Although it was the first game of the season, the Toronto Raptors had a lot to lose to the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night from 113-99.
From hints at what the team’s offensive focus might be, to the apparent return of Pascal Siakam – and how the team can navigate COVID-19-related complications this season – we’ve learned quite a bit about what the 2020-21 routers might be.
Surviving and dying by three
While its importance in the extra NBA isn’t too much of a surprise, it looks like the Raptors will take a lot of three-pointers this season.
In their pre-season final last Friday, the Raptors lifted 57 triplets. On Wednesday, they jacked up 46.
At first, it seemed like it was a great idea, as Toronto went from deep in the first half to 11-of-24. After an ice-cold quarter in the third quarter, where they went from a three-point range to 10, and only a 3-of-22 in the entire second half, Toronto were seen shooting themselves in the leg – paving the way for the Pelicans to close the seven-point half-time deficit in the third. Will turn nine-point to the top.
And the NBA, to use a clich, a make-or-miss league, was listening a little bit about how the Raptors’ three-point miss after the game affected the club’s power levels in the second half.
When Toronto head coach Nick Nurse was asked if these three triple raptors had dried up, “It certainly looked like it, it spent a lot of our energy time, I thought.” “It’s tough to deal with, but it’s still not a million miles away. With six minutes to go, it was still a five- or seven-point game. We’ve done some sort of thing, it’s a big thing, but we’ve lost a little bit of energy and maybe a little bit. The gas seemed to run out. “
It’s good and good to have a team with a crime predicted with triplets, but TP hears their steam run out because it’s not the most encouraging thing to be cool to see.
Granted, it was the first game of the season, but based on all the throws that the Raptors kept on the 12 free throws they made on Wednesday, it seems there needs to be a better balance between outside and inside scoring.
The nurse said, “We want to go further in the free-throw line. I thought we should probably stay.” “But it just didn’t seem like hard drive was found. Introduction will play tonight. Yeah, we definitely need to get more in line. It’s definitely a high priority, we need to take it a little further to shore.”
Back to Sikkim, mostly
For more encouraging news, it looked like the old Siakam was back on Wednesday night.
The Raptors All-Star finished with 20 points, six rebounds and a 3-for-7 clip from deep to 6-of-17 shooting.
Siakam looked active and strong and he thought that old swag was something that made him an All-NBA pick last season, with the kite that the Pelican defenders were all tied to in a knot.
“I think it was a bit better in terms of continuing the game fast,” Siamcom said after the game. “I’m coming back, you know, just running and attacking, making plays and stuff, so I was very good about it.”
His confidence was more important than going to the basket, but he was the level of playmaking he portrayed.
Six eggs of Siam on Wednesday did not crash. Training camps and pre-season are some of the things he has done that are now showing up to start the regular season.
“Well, I think it’s definitely a good place for him to stay,” the nurse said about making Siakam’s play on Wednesday. “I think once you become a scorer he has to play just like you because they are going to send you multiple defenders. And I think he’s getting better at it. “
The only criticism of Siakam’s game since Wednesday is that he did not score or assist in the fourth quarter. The Raptors had a chance to mount a comeback early in the final frame, but failed to do so in the end and Siakam was certainly not to blame for this, his lack of production proved to be one of the reasons.
Bynes, Boucher is going to be fine
The off-season obviously had a lot to do with the departures of Serge Ibaka and Mark Gasol, but based on what we saw on Wednesday from their replacements at the center, Aaron Boynes and Chris Boucher, the Raptors will be fine.
Buenos Aires returned 11 points and nine on Wednesday and have been seen setting up big screens, especially in the first half, freeing up shooters like Kyle Lowry. And, as you can see a little earlier in the clip, he even hit the three-pointer.
Boucher also had a very good first half, scoring eight of his 12 points, crashing the glass hard and even looking at Ibaka-Esku in his own way: pick-and-pop and drilling mid-range jimmies.
All in all Baynes and Boucher held their own Wednesdays, and if we can expect it from them this season, things won’t be too bad for the Raptors in that place.
Dealing with COVID
Nauman Powell was not cleared to play on Wednesday just hours before the game, which is stuck in the league’s health and safety protocol.
As soon as Paul was released after the game, he missed two or three exercises with the Raptors before the season opener because he was under protocol, something that could contribute to his weak night, leaving the field as 2-for-22 for 12. Points
Regardless of Paul’s performance, however, the uncertainty that Powell makes the Raptors sound like it’s moving forward in reality.
The virus has not yet left us, and unfortunately, this kind of situation may return to normal as the season progresses.