The Raptors’ 2022 season certainly did not end as hoped, with a 35-point loss to Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. The series loss was no major surprise, of course, as going up against Joel Embiid, James Harden, and the ascending Tyrese Maxey would not be easy for any opponent.
Toronto was overmatched against Philadelphia, but there were some positives to take from the 2021-22 season as we look back. Finishing in fifth place in the East with a 48-34 record was a very respectable accomplishment.
Toronto Raptors Highlights From The 2021-22 Season
A Good Year By The Numbers
- Even though the Raptors lost in six games to Philadelphia, they became the first team in seven seasons to force a Game 6 after losing the first three games, accounting a phenomenal playoffs feat. They were also just the 14th team in NBA history to pull off that feat. Being down 3-0 to a superior team and forcing a sixth game was admirable despite being blown out in the series finale.
- Pascal Siakam averaged 22.8 points per game during the regular season and set career highs in both rebounds (8.5) and assists (5.3). He was one of only five players to average 22 points, eight rebounds, and five assists, joining Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James, Luka Doncic, and Nikola Jokic. Being mentioned in such a lofty company demonstrates just how outstanding Siakam was this past season. He certainly made his case for being an All-NBA performer.
- Toronto won 12 of 14 regular season games when Siakam scored 30 or more points. He also logged 30 double-doubles, the most by a Raptors player in 12 years. We could have written an article just on Siakam’s superlatives from the 2021-22 campaign.
- The Raptors ranked second in the NBA in offensive rebounds (13.4) and second-chance points (16.5) this past season. Siakam, Scottie Barnes, Chris Boucher, Precious Achiuwa, and Khem Birch formed a terrific interior rotation that never let up on opponents on the boards.
- Barnes reached the 20-point mark in 17 games during the 2021-22 season. That was the most 20-point games by a Raptors rookie in 23 years. He became the third player in team history to win the NBA’s Rookie of The Year Award. Let’s just say Vince Carter was one of the others.
- Fred VanVleet became the first undrafted player in 16 seasons to garner All-Star honors. He averaged career highs of 20.3 points and 6.7 rebounds. We will all be watching closely to see if he gets a contract extension this summer, as VanVleet has certainly earned it. He has become a more front-facing and important player for the franchise, as he is about to head into his seventh season in a Raptors uniform.
- Gary Trent Jr. scored 30-plus points in five consecutive games from January 25 to February 1. That streak tied a franchise record set by DeMar DeRozan in 2016. Trent ranked third in the NBA in steals with 237 this past season. Seeing Trent emerge as more of a key figure on defense was very encouraging and a significant step forward.
- Achiuwa scored in double figures in seven consecutive games from March 9 to 20. He matched his season high with 21 points on March 20 vs. Philadelphia. He had 15 rebounds on January 17 vs. Miami, matching a career high that he first established on October 22 against the Celtics. He set a career-best mark for postseason points with 20 in Game 3 vs. the 76ers. Achiuwa was an integral performer during the playoffs, as he did not back down against Embiid. There is even more promise for the 22-year-old heading into next season.
- OG Anunoby scored 20+ points in each of the first three postseason games. His 26 points in Game 2 vs. Philadelphia established a playoff career high, which he then matched in Game 3. During the regular season, he established career highs in points (17.1) and rebounds (5.5) in 48 games. Like Achiuwa, Anunoby showed his best form during the playoffs. He is another player who provides a lot of hope for the future in Toronto.
- Chris Boucher played in a team-high 80 games during the 2021-22 regular season. On March 12 against the Nuggets, he had 21 points, 13 rebounds, and four blocks. On January 11 against the Suns, Boucher grabbed 16 rebounds, including a career-high nine offensive boards. His best game of the season came on December 28 vs. Philadelphia when Boucher scored a season-high 28 points and tied a career best with 19 rebounds. Boucher is set to enter unrestricted free agency, but he did tell Sportsnet that he “loves Toronto.” Still, he should draw a lot of interest on the open market.