The Toronto Raptors have four stars who all need the ball in their hands

The Raptors have four stars who were supposed to work together. They haven't been.

David was never supposed to beat Goliath in a fight. He was small, and Goliath was...well...goliath. But he had a slingshot, and he had destiny on his side.

All this to say: Things don't always work out in reality the way they're supposed to in theory.

There's a lot that has gone wrong for the Raptors that was very expected. The lack of shooting, the lack of interior presence, the lack of proven bench creators, the lack of players able to pressure the rim. (Wow, that's ... a lot.) But each member of Toronto's top four was supposed to be extraordinary at complementing one another.

It hasn't worked out that way.

Pascal Siakam is and has been the superstar. He's been phenomenal with the ball, better than any reasonable observer could have expected. And he was one of the best players without the ball before his meteoric rise, a killer on corner threes, running in transition, and cutting across the court. But he hasn't been able to sustain both. He takes fewer than one shot a game out of cuts and has made only 11 corner triples all season, connecting on 33.3 percent from that range. It's not fair to blame any of Toronto's miserable season on Siakam, but it is fair to say that he and Toronto are both at their best when the ball is in his hands.

Fred VanVleet has been up and down all season, but he's played two dominant games in a row against the Milwaukee Bucks and New York Knicks. His drives have been purposeful, his defense ferocious, and his pull-up jumper returned to relevance. But his catch-and-shoot jumper remains wayward, now at 32.8 percent on the season, after a long, long career of success there. VanVleet has said he's had trouble adjusting to a new role. And though his overall numbers -- whether usage, touches, touch time, shot frequency, or anything else -- throughout games are remarkably similar to last season's, his usage has been significantly lower when he's on the floor with Toronto's presumptive starters. He can dominate the ball and run plenty of lineups successfully, but if his catch-and-shoot jumper doesn't return to at-least-passable levels, he's no longer the perfect running mate for Siakam that he was once.

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