Toronto Raptors vs Atlanta Hawks

By: Veronica Harris

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

 Ball ist Leben” is how you say “Ball is Life” in German. Toronto welcomed Denis Schroder and the Atlanta Hawks Tuesday night. All eyes were on Schroder and Kyle Lowry tonight as they go head to head, each point guard trying to out play the other.  As each game goes on, the Raps get that much closer to the playoffs making every game just as important as the last. Currently, they have the best home record in the NBA.

(Jump Ball)

It looked like the Hawks were playing proper basketball as they were up 7pts four minutes into the 1st quarter, but as we know, the Raptors sometimes take a couple of quarters to get into it. The Hawks outscored the Raptors in the paint 18-8 in the 1st quarter.

The Raps took their first lead of the game at the beginning of the 2nd quarter, putting them up by 1pt. The lead didn’t last long though as the Hawks went on an 8-0 run not long after.  With the Hawks being a better 3-pt shooting team than the Raptors, Toronto had to play smart and adjust to the speed of the Hawks. Kent Bazemore and John Collins each finished with 14pts.

Demar received a technical from veteran referee Tony Brothers just before the half for challenging an offensive foul call.

50-50 at the half.

Coming back with a vengeance, we of course turn to our All-Stars to help put some points on the board. Demar DeRozan finished with 25pts. Demar was named “Player of the Week” last week and has won most “Player of the Week” awards for the Raptors franchise with a total of 9. Lowry is fourth just behind Carter & Bosh. Not bad company to be in.

This wasn’t an easy game for the Raps as the Hawks kept applying pressure and draining buckets. The Raptors went 0-7 for three-pointers in the 3rd.

Atlanta was hungry and they were trying to hang on which proved successful until the 4th quarter.

Coach Casey put Siakam, Poeltl, Van Vleet, Wright & Miles on the floor to start the 4th.  It was a smart choice as this line up is young & fast - just like the Hawks. This unit won the game for Toronto and the crowd loved it!  Fred Van Vleet throwing up an alley-oop to Pascal Siakam is just one of the plays that got the momentum going as part of a 13-0 run. Maybe if Casey had put these five guys on the floor earlier, the strong lead could have started earlier. They were doing everything right from blocking to shooting, defense to offence. The Raptors took the lead and kept it - outscoring the Hawks 30-13 in the 4th quarter!

Fun Fact: On this night eight years ago, Chris Bosh made history becoming the first Raptor to hit the 10,000-point mark.

I will be heading down to Atlanta for the McDonald’s All-American Game March 28th to check out the biggest names in high school! While there, I’ll be watching Christyn Williams who is the #1 prospect of 2018, a two-time Gatorade player of the year and a 3x USA basketball medalist who will be going to UCONN next. I’ll also have my eye on Shakira Austin who is #3 over all and was named the Player of the Year for the women, R.J Barrett who is the #1 recruit in the 2018 class, Zion Williamson who is the #3 recruit and lastly, another Canadian, Simi (Simisola) Shittu who signed with Vanderbilt.

No rest for the wicked as the Raptors face the ”new & improved” Detroit Pistons tonight at 8:00pm. They will be taking a short flight –so short I think they may as well just walk and save the gas. Just 20 minutes in the air

Raptors 106-90 Hawks