The change of the Raptors is substantial. You see in time. From reigning champions to the bubble, where they lost that honor falling to the Celtics defending well despite losing someone as decisive as Kawhi Leonard. Transfer market and goodbye, too, to the two Spaniards on staff: Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka said goodbye. Siakam remained in command, with Captain Lowry and the renewed VanVleet as main supports, but for now the accounts do not come out. The feelings are bad and that is reflected in finals in which decision and success are lacking and that leads to fatal numbers. Canadians, exiled to Tampa Bay due to the pandemic, They are already the worst team in the NBA in qualifying terms, sharing the position with the Pistons. 2-8. There is only a year and a half difference.
In Portland the seams were reopened when the ball burned. In addition, coach Nick Nurse is betting on lineups with little ones and it didn’t even serve to curb the power of Lillard and McCollum, one of the best outdoor duos in the entire NBA. The second forced victory for the Trail Blazers with a wobble and shot twenty feet from the rim with ten seconds remaining. Pascal Siakam, on the contrary, he was again the spitting image of the despair of the Raptors: triple-double (22 + 13 + 10) and failure in the launch to win the contest. The hosts beat the visitors 112-111, who have lost five of the last six games.
The picture is even worse when you are winning peacefully and letting yourself go back. And when it is not the first time in a span of little more than two weeks. At the Moda Center the Raptors were leading by 17 (35-52) in the second quarter. Much things have to change so that, despite the ease of the East, they improve the face.
Is that the start of the game reminded the Raptors of yesteryear, the good guys. And Siakam, the one who in those Finals of 2019 surprised more than one by his courage. The damage he did to the low post, to the right and especially to the left, was curious. He acted as a reference and also knew how to provide his teammates with spaces and good passes so that they pupated with the triples. Johnson, Boucher, Lowry, etc. Benefits of a Siakam who would end the first quarter with a basket over the horn.
Jusuf Nurkic, with a sandwich on his quadriceps, had to leave and did not play anymore. The balls were for Enes Kanter. Stotts wanted to take advantage of the fact that Baynes was not there and that Len is cold from how little he has been used, but he was failing on defense to contain Boucher and those who came from outside. There, in the second quarter, the good advantage that the visitors enjoyed stabilized.
The one who remedied how badly they were doing was McCollum. A triple, a good pass and two assists activated, along with the verve of Derrick Jones, the Trail Blazers.
After a non-existent foul that led to a basket by Kanter, who only missed one shot in the entire game, it was halftime. The Raptors were only winning by five.
As soon as the second half got underway, the Blazers were over the top. The funny thing is that then the Raptors held the pull, they did not sink. From the hand of Anunoby they quickly recovered the fork of the five points of distance. With this they knew how to live again until they reached the final moment.
Damian Lillard (23) and Carmelo Anthony (20) also joined McCollum to reverse the trend. CJ did it thanks to the triples, where he has better percentages than Curry and than any other player this season who shoots ten per game (44.5%). With the game turned around in the last two minutes, Boucher and Siakam appeared with two baskets to put one ahead of theirs with time for a possession. McCollum challenged VanVleet and won quickly and Pascal Siakam, again, did not finish the job.