3 players who have stepped up on the Raptors’ five-game win streak

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - OCTOBER 30: Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - OCTOBER 30: Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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Svi Mykhailiuk, Toronto Raptors
Oct 11, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors guard Svi Mykhailiuk (14) Mandatory Credit: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports /

Ok, so who saw this coming? OG Anunoby, Fred VanVleet, and the Toronto Raptors won their fifth straight game on Wednesday, going into Washington and beating a good Wizards team 109-100 that only two weeks earlier had wrecked the Raptors home-opener at Scotiabank Arena that wasn’t nearly as close as that score would indicate.

It was also the third straight road win for the Raptors. On Monday, Toronto sealed a 113-104 win at Madison Square Garden over the New York Knicks, who entered that game with just one loss.

Even more impressively, the wins in DC and NYC have come without rookie sensation Scottie Barnes, who has been sidelined for two games with a right thumb sprain. Before the injury, Barnes ranked top three on the Raptors in pretty much every stats category,

It’s almost as if the Raptors have transformed overnight, completely reversing the outlook for the 2021-22 season after a 1-3 start. They’re now 6-3, have moved into the top four in the Eastern Conference standings, and look better each game out.

Credit for this turnaround goes to several up and down the lineup, but these three Toronto Raptors are particularly worthy of praise.

3 Toronto Raptors that deserve credit for the team’s 5 consecutive wins.

3. Svi Mykhailiuk

When he signed with the Raptors to a two-year deal in August, it didn’t move the needle much, but a good preseason from Mykhailiuk raised hopes and created expectations that the former Oklahoma City swingman could be an offensive sparkplug for the Raptors.

Things certainly didn’t start that way. Mykhailiuk struggled out of the gate, hitting just 5 of 15 field-goal attempts in Toronto’s first three games. After logging a then-season high of 18 minutes on Oct. 23 in the Raptors’ loss to the Mavericks, Mykhailiuk’s playing time decreased each of the next three games.

He’s been moved into the starting lineup without Barnes, and the results have been spectacular.

Svi Mykhailiuk has been effective as a starter for the Toronto Raptors.

Mykhailiuk finally broke out with16 points in just under 22 minutes to help the Raptors defeat the Pacers in Indiana. With Barnes then sidelined, Raptors coach Nick Nurse inserted Mykhailiuk into the lineup against New York, and the Ukrainian sharpshooter has seized upon the opportunity.

In each of his two starts, Mykhailiuk has played 35 minutes and totaled 15 points. What’s most notable is how efficiently Mykhailiuk has scored the ball. Over the last three games, he has made 60% of his shots and 50% of his 3-point attempts. That’s the type of performance that will keep you in the rotation.