Raptors fail to score, defend in rematch vs Hawks

Atlanta snaps its five game losing streak.

The most consistent component from the Raptors this season has been their inconsistency.

In the first game against Atlanta on Wednesday, Toronto reached the 130 point mark in consecutive games for only the third time in franchise history. Pascal Siakam, Scottie Barnes and O.G. Anunoby combined for 82 points on 46 shots. It was the the second straight game the trio had dropped 20-plus. The defence allowed 128 points and Atlanta had 13 more shot attempts, but the Raptors made 18 threes to make up for it.

Last night didn’t feature anything resembling game one offensively. Toronto came back down to earth behind the arc. The Raptors missed 11 free throws. Siakam’s string of 20-plus point performances was snapped at six, only taking 11 shots and sitting far too long in the fourth quarter while the Hawks lead ballooned from single digits to 18. Anunoby also took just eight shots. Only Scottie’s efforts kept the Raptors in striking range early fourth but the offence wasn’t consistently run through him after working on back to back possessions. Too often, the offence was ran exlucing the Raptors three best players. Adding to those issues, the Hawks had 24 more field goal attempts (101-77). The possession battle wasn’t an issue in the Nick Nurse era because winning the margins (such as offensive rebounds, getting turnovers) to make up for a bad halfcourt offence was a priority. In this game, Atlanta won the offensive boards battle 16 to 3.

Ice Trae

Atlanta led by 10 at halftime despite Trae Young having a quiet game by his standards (nine points, six assists, 3-10 shooting). The Raptors switched to a 2-3 zone to throw something different at the Hawks other players, who carried most of the offensive load to that point.

Unfortunately, Young carved up that gameplan. A few defensive communications left him or Bogdan Bogdanovic open. Trae split the middle of the zone for floaters. And with the zone not extending behind the three point arc, it gave Young space to threes as far as the logo if he had to. Trae has never been shy to extend the range and killed the Raptors repeatedly with back breaking threes. Overall, Young exploded for 29 points (12-19 FG, 5-10 3pt) in the second half.

Young now has seven 30-point games against the Raptors since entering the NBA in 2018-19. That’s the most against Toronto over the last six seasons.

Even Trae had enough, checking himself out of the game in the final minute.

Darko Rajakovic was asked about the defence on Young, and the defensive miscommunications in general.


Up Next: No game this weekend, the Raptors host Charlotte on Monday. They lost to the Hornets without LaMelo Ball a week ago.