The Toronto Raptors got absolutely blown to smithereens by the Washington Wizards on opening night, as OG Anunoby, Fred VanVleet, and the rest of the squad looked totally overwhelmed on the offensive end, as they only mustered 83 points despite a solid offensive quarter in the fourth.
Holding a team that features Bradley Beal and some nice offensive depth to just 98 points is pretty impressive, but the Raptors couldn’t really sustain anything offensively. This looked like a team full of young newcomers, as there were moments of complete confusion.
If Nick Nurse is a good coach (which he is), he’ll use this game as a teachable moment for such a young team. This loss did a good job of exposing which areas are not working right now and what they need to do to improve. This game also illustrated that when the 3-pointers aren’t falling, complete chaos takes over.
The Raptors need to be genuinely concerned about these three stats and trends from the Washington loss. Making the playoffs is not going to happen if this team consistently plays as they did in their home opener.
3 concerning stats that the Toronto Raptors need to turn around.
3. 3-point shooting
It’s hard to believe that a team who went 7-34 from 3-point range was actually worse than the box score indicated, but that looks like the situation that the Raptors found themselves in. One of the seven makes was a Dalano Banton half-court heave, and Anunoby knocked down two more when the game was already decided.
VanVleet hit the first shot of the game to put the Raptors up by three 12 seconds in. After that, Toronto would embark on a stretch in which they made just one of their next 20 3-pointers. In the modern NBA, you just can’t win making 21% of your 3-point attempts.
The Toronto Raptors were awful from 3-point range.
While some of this poor showing can be forgiven due to the fact Nurse has some substandard jump shooters that he is trying to improve on the fly, the fact that some of their veteran sharpshooters like Svi Mykhailiuk, Chris Boucher, and Gary Trent Jr. combined to make just two long-range shots needs to be addressed.
The Raptors will not be this bad from beyond the arc all season long. However, this loss did reveal how the lack of shot creation on this roster without Pascal Siakam could weigh on Toronto’s playoff chances like an anchor. They need to put in a better showing Friday night against the Celtics.