1 stud and 2 duds from Raptors’ embarassing loss against Pistons

Jan 14, 2022; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (23) dribbles defended by Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham (2) Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 14, 2022; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (23) dribbles defended by Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham (2) Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

Pascal Siakam and the Toronto Raptors once again matched up with old coach Dwane Casey and his Detroit Pistons in a game that many expected them to win easily. Scottie Barnes is back in the lineup, Fred VanVleet remains excellent, and bench standouts like Chris Boucher and Precious Achiuwa have been playing better lately.

As soon as this game started, it looked like Toronto was going to have some issues pulling out the win in this one. The Raptors could not hit water if they fell out of a boat tonight, missing wide-open looks and turning the ball over at the most baffling times against a bad Pistons defense.

Detroit pulled off a 103-87 win against Toronto, which was their fifth straight triumph dating back to last season. From Khem Birch leaving the game in the first few minutes due to a nose X-ray to the entire team struggling to make open shots, this was a nightmare to watch. Gary Trent Jr. can’t come back soon enough.

There isn’t a ton of good news to report about the Raptors tonight. Just about every player on the team had one or two bonehead plays that make you wonder what exactly they were thinking. However, Toronto did have one standout that prevented the game from being a complete wash.

81. 103. 64. Final. 87

Pascal Siakam was making plays for the Toronto Raptors.

While OG Anunoby kept the Raptors alive with some sweet shooting in the first quarter, he committed some puzzling turnovers in the second half. Siakam was marvelous for the entire game, helping Toronto nip at Detroit’s heels and finding some cracks in their apparently impenetrable defense.

Siakam recorded 23 points, 11 rebounds, and four assists in this game. For large chunks of the contest, he was the only member of the Raptors frontcourt who knew how to get some easy shots against some underwhelming names like Trey Lyles and Isaiah Stewart in the paint.


Siakam continued to make an All-Star push of his own, as his missed time due to injuries has overshadowed what has been a dominant season. If he keeps showing off like this, he should be a no-doubt addition to the All-Star squad in Cleveland.

Scottie Barnes, Precious Achiuwa played poorly for the Toronto Raptors.

With Birch leaving the game in the first four minutes, Barnes and Achiuwa were supposed to take on an even greater role. Barnes is still having a solid rookie season, but he remained in a bit of an offensive funk against a beatable Pistons team.

Barnes was 1-7 from the field in the first 2.5 quarters of action, only starting to heat up when the outcome of the game was in hand. Cunningham was outplaying his former high school teammate all night long. While Barnes’ poor night can be chalked up to some rookie growing pains, Achiuwa’s was less excusable.

Achiuwa recorded just four points in 25 minutes, making two of his seven shots attempts. The biggest issue with Precious was his shot selection, as an athletic rim-runner like him should not be taking contested mid-range pullups.

Achiuwa is firmly third in Toronto’s center pecking order, as Birch was trusted to get the start and Boucher has been his best basketball of the season lately. Achiuwa faces the very real danger of falling into Nick Nurse’s doghouse, as named like Malachi Flynn and Dalano Banton have already been exiled there.

Next. 2022 NBA Mock Draft 2.0. dark