Stop if you’ve heard this before, but the Raptors couldn’t follow up a great game with another good one. Instead, the team was awful in a 125-104 loss on Friday. Here’s the report card:
A- PASCAL SIAKAM
One of the major Raptors failings in this one was going away from what was working. Siakam has no trouble scoring on the Hawks, yet he only took 11 shots. That’s bad basketball from the players down to the coaching staff. We’d argue only Trae Young was better in this one. The biggest positive for Siakam was his three-point shot kept falling as he went 2-3. .That’s now 8-11 shooting over his last three after he made only four of his previous 26 attempts. He’s hit 53% of his treys in December.
B SCOTTIE BARNES
He wasn’t spectacular, as he had been on Wednesday, but Barnes was still pretty good. He couldn’t hit from outside (1-5) and was bad at the line like most of his teammates (4-8), keeping him from a higher grade, but still did a lot of things well. The team’s stars showed up offensively, but like everyone else, weren’t close to their best defensively against a dangerous Hawks team.
B- GARY TRENT JR.
Trent wasn’t at his best, but he was decent and given the season he’s had, he’ll probably take it. He was more dangerous than most of the other Raptors offensively and hit half his shots before the fourth quarter, when the game was basically done. Like everyone but Barnes or maybe Siakam, it would help greatly if Trent would string some good games together.
B- CHRIS BOUCHER
One of the few Raptors showing much energy against Atlanta, Boucher tried his best to spark them. He’s produced when called upon. Missing 3 of 5 free throws was par for the course for a Raptors team that went 14-25 from the line.
C+ MALACHI FLYNN
Held Young to 2-7 shooting and had one of his best scoring games of the year with 11 points. Flynn looked outmatched at times, good at others. It was a bit of a weird night. He outplayed Schroder though.
C+ PRECIOUS ACHIUWA
Achiuwa was productive for the second straight game against Atlanta. He tied his career high with five assists, the third time he’s done that in the last five weeks, which is interesting, and scored some points. The bad news was he didn’t rebound the way he usually does and didn’t defend.The Raptors really needed Achiuwa to hit the glass because he’s arguably the team’s most naturally skilled rebounder, but he didn’t get it done.
C- JAKOB POELTL
Poeltl hit all seven of his shots, but still got vastly outplayed by Clint Capela. That was the opposite of what happened on Wednesday. Poeltl didn’t play with enough force, didn’t protect the rim well and simply wasn’t effective. Part of it was his teammates making bad decisions on both ends, part of it a lack of aggression.
C- OG ANUNOBY
Anunoby just didn’t have it in this one. He was barely involved in the offence (teammates didn’t find him much, but he didn’t hit shots when he took them and like Poeltl wasn’t very aggressive), and he wasn’t close to his usual self defensively. More often than not, Anunoby makes life hell for top players like Young. The Raptors decided to make Dejounte Murray Anunoby’s primary defensive assignment after Dennis Schroder had guarded Young well in the previous game. It didn’t work this time.
D+ DENNIS SCHRODER
Nothing doing on offence, torched on defence, this was a step back from Schroder. Young lit him up (9-14 when primarily guarded by Schroder) and Schroder took too many shots without finding Siakam or Anunoby enough. We’ll say it again, he’d be best cast as an elite backup point guard.
INC:, GRADEY DICK, THAD YOUNG, GARRETT TEMPLE, JALEN MCDANIELs
1 Trae Young
2 Pascal Siakam
3 Clint Capela