Picture of Toronto Raptors playing Minnesota Timberwolves and going 1 and 0 in the new 2023 season.

Toronto Raptors 1 and 0, A Couple Positives and one Negative From the Win

The Toronto Raptors are 1 and 0 in the new season with a 97 to 94 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. The game was pretty competitive as both teams played hard. And the offense for both teams was clunky. However, the defense for both teams was pretty good. The Raptors’ defense was particularly impressive as they held Minnesota to 34 percent shooting and 25.8 percent shooting from the three point line. So here are my positives and one negative from last night’s action.

Toronto Raptors 1 and 0 – Positives!

The Defense is going to be Good! – It is only one game but the Raptors defense looks good. Scottie Barnes, OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam and Precious Achiuwa all had their moments. For example OG Anunoby held Anthony Edwards to 8 to 27 shooting as he guarded him the most. Also, Barnes held Towns to 8 to 25 shooting as he was on him the majority of the time.

The thing I liked about the defense this year is that they are still getting blocks, steals, and deflections. Also, it doesn’t look like a scrambling defense where they seem to get out of position. Instead, it is more controlled and they are using their size and length to make it difficult to score. I think with time that this team could be a top 5 defense and that would be impressive!

I Like where the Offense is Going – The Raptors half court offense still looks funky but I like they are trying to change things. First, they have pushing the ball more which is a definite advantage for them. This team has some impressive athletes. And the best way to score if you are not a good half court team is to score in the fast break. This means that they need to push the ball whenever they can. And last night they did so as they had 34 fast break points. New Raptors’ point guard Dennis Schroder did this for sure which bodes well for the team.

Second, even though they half court offense still looks rough, it was nice to see that Raptors trying to pass the ball more. They had 27 assists last night. Implementing new Raptors’ coach Darko’s .5 second offense will take time. Last year the Raptors relied on 1 on 1 isolation to score. However, now they have to read and react quickly and have off the ball movement. This will take some time to implement but they are moving in the right direction.

Toronto Raptors and 0 – One Big Concern

Malachi Flynn is not the Answer a Back up Point Guard – I have said this statement in previous articles and in particular how I felt that Jeff Dowtin should play ahead. However, Jeff has been cut so that ship has sailed. But watching him last night proved once again that he is not the answer. He had three points in 10 minutes but was a team worst -14 in plus/minus. Flynn looked overwhelmed out there. He was slow on defense and Minnesota was looking to attack him. On offense, he slowed up the pace for the team and was in decisive in his decisions. He could not really run the team at all.

Honestly, I would have played Chris Boucher or Otto Porter Jr. in his place and take my chances. They are not point guards but at least some defense from them and perhaps a mis match on offense. I feel bad for him but the reality is that it is year four and he hasn’t really improve. For some reason, Raptors management thinks he can fill the role but nothing says that he will. Will they look for a back up point guard? Not sure but if he doesn’t vastly improve, his play will cost the team some wins. Hopefully, he bounces back next game.


The Darko era has some promising signs and I think they can have a nice bounce back season. They will be some growing pains and losses as they try to play a different style of basketball but it will be fun to see them improve as time goes on. I am concern about their back up point guard situation. If not rectified in the next while it could be problematic for the team. But the season is early and a lot can happen and change. So for now, it is onward and forward!

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