After getting blown out by the Golden State Warriors the other day, you’d expect the Toronto Raptors to come out swinging in tonight’s contest against the Phoenix Suns. That was far from the case as the Raptors lost 125-109. Toronto ends their six-game road with a losing record (2-4) while dropping their third straight game for the first time in over a year. The Raptors were nearly outscored in every quarter of this game which seemed over by halftime. Jonas Valanciunas led Toronto with a strong 21 point 10 rebound performance. Phoenix’s attack was spearheaded by their ultra athletic point man, Eric Bledsoe who contributed 20 points, 8 assists and 3 steals in a winning team effort. Toronto’s game against the Charlotte Hornets this Thursday is sure to be big as it’ll mark the return of DeMar DeRozan. Stay faithful Raptor fans – it’s been far worse. We’ve been spoiled with success this season and shit happens.
With the exception of the team totalling 20 turnovers and Kyle Lowry going 6 for 17, the Raptors’ offence may have been the only positive for the team tonight…barely. Toronto shot 45.8% from the field and were able to get large scoring contributions from the second unit. Lou Williams and James Johnson both had good games. Johnson with his constant efficiency, and Williams with his uncanny ability to continually get to the line. The addition of DeRozan in the next few games should see a real shift in the dynamic of this team’s offence as they’ve been quite successful without him.
Toronto’s effort on defence tonight was abysmal. The Raptors allowed Phoenix to shoot a blistering 53.9% from the floor. Seven players on the Suns finished in double figures with two players scoring 9 points almost bringing that total to nine. The Raptors failed to guard their man putting together a sorry game on the defensive side of the ball.
Toronto finished a +2 on the glass against Phoenix. Phoenix had a gang mentality approach to getting boards as opposed to just a few select players getting on the glass. For Toronto, Valanciunas and James Johnson were their usual rebound grabbing selves, but rebounds weren’t the problem for Toronto…it was the effort.
Game Ball: Archie Goodwin
12 points in 9 minutes of play. Plus the highlight of your NBA career. Enter Archie Goodwin.