Pascal Siakam's return propels the Toronto Raptors to a convincing victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers

Nickeem Khan
FiredUp Network Sports Writer

@nickeemkhan

Tuesday, November 29, 2022


In the wake of Pascal Siakam returning to the team, the Toronto Raptors defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers 100-88. From beginning to end this was a defensive clinic, which is a testament to what this team can do once they’re healthy. 

 

Toronto started the game with an unconditional starting lineup, electing to go with Thaddeus Young and Juancho Hernangomez instead of Scottie Barnes and Gary Trent Jr. A decision that turned out to be beneficial, considering the level of productivity that they were able to bring off the bench.

 

Of course, the main storyline was the Raptors’ All-NBA star making his grand return and was productive in the action he saw on the court. Siakam finished with a double-double, 18 points and 11 rebounds, and looked very comfortable despite not playing the last 10 games. It was initially reported that he would be on a minute restriction yet Pascal still played 30 minutes, displaying the confidence that Nick Nurse has Siakam’s current health.

 

Although Siakam was great, he wasn’t the best player for Toronto, that label goes to O.G. Anunoby. It’s been a sight to behold seeing O.G. flourish into the two-way player that the Raptors have envisioned him becoming. The young star finished with 20 points, a steal and a block. However, the main aspect of the game he imposed his will was on the defensive end. Donovan Mitchell had one of his worst games of the season because of the stellar defence by Anunoby.

 

Mitchell finished with just eight points on 3-11 shooting from the field and was a team-worst -21 when he was on the court. The potential of this team is very evident through their defensive prowess, which we haven’t been able to see due to there being lack of consistency in health.

 

Although Toronto was outrebounded 47-45, the Raptors won the three-point battle, which proved to be the deciding factor. Toronto converted on 12 triples in 42 percent shooting and held Cleveland to only 7 threes on just 18 percent from the field.

 

This now marks the second consecutive win for Toronto improving to 11-9 on the season, and now with the team getting healthy, they are positioned for a great upcoming stretch. They will now shift their attention to the New Orleans Pelicans for a matchup on Wednesday at 8 PM ET.