Much of the conversation prior to this game centered around Trae Young. That makes sense, because he is, full stop, one of the best offensive engines in the NBA. There are very few players who can continue to create good shots against as many different forms and shapes of defenses as Young can. Nate McMillan continued to urge pre-game that this Raptors defense was of course capable of many things, but something that Young has seen before. Especially, in regards to the O.G. Anunoby matchup.
"I mean we've seen that. Bigger guys guarding Trae, box and one on Trae." McMillan said before the game. "With DJ (Murray) playing with us this year we'll still flow right into our offensive sets. That's something that we did last year, but we're doing even more this year. Either one of those guys can initiate the offense. We should be able to execute if we see that style of defense, but Trae has seen that many times - bigger defenders, guards, defenders face guarding him and you know, basically trying to take the ball out of his hands."
To be fair, the Raptors did take the ball out of Young's hands - for 10 turnovers. For those keeping score at home, that is the first time Young has ever reached double digits in turnovers. Hell, the last time he had 9 turnovers he tagged on 25 points and 14 assists; against the Raptors he put out a measly 14 points and 10 assists. The Raptors, at least for this game, figured him out. This outcome makes Precious Achiuwa look like he can see the future, because at practice a few days ago he said this:
"You know, I'm not really worried about when we play guys like that. We just kind of use our size and athleticism to stop them."
Well, damn. Not only was that overwhelmingly correct, but Achiuwa himself got to lineup across from the star guard for a handful of possessions and did quite well.