Toronto Raptors Get Back into the Win Column with Blowout Over Cavs
If the Toronto Raptors hope to qualify for the play-in tournament, the time for urgency is now.
A 112-96 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers is a step in the right direction but as the season continues to wind down, the Raptors have an uphill battle ahead of them if they hope to be in this year’s playoffs. That being said, it remains important to continue to draw positives from every contest.
Behind Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby, the Raptors received strong play from the starting unit, but it was the oft-inconsistent bench that helped put the game away.
“We need some energy,” said head coach Nick Nurse following the win. “And we need some scoring too and you know, we got, what, 18 for Malachi, nine for Yuta. In the first half they didn’t give us anything, we had six points in the second quarter for the longest time, but they came to life in the second half. They gotta score, they got to score some, and that was good to see tonight. I thought the whole group actually from Malachi, Yuta, Freddie [Gillespie], Stanley all brought energy and a little scoring with them, too. So it was good.”
Despite playing without Chris Boucher and Gary Trent Jr., the Raptors had all the answers for an inferior opponent. Moreover, the pieces that will be integral parts of this team’s future have all continued to perform exceptionally, including Flynn who looks to be blossoming into a key piece of a young but exciting core.
“I think, just the time and score and opportunity. The flow of the game. You’ve just got to find the flow of the game and navigate that,” said Kyle Lowry of Flynn’s sense. “The game will tell you what to do. You can’t force the game upon itself. You’ve just got to kind of figure it out, sometimes, the game is for you to score and be aggressive at that moment. Sometimes the game is for you to make plays and be pass-first. I think he’s kind of slowly – I think the G League really helped him. He had an opportunity to figure it out a little bit more and be the guy and go and score, and find his way around a little bit.”
After getting back into the win column, the Raptors will need to remain ready as they take on the Brooklyn Nets on the second night of a back-to-back tonight in Tampa Bay.
Kevin Durant is expected to suit up this time which will surely provide the Raptors with a completely different challenge.