Any season, good or bad, has a multitude of positive and negative trends. Obviously, you want to amass a whole bunch of positive ones and some teams do, but there's ups and downs for everyone. Last night, the Raptors were matched up with a New Orleans team that possesses one of the only players in the league, Zion Williamson, who can outmatch O.G. Anunoby in the strength x speed department. They also boast a ton of length at the point of attack defensively to dissuade drives from the likes of Anunoby, Scottie Barnes and Fred VanVleet, and that length also stretches into passing lanes and shot contests - the whole thing.
"I don't know, I can't really explain it." Pascal Siakam said of the performance. "I think we really gotta keep our focus, we all understand how good we can be on defense and all those different things. But, we gotta do it (laughs)."
On the offensive side of the floor, Williamson continued to collapse the defense and find shooters. If the Raptors stepped up into space, laydowns to lovable big man Jonas Valanciunas were available. They attempted a few different things to stop Zion, but none of them lasted, as he's inevitable. Breakdown after breakdown came, and the Raptors didn't have the compete level to bridge the gap to the execution of the Pelicans. There are bridges, for all kinds of gaps. A lot can happen on an NBA floor, and the Raptors have bridged many a gap before with defensive intensity, turnovers, and offensive rebounding; they built none last night. Hell, they didn't even have a bridge to sell us.