Preseason should always be taken with a grain of salt but Toronto capped off their preseason as good as they possibly could with a 134-98 blowout victory over the visiting Washington Wizards. The game was pretty much always in the Raptors control and this was a wonderful way to head into the preseason.
The game began with Washington getting out to an early lead and saw Toronto really struggle from the field. Toronto began the game shooting 22% from the field which was 2/9, but after these initial struggles Toronto began to turn it up and just never looked back. Scottie Barnes once again had an outstanding game on both ends of the floor as he constantly found his way to the rim in a more off ball role on offense. He dropped 23 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 blocks last night and he surprisingly he was 3/6 from three and these were all catch and shoots, so Scottie was really punishing the Wizards defense from outside. Scottie also looked good in transition and had multiple plays where his offense led to defense. His defensive presence around the rim has been really good this preseason and that was the case last night.
OG Anunoby showed off his defensive prowess as he was a main part of Jordan Poole, who was coming off a 41 point game, going 1-15 from the floor. He was constantly hounding Poole all night and he never let him get comfortable going to the basket as well. Anunoby poured in a bit of his own offense as well, a trailing three here, a nice floater after a drive there, but his defense was what really stood out during the game, as it usually does.
Precious Achiuwa had the Raptors fandom buzzing with his performance last night. Precious’ statline was 9 points 6 rebounds 2 steals and 2 blocks and this was a game where Precious was just so impactful and truly showed off his versatility. Precious spent time guarding the pick and roll, breaking up lobs, getting blocks as the rim help, he also stepped out onto the perimeter multiple times to slide with guys like Jordan Poole so his defense was just massive last night. Precious says he prides himself on his defense and if last night is the indicator then it is without a doubt the truth. Offensively he was also under control as well, as an off ball guy on the offense it was good to see him get setup by his teammates. He had a handoff where he bursted off of it towards the rim like a speeding bullet, he was a great cutter tonight, and just diving in transition led to an easy one as well. Precious wasn’t the only guy who had a nice game off the bench though.
Raptors rookie Gradey Dick finally found his rhythm from three as he cashed 4 out of 5 of his triples and looked very confident doing so. Gradey showed his understanding of spacing and consistently moved well and found spots to hit his threes from. He was on the wrong end of a crossover at the hands of Delon Wright but overall he had a great game. Jalen McDaniels had a nice showing as well as he showed off his length on defense and the tenacity and versatility that are at his disposal. Multiple times he switched onto different players and mucked up passing lanes, just doing the solid stuff on defense that every NBA team wishes they had off of the bench.
Pascal Siakam was a pretty consistent force tonight as well after his slow start. He finished with 19 points and 8 rebounds and did so by going to the rim a bunch and getting to the line as well. He played well in transition and was a bit overwhelming for Washington’s defense, but we expect that from Pascal Siakam.
This game ends a preseason that was full of new insights, good vibes, and mostly positive outcomes and now the regular season begins on Wednesday against the Minnesota Timberwolves.