Yuta Watanabe Has Career Night as Cavs Blow Out COVID Ravaged Raptors
After over a week of no basketball, the Toronto Raptors finally returned to the court.
Well, at least some form of the Toronto Raptors was back.
Still ravaged by COVID, last night’s Raptors team was nearly unrecognizable as Toronto only had eight capable bodies, four of which were recently added on hardship deals.
DJ Wilson, Tremont Waters, Daniel Oturu, and Juwan Morgan all played significant minutes on Sunday evening as the Raptors took on a far healthier Cleveland Cavaliers club. Even as late as 2 p.m., the Raptors were unsure whether their trip down to America was worth the flight as one positive COVID test during pre-game screening would bring the team below the minimum eight player rule.
What is even crazier is that the four healthy Raptors players met the four new Raptors players right before game time.
“I mean, we met the new four guys right before the game, like we met them on the bus on the way to arena,” said Yuta Watanabe, who would go onto put together a huge 26 point, 13 rebound performance. “And so, when we got here, we went through a couple of plays. And then usually like in the meeting right before the game we watch other team’s clips but, coach showed us our clips to, you know, make sure everybody kind of like feels like what [our] game is and like stuff like that. So that was a lot different from a usual game.”
The Raptors fought valiantly, but the talent discrepancy was abundantly clear and a team led by Watanabe and Chris Boucher simply didn’t stand a chance as the Cavaliers blew past the Raptors by a score of 144-99.
“It’s a hard question to answer,” said Nurse when asked if the game should have gone on. “I think for me, I’m always trying to be part of the solution. We got a big problem here — not just basketball, we’ve got a big problem – and like I said before the game, leaders make decisions and you try to ride with them, be positive and go do your job. And, OK, we had to take a pretty good loss tonight, we’ll bounce back, we’ll be OK. We’ll keep working, this group of guys will get better, we’ll get some meeting time and hopefully some practice time with ’em and things like that. We’ll be OK.”
There is no telling when the Raptors will be back at full strength, but assuming there are no other positive tests on the team before Tuesday, the same formula will more than likely be used when the Philadelphia 76ers come to town.