Toronto Raptors can't take advantage of the Stephen Curry-less Warriors losing 126-110

Nickeem Khan
FiredUp Network Sports Writer


Monday, December 19, 2022

The Toronto Raptors are freefalling and have yet to catch themselves, as they lose their fifth straight game at the hands of the Golden State Warriors to a score of 126-110. There could be a few positives taken away from this game, but the Raptors gave more embarrassing effort than any issues revolving around the game plan. Golden State was without Stephen Curry, however, with how efficient their offence was, judging from the final score, anyone would've believed he played.

Both teams came out of the gates hot, connecting on their first three, three-point attempts. Draymond Green carries a history of good games against the Toronto Raptors and followed that up with one of his best games of the season. Green marked a season-high converting three shots from behind the arc and did so in just the first two minutes of the game. 

Toronto continued to respond with big shots from Pascal Siakam (27 points), however, they allowed the Warriors to play at a pace that the Raptors simply can't sustain. It has been known around the league regarding the struggles that Toronto faces in half-court sets, and once they started missing, Golden State kept making.

Jordan Poole, who has been inconsistent this season, was absolutely sensational stepping into the starting lineup for the second straight game for the Warriors. The former Michigan Wolverine finished with a career-high 43 points. Regardless of who was guarding him, Poole was getting to his spots on the court and made a muck out of Toronto's defence.

Fred VanVleet was no match for the explosive guard and wasn't able to replicate the same success as he's had the past two games, finishing with just 22 points on 38 percent shooting from the field. The Raptors as a whole shot poorly from the field at a mere 42 percent, while they allowed the Warriors to shoot 53 percent, despite attempting 14 more shots than Golden State.

Despite the sluggish play from Toronto, there were some positives, one being the resurgence of Malachi Flynn. Flynn played 37 minutes, which was tied for the most on the team alongside Siakam. He contributed 16 points and knocked down a team-high four threes. His ability to space out the floor has proven to be a great luxury and continues to play himself into the rotation.

Although the Raptors weren't fully healthy, missing key players such as O.G. Anunoby, Gary Trent Jr., and Precious Achiwua, to play the way they did against a Warriors team missing Curry, who is the centrepiece for their entire offensive philosophy is unacceptable.

Results will need to change soon or else there will be changes made in the hopes of different results. Raptors fall to 13-17 on the season and they will have a chance to correct their wrongdoings over the past five games with a matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers on the second night of a back-to-back at 7 PM ET.