Update: The Toronto Raptors are still looking to win their first game of the year against the Portland Trail Blazers in the afternoon.
For the second straight game in the row, the Raptors had a wild 4th quarter and went on a 17-3 run to cut the deficit to 2 points with 40 seconds left. In the end, they lost.
Something has to change. One suggestion could be to find someone reliable coming off the bench to provide a spark and rest our starters.
Having 3 starters in the top 4 minutes played per game is insane. Insane in a bad way.
Whether it’s acquiring some trade targets like Jordan Clarkson, or Kelly Oubre or even waiting for Otto Porter Jr to return and hoping that he can help our shooting. It is a good sign to see Precious Achuiwa slowly easing his way into playing basketball as he is someone who is capable of helping this team on the defensive end.
Raptors: Fred VanVleet led the way for the Raptors once again with 28 points, 7 assists, and 8 rebounds. He was once again close to a triple-double stat line for a second straight game.
Gary Trent Jr was right behind VanVleet in points, scoring 27 points on an efficient 50% shooting and he hit 4 threes.
Another day, another wild clutch three from Trent Jr.
O.G. Anunoby once again had a beautiful defensive performance aside from the first quarter where Julius Randle turned into prime Steph Curry and hit 5 threes. Offensively, he scored 13 points and grabbed 9 boards.
Scottie Barnes sadly couldn’t come up with a spectacular 4th quarter performance like how he did against the Milwaukee Bucks and ended up with 7 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists. Pascal Siakam had 18 points on 28.5% shooting although he did grab 13 rebounds and had 5 assists.
Both Scottie and Pascal are contributing in other ways but it would be great to see them bounce back and score too. They will look to do so against the Trail Blazers.
Trail Blazers: The Trail Blazers are currently the 8th seed in the west and are .500 with a record of 19 wins and 19 losses. They are on a 2 game losing streak and will look to bounce back against the Raptors.
The Blazers trio of Damian Lillard, Anfernee Simons, and Jeremi Grant are deadly. To win, the Raptors have to make sure all three of them are well-guarded. The trio individually averaged 20+ points per game this season.
Other players to look out for include Josh Hart, Jusuf Nurkic, Gary Payton II, Drew Eubanks, and the 2022 7th overall pick Shaedon Sharpe,
The Canadian rookie Sharpe will be playing in Toronto for the first time in his career.
Tip-Off: 3:30pm EDT | TV: TSN4 & TSN5
Otto Porter Jr. (toe) remains out. Dalano Banton and Ron Harper Jr. are with the G-League.
PG: Fred VanVleet, Malachi Flynn, Jeff Dowtin Jr.
SG: Scottie Barnes, Gary Trent Jr.
SF: O.G. Anunoby, Juancho Hernangomez
PF: Pascal Siakam, Chris Boucher, Thaddeus Young
C: Khem Birch, Precious Achiuwa, Christian Koloko
Trail Blazers Lineup
Nurkic (non-covid illness) and Payton II (ankle) are probable to play. Justise Winslow, Eric Bledsoe, and Nassir Little are all out.
PG: Damian Lillard, Gary Payton II
SG: Anfernee Simons, Keon Johnson, Shaedon Sharpe
SF: Josh Hart
PF: Jeremi Grant, Jabari Walker, Greg Brown III
C: Jusuf Nurkic, Drew Eubanks
Upcoming Regular Season Schedule
Hornets @ Raptors, Jan 10
Hornets @ Raptors, Jan 12
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