Injured Raptors Stumble Against Grizzlies, Home Struggles Continue
After over a year away from Toronto, the Raptors are struggling to get their footing at the Scotiabank Arena.
Despite the absence of Memphis Grizzlies star guard Ja Morant, the Raptors came up just short yet again, dropping to 9-13 on the season with a 98-91 loss.
Offensively, their performance was simply unacceptable. In desperate need of win, the Raptors were hoping to finally right the ship on their home floor, but shot the ball at a 40 percent clip, were outscored on the fast break, inside the paint, and were -9 on second chance opportunities as they fell to 2-8 at home on the year.
“Yeah, we gotta fix that,” said Siakam, who led the Raptors with 20 points on the night. “It’s not acceptable. We can’t play like that at home. We have this fan base and all that, but like we have to show up at home. I think we have to make it part of what we do. No excuses and that can’t happen. It’s unacceptable. We have to be better at home for sure.”
As has usually been the case, rookie Scottie Barnes had himself a big night, scoring 19 points on 50-percent shooting while getting two steals and blocking four shots. Outside of Barnes and Siakam, the Raptors largely struggled as the Grizzlies made it a point to slow down Fred VanVleet and force the ball out of his hands down the stretch.
“[They] limited his touches for sure,” said Raptors head coach Nick Nurse. “I thought they did a good job of that, Dillon [Brooks]decided to take that on, he’s physical and he works hard, obviously takes pride in that. [He] made things tough on Freddy for sure.”
The road for the Raptors doesn’t get any easier as they take on the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks next.