminary round robin, against the 0-3 Indiana Pacers. After tonight’s game, the consolation and single-game elimination playoff rounds begin on Friday.
It looks like the Raptors will not play in the Summer League playoffs, as the Detroit Pistons and Minnesota Timberwolves went undefeated, going 4-0, with the Boston Celtics and Memphis Grizzlies both sitting at 3-0. The Celtics and Grizzlies, along with the New Orleans Pelicans Miami Heat Dallas Mavericks, Brooklyn Nets, Sacramento Kings, LA Clippers, Golden State Warriors, Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Phoenix Suns will play for seeding 3-8. The rest will play in the consolation round.
Either way things go for the Raptors, the focus should still be experimenting with players to see who could earn a spot to play for their 905 squad and continue to grow their game in the G League. Through three games, the Raptors have been inconsistent on both ends of the floor. Although it’s Summer League and that’s expected, the inconsistency has affected their game-to-game rhythm, which is why they’re currently 1-2 in the tournament.
Chris Boucher is the only player who has been consistent in these games. He’s put up at least 20 points in each of them, averaging 22.7 points per contest while shooting a decent 44 percent from the field to go with with 10.7 rebounds a game. He has showcased his inside game, mid-range jumpers, and his three-point range while also imposing his will on defense — whether it’d be blocking shots or playing strong interior D.
Through three games, there have been many possessions where teams have played from the outside when Boucher (and centre Dewan Hernandez) is in the paint. With the Pacers shooting an abysmal 19 percent from deep (16-for-81), this will greatly benefit the Raptors inside-and-out.
Given that the Pacers have allowed their opponents to shot above 50 percent from the field in their three games, Boucher should have another big game tonight. The Pacers also don’t have a true centre on their summer league roster, as Goga Bitadze is still not with the team, so expect the Raptors’ bigs in Boucher and Hernandez to hold down the paint. Hernandez, also had a strong outing against the Knicks, recording a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
Malcolm Miller had a much-needed bounce-back game in Tuesday’s contest versus New York. He hadn’t looked comfortable on offense the first two games but found a way to get it going in the second quarter on Tuesday and kept it going through the night. He finished with 19 points on 7-for-14 shooting while also grabbing eight rebounds. Look for him to build off Tuesday’s performance tonight.
For the Pacers, it has been much worse for their squad in this tournament. They have lost their games by margins of 26, 18, and 20 (an average of 21.3). So far, Alize Johnson and Aaron Holiday are the only two players who have shown some flashes, but both have struggled mightily with their shot. Johnson has the potential to be an offensively versatile stretch three/four, but he needs to work a three-point shot into his skill-set to have a role in today’s NBA.
Holiday, who missed their last game and is questionable tonight with a sore hip, needs to cut down on his volume shooting. In the two games that he has played, he’s shot a combined 15-for-43 (35 percent) from the field. Holiday needs to limit his shot-taking and focus on shots he’s comfortable with because his mid-range and three-point shot still need work.
With the prelim round coming to an end, the Raptors will continue to give looks to new players who could potentially fill in a roster spot with the 905. Expect to see more of Lindell Wigginton, Corey Walden, Adonis Thomas, and Richard Solomon tonight.
Expect to see a bunch of Terence Davis, one of Toronto’s recent signings, in tonight’s contest. He’s the guy who told teams not to pick him late in the second round, then refused to sign any two-way contracts, then played one Summer League game for Denver, went off for an easy 22 points and committed to the Raptors for two years (with the second year non-guaranteed).
Terence Davis will play for Raptors tonight in Vegas.— Ryan Wolstat (@WolstatSun) July 11, 2019
Here are tonight’s game details:
Where to Watch:
NBA TV at 6:00 p.m. EST
Toronto [Updated] — Jordan Loyd, Darius Thompson, Malcolm Miller, Richard Solomon, Dewan Hernandez
Indiana — Shizz Alston Jr., Cody Demps, DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell, Alize Johnson, Jaylen Johnson,
Toronto - Sagaba Konate (out — knee), Jamaal Franklin (out — foot)
Indiana – Aaron Holiday (questionable — sore hip), Brian Brown II (questionable — sore back), Edmond Sumner (out — foot), Goga Bitadze (out — not with team)