What an exciting week for the Toronto Raptors! Not only did the Raps manage to go 3-0 against some of the teams that exist in the Eastern Conference, but they also managed to extend their winning streak to a franchise-tying 11 straight games. Yes, it definitely has not been a murderer’s row of opponents, but winning is hard to do in the NBA and winning at the clip that these Raptors have been winning at is incredibly impressive. I for one am going to relish the good times while we’ve got them, even if it’s at the expense of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Dwayne Casey.
While winning is, as mentioned, pretty great, there have been a handful of other terrific moments to highlight this week, so let’s get right to it.
Terence Davis, Rising Star
The date is Friday, January 31st, 2020 and NBA assistant coaches across the league are about to make a cataclysmic mistake. Terence Davis is apparently not a rising star in the NBA.
The date is Sunday, February 2nd and and the final buzzer has sounded in Toronto as the Raptors have beaten the Chicago Bulls 129-102.
Was one career-best game not enough? How about how Davis fairs in Real Plus Minus?
Terence Davis ranks 8th(?!?) in the entire league in RPM.— Micah Adams (@MicahAdams13) January 31, 2020
He was not selected to Rising Stars.
Here are rookies who were and their ranks:
B. Clarke: 78
P.J. Washington: 245
8TH IN THE LEAGUE! For shame, assistant coaches of the NBA who didn’t chose Terence Davis to participate in the Rising Stars game. For shame.
Pascal Siakam, Emphasis on the Skills
Speaking of being involved in All-Star festivities, hey, isn’t that Pascal Siakam, All-Star starter and recently announced participant in the All-Star Skills Competition? Last week’s Eastern Conference Player of the Week averaged a tidy 22 ppg, 7 rbg, 3.6 apg and 1.6 spg and the Raptors are, needless to say, very fortunate to have Pascal back from his groin injury and looking like he is rounding into early-season form.
Serge Ibaka and OG Anunoby, Scarfs
Time for the NBA’s first ever co-MVP award.
Injury Report, Getting Them Out of the Way
There’s really no other way to look at the constant carousel ride that is the Toronto Raptors injury report other than with bleak optimism. Maybe the Raptors are just getting all of their injuries out of the way now, so that they’re completely healthy for playoffs?
Maybe the Raptors needed one more sacrifice at the altar of Dwayne Casey, because how else do you explain Norman Powell getting injured every single time he steps foot onto the floor against the Pistons?
And maybe, just maybe, this hamstring issue for Gasol is really a blessing in disguise. As we all know, Marc Gasol is an old giant and last time I checked, it’s pretty exhausting to be an old giant and have to sprint a whole bunch while getting your body jostled about by younger giants. Maybe a little bit of rest is a good thing?
Among other good things, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson took part in practice and is questionable to return against the Pacers on Wednesday. A small good thing, but a good thing nonetheless.
Rumour Mill, All of the Trash
This week has been such a gong show for the Raptors on the rumour front that I’m actually not sure which flaming pile of trash to start with. I suppose it only makes sense to start with what might be the most credible person in the bunch who is spouting the most troubling news.
Knicks owner Jim Dolan is targeting Toronto president Masai Ujiri to ultimately oversee New York’s operations, league sources tell ESPN. He is under contract through 2020-2021 in Toronto.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 4, 2020
Woj later tweeted that the Knicks are already having conversations with other candidates which would seemingly take them out of the Ujiri running (if you can even call it that). Still, we all hate to see Masai’s name bandied about with teams not named the Toronto Raptors. Why can’t Toronto have nice things and be left in peace?
Hey, what’s that from The Ringer?
No, no, no, no! Has anyone seen Iguodala on a basketball court lately? No gym-hoodie videos or nothing? Couple that alarming fact with his recent chemistry blunders and you’d have to assume that Masai would steer clear.
Had enough? How about some low hanging fruit?
The Toronto Raptors have been exploring the trade market for C Marc Gasol, sources say.— Arye Abraham (@arye_abraham) February 4, 2020
The second you see players attached to this guy, just move it right along.
Jim Boylen, Ruining a Good Time
Presented without comment.