I can’t believe we’re right back here again, talking about Game 1 struggles. This year’s Toronto Raptors team was supposed to be different. It is different! It has Kawhi Leonard! Three of the four mainstays in the “The Raptors are shaky in the playoffs” narrative are gone!
But it was same old, same old yesterday. Everything’s changed, but nothing’s changed.
Not a Bad Gameplan, But…
So it looked like the Raptors made a concerted effort to contain Aaron Gordon, Nikola Vucevic, and Terrence Ross yesterday, and in that, they were successful. The Magic’s three leading scorers were held to just 31 points on 9-of-35 shooting yesterday; Marc Gasol bodied Vucevic successfully, and the Raptors doubled often, while Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green and Norman Powell did a great job denying Gordon and Ross and preventing them from getting good shots.
That meant the Magic needed big games from their backcourt players… and D.J. Augustin, Michael Carter-Williams and Evan Fournier came through. The Raptors had no answer for Augustin in the first half, where he got anywhere he wanted on the court and racked up 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting. That meant Nick Nurse had to switch Danny …
Author: Josh Kern / Raptors HQ