1 stud and 1 dud from difficult defeat against Warriors
The Toronto Raptors picked up a feel-good win against the Kings on Friday night, but it seemed like they were about to be in for yet another defeat at the hands of the Golden State Warriors. Sure, Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet helped this team bludgeon the lowly Kings, but could they beat the 14-2 Warriors in San Francisco?
To make a long story very short, they did not. Golden State raced out to such a dominant start that Toronto was down by double digits with fans still finding their seats. While the Raptors did get hot in spurts, it did little to close what was an enormous gap.
The Raptors fell in defeat 119-104 against Golden State. Even with Steph Curry not having his best day at the office, Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins combining for 65 points helped seal the win. The positive momentum from the Sacramento win has been emphatically sucked away.
In such a tough team loss, there are only a couple of players who can hold their heads high and say that they had a good game. Plenty of Raptors players should be very disappointed with how they performed.
Golden State Warriors
Pascal Siakam was one of the few Toronto Raptors who played well.
While the likes of Precious Achiuwa and Dalano Banton had some impressive games off of the bench, it was Siakam who takes the crown tonight. Many of the Raptors’ best players were underwhelming, but Siakam did everything he could to make sure Toronto stayed in this game.
Siakam led the team in scoring with 21 points on 8-16 shooting tonight. Considering the defensive bodies that Golden State was throwing at him, it was a bit surprising that he was one of the few Raptors players who put on a solid offensive show.
Siakam has now scored 20 points in four of his last five games, showing that he appears to be fully recovered from his offseason injury. Toronto may not have a ton of wins with him in the lineup, but anyone choosing to single him out as the main reason for the losses is willfully choosing to ignore the facts.
OG Anunoby’s absence is hitting this team hard, but Siakam is starting to get into a bit of a rhythm. This is helping minimize the drop in production without OG on the floor. This road trip hasn’t gone according to plan, but Siakam is taking this time to get back into the swing of things.
Gary Trent Jr. didn’t have his best game for the Toronto Raptors.
Fred VanVleet made a very compelling case for this spot due to his tough night on offense, as did Scottie Barnes thanks to his poor shooting night. However, due to his very inefficient night shooting the ball and merely passable defensive showing, Trent earns this dubious distinction.
Trent was a -31 on the night, making just three of his 16 shots and scoring just 11 points. After dominating from mid-range against Sacramento and Utah, Trent didn’t score in the second half and didn’t convert on a single shot from inside the arc.
Defending players like Curry, Wiggins, or the revamped Poole on-ball or off-ball is a nearly impossible task if they’re both on, but Trent did not have his best night on that end. With Golden State keeping their foot in the gas, Toronto was never able to get back in this contest.
Trent will have better games, but this catastrophic team effort was a sign that this team has some serious issues that they need to overcome. Fans shouldn’t be too concerned about the big picture due to how hot he has been, but Toronto will need better games from No. 33 if they want to get back on track.