This is going to be short and sweet, because frankly gloating about this Raptors team can easily turn into a 10,000 word essay alone but also carries with it some freakishly anxious impending sense of doom that I’m not ready to confront yet.
Look, the score of last night’s game is hardly indicative of what actually transpired. The Raptors started out hot (that’s nice to say now isn’t it?) and dismantled a Minnesota Timberwolves team that was the last squad in the league that needed any more dismantling.
For the sake of prosperity, let’s break it down.
The Raptors jumped out to a 20-9 lead and while coach Nick Nurse continues to tinker with his opening line up despite the pleas from many pundits (this one included) to leave Siakam to lead the second unit – it worked…very well.
There Siakam was , filling up every corner of the stat sheet, draining triples (3-6 now on the season!) and dishing passes under the rim. He may be valuable as the lead-dog on a second unit, but honestly watching him work harder than the entire Minnesota team combined on transitions is a testament to just how valuable he is as a starter.
The Raps led 26-19 after the 1st quarter and frankly, needed it.
The second quarter was much of the same. Toronto just looked like they wanted to compete more than Minnesota, and when your best player is doing this to lead by example…it’s easy to get everyone excited:
kawhi somehow dives for the steal without even looking at the play???? how pic.twitter.com/VJBdFCevue
— William Lou (@william_lou) October 25, 2018
I mean…if you understand the game of basketball, and a specific team well enough to pull off a no-look steal, what is there left to say? The Raptors did let their foot off the gas a bit defensively, punctuated by some bad Ibaka fouls in the second quarter but the lead held.
The bench was expected to do well in this game with the lack of depth on the Timberwolves roster this season, but some unexpected turf-toe from FVV and Delon Wright taking it easy in his five minute return to action meant the starters had to get it done with the time they had.
With that being said, shoutouts to #JVHIVE who are watching their beloved big-man absolutely flourish in his new role with the team. He said it in preseason – as long as he gets his minutes he’s going to make something happen and it was no exception last night. He had 16 and 9, made 7 of his 11 shots…and the best part, two of them were threes!
— NBA Canada (@NBACanada) October 25, 2018
It got dicey in the second half with a stagnant offense and some brutal half-court sets, but keep in mind the Raptors still haven’t even played a game with a full roster. Saying Toronto “held on” to the win is unfair to how dominant the performance was all evening, but some scrappy play from Minnesota did make it intersting.
This was never in doubt, and now your Raptors have the chance to make team history with a 6-0 start to the season.
Up Next: Dallas @ Toronto. 7:30 PM. Sportsnet One.