Undermanned Toronto Raptors Fall Short, Lose to Clippers in a Close One
“We’re the best worst team of all-time”.
Point guard Fred VanVleet did not mince any words after yet another close loss on Tuesday night. The crazy thing is, he’s really not wrong.
The Toronto Raptors are currently sitting in the 11th seed in the Eastern Conference at 27-39 after a 105-100 defeat to the Los Angeles Clippers, but the Pythagorean model has them winning 34 games at this point in the season based on their play this year. That is a difference of seven wins and with those seven wins, the Raptors would be squarely sitting in a playoff spot.
“I think we had our chances again,” said Raptors head coach Nick Nurse after the tightly contested matchup. “Really executed the game plan really well, I thought, turned them over, I think, 18 times so the defence was pretty good.
I think they hit some big shots, some of the guys that we probably would have wanted them taking those shots. I thought Marcus Morris (22 points on 11 shots) was excellent tonight for them, and Reggie Jackson hit some big shots, too. (But) we fought hard, played good, I thought, for most of the game. Twelve turnovers? Not bad. Twenty-two assists on 12 turnovers? Not bad. Just not quite enough.”
On the box score, Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam led the way with 27 and 24 points apiece. VanVleet also dished out 13 assists in the loss. The Raptors were once again playing without Kyle Lowry, Gary Trent Jr., OG Anunoby, and Chris Boucher, but received some good production from rookie second round pick Jalen Harris who scored 11 points off the bench and Khem Birch who added 13 points of his own.
“It was great coming from the outside before and just watching; and clearly I’m a fan of the game first,” said Harris. “And so there’s a lot of good players on the court and so to be out there and be able to help the team out and be able to push for a close game like that, and I’m trying to get the win, I think that was for me, it was just a good situation.”
With the Raptors season winding down, the finish a tough Western Conference trip at 1-3 and will now prepare to take on the rolling Washington Wizards on Thursday night.