RAPTORS REPORT CARD: Grades from win over depleted Hornets nothing to post on the fridge

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It’s hard to get too excited about a Raptors win over a Charlotte team that’s bad even when at full strength and terrible on paper with four of its five best players out of the lineup as was the case on Monday night.

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Toronto won 114-99 despite falling behind by double-digits early yet again. The team’s best two players dominated, but the results for the rest of the Raptors were pretty mixed.

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Here’s the report card:

PASCAL SIAKAM: A+

As he tends to do, Siakam toyed with the Hornets. His 27 points were actually two under what he has averaged against Charlotte in their past five meetings. He has shot a video-game-like 68% in those games (including 11-16 on Monday). The only blemish was no three-pointers (and only one attempt) for the first time in a while, otherwise Siakam was superb.

SCOTTIE BARNES: A

Barnes was a close second in terms of who was head of the class. For much of the early going it seemed like only he, Siakam and Chris Boucher had any energy. Barnes was able to carry it throughout. He was robbed of a couple of spectacular blocks (they were called goaltends, but were close), and had a few too many turnovers — like a bunch of Raptors — but he was the most physical player on the floor and asserted his will on the Hornets.

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GARY TRENT JR.: A-

Trent continues to show flashes that the player he once was is still in there. Again we’re asking to see more of Trent with the starters (minus either Jakob Poeltl or Dennis Schroder). Good things happen when the Raptors try that. Not sure where the 10 rebounds came from, giving Trent the first double-double of his career (if you’re wondering, his father did it three times in his 13 games as a Raptor), but the Raptors needed those boards. Trent was hitting shots, was aggressive and deserved his near season-high for minutes.

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CHRIS BOUCHER: B

We are sounding like a broken record, but Boucher needs some playing time. Good things have happened when he’s out there and that was the case again on Monday. On a team with too many players who sleepwalk through parts of games, Boucher’s non-stop motor is a major positive force. He was the last man called upon, but made his 15 minutes count.

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PRECIOUS ACHIUWA: B-

Pretty good work from Achiuwa, with more positives than negatives. He might be getting into a groove, as solid performances seem to be coming more frequently. He really turned it on in the second half and helped the Raptors get the win.

DENNIS SCHRODER: C+

A return to form after some wobbles. Schroder didn’t force shots and tried to get others involved. He wasn’t very good defensively and was horrible taking care of the ball early, but was much better the rest of the way. If the Raptors had more options at guard, he’d be playing the 25 or so minutes he should, instead of well north of 30.

JAKOB POELTL: D+

This was not a good matchup for Poeltl and Darko Rajakovic seemed to recognize that. After a flurry of earlier turnovers, largely the fault of Schroder and Poeltl, Rajakovic yanked the big man. He played only 15 minutes, just the second time all year Poeltl has been under 20, and it was deserved. Four turnovers, three fouls and only two rebounds is simply way below what Poeltl is capable of. If the team hadn’t traded a first-round pick for him they’d probably be thinking harder about either dealing him or bringing him off the bench against centres that aren’t the league’s biggest behemoths. The evidence is there that Poeltl doesn’t work with the starters because he is being ignored by defenders.

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OG ANUNOBY: D+

Is it alarming that Anunoby has had quite a few really bad games lately? He’s still dominant in others, but the duds are starting to become a bit of a thing. It was odd to see him so poor defensively against a team missing most of its talent. Shots come and go, but the effort, intensity and effectiveness that Anunoby was missing in this one until the fourth was surprising.

MALACHI FLYNN: D

Probably his least impactful game in a while. Flynn’s shots weren’t falling and good things weren’t happening for the Raptors while he was on the floor, aside maybe for the fourth quarter.

THREE STARS

1. Pascal Siakam

2. Scottie Barnes

3. Terry Rozier

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