Last night was expected to go in Toronto’s favor with the Spurs being in the middle of a rebuild. Not only are they mid rebuild but their two best players Devin Vassell and Keldon Johnson were out due to injury so this made an already favorable game even more favorable. The game started off with some Scottie Barnes domination again with him scoring 11 points in the opening period with a myriad of tough finishes and even another early triple. Yet another great playmaking game from Pascal Siakam who poured in 5 assists(!!) in the first quarter alone. Pascal has truly become a master at parlaying the attention he receives on offense into great looks for those around him. Whether it was hitting guys in transition, slick passes into the paint, and even kick outs, Pascal was making the play. Another thing that can’t go without mention is the defensive mastery from OG Anunoby who poured in 3 steals in the first quarter alone. OG seems to have a chip on his shoulder on defense this year, an extra motivation to show the world he is one of the best defenders in the NBA. No passing lane is safe around OG, no player is too fast, too big, or too strong for OG to step in front of and this rang true for San Antonio as well. Not only was OG locked in on defense but the entire team was as well, all the rotations were crisp, there was a great attention to closing out and all the bigs did well to help defend shots at the rim. Even with all this happening for Toronto the Spurs were still in this game largely thanks to the heroics of Doug Mcdermott who hit plenty of tough shots.
The hero of the second quarter was Chris Boucher who made an immediate impact during his time on the floor. He hit a couple of threes, he was great on defense and leaking out in transition and he was a monster on the glass. Gary Trent Jr. also decided to show up and he hit some nice shots as well. The second quarter is when the Raptors pulled away and never looked back, going into halftime with a 15 point lead.
The third quarter is when Pascal decided to get after it scoring wise once again showing off his mid range prowess. At this point Pascal secured his triple double pouring in another 5 assists in this quarter. This quarter it was OG Anunoby’s turn to show out and he poured in 12 points of his own and he had some of the most aggressive finishes I’ve ever seen from him. Two power dribbles and OG was going right through his defenders chest at the basket. At this point the game was a bludgeoning and it was clear the Raptors starters were going to get some well earned early rest.
The big highlight of this game has to be the Raptors playing a non pascal unit that truly excelled on the court. That unit which was led by Scottie Barnes and OG Anunoby was able to keep the lead(albeit against the Spurs but still!). Another highlight is just how much of the wealth was spread in this game. Usually it’s the starters having to do an insane amount of heavy lifting in order for them to win games let alone blow a team out but last night was different. Last night the Toronto Raptors had SEVEN players in double figures, SEVEN. Even Dalano Banton was able to come into the game and have an impact tonight. No starter played over 28 minutes due in large part to the scoring bump they got from the bench and from multiple starters. They did all of this without Fred VanVleet so just imagine what they will do when he returns to the lineup.
The Raptors improved to 5-3 last night and they are hoping to keep the ball rolling when they visit Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks on friday night and if they get the help from as many players as they did last night it should be an easy task.