The Raptor Report: Lessons Learned
Success is never final. Failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts.John Wooden
6ix lessons we have learned over the Raptors three game losing streak:
- The Raptors have missed three key players during each loss and still had opportunities to win each game. That shows the great depth of the Raptors squad.
- Kyle Lowry & Pascal Siakam are good enough to lead a NBA Championship contending team.
- There are no such things as off-nights on defense.
- The Toronto Raptors still believe “offense wins games and defense wins championships.”
- Nick Nurse needs to win Coach of the Year. Dealing with so many injured Raptors, Coach Nurse keeps preparing the squad to be ready to compete, even against the NBA elite.
- OG Anunoby is another unmovable building block for the Raptors and will be a key to success come playoff time.
Sometimes You Win – Sometimes You LearnJohn C. Maxwell
The School of Hard Knocks
6ix lessons learned from the school of hard knocks:
- If you decide to live by the three, there will be times you die by the three.
- In the game verse Charlotte: don’t give the refs the opportunity to determine the outcome of the game (an unnecessary play by Rondae Hollis-Jefferson to end the Raptors comeback). As a result, this wasn’t the only factor of the loss, but it definitely was the one that stuck out the most.
- Pascal Siakam has to be more aggressive down the stretch OR the Toronto Raptors offense needs to rely on Siakam more down the stretch (maybe the answer is both).
- The Toronto Raptors aren’t built for super small ball (Houston Rockets Style).
- Losses to the Bucks & Hornets showed their deficiency in rebounding.
- The loss to the Nuggets is a reminder to take care of the ball (16 Raptor turnovers).
If you faint in the day of adversity, Your strength is small.King Solomon
The Toronto Raptors have always endured adversity. Many fans panic and draw drastic conclusions anytime their team faces adversity. I urge you not to panic. Considering the many short term injuries occurred on the Raptors squad, it is expected they lose some games, especially against stiff competition. The Milwaukee Bucks & Denver Nuggets are among the elite teams in the NBA and they are both battle tested.
The Raptors are currently on a three game losing streak, which seems unfathomable, since our last streak was a franchise record setting winning streak. Like I said, there is no need to panic, the losses can be chalked up to missing key players due to injury in our squad. Really, we need to be encouraged in the fact that we can compete with the some of the top teams in the league with such an undermanned roster.
The loss to a below .500 Hornets team was unfortunate. It was an off-shooting night, mixed with injuries, and they still gave the Hornets a run for their money. The game ended with a controversial off-ball foul, when Charlotte was inbounding the ball with a few seconds left, which gave them the go-ahead free throw and the ball back. Lowry lead the ferocious comeback and for the game to end with the refs deciding the outcome is the regular adversity the Raptors face.
Handle the Adversity
One of the greatest basketball coaches of all-time, John Wooden, always taught his teams how to handle adversity. Don’t Whine, Don’t Complain, Don’t Make Excuses. The Raptors know how to handle adversity, as they have always faced it head on. The Raptors will stay the course and continue their exact game plan and continue to get better. There will be continued success as we will see the return of our three injured starters soon!
The Raptors have four games left on their road trip against:
Phoenix – Tue, March 3rd
Golden State – Thu, March 5th
Sacramento – Sun, March 8th
Utah – Mon, March 9th
All three injured starters are travelling with the team with an expected return of Serge Ibaka and Fred VanVleet. There is potential for the return of Marc Gasol, but I am assuming they will be extremely cautious with the aging Spaniard.
The Raptor Report: Hot Take
THE TORONTO RAPTORS WILL WIN THE NEXT FOUR GAMES OF THEIR ROAD TRIP.
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BY: DAN CHANDRAN
LETS GO RAPTORS!