Week 20 saw the Toronto Raptors finish a perfect 3-0 against three weaker Western Conference teams. With the end of the regular season getting closer, here are my three takeaways from this week’s action.
This week was eventful for the Toronto Raptors. Not only did they increase their lead over the Boston Celtics for second place in the Eastern Conference, but they also became the second team in the league to clinch a playoff spot. While injuries continue to plague the Raptors, the team’s depth has carried them all year long, resulting in the team clinching a playoff spot earlier than ever before.
The first matchup of the week, against the Phoenix Suns, was a great way for the Raptors to get back on track after a string of poor performances the week prior. After a rough first quarter, Toronto got its act together and wound up running away with a critical road victory.
The second matchup of the week was important for Toronto, as it had them return to Golden State to face off against the Warriors, the first meeting between last year’s Finals combatants. With Stephen Curry making his return to the court following a 58-game absence, the Raptors were in for a tough battle. However, a career-high 37-point performance by Norman Powell allowed the Raptors to withstand Curry and Co.
The last matchup of the week was a little tougher. Toronto traveled to Sacramento to take on the surging Kings. The Raptors had the lead for most of this one but some impressive shot-making by both teams in the fourth quarter made this a close battle, with the Raptors narrowly picking up the victory. The Kings are a team on the rise, but they fell just short against the defending champs. But make no mistake…Luke Walton’s team is headed in the right direction.
With so many great moments and performances to choose from, here are three takeaways I had from this past week’s slate of games.