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Shorthanded Raptors take care of Luka and the Mavericks

No Siakam? No problem. Shorthanded Raptors beat the Dallas Mavericks at home.

No Pascal Siakam. No Scottie Barnes. No Otto Porter Jr. No Precious Achuiwa. No Dalano Banton. Yet the Raptors still managed to win against Luka and the Mavs. Let’s unveil how this all happened.

Luka Magic

After an amazing start to the season, Luka Doncic is currently the front-runner for Most Valuable Player. He started the season with 9 straight games with 30 points or above, which is second to Wilt Chamberlain’s record of 23 straight games.

Luka is the Mavs offense. His usage rate is third in the league behind Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid. The difference between Luka and Giannis/Embiid is that Giannis and Embiid are both missing key players to their teams such as Middleton, Harden, and Maxey which forces them to take a higher workload.

If you want to beat the Mavericks, you have to limit their powerhouse in Luka and the Raptors knew that. The Raptors limited Luka to 15 shot attempts but he ended up scoring 24 points which is under his season average of 23 shot attempts and 33 points.

He is indeed a generational talent and sometimes no matter how much you defend him you simply cannot stop him.

Next Man Up Mentality

Fred VanVleet didn’t play against the Nets on Wednesday due to a non-covid illness and made his return against the Mavericks. He led the Raptors in the first half with 18 points then let O.G. Anunoby and company take over in the second half.

These are only two of the many plays where VanVleet drew two defenders on him and passed it to the open man to score the easy bucket. He ended the night with an astounding 26 points, 7 assists, and 6 rebounds. A well-rounded game indeed.

O.G. Anunoby came in clutch in the second half of the game. After VanVleet scored 18 in the first half, O.G. took over and scored 20 points after halftime. He ended his night with 26 points, 9 rebounds and his defensive player of the year campaign continues with 2 more blocks and steals to add to that.

https://twitter.com/Raptors/status/1596648654173097984?s=20&t=HbFumOCR1dGtyE_3Fsjs8A

O.G. was simply outstanding on both ends last night.

Chris Boucher has been making a huge impact off the bench, especially in the absence of Siakam. He played 36 minutes and had a double-double of 22 points and 13 rebounds which adds up to his third double-double in the past three games. Chris Boucher could make a real case for Sixth Man of the Year if he keeps up this performance.

Next game: The Raptors welcome Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell, and the Cleveland Cavaliers tomorrow night at 7:30 pm.

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