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Fan Duel Toronto Raptors

2nd half, rebounding issues spoil IQ and RJ’s return

That centre position seems kind of important, no?

The Raptors got off to a good start, forcing eight Knicks first quarter turnovers and leading by as many as 11. However once New York settled in it was a different ball game. The Knicks shot 54 percent from the field, outrebounded the Raptors by 30 (61-31!) and Jalen Brunson scored 23 of his game high 38 points in the second half. Julius Randle also chipped in with his first triple double of the season, and 13th of his career. The Knicks improve to 19-0 this season against teams under .500.

Lots to touch on within the 26 point loss.

Quickley and Barrett back at MSG

RJ Barrett in particular didn’t know what Knicks fans reaction would be after being traded three weeks ago. Both IQ and RJ were well received in the pre-game intros, and also received a tribute video during a first half timeout.

Quickley continues to find his comfort zone running the Raptors offence. He had dished out eight of his 11 assists (with no turnovers) in the first half, finishing with his first double double as a Raptor. Barrett benefitted from Quickley’s reads, leading Toronto with 20 points.

Postgame, Barrett was happy with the reception from the Knicks faithful. He also posted a thank you video for New York fans this morning.

https://twitter.com/RjBarrett6/status/1749060983438393803

Anunoby vs the Raptors

O.G. said numerous times before and after game that this feels weird, after wearing a Raptors jersey the first seven years of his career. He split time guarding Quickley, Barrett and a few expected possessions against Scottie Barnes. Scottie had a quiet scoring night, with nine points on 4-14 shooting.

O.G. finished around his averages with 14 points and seven boards, adding three blocks. The Knicks are now 9-2 with Anunoby in the lineup.

Rebounding Issues

This is the biggest problem plaguing the Raptors over the last two weeks. The Raptors were 3-1 post trade with Jakob Poeltl, but are 1-6 since his injury. The disparity on the boards has been frightening. It’s the second time in the last five games that Toronto was outrebounded by at least 25. At one point during the third quarter the Knicks led the boards battle 42-15! Extremely hard to stay in the game that way.

Jontay Porter has been starting at centre recently and was a factor in the Raptors forcing turnovers early, getting deflections and hounding Randle at the three point line. However he only grabbed two rebounds. Poeltl is the only true centre on the team right now, something that needs to be addressed before the trade deadline.

Precious Achiuwa’s best Knicks game

Not surprisingly, Precious took advantage of the smaller Raps especially in the second half. He posted his first double double as a Knick, with 18 points (9-10 FG) and 11 rebounds (four offensive). Isaiah Hartenstein left the game with an ankle injury, opening up a season-high tying 25 minutes for Achiuwa.

Malachi Flynn also checked in during garbage time, knocking down a three.

Sidenotes

  • The Raptors are flirting with historic futility when it comes to division play.
  • Quickley did his best DeMar DeRozan impression with this analogy on gelling with a new team
  • Back to back good performances for Gradey Dick! He’s 5-8 from three over the last two games (didn’t play vs Chicago, but did against Miami). Keep giving the rookie opportunities to play!
  • Like Malachi, Jordan Nwora also knocked down a three late. It’s his first basket as a Raptor.

Up Next: The Raptors host banged up Memphis on Monday. Sixth worst record implications?