1 fatal Raptors flaw Thunder exposed in absolutely humiliating loss

Nov 11, 2022; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Toronto Raptors forward Scottie Barnes (4) and Oklahoma City Thunder guard Josh Giddey (3) Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 11, 2022; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Toronto Raptors forward Scottie Barnes (4) and Oklahoma City Thunder guard Josh Giddey (3) Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports /
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Scottie Barnes and the Toronto Raptors needed to show character and resilience in the face of adversity, as Pascal Siakam and Precious Achiuwa will going to be on the mend for the next few weeks due to groin and ankle troubles. With a three-game road trip coming up, other teams are clearly sensing the panic in that locker room.

The Oklahoma City Thunder, led by trade target Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, are not a team that should completely flatten Toronto. Even without Siakam and Achiuwa, the Raptors were favored to win this game. Not only did they fall to OKC, but they were completely dismantled.

The Raptors were bludgeoned 132-113 by Oklahoma City after allowing 77 points in the second and third quarters combined. How is it that a team that takes down the mighty Cavaliers and solid Hawks ends up getting run out of the gym by a tanking Thunder squad?

The Raptors showed that they still have problems with effort. No team with this level of quality defensive infrastructure gives up this many offensive rebounds and easy shots at the rim without a severe lack of juice. Toronto is going to blow their chance at a high seed in the playoffs if they keep playing like this against lottery teams.

Scottie Barnes and the Toronto Raptors were blown out by the Thunder.

This is a problem that dates back to last year, as the Raptors were a combined 1-5 against the Pistons and Pacers despite beating the mighty Bucks three times. It took a miracle comeback and a Justin Champagnie near-game-winner for Toronto to avoid a humiliating defeat to Oklahoma City at home last year.

The biggest offender with regard to this energy issue is Barnes. While he did manage to hit some shots in the second half, it’s not a stretch to say that he played one of the top-three worst halves of basketball he’s put on display in a Raptors uniform. On defense, he was getting picked apart. His triple-double feels like it came a month ago.

The Thunder outrebounded the Raptors both offensively and defensively, befuddled their defense with quick passes, and outhustled a team that built their entire ethos around hustle. The fact that this has happened so frequently over the last few years, yet has not been addressed by Nick Nurse, is very concerning.

The Raptors better play like the Ben Wallace-led Pistons if this is the defensive effort they were able to conjure up in Oklahoma City. Playing down to your competition is a good way to get chewed up by the improved Eastern Conference and spat out somewhere near the play-in.

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