The Toronto Raptors…. are FINALLY BACK on the WIN COLUMN!!
The last win before the New York Knicks came on December 7th against the Los Angeles Lakers. After two weeks of continuous losing, the Raptors have finally come out on top with a win against the New York Knicks.
Going into the game, the Raptors were on a 6-game-losing streak facing the hottest team in the league, the Knicks who had an 8-game winning streak going on for them.
How was this possible? The answer is Pascal Siakam.
Siakam scored a career-high 52 points at the Madison Square Garden. He aggressively attacked the rim, made multiple mid-range fadeaway shots, and even hit a couple of threes whether it was Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson, or Isaiah Hartenstein guarding him.
On top of his 52 points, he had 9 rebounds and 7 assists to lead the Raptors to a win. Unreal performance by Siakam who put on a show in front of a crowd in the world’s most famous stadium.
While Siakam did take over for most of the show, Fred VanVleet was also a crucial part of this win. VanVleet finished the game with 28 points and hit clutch threes near the end of the game to seal the win.
The Raptors will look to stay in the win column against the Cleveland Cavaliers
Raptors: The Raptors won the game with Siakam and VanVleet both having great games. It is crucial for those two to perform well against the Cavaliers to leave Cleveland with a win.
Aside from those two playing well, the rest of the guys need to step it up to reduce the workload on Siakam and VanVleet as they cannot rely on them to both have great performances and win the game.
O.G. Anunoby has recently returned from injury and was cold from three against the Knicks. Scottie Barnes scored 2 points in the entire game. Chris Boucher made 2 threes combined in the past 6 games. It would be great to see these three break their slump against the Cavaliers as they play an important role to a winning Raptors team.
Cavaliers: The Raptors have played the Cavaliers twice and are 2-0 against them this season. Coming into this game, the Cavs are on a 3-game win streak after winning against the Milwaukee Bucks.
A key player the Raptors will have to contain to win is Donovan Mitchell, who is coming in fresh from scoring 36 points and is averaging almost 30 points per game this season. Other key players are Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen, and Evan Mobley.
Players to look out for include Kevin Love, Caris LeVert, and Cedi Osman who all have the potential to go off and take over a game.
Tip-Off: 7:30pm EDT | TV: TSN1, TSN4, TSN5
Gary Trent Jr. (quad) is questionable, he has missed the last three games. Khem Birch (non COVID illness) is also questionable. Precious Achiuwa (ankle) and Otto Porter Jr. (toe) remain out. Justin Champagnie, Ron Harper Jr. and Jeff Dowtin Jr. are with the 905 in Vegas
*possible lineup if Trent remains out*
PG: Fred VanVleet, Malachi Flynn, Dalano Banton
SG: Scottie Barnes
SF: O.G. Anunoby
PF: Juancho Hernangomez, Chris Boucher, Thaddeus Young
C: Pascal Siakam, Christian Koloko, Khem Birch
Ricky Rubio (torn ACL), and Dean Wade (joint sprain) are out. Evan Mobley (right knee soreness) and Lamar Stevens are (right knee soreness) questionable.
PG: Darius Garland, Raul Neto
SG: Donovan Mitchell, Isaac Okoro
SF: Caris LeVert, Cedi Osman
PF: Evan Mobley, Kevin Love, Dean Wade, Isaiah Mobley
C: Jarrett Allen, Robin Lopez
Upcoming Regular Season Schedule
Clippers @ Raptors, Dec 27
Grizzlies @ Raptors , Dec 29