RAPTORS REPORT CARD: Sour tune played against Jazz as tough trip ends

Out of gas against a hot team led to result you’d expect

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A short one today because there’s honestly not a whole lot to analyze from Toronto’s 145-113 loss in Utah. It was the end of a long trip against a big team (Jakob Poeltl was sorely missed in his former NCAA home) and a tired group ran into a buzzsaw in a Jazz team that has been sizzling since the stunning comeback in Toronto last month (Utah’s gone 8-2 since). Here’s the report card:

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PASCAL SIAKAM B+

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Siakam didn’t look hurt or rusty at all after missing a game due to back spasms. He had one of the best shooting games of his career (5-for-6 from three), though most of it came in the third quarter (4-for-4) when Siakam was about the only player preventing the Raptors from going down by 40 or 50 points. Siakam at least tried to attack in multiple ways and found success from outside and inside (3-for-6 in the paint, eight free throw attempts). What a bizarre season for Siakam. He shot 19.8% from three over the first 20 games of the campaign, one of the worst runs in NBA history. Since, he’s hit 51.7% in 18 games. Truly baffling. Siakam’s had some big swings before (like over 40% to start 2019-20 before dipping to around 30%, and 20% in January of the next season to 37% the following month), but nothing like this. Can’t imagine many players have had this big a swing in shooting.

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IMMANUEL QUICKLEY B

Quickley was way too much of an afterthought in this one, but we’ll cut him some slack, along with RJ Barrett, given they’ve both spent close to a month on the road because the Knicks had just finished a long trip when they were dealt to the Raptors. Quickley didn’t shoot the ball enough (just eight attempts, three of them from three-point range) considering he hit all his trees. He did manage to get to the free throw line, but didn’t create at all (0 assists, his low as a Raptor). They’re still trying to figure out how to get both Quickley and Barnes rolling in the same game.

DENNIS SCHRODER B-

Schroder played reasonably well, which is something not many Raptors could say. He mostly only fired away from long-range (seven of his nine shot attempts were three-pointers and Schroder made four of them). Like the rest, Schroder was deterred from going inside by Walker Kessler and Co., and it cost the Raptors.

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JONTAY PORTER B-

Porter’s numbers (nine points, six rebounds, six assists, two blocks and two steals) look great on paper, but he wasn’t quite as good as it appears. Most of Porter’s production came when the game was out of hand. He started the second half when Utah delivered the knockout blows. Still, Porter has been encouraging, a nice project for a team that really needed one. He’s very skilled, hopefully he can stay healthy.

SCOTTIE BARNES C

Some good moments, particularly when most of his teammates looked like they’d packed it in for the night (going at Kessler repeatedly), some bad (missing 6-of-11 free throw attempts and too many turnovers), and all in all a below average game from Barnes. Since the trade, Barnes has only averaged 17.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 0.6 steals, shooting 34.2% from three, all far below what he was producing before the deal when he was playing at close to an All-NBA level.

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RJ BARRETT C-

Again, Barrett has an excuse for this performance, his worst by far as a Raptor. He’d been rolling and he wasn’t going to continue playing as ridiculous well as he had been. Nor will he be this poor offensively (2-for-9 with zero free throw attempts). To his credit, despite the offensive issues, Barrett led the small Raptors with seven rebounds, blocked three shots and had a steal, saving his grade.

GARY TRENT JR. D+

Trent had been playing his best basketball of the season, consistently turning in pretty good efforts, but this game was a write off for the guard. The second reserve called upon got torched like the other members of the Raptors bench, by Utah’s backups (80-48 in all).

THAD YOUNG D

Young ran out of steam in this one and couldn’t stay on the court. He fouled at will and wasn’t able to do anything on offence in his 21 minutes. It will be interesting to see if he continues to be the placeholder centre in the coming week.

INC: CHRIS BOUCHER, JALEN MCDANIELS, GRADEY DICK, GARRETT TEMPLE

THREE STARS

1 Lauri Markannen

2 Pascal Siakam

3 Walker Kessler

HM: Jordan Clarkson, Collin Sexton, Kelly Olynyk, Immanuel Quickley

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