Takeaways from the Toronto Raptors blowing out the New York Knicks

Toronto Raptors - Pascal Siakam (Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Pascal Siakam (Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – Pascal Siakam (Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images) /

After a slow first quarter, the Toronto Raptors ignited and squashed the New York Knicks, 126-98. The game was settled by the end of the third quarter, which left us questioning: What did we learn from this game?

With rookie of the year candidate, RJ Barrett, making his first homecoming to his native Canada to take on the Toronto Raptors and committing prior to the game to play for Team Canada, the pregame chatter was abuzz. On top of that, additional big-name Canadians — Jamal Murray, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Nickeil Alexander-Walker — also made their decisions to help qualify for the 2020 Olympics.

The news was exciting the night before American Thanksgiving, but whatever pleasantries were exchanged outside the court quickly diminished as the game started.

To the New York Knicks’ credit, they came out firing and negated a quick start by the Toronto Raptors. The Raptors looked discombobulated during the first quarter, but they kept things close only down 29-21 at the end of the first.

By the start of the second quarter, they must have remembered they were playing the lowly New York Knicks. The Toronto Raptors were galvanized by Pascal Siakam, who seemed incredibly confident in his shot. Moreover, the defense turned up the dial and they outscored the Knicks by 20 points in the second quarter.

After halftime, the Toronto Raptors quickly made two quick threes and David Fizdale used a timeout before the first minute of the quarter was over. Needless to say, it actually was over. The starters built the lead until the end of the third, ahead by 20, and the end of the bench took it to the finale.

There were many things throughout the game that served the Toronto Raptors well, but let’s narrow it down to three things that stuck out: bench energy, pace, and defense.