In a stark turn of events, the Toronto Raptors taking on a Detroit Pistons team that had lost 28 games in a row was not the biggest news story surrounding the team on Saturday. With OG Anunoby, Precious Achiuwa, and Malachi Flynn getting traded for RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley,
Because the Raptors can never make things easy, Toronto found themselves in an eight-point hole at halftime. Even a 42-point third quarter wasn't cause for celebration, as it was immediately ruined by the Pistons putting up 38 points. Darko Rajakovic picked a bad night for a stinker like this.
The Raptors became the first team in November or December to lose to the Pistons, falling 129-127 in what is unquestionably one of the most embarrassing losses in franchise history. Scottie Barnes stunk, Rajakovic looked clueless, and the Raptors fell to a team that became a national sensation for losing.
It's one thing to lose to the worst team in the league. It's another to do so while the player you are building your entire future around scored seven points by the middle of the fourth quarter. Doing both those things while snapping a historic losing streak is so bad that it made the winning team punchline is not just embarrassing, but borderline disqualifying.
Raptors become a joke of a team after ending Pistons' 28-game losing streak.
The Raptors were on a back-to-back. Sure, but you know who else was on a back-to-back? A bunch of teams that had beaten the Pistons previously. That shouldn't have been used as an excuse to obscure the fact Toronto stunk out loud against one of the worst teams the NBA has ever seen.
The rotation was thin, yes, but a team led by Barnes and Pascal Siakam was apparently unable to overcome the nigh insurmountable challenge presented by Alec Burks, Isaiah Livers, and James Wiseman? Any way you look at it, this is a stain on the organization that will linger over this season.
The cavalry is coming after the Raptors' trade, but their schedule consists of a tough home matchup with the Cavaliers before a long West Coast road trip against contenders. To make things even more difficult, the Raptors will need to integrate Quickley and Barrett into the offense on the fly.
Barrett and Quickley will obviously help, but it's hard to feel good about a Raptors team being led by a clueless coach, a star player that got clamped by Kevin Knox, and a front office that spent a No. 13 overall pick on Gradey Dick, the only active player who didn't suit up.
Other than that, the Raptors are great.