Raptors injury report: Luka Doncic, Mavericks could feast on beat-up roster

Raptors injury report: Luka Doncic, Mavericks could feast on beat-up roster

The Toronto Raptors were not only unable to take down Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks during their tango a few weeks ago in Texas despite a Scottie Barnes triple-double, but they suffered a few injuries that have completely killed whatever momentum they had going. Losing Pascal Siakam has been destabilizing for this squad. In […]
Raptors injury report: Luka Doncic, Mavericks could feast on beat-up roster – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Raptors: Nick Nurse calls out Gary Trent Jr. for bad defensive effort

Raptors: Nick Nurse calls out Gary Trent Jr. for bad defensive effort

The Toronto Raptors were taking a big risk when they acquired Gary Trent Jr. from the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Norman Powell, as the Duke alum was regarded as one of the league’s worst defenders. That’s not ideal for a team that is committed to this unique style of defense. Trent’s turnaround last […]
Raptors: Nick Nurse calls out Gary Trent Jr. for bad defensive effort – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Dalano Banton gives beat-up Raptors life in victory vs. Pistons

Dalano Banton gives beat-up Raptors life in victory vs. Pistons

Dalano Banton and the Toronto Raptors were faced with a serious lack of depth that they needed to overcome against old coach Dwane Casey and the Detroit Pistons. With Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, and Gary Trent Jr. all inactive, names like Banton and Malachi Flynn needed to star. Banton was forced into the starting lineup […]
Dalano Banton gives beat-up Raptors life in victory vs. Pistons – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

2 bench stars emerge in tough Toronto Raptors loss vs. Pacers

2 bench stars emerge in tough Toronto Raptors loss vs. Pacers

The Toronto Raptors were not going to send their best lineup out on the floor against the Indiana Pacers. Names like Otto Porter Jr. and Thad Young had to move into the starting lineup due to Pascal Siakam’s groin injury, Precious Achiuwa’s ankle ailment, and Fred VanVleet coming down with a sickness. After struggling to […]
2 bench stars emerge in tough Toronto Raptors loss vs. Pacers – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Otto Porter Jr. needs to be more aggressive to lead Raptors bench

Otto Porter Jr. needs to be more aggressive to lead Raptors bench

The Toronto Raptors were getting some standout performances from their bench early in the season, but their effectiveness has since waned. Even a solid veteran like Otto Porter Jr. making his return can’t get Toronto any higher than 26th in bench points per game. Largely, Porter has been a success. The former Golden State Warriors […]
Otto Porter Jr. needs to be more aggressive to lead Raptors bench – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

3 hot takeaways after Raptors split two-game series with 76ers

3 hot takeaways after Raptors split two-game series with 76ers

Pascal Siakam and the Toronto Raptors were handed a challenging start to this season, as they played nearly a dozen straight games against teams that either made the playoffs or were in the play-in. After two impressive wins against the Miami Heat and the Philadelphia 76ers, the Raptors hit a major speed bump. 44 points […]
3 hot takeaways after Raptors split two-game series with 76ers – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

3 Raptors who must step up during challenging five-game stretch

3 Raptors who must step up during challenging five-game stretch

The Toronto Raptors were handed quite a brutal schedule to start the season, as Nick Nurse’s team was pitted against three squads that are widely expected to be playoff contenders. Considering how the early returns have looked so far, the Raptors have to feel good about their performances against elite teams. The Raptors are 3-2, […]
3 Raptors who must step up during challenging five-game stretch – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

3 huge problems Raptors must fix amid shaky start to 2022-23

3 huge problems Raptors must fix amid shaky start to 2022-23

The Toronto Raptors were one of the most surprising teams in the league last year, thanks to a 48-win season that established the fraudulent nature of their Tampa performance. Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, and O.G. Anunoby entered this season with tons of promise, but their team hasn’t been as dominant as some may have expected. […]
3 huge problems Raptors must fix amid shaky start to 2022-23 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

End of season comparison: Yusei Kikuchi to Steven Matz, a tale of change and qualifying offers

We’ve run through all the good comparisons, and now we’re left with Yusei Kikuchi and Steven Matz. Yay.

So yeah, getting this out of the way quickly, neither of these guys had a good season… sort of. It took a change mid-season to help them perform better.
Unlike the other three articles in the series, there are no prospects in this article. However, there should have been, but we’ll get to that. Here’s the background.
Background:
The Blue Jays traded three prospects, Sean Reid-Foley, Yennsy Diaz, and Josh Winckowski for Steven Matz on January 28th, 2021. The lefty had a solid season in 2021 with the Blue Jays and cashed in during the 2021-22 off-season, signing a four-year, $44 million contract with the St.Louis Cardinals.
Yusei Kikuchi spent three seasons with the Mariners, positing “meh” statistics with the team, before signing a three-year deal with the Blue Jays worth $36 million.
Steven Matz’s 2021:
Looking at Matz’s 2021 first, he finished the season with a 3.82 ERA and 3.79 FIP in 150.2 innings pitched. While his 22.3 K% was about average, he had a solid 6.6 BB% which meant he let runners get a free pass.
It was a fairly streaky season for the then 30-year-old lefty. At some point, he looked like it could be his best year, while he got lit up at other points. Overall, it was a solid season where he posted pretty good numbers for a guy who was penciled in as the fifth starter.
Unlike the other two free agents we’ve covered, Mat …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Trades, Targets, and Toughness (Part 2 of our Leafs Reader Poll)

We’re back for day two of our look at your responses to the Reader Poll. Day one focused largely on contracts and opinions of Keefe and Dubas. Today we shift to that middle ground of trade bait and roster needs before closing this series out tomorrow with a look at the players and how successful they will be this year.

We’re starting off with one of my favourite questions and that is who could be moved in season. I’m sure it seems odd that I included two newly acquired goaltenders, but that comes down largely to the fact that if one or both are a bust, will the Leafs move on? Or at the deadline, will the Leafs want to move one in order to afford roster strengthening moves elsewhere? I feel I need to explain that one a bit, as the other candidates seem far more straightforward.
Not surprisingly Holl and Kerfoot are at the top as the present situation dictates that one of them looks to be out in order to afford Rasmus Sandin. Muzzin is a bit of wishful thinking, but he would likely be the best bet for the Leafs to move if it wasn’t for his full no trade clause at the moment. I guess it’s always a safe bet that the Leafs are looking to trade their first, and we’ll see below if you think that’s a good idea.

I want to start by saying that I’ve come to terms with the fact that Nylander probably should be traded at some point between now and his free agency period. I’m not sure I want it this year. I can appreciate the appeal of a potential top-four right-shot defenseman, but am decidedly less enthu …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation