Raptors take care of Spurs in Jakob Poeltl’s “homecoming”

Toronto said hello again to Jakob but not goodbye this time.

We’ve seen some curveballs by the NBA script this season, but the Raptors flirting with a reunion of their ninth pick from the 2016 draft wasn’t one of them.

Toronto finally acquires a centre that has desperately been needed since the departures of Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka. Honestly, the “Poeltl re-audition” game didn’t go well last night. Scottie Barnes had success in the post vs Jakob, and so did Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet on drives. Poeltl also missed a few bunnies on offence. Even though he finished near his season averages with 12 points and seven rebounds, it’s a game Jak would throw in the trash.

This pass was sweet though. Obviously Jak and Skills are very familiar with each other so there will be more of this even if Poeltl isn’t a shooting threat.

3.1 assists per game from a centre is solid.

Pascal’s “breath of fresh air” game

Siakam was coming off a rough seven game road trip by his standards. Pascal was in foul trouble for the last three contests, and his numbers (21.9 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 4.1 apg, 42/27/79 splits) were down from his season averages even though many players would happily take them.

Pascal’s jumper was on point from the start. He made his first seven shots and everything flowed easily for him as a result. Siakam’s 18 point first quarter was a season-high for any quarter this season.

When these type of shots are going in, it’s your night.

Chris Boucher’s energy

On the flip side, Boucher picked up where he left off after having a great road trip. Nick Nurse credited Boucher for steering the ship back in the right direction in at least three of those games, where Boucher would immediately make a three and provide game changing energy after lackluster starts. Boucher had double figure scoring nights in five of the seven games and brought that same motor back to Toronto.

The funniest Boucher play of the night also came via the hustle variety. He fought to keep the ball alive on Gary Trent Jr’s initial miss and tipped in the second attempt, crashing into Trent as both toppled over in the process. Not shown here, but Gary had a bewildered laugh as both of them eventually got back on defence.

Boucher’s final line: 18 points, 11 boards (four offensive), three steals and three blocks. Add a couple of threes for good measure.

Trade Rumours

With Durant now off the table, it appears that O.G. Anunoby is the coveted prize once again as Woj mentioned late in the night.

Price of the brick just went up.

The Poeltl trade leaves six potential starters with only five spots, so conventional wisdom says someone is getting traded in a few hours. If it is O.G, his last memory in a Raptors uniform adds to a bizarre tradition that plagued Jonas Valanciunas, Chris Bosh and Vince Carter.

An injury.

To make it more strange, Valanciunas also got hurt in Golden State.

Up Next: A new Raptors lineup sees Utah and Walker Kessler again (immediate Jakob effect?) on Friday, looking for a season-best four game win streak. Toronto is now in the play-in scenario and all signs point to the Raps staying there during a favourable five game homestand. Inquiring minds wonder if Brooklyn falls within reach as well.

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