Warriors didn’t come out to play, Raptors win 119-100

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Courtesy: raptors.com

More RR content from this game:

Quick Reaction

The Rapcast with Samson

Golden State returned to Toronto for the first time since Game five of the 2019 NBA Finals. I only brought that up because it’s a fact. This game looked nothing like that.

1. Seriously Golden State?

No that’s not me, that was a sign at the game. The win is obviously nice, but fans took a double blow in this one. First there was the 50 percent capacity restrictions due to the rising covid rates, which took seats right out of single ticket holders hands. Then it was announced that pretty much every recognizable Warrior by the masses will be missing this game. Sorry to the fans that circled this one months ago and paid the premium prices, in some cases booked flights and hotels to see guys like Steph Curry not even cross the border. That’s a punch in the gut.

2. The Fred and Scottie Show

VanVleet and Barnes dominance was a package deal, especially in the first half.  Fred had a hand in seven of the first nine Raptors baskets, and a lot of his production intertwined with Scottie.

Not included in those clips was a beautiful Scottie cross court whip pass to Fred early in the first quarter. VanVleet and Barnes racked up assists with 12 and six respectively. VanVleet had a 20 point/10 assist first half (27/12 for the game), and became the first Raptor to put a first half double-double in points and assists since T.J. Ford in March 2007. He finished with 7 boards too (5 in the first half), so his first NBA triple-double was definitely reach.

According to VanVleet it’s his teammates fault.

Meanwhile Scottie did a bit of everything offensively, including using some volleyball instincts tipping a pass to the corner that Chris Boucher unfortunately missed.

Barnes got three and-one plays in the first half, showing off his ability to finish through contact. Vanvleet also returned the favour finding Barnes in transition.

https://twitter.com/BleacherReport/status/1472378960772145155

If you ask the rookie though, he may have enjoyed his size up midrange jumper over Nemanja Bjelica in the third quarter. Bjelica switched onto Scottie and was immediately torched, leading to this reaction:

Overall Barnes had 21 points, eight boards (four offensive including a sweet putback slam), and six assists.

3. OG and Precious return

The return of Anunoby and Achiuwa came with a side effect of Pascal Siakam and Dalano Banton entering the health and safety protocols. The Raptors simply are not allowed to be fully healthy. Personally I was waiting to watch some more of Scottie, Pascal and OG operate all at the same time, something we have rarely seen this season.

Anunoby had a expected quiet return after missing 13 games with a hip pointer. Loved the play after another gorgeous Scottie pass where OG was forced off the three point line, but settled for an easy midrange shot. His toughest basket of the game (3-8 shooting, 7 points) came after that.

Meanwhile Precious came off the bench and picked up where he left off when he had a 10 point, 14 rebound double double vs Washington on December 5th.  On one hilarious play late in the third quarter, Precious brought Bjelica with him cross court to where Scottie was posting up Damion Lee which accidentally forced a double on Barnes. Precious made up for it with a three after Scottie passed it. A lot has been made of Precious’ hands, not converting on easy lobs that his athleticism should warrant. Well here you go.

Achiuwa finished with 17 points and five boards in 23 minutes off the bench. Also we learned what he has been doing while he missed the last four games with a bum shoulder and covid protocols.

4. Yuta!

Watanabe also did a number of things off the bench, knocking down a couple threes and finishing with 12 points. The reason why he gets a section here though is his admirable persistence to challenge dunkers at the rim. Everyone remembers what Anthony Edwards did to him last season, I don’t need to link that. Former Raptors 905 standout Gary Payton II tried to be the sequel to that movie with under a minute left, but Yuta said no. Scratch that. Yuta said HELL NO.

https://twitter.com/NBCSWarriors/status/1472397891088048128

This comes as no surprise, as Yuta himself has said he will challenge every time. Payton did get a slam over a contesting Watanabe in the dying seconds, but it was nowhere near the same.

Sidenotes:

Jonathan Kuminga is stupid athletic man. Chris Boucher found out if he didn’t know.

Kuminga showed off that bounce all game. The seventh overall pick took advantage of all the extra minutes and shots available and finished with a career-high 26 points on an efficient 9-15 shooting which included four three-pointers. It was the first time in his career that he scored in double figures.

Also, this Malachi Flynn bucket was fun.

What’s Next?

The Raptors host the Orlando Magic on Monday, with a chance to get back to .500. Orlando came out on top at Brooklyn Saturday night, and that game may have featured the most players missing in NBA history (24).

Here’s to hoping everyone stays healthy until then.

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