FIVE THINGS WE LEARNED
Ryan Wolstat’s takeaways from yesterday’s game vs. the Knicks
1 INCREDIBLY DEEP
The Raptors keep reminding us that this is the deepest team in franchise history. Case in point: Seven players took as many or more field goal attempts as Kawhi Leonard or Kyle Lowry and the team still cruised. Most teams don’t have players like Jonas Valanciunas, Fred VanVleet and OG Anunoby emerging from the second unit.
2 ’LETTING THEM FLY’
Pascal Siakam hit three three-pointers for the first time after going five games in a row without making a single shot from beyond the arc. He said afterward he’s just working on confidence, slowing things down, setting his feet and “letting them fly.”
3 LEONARD AT THE LINE
Even when Leonard is off, he’s still hard to guard. He got to the free throw line 10 time, part of Toronto’s massive 40-22 free throw attempt edge. The Knicks simply couldn’t check the Raptors. Knicks coach David Fizdale said afterward part of that stems from referees not knowing who any of his largely young, unheralded players are. But it’s more than that. Toronto simply can draw fouls in large numbers.
4 ONE HOT NURSE
Nick Nurse didn’t have to overextend himself for this one, but the result was the same, another win. With Toronto now 12-1 (including 7-0 at home), Nurse became the first head coach since Lawrence Frank (13-0 with New Jersey in 2004) to win at least 12 of his first 13 NBA games.
5 OPPOSITE ENDS
Does anyone else find it odd that Toronto has been winning 47+ games for years now and New York’s been losing 50+ annually, yet the Raptors boast a far more impressive crop of young players? Just asking. Knicks not named Tim Hardaway Jr. shot 11-for-40 from the field in the first half.