Toronto Raptors Help Snap Rockets 20-Game Skid, Lose Ninth Straight
This is just bad.
The crazy thing is, the Toronto Raptors cannot possibly be this bad, can they?
On Monday night, the Raptors helped snap the Houston Rockets 20 game losing streak, by extending their own losing streak to nine games. Despite entering the game as a near 10-point favourite, the Raptors couldn’t get things done and were ultimately blown out in the final frame to fall by score of 117-99.
“You understand the difference between winning and losing [because] post-game there’s a lot of different reactions,” Raptors head coach Nurse said. “You win a big, exciting game on ESPN and my phone’s flooded. When you lose one, there’s not a whole lot of action.”
As we discussed following the Raptors loss to the Utah Jazz, the Raptors needed to show some life over their next two games. The Cleveland Cavaliers and Rockets rank as the two worst offensive teams in basketball, yet the Raptors managed to give up 116 points and 117 respectively.
“We’ve just gotta play better,” said Kyle Lowry. “It ain’t no secret, we’ve gotta play defence and we’ve gotta play better. It’s literally no secret to it, like I swear. I wish I could give you guys some other magical answer, but it’s literally no groundhog day. Every game’s different and we’re just not playing hard enough and we’re not playing well enough.”
With OG Anunoby out, the Raptors got solid performances from Fred VanVleet, who finished with 27 points and eight rebounds. Pascal Siakam added 21 points and 10 rebounds of his own in his best game since returning from COVID-19. Meanwhile, the Raptors once again failed to receive much help or consistency from their second unit.
“I think that we’re still working our way back, I just think we don’t have the energy maybe or the juices to do it as much as we need to,” said Nurse. “I think we’re still kind of, some guys are working their way back into condition and like I said it’s a real five-man thing right? I just think that we’re gonna have to continue to play these games and hopefully that gets us in a little better shape, and we can handle some sustained play, some consistent play over longer periods of time.”
The road only gets tougher from here for the Raptors, as their next three games will be against three Western Conference contenders.