Tip off against the Pacers to highlight Toronto Raptors Observations from two losses.

Toronto Raptors Observations From Last two Losses to OKC and Pacers this Past Weekend

The Toronto Raptors lost two games on Friday and Saturday and I wanted to give my observations from them. On Friday the Raptors lost 132 to 113 to the Oklahoma City Thunder. The next day, they lost again to the Indiana Pacers 118 to 104. The first game was a blow out and the second was pretty competitive. Here are some of my thoughts below.

Toronto Raptors Observations – 132 to 113 Loss to OKC

When I was first watching this game, it was pretty frustrating as the Raptors did not seem ready to play. The looked disinterested and did not really put any effort on defense. OKC ended up scoring 70 points in the first half. However, things started to come to light when it was reported that Fred Van Fleet left the game with a non covid illness. As the game went on, it was reported that other players were perhaps not well. This made perfect sense because I have never seen them play that way before. Even when they lose games, the effort is still there. However, if half you team is fighting sickness, the result probably looks like this. So you just forget about it and move on.

Toronto Raptors Observations – 118 to 104

They should have won this one. They really should have. In the first half, they had a lead of 65 to 52. This was the result of being aggressive and making an effort to attack the paint. Also, their defensive rotations were better. And even though they were not shooting well, they controlled the tempo. However, Indiana is one of the top teams in the league in three point shooting and in the second half they started making threes and went on the 14 to three run. As soon as they made the first one, I was asking for a time out. When the made the second three, I was begging for one. However, for some reason Nick Nurse did not call one until the lead at all evaporated. From that point on, the Raptors were in a battle as Indiana got into a rhythm. I really do not understand why Nick Nurse has this habit of waiting too long to call time outs.

The only other coach I have ever seen do it to this degree was Phil Jackson of the Chicago Bulls. However, when you have three of the greatest players in history, you can probably get away with it. However, this is not the 72 win Bulls team. Also, they were on a back to back, so they needed all the help they can get. I am not sure why you would just call a time out quickly to break the momentum a bit? It might have cooled them off a bit before they get super hot. Also, it might have helped your team regroup a bit and reinforce that they should protect the three point line as that’s what Indiana wants to do. However, when he did finally called it, they were hot and they could smell blood. They had completely taken the momentum away from the Raptors. This plus being the fresher team and having the home crowd gave them the advantage. You could knit pick at different players performances such as Scottie Barnes or Gary Trent Jr. However for me, the game was lost when Nick Nurse took too long to call a time out.


The Raptors play the Pistons tonight and this will be another hard game for them even though Cade Cunningham is out. Former Raptors’ coach Dwayne Casey always gets his team to play hard against the Raptors. It is almost like this is his NBA championship when he plays the Raptors. So we’ll see what happens tonight. Looks like Fred Van Fleet is still out, and this Pascal Siakam out for a while, a full team effort is needed. Should be interesting tonight.

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