The Toronto Raptors have a new coach but the same mediocre results. Now their coach hopes he can bribe them with food.
After last year’s 41-41 season and ninth-place finish, it’s been more of the same this year for Toronto. The Raptors are sitting in 11th place with a 9-11 record. Once again, they’re not bad, but they’re not really good, either. Coach Darko Rajakovic is hoping his players’ love of a free meal will get them to go on a run, especially in their upcoming stretch of eight home games in 11 games — even if his star doesn’t believe he’ll really pay.
“When I announced that, Pascal [Siakam] said, ‘Yeah, the team is going to pay for that,’” Rajakovic told Sportsnet. “He thinks I’m cheap. And that’s not true, so once we get three wins in a row I’m taking staff and players to dinner, and it’s going to be out of my pocket.”
While Toronto’s defense remains solid, it has the same problem as last year: The team can’t shoot. The Raptors are 24th in three-pointers made and 28th in three-point percentage, and they’re second-worst in free-throw percentage. Siakam is shooting 19.8 percent from deep, rookie Gradey Dick is shooting 24.4 percent and Jalen McDaniels is 4-for-22 (18.2 percent) from deep.
If Siakam could even get back to his career three-point average of 32.2 percent, it could make a big difference for Toronto … on the court and at the dinner table.