OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam Lead the Way as Raptors Blow Out Hornets
You could tell the Toronto Raptors missed the friendly confines of the Scotiabank Arena.
After returning from a long five-game Western Conference road trip, the Raptors took care of business, absolutely obliterating the Charlotte Hornets to a tune of 132-96. In the process, the Raptors set a new franchise mark with 40 assists.
After keeping pace with the Raptors through the first two quarters, the Raptors outmatched their opponents in the second half, outscoring the Hornets 72-40. Led by career-highs from both OG Anunoby (24 points) and Terence Davis (16 points), the Hornets had zero answers for the reigning NBA champions on this night.
“I’m just playing, man. Honestly. I’m just playing the game of basketball,” said the 22-year old Davis, who also set a new career-high in assists with seven. “My teammates kept finding me.”
The undrafted senior out of Ole Miss has continued to be a revelation in the absence of All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry. He has shot the ball exceptionally well from the perimeter, has been impressive pushing the offence for the second unit, and even has displayed some above average on-court awareness and court vision running the point. He is a combo guard who at a very young age has shown the ability to do a little bit of everything on both sides of the ball.
“I think explosive is a word that suits him, he’s an explosive athlete,” commented Toronto head coach Nick Nurse on Davis. “My favourite thing about him is the way he vaults up to shoot. He is a good shooter, a deep shooter, he’s got a strong body, strong legs, he’s not afraid to take shots, and he can be explosive like that.”
As Lowry continues to nurse his thumb injury, the Raptors will continue to rely on Davis to provide the team will promising minutes.
“Confidence is a big thing. I’d say that with any player: If you’ve got confidence, you’re feeling good, you’re feeling comfortable. I’d definitely say yes,” said Davis. “Playing more minutes, knowing I’ll actually play and just being ready when my time comes. That’s what’s got me that confidence.”
Rebounding has been a glaring issues for the Raptors this season, but on Monday night, it was an after-thought as the Raptors outmatched the Hornets on the glass by 16.
“Tonight we really did a good job and chased them down,” Nurse said, “but it was on our board as a focus: ‘Win the rebound battle and we win the game’ was kind of what we were saying going into tonight, so they did a good job of taking that from the board to the floor.”
In the absence of some of their most important players, the Raptors continue to roll. The young trio of Fred VanVleet, Anunoby and Pascal Siakam has been dynamic and the role players have found their place in the rotation. The Raptors take on the Magic next and look to be as confident as ever!
Now, I think it’s time to bring out masked OG for Wednesday night.