Raptors’ losing streak no reason to panic

Raptors’ losing streak no reason to panic


In professional sports, a prolonged losing streak almost inevitably brings out the worst in everyone.

Fights, finger pointing, selfish play — they show up with a losing slide about as quickly as the family dog ​​arrives when food spills on the floor.

And as surely as night follows day, armchair critics and wannabe CEOs are reaching out to their social media accounts and determining who’s to blame, who needs to go, and basically what should be done to rectify the situation based on that on her keen insight from sitting on her couch and watching said team.

It’s as predictable as it is ridiculous, and this latest Raptors’ dive is no different.

Well, almost no different.

After losing 10 of their last 13, the fandom, or the loudest part of it hanging out on social media, Masai Ujiri and Bobby Webster would send Fred VanVleet packing because he wasn’t recording right now.

Or if that’s not possible, bench him and let Scottie Barnes run the point.

Let’s ignore the fact that VanVleet has shot 40% from the field and 38% from behind the arc in 61/2 seasons and just wash our hands of him. Get him what you can at the trade market, because we all know a man’s never worth more than when he’s struggling at his craft, right?

Ridiculous and predictable again.

In that regard, the Raptors’ slingshot loss is no different than any other team’s.

Here’s how it’s different.

For the better part of an unforgettable December now rolling into January, the Raptors have maintained a togetherness not often found among winning teams, let alone struggling teams.

Pascal Siakam said that two days ago after a tough defeat in Indy. VanVleet, still a leader on that team despite the gibberish you see on your social media platforms, said it again Wednesday night after that wild OT loss to Milwaukee.

“Having me and Pascal going through a lot in a short amount of time in seven years and understanding the situation we’re all in is one of those things where it’s not really a person’s fault,” VanVleet said. “Sometimes you are a victim of war. It’s very situational. We certainly all need to play better as a unit, as a team, try to find ways to do that. But there’s not a lot of finger pointing or finger pointing because we’re all out there fighting together and just trying to figure out ways to get it done. That’s probably the best I can say about that.”

And if you’re of the camp that thinks words are very cheap in this type of scenario, think about what you saw in Wednesday’s game.

If there was ever a reason to just pack up and take the rest of the night off, it was the Raptors’ shooting performance in the first quarter.

They made 23 shots and made two.

But on the other end of the floor, for the entire quarter and the rest of the game, you saw raptor after raptor stepping in full steam ahead of a giant and stopping him or forcing him to give up the ball or turn it over, giving him 12 im Game hit a career high.

OG Anunoby, Scottie Barnes, Siakam and yes VanVleet, all 193 pounds of him, put themselves at risk to stop a stomping bull from going where he wanted to keep game within reach.

Look at the fourth quarter, particularly the last minute and 50 seconds when they came back from 16 to force overtime.

Teams that gave up on each other don’t do that. Heck, most teams can’t imagine coming back from 16 in under two minutes to extend a game, let alone finish it, most nights.

So, yes, as bad as that basketball stretch was, no one within the organization is giving any indication that they are preparing to blow it up, least of all the men on the court.

The battle cry was played with their identity.

Well the identity of this team is tough, physical play that relies heavily on their defense to keep them in the game and give themselves a chance to win.

If Wednesday’s game wasn’t the epitome of that, I’m not sure what is.

There are many improvements that need to be made.

But we say with absolute confidence that VanVleet will shoot better than the 31% from three he’s had since starting that 3-10 sled.

The growing pains and learning Scottie Barnes is going through right now will only make him better in the future.

The Bench – from Precious Achiuwa to Chris Boucher and Thaddeus Young, not to mention Dalano Banton (who is with the 905 but not forgotten) who is finding his way and getting the playing time he needs to take this team into the future help – will be all it takes to be better players to get through this.

“I think everyone is aware that we’re going through a really difficult period, maybe the most difficult period we’ve ever been through,” head coach Nick Nurse said Wednesday night. “They fight and try; They try to execute the game plan and they persevere. I think the offensive issues (only 8.7 in the first quarter) might have caught up with us and gotten to our defense a few weeks ago or a month ago, but tonight it didn’t seem like it.

That’s progress. That means all this talk about starting the tank or walking away from your guides is both premature and ridiculous.

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2023

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *