Quick Reaction: Raptors 116, Pelicans 120

7 mins read
TOR Raptors 116 Final
Box Score
120 NO Pelicans

C-
P. Siakam24 MIN, 10 PTS, 4 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 4-10 FG, 0-4 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, -16 +/-

Ugh… I mean, the energy was nice but offensively – something’s up. And to be fair, something’s been up for almost a calendar year with Siakam. The last time we saw a consistent offensive force in Pascal was before COVID-19 struck. Lockdowns began in March, we are now in January of the following year. He also fouled out. Womp womp womp.

B-
O. Anunoby36 MIN, 17 PTS, 7 REB, 3 AST, 0 STL, 5-11 FG, 2-8 3FG, 5-6 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 2 +/-

Anunoby started the game shooting poorly on putrid 1 for 5 shooting. The odd part was, almost all his shot attempts were extremely makeable. This has been the theme for Toronto this season. On the occasion that they do find open shots, they struggle to make them. OG did hit some clutch shots late, though.

A-
F. VanVleet39 MIN, 27 PTS, 8 REB, 5 AST, 1 STL, 9-23 FG, 4-13 3FG, 5-5 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 3 +/-

VanVleet carried the entire team on his back in the first half. Toronto struggled to find fluid offense and looked flat-out awful on numerous offensive possessions. Fred wasn’t having it. Efficiency wasn’t all there, but Fred did everything he could. He’s one of the last guys to blame in this one.

B
K. Lowry39 MIN, 16 PTS, 6 REB, 8 AST, 0 STL, 4-14 FG, 3-11 3FG, 5-5 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, -6 +/-

In irregular fashion, Lowry was quite invisible early on. He paid his dues defensively, but wisely took a backseat to VanVleet’s offensive explosion. Good decision there. Lowry lost his edge early in the 4th quarter with a technical and a Pelicans run. He picked it up late and orchestrated a run that ultimately fizzled out.

C
A. Baynes23 MIN, 8 PTS, 5 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 4-7 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -3 +/-

Baynes looked a lot like… Baynes this season. Slow on defensive rotations, finding open pockets in the paint, and stretching the offense out when needed.

A-
C. Boucher28 MIN, 24 PTS, 5 REB, 1 AST, 2 STL, 7-13 FG, 1-4 3FG, 9-9 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 11 +/-

If there’s one thing that should probably come out of this game, it might have to be the re-evaluation of the starting C position. Boucher has consistently outperformed Baynes and looks much more comfortable on both ends of the ball. He lacks size, but Nurse may not have a choice at this point. Good game from CB.

N. Powell24 MIN, 12 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 4-10 FG, 4-6 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -1 +/-

Norm needs his confidence back, ASAP. Nick Nurse has gotten to the point with Powell where if he’s not producing, he won’t get the opportunity to ‘shoot through it’. He had the opportunity in the first four games. Not anymore. He was benched for the majority of the 3rd. He played some good minutes late in the game.

C-
S. Johnson11 MIN, 0 PTS, 1 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 0-1 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 0 +/-

One thing is for sure, Stanley has the confidence of the Raptors coaching staff this season. He played some crucial minutes late in the 3rd quarter. An honest observation? Solid defensively, but doing a whole lot of nothing offensively.

C
A. Len7 MIN, 2 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 1-2 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 2 BLK, 1 TO, -5 +/-

Len was a bit of a presence defensively while in the game. He missed a wide-open corner three, but it was a look the Raptors don’t mind him taking.

D
T. Davis5 MIN, 0 PTS, 1 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 0-0 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -5 +/-

At least he’s been consistent. Consistently horrific at basketball since the preseason. Only five minutes played but Toronto capitulated with his two mental mistakes in such a short amount of time.

C
Nick Nurse

You already lost one game versus the Pelicans to open the season. This should have been the one Nick Nurse stole back from Van Gundy’s Pelicans. Relative to the last two seasons, Toronto looks like a mess early in the season. It’s not time to panic, but a string of wins has to come sooner rather than later.

Things We Saw

  1. VanVleet was offensively dominant in the first half, but began to naturally slow down as the game went on. At times in the game’s first 24 minutes, it literally seemed like the New Orleans Pelicans versus Fred VanVleet. Not good for Toronto.
  2. This feels a lot like our old Toronto Raptors. Getting so close late in the game only to blow it (over and over and over… and over again) in epic proportions. This is starting to become a worrying trend for Toronto.
  3. Where do you go from here? Well you’ve got the Celtics and red-hot Phoenix Suns coming up. Not games to look forward to as Raptors fans. We know how well Boston matches up with Toronto and the new-look Suns look damn good to begin the season. Chris Paul has transformed the Suns into a playoff-level roster while Boston looks just as competitive as the season prior. After those two opponents, Toronto has the Kings, Warriors, Blazers and Hornets. Winnable games? Maybe.

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