In what was another poor defensive and offensive showing in last night’s game versus the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Toronto Raptors extended their losing streak to eight games. While the effects of COVID-19 are not to be diminished, the Raptors’ inability to start and close games is becoming a growing problem.
Across the second and third quarters of last night’s matchup, the Raptors gave up 68 points on nearly 60% shooting to a team with the second worst shot efficiency in the NBA. As the Toronto Raptors become increasingly healthy, the list of viable excuses becomes thinner and thinner. A performance like this is largely inexcusable.
Once again, it is hard to look at a box score like this and not consider its implications on the trade deadline. Early this morning, more Raptors news emerged regarding the trade availability of Norman Powell. If the Toronto Raptors believe they need to upgrade the centre position, it might not be unrealistic to expect a Norman Powell trade for Sacramento big man Richaund Holmes.
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After a competitive first three quarters, the Toronto Raptors once again fail to close a winnable game. Yes, the team was on the second night of a back-to-back. Yes, they had to fly from Cleveland to Houston. But this was a Victor Oladipo-less Rockets team that was on the verge of their 21st loss in a row.
The Toronto Raptors, having lost their 9th game in a row are now competing for a bottom sixth position in the entire NBA. With the trade deadline looming, it is hard to predict what this team will look like ahead of Friday’s game. Either way, this team will need to regroup and find a way to bounce back during this tough Western Conference road trip.
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