FIVE THINGS WE LEARNED

Mike Ganter’s take­aways from last night’s game at Wash­ing­ton

Toronto Sun - - SPORTS -

1 Kawhi makes it look easy

De­spite spend­ing the bulk of the early af­ter­noon driv­ing the bas­ket, Kawhi Leonard did not get his first trip to the free throw line un­til the eight-minute mark of the third quar­ter. De­spite that, he still fin­ished with 41 points on 15-of-29 shoot­ing, in­clud­ing 3-of-6 from dis­tance. Leonard rarely com­plains about the lack of calls but one can only imag­ine how much he’d be scor­ing if he was ac­tu­ally get­ting the ben­e­fit of the whis­tle like ev­ery other su­per­star in the league.

2 Norm takes a beat­ing

Norm Pow­ell is be­com­ing a mag­net for el­bows to the head and none of them seem to be draw­ing the ex­pected foul calls. Jeff Green got him on Sun­day in Wash­ing­ton. Pow­ell also took heavy shots in the loss in San An­to­nio and in Mil­wau­kee. Pow­ell said he stayed down on this one hop­ing the of­fi­cials would at least give it a sec­ond look, but to no avail.

3 Don’t sleep on Si­akam

It seems with each and ev­ery pass­ing game, Pas­cal Si­akam’s bid for most im­proved player in the NBA gets an­other boost. Sun­day in Wash­ing­ton he was go­ing point for point most of the af­ter­noon with Leonard be­fore the vet­eran for­ward started to pull away in the fourth quar­ter. But not even Leonard could match Si­akam’s work on the boards. His 19 re­bounds were a ca­reer high and a team high for the sea­son.

4 Beal makes his case

If there are 12 bet­ter play­ers in the East­ern Con­fer­ence than Bradley Beal right now, we haven’t seen them. Beal, par­tic­u­larly since John Wall went down but also on plenty of oc­ca­sions be­fore that, has proven him­self to be all-star wor­thy. His triple-dou­ble on Sun­day, his sec­ond of the year with at least 40 points, 10 re­bounds and 15 as­sists, makes him the only player in league his­tory be­sides the great Os­car Robert­son to have two such games in the same sea­son.

5 In high theft mode

When Toronto’s de­fence is at its best it is gen­er­at­ing steals in huge num­bers. On Sun­day the Rap­tors had 16, two off their sea­son high set five days ear­lier against At­lanta. The thing about the Rap­tors’ high­steal games is they are al­ways a fully shared team stat. Against the Wizards six dif­fer­ent Rap­tors had two or more.

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