Masai Ujiri and the Toronto Raptors had a golden (forgive the pun, I beg) opportunity to snap their recent losing streak. All Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet had to do was beat a Golden State Warriors team without Steph Curry and Andrew Wiggins at home. Once again, Toronto was beaten into submission.
The defense was unavailable right from the start. Between Draymond Green nailing three straight 3-pointers to start the game, Golden State finishing with 18 made 3-pointers, and Jordan Poole’s career night with 43 points, the Raptors looked wholly disinterested.
The Warriors ultimately came out on top by a score of 126-110 despite having come into the game with a 2-14 record on the road. The Raptors are now 13-17, having won just two of their last 10 games, both of which were at home against depleted lottery teams. This franchise is running on fumes.
The Raptors’ allegedly mighty defense is getting sliced apart by a team that was missing many of their biggest offensive names. Masai Ujiri can still have switchable defenders on the roster, but the “Vision 6-9” movement is as dead as a dinosaur.
Toronto Raptors: “Vision 6-9” must go after Warriors loss.
The Raptors knew that they were going into the season with a team that lacked offensive creation. That’s fine if the team is generating turnovers to keep the score low, but the league appears to have cracked the code and figured out this once-mighty unit.
The lack of depth is really starting to burn Toronto in the last few weeks. This style of play is very chaotic and exhausting, though it can be counteracting by going 10 players deep in the rotation. Instead, stars like VanVleet and Siakam are being forced to play close to or more than 40 minutes every night.
Between the last three quarters in their loss to Brooklyn and the first three of their defeat to Golden State, the Raptors have allowed an astonishing 201 points. Every team in the league is looking at the Raptors as a “get-right” game, which is nothing short of embarrassing for a team with this much star power.
The Raptors’ upcoming schedule is brutal. They are embarking on a stretch of 13 straight games against teams with a winning record, and they’ve already started off 0-3 in this season-defining stretch. Ujiri’s roster experimentation was rooted in some logical philosophical beliefs, but this team looks broken now.
The Raptors may be unable to fix all of their problems in one mid-season move, but they need to try something different at least. As it stands right now, this team is not going to do damage in the East, as they are limited by how they were constructed.