Detroit Pistons Hand Mending Toronto Raptors Their 6th Straight Loss
At the very least, the Toronto Raptors are getting healthy.
Over the past few weeks, the COVID-19 virus has wiped out nearly half of the Raptors’ everyday rotation. As more bodies went down, the Raptors stumbled, falling right out of the playoff picture.
On Wednesday night, some normalcy returned as the Raptors saw Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet come back to the floor. While still awaiting the return of OG Anunoby, the Raptors failed to bounce back against the young Detroit Pistons. Playing without their legs fully under them, the Raptors would fall by a score of 116-112, their sixth consecutive loss.
“For me, just being back today, it’s been great, awesome,” said Siakam following the game. “I felt great out there being on the floor. Obviously, you haven’t done anything in a long time, you’re going to be a little sluggish out there but for the most part, I was happy to be back, man. Like Fred said yesterday, you don’t realize how much you love this until it’s taken away from you. Just being back, playing the game, running up and down the court.”
Meanwhile, Norman Powell continued to absolutely ball.
The Raptors guard scored 43 points in the loss on an incredible 14-for-18 shooting night. Chris Boucher added 21 points, while Kyle Lowry added 15 assists in the loss. Siakam and VanVleet scored a combined 25 points in their return to game action. Dropping down to 17-23, the Raptors fell to 11th in the Eastern Conference. With the trade deadline a week away, the Raptors will need to figure out what their next move is quick as their window to compete appears to be quickly closing.
“We understand we got a little uphill climb, getting a little steeper but there’s still a lot of basketball to be played and we’ve already proven with this team that we can play very good basketball,” said Raptors head coach Nick Nurse. “[It’s] just a matter of can we get back to a little bit of our identity, get a little nastier on the defensive end.”
Most importantly, the Raptors hope to stay healthy, after which the team trusts the front office to make the right decisions.
“I think that our people that make those decisions have to do what’s best for the health of the team, organizational health, whatever that means,” said Nurse. “It’s always unsettling when there’s trades, and trade talk is unsettling as well but it’s going to be interesting to see if we do anything for the short-term or long-term.
“What are you looking at now so we can make a push here with this team — because they deserve a chance to make a push, they’ve proven they can play well against the best teams in the league — and then what do you do about the future?”
The Raptors will need a huge bounce back performance on Friday when they take on the tough Utah Jazz.