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RAPTORS BLOG: Through three we know Barnes is good and Siakam is missed

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Three video games in what will we definitively know concerning the Toronto Raptors?

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As you’d think about, it’s method too early to make sure of a lot, so let’s keep on with two issues I’m comfy occurring the report about proper now:

(1) They’ve discovered one thing particular in Scottie Barnes.

The person is 20 and already far more superior on each ends of the ground than most rookies with a lot room to develop. Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter and Chris Bosh have been the three Raptors rookies of their historical past that you simply watched early on (with McGrady it was moreso in Yr 2, however there have been flashes within the rookie, teenaged model) and acknowledged had immense potentialities.

Barnes is already must-watch, identical to Carter was as soon as the NBA’s lockout ended a few many years in the past.

(2) Pascal Siakam is desperately missed.

The offence is in disarray with out the highest canine. The massive man who’s able to scoring from everywhere in the ground, even when he’s slumping from three-point vary (as a result of he stays a risk). Siakam will get straightforward buckets and proper now these forms of scores are in very brief provide for the Raptors. OG Anunoby and Fred VanVleet are attempting, and Anunoby appeared much better in opposition to Dallas within the first half than he has at every other level this yr, however Siakam will make an enormous distinction as soon as he returns and is in kind.

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Nick Nurse says Siakam is wanting good and even taking a little bit of contact, however it sounds just like the group remains to be taking a look at lacking him for no less than one other 10 video games or so, give or take a number of. And if he comes again mid-November, the group can be on a West Coast journey, leaving valuable little time to scrimmage with Siakam to get everybody used to one another (necessary as a result of actually solely VanVleet, Anunoby and Chris Boucher have in depth expertise being on the court docket with Siakam. Gary Trent Jr., Khem Birch and Malachi Flynn performed a handful of video games with Siakam earlier than his season ended final yr).

Extra ideas on the primary three:

– Was attention-grabbing that Nurse mentioned pre-game in Boston that the starters could be the identical, with Dragic alongside VanVleet, solely to change it up on the final minute. It later got here out that Trent had been the starter at shootaround and Masai Ujiri had even talked about he’d be beginning in an look earlier that day. Both method, this lineup makes probably the most sense proper now, particularly with Dragic wanting like he’s misplaced a bit on his fastball in comparison with the man who used to terrorize the Raptors (it’s been most obvious within the second halves of video games).

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– Fouls have been a significant challenge for this group, particularly Barnes and Anunoby. Granted, the whistle was not good in opposition to Dallas, as Nurse and Anunoby hinted at afterward. However Anunoby must be smarter when he’s in some foul bother. His reach-in for No. 3 was completely pointless and despite the fact that Nurse didn’t prefer it, he stunned a participant by being late getting again for No. 5 and that one additionally may have been simply averted had Anunoby fought by way of some frustrations.

For Barnes it’s some rookie calls and his getting used to the NBA tempo and physicality. He solely dedicated one foul in Boston.

– A little bit of a yikes with Nurse calling out Boucher when requested about him being a bit “up and down.” Nurse talked about he didn’t see any up from Boucher in opposition to Dallas and that was honest. Boucher and Birch have appeared good in flashes collectively in a few the video games, however Boucher has additionally had poor shot choice, hasn’t moved the ball in any respect and has appeared off. Is sensible contemplating he missed the pre-season and far of camp as a consequence of harm. This can be a large season for Boucher, who remains to be looking for a long-term NBA dwelling. It might be in Toronto, or he might be a pleasant commerce deadline chip to hawk for a retooling membership in Toronto with a watch on the longer term.

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– Once more with Siakam, as soon as he returns, the bench will get a significant increase as a result of both Trent or Achiuwa can be a reserve. That may both give the group wanted scoring, or a frenetic, continuous ball of power who occurs to be elite on the boards.

– The excellent news is Toronto improved on its close to league-worst 1.16 help/turnover ratio by way of its work in opposition to Dallas. The dangerous information is the group nonetheless has compiled solely 53 assists by way of three video games in opposition to 43 turnovers. Solely six groups have a worse ratio (take a look at Detroit’s … woof). And solely three are aiding on a decrease share of baskets than Toronto’s 50% help share.

– One other noticeable early challenge: Whereas the offensive rebounding has been nice, the ending on second-chance makes an attempt has been stunningly poor. They went 4-for-16 within the opener, 3-for-12 in opposition to Dallas.

– It’s good for the Raptors that Luka Doncic is within the West. Not a lot for his or her followers, who don’t get to see him a lot. What a participant. Think about taking Marvin Bagley and even DeAndre Ayton over him. A minimum of Trae Younger and Cam Reddish as an alternative of Doncic is defendable, despite the fact that I’d nonetheless reasonably have Doncic.

THREE STARS

1- Luka Doncic

2- OG Anunoby

3- Tim Hardaway Jr.

THREE STARS VS. CELTICS

1- Scottie Barnes

2- Gary Trent Jr.

3- Jayson Tatum

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