Pascal Siakam dominates the rebound against the Kings


Here are 10 takeaways from the Toronto Raptors 108-89 win over the Sacramento Kings.

One – The Raptors easily took the Kings apart to break their losing three-game skid. The Raptors were lively and composed from start to finish, starters and reserves were compact defensively, and it was an entirely stress-free visual experience that saw the Raptors lead by 30 points in the second half. To be fair, the Kings looked like the worst team in the league at times with their bewilderment, and they were booed by the few loyal fans who remain, but that doesn’t matter to the Raptors who weren’t that. well above Sacramento level at the end of their losing skid. Hopefully this gives everyone some confidence ahead of a very tough game against Golden State.

Two – Pascal Siakam gave a categorical response after his worst game of the year. Siakam torched the Kings from start to finish with the most efficient outing of his career, scoring 32 points on 10-on-12 shots and 9-on-10 on free throws. Siakam is so hard to stop when he’s doing his sweaters, and he hooked up on everything. His first shot of the game was a confident three-way transition on a Fred VanVleet field, and that set the tone for the rest of the game. Siakam was shaking his man around the perimeter until he hit the elbow, and from there he was clinical, hitting 5 for 6 in the midrange, including a magnificent spinning motion after a quick cross before to disappear in a smooth release. And when Siakam fell on the descent, he almost always got the call in the paint because the Sacramento defense was always late.

Three – Scores come and go, but Siakam knows he has to set the tone every night. In an honest moment in the post-match press conference, Siakam touched on the need to be more engaged defensively, which had been the area of ​​the match he had lagged behind the most since his return. “Some nights I will score anything and it will be difficult, but I have to keep my consistency in defense… and I think that is something that I have to improve and I have to bring that intensity every night so that everyone can call, ”he said of his performance. Siakam was much more engaged in this performance, showing a level of physique and tenacity that earned him three stitches on his temple as a reward for standing straight in the paint and blocking Harrison Barnes’ shot.

Four – The Raptors dominated defense for the first time in weeks. Having a perfectly healthy front zone helped in that regard, but it was just a more compact effort overall. The Raptors ditched the hyperaggressive trapping pattern that was set apart in Utah, made painting a priority, and that was the biggest key to their victory. It helps that the Kings didn’t have a gap and only made six threes in the first three quarters, but the Raptors were able to come out to challenge perimeter shots much more effectively since the Kings were forced to make tough kick-out passes after finding zero spaces in the paint. The Kings shot 22 for 45 in the paint versus the Jazz who had 23 for 30 in the paint against the Raptors the night before. Defending the traditional centerless paint makes it difficult for the Raptors, but they have enough length elsewhere to make things difficult. The key is to converge in the painting, rather than sending additional bodies towards the three point line.

Five – Khem Birch led the charge on the defensive end, as he literally took on the Raptors’ second charge of the season. Birch was all over this game, creating deflections, blocking shots, flipping rebounds, and generally doing whatever it takes to lead the Raptors to victory. Of all the members on the roster, Birch is the most disciplined to stick to his role, and he only focuses on how he can selflessly help his teammates. His four interceptions and two blocks set the tone for the defense, and even at the end of the fourth quarter, when victory was assured and others relaxed, Birch was still diving to the ground for balls. loose despite having recently missed time due to knee swelling. Birch isn’t seen as a leader for this team, but he truly is the reliable veteran many young Raptors should be looking to emulate.

Six – The second unit had their best quarter of the season. The Raptors took control of the game for the first time in the second quarter thanks to an all-bench formation that kept the Kings to just five points in five minutes, giving Toronto a two-man advantage. figures. Initially, Scottie Barnes was the only starter in the mix, but Nick Nurse quickly traded him for Gary Trent Jr. Chris Boucher and Precious Achiuwa. Trent Jr. netted seven of his 23 points on the night with this group, while playing his tenacious ball-hawker defense on the opposing team’s point guard. But the real key to the success of the second unit was the length and size of the group, as Boucher and Achiuwa gave the Kings no room to operate in the middle, especially with Dalano Banton’s 6-foot-9 frame ready and waiting with the help the defense. The nurse should seek to prioritize defense with the advancing second units, while having a shooter with the group to give them a clear option in attack.

Seven – The height priority in the second unit leaves Malachi Flynn out of the mix. Flynn is officially credited with three minutes played, but the entirety of it happened in garbage time at the end. The only exception was a five-second lag at the end of the first half where Flynn was substituted only as a lure away from the game. This follows a rare 22-minute stint for Flynn in Utah, which was a huge missed opportunity in retrospect. The origin of his next chance is uncertain, especially since he’s the only player who clearly doesn’t match the Raptors’ identity as long and long defensive outfit. The Nurse seems to trust Flynn against the quick, small leaders though, so maybe he’ll have a short stint against the Warriors.

Eight – It was a night’s rest for Scottie Barnes who shot 1 on 8 from the field. Barnes went 0-for-3 on the edge, which is an area he had dominated so far in his rookie campaign, but the process was good as it was just a case of bad luck with close shots that were pouring out but he made the right moves in the first place to get those chances. What was encouraging was Barnes’ game that remained strong thanks to his keen instincts. Three of his assists allowed him to pick up the pace in transition, where he was able to take advantage of the advantage to create odd rushes that his teammates can capitalize on. He also picked a gorgeous penny on a fourth quarter practice, throwing a dart into the paint to get Achiuwa to finish low.

Nine – Achiuwa returned to the lineup after three games of rest and it was clear how much his physique was lacking. Achiuwa’s center of play allowed Boucher to sweep to clean the glass, and both players combined well in defense to force the missed shots inside. Achiuwa was even decent in his finish, although a habit he should avoid is getting too deep under the basket. Achiuwa is strong and athletic, but he is still only 6ft 8in tall and it is difficult to surface above the trees as he still has a long way to go before he reaches the basket. He should seek to position himself on the edges of the painting and try to face the edge as much as possible to give himself an easier look.

Ten – The nurse’s instructions came out loud on the show last night. It wasn’t the first time it had happened that the in-game mix picked up the nurse’s calls, and every time it’s nice. A common refrain from Nurse was that he was leading Barnes “to the brim!” whenever he received the ball, confirming what Nurse had said about Barnes in most press conferences.

Source link


Comments are closed.