10 things from Raptors-Magic

Welcome to the 10 things recap by theScore features writer William Lou, which serves to highlight emerging trends from a Raptors perspective.

  1. Inexplicable: The Raptors were sharp out of the gate and raced out to a double-digit lead before hitting a wall. The offense dried up, they refused to defend, and the end result was their worst loss of the season.

  2. Drought: Toronto scored 35 points on 10-of-49 shooting in the second and third quarter, and most of those were open looks. Nothing was falling for anyone - Serge Ibaka couldn't make the pick-and-pop, Fred VanVleet bricked wide-open threes, Kawhi Leonard couldn't hit layups - it was a comical stretch of futility.

  3. Forced: Leonard tried to take over with his team struggling, but that only made matters worse. The Raptors went through entire possessions where he was the only one to touch the ball, and it deflated the team when his otherwise reliable mid-range shot would rim out. Leonard also had an off night on defense where he habitually left shooters open from deep.

  4. Bullied: Ibaka was thoroughly embarrassed by Nikola Vucevic, who looked like a cross between Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar tonight. Vucevic punished Ibaka to the tune of 30 points, 20 rebounds, eight assists, two steals, and a block on 12-of-17 shooting. Maybe Ibaka's knee is still sore, but tonight, his ego should be bruised.

  5. Missed: The Raptors have been outplayed at the center position in every game since Draymond Green dislocated Jonas Valanciunas's thumb. Valanciunas ordinarily draws the assignment against post-up bigs because Ibaka simply can't hold his position in the paint.

  6. Concern: VanVleet landed hard on his right shoulder on a drive to the basket in the second quarter and never looked right. He returned to play out the game, but his jumper was wildly erratic and he was later seen with a wrap over his arm. The last thing the Raptors need is another injury as Kyle Lowry remains sidelined with a lingering back issue.

  7. Positive: The lone bright spot in this loss was the play of Chris Boucher, who drilled three triples and collected a handful of hustle plays off the bench in the fourth quarter. There could be an opportunity to sneak Boucher some minutes at power forward if he can consistently hit from deep. Boucher's skeletal figure is less of a concern at power forward than it is at center.

  8. Horrendous: C.J. Miles returned to the rotation with Norman Powell (personal) out of the lineup and he promptly delivered yet another stinker on 1-of-9 shooting. He got bailed out on some foul calls but was mostly detrimental on both ends.

  9. Hesitant: Delon Wright redeemed himself with a strong finish, but he needs to stop passing up open threes. He stupidly turned down a corner jumper in favor of a reverse layup around Mo Bamba's 7-foot-9 wingspan in the first half, and just generally looked hesitant on catch-and-shoot looks.

  10. Perspective: The Raptors need to wipe this result from their memory and just focus on the next game. Every team drops the occasional stinker.

10 things from Raptors-Magic
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