RAPTORS BLOG: Happy New Year, the gang is almost all together

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Happy New Year everyone. Let’s all hope for a much better year 2022 after the last two years.

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Thanks as always for reading and welcome back, because I went on vacation for a bit (three stars for games that weren’t blogged are below).

So, the Raptors pretty much got the whole gang together to send 2021, and as they looked defensively, as you might expect, parts of the offense looked surprisingly crisp, given how little practice and time was in the game. game together had been possible over the past few weeks.

Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet, in particular, had a deadly two-way match that the Clippers had little response to, and OG Anunoby looked sharp. Without Paul George or Kawhi Leonard, the Clippers couldn’t keep Anunoby or Siakam at all. OG scored from all over the outside (he had a three-point corner, one from near death and one from an elbow) and inside and hit the line eight times, more than in any other game of his career except one). VanVleet’s shot wasn’t there, but it will return. You can bet the same for Gary Trent Jr.

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While the Eastern Top 4 has a bit of cushion at the moment, the Raptors could easily, at full strength, place fifth or sixth. Of course, it is also possible that other issues will arise with the staff and they will come back to the lottery. We will see. Hopefully the second half of the season is normal and they make a push in the playoffs or play-in.

The news that young Scottie Barnes already suffers from tendonitis in his knee was a bitter New Years nugget, but C’est la vie. His absence at least delayed what could be a conundrum of the rest of the season for Nick Nurse for at least a few days: What’s the optimal lineup if everyone is actually available at the same time at some point?

Do you make Barnes a sixth mortal man, as he was used in Florida State? Do you let Trent get a Lou Williams-type role (except in defense) as the attacking leader for a bench that won’t score many points otherwise? I would probably go for that, start big with Khem Birch, Siakam and Barnes up front, Anunoby as a gigantic shooting guard as he can keep any position including the opposing two but finish with Trent.

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– Until this week, there had only been a small number of games where a Raptors player had taken 19 or more rebounds. The list to accomplish the feat was quite exclusive, although both Chris Bosh and Donyell Marshall were used to these games. But then Chris Boucher and Pascal Siakam each won 19 straight games, which we’re pretty sure has never happened before in Raptors history (although each has reached a career high of 19 once. previously). It’s probably going to become more common with all the three-point clicking that happens these days, but for now, it was a statistical quirk to note.

– The Raptors franchise is now three wins away from reaching 1,000 all-time.

Only Memphis and New Orleans also don’t yet have 1,000 wins.

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But Minnesota, which entered the NBA in 1989-90 long before the Raptors, have won just 1,019 games and their .395 winning percentage is the worst of any current franchise. Toronto won with a respectable 0.476 score, 20th among all existing franchises and just ahead of Orlando and Cleveland and not far behind Detroit and Golden State.

San Antonio leads all with a .613 winning percentage and has five titles. The Los Angeles Lakers are next at .595, the Boston Celtics .589 and each have 17 championships, if you include the Minneapolis titles for the Lakers. Chicago and Golden State each have six championships.

Utah, Phoenix, Indiana, Denver, Orlando, Charlotte, New Orleans, Minnesota, Brooklyn, Memphis and the Los Angeles Clippers are the franchise that hasn’t won everything.

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OLD RAPTOR OF THE NIGHT:

Easiest of the season: DeMar DeRozan, having an All-NBA caliber season for Chicago, gave up a three-point one-leg shot to win the game against Indiana. DeRozan had 28 points, six assists and three steals. He only shot 8v24, but the winner, 11v12 work from the free throw line and his best save (13 points on a 4v8 shot) sealed it.

CANADIAN BY NIGHT:

RJ Barrett: It’s been a tough season for Barrett and the Knicks after a fantastic 2020-21, but he has scored 26 points against fellow Canucks Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Lu Dort. Even though the Knicks lost and only scored a brutal 80 points, think how much worse it would have been without Barrett’s contributions.

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Congratulations also to Kevin Pangos of Holland Landing for securing his first two career starts this week. Pangos had eight points and four assists on Friday. Rajon Rondo comes in to help replace Ricky Rubio, but that doesn’t mean Pangos won’t play at all, since Rondo is no closer to the player than Rubio is.

THREE STARS

1 Pascal Siakam

2 OG Anunoby

3 Terrence Mann

THREE STARS AGAINST. SIXERS

1 Chris Boucher

2 Joel Embiid

3 Pascal Siakam

THREE STARS AGAINST. CAVS BOXING DAY

1 Yuta Watanabe

2 Darius garland

3 Lauri Markkanen

THREE STARS FOR THE SEASON

(until December)

Fred VanVleet 27 points

Scottie Barnes 25

Pascal Siakam 15

OG Anunoby 10

Gary Trent Jr. 9

Chris Boucher 5

precious Achiuwa 3

Yuta Watanabe 3

Dalano Banton 2

THREE STARS FOR DECEMBER

Scottie Barnes 11

Pascal Siakam 7

Fred VanVleet 6

Chris Boucher 4

Gary Trent Jr. 3

Yuta Watanabe 3

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