The struggles from 2020 carry on for the Toronto Raptors, as they suffer another loss to the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Toronto Raptors are unable to win back-to-back games as they drop to 1-4 on the season after losing to the New Orleans Pelicans. Another slow second half derailed the Raptors from pulling away and leaving Smoothie King Center with a win. Despite the loss, there were a few key takeaways from Saturday night’s action.
#1: Second quarter play needs to carry over for the entire game
The Raptors went into the second quarter down 32-26. Toronto was able to flip that script, outscoring New Orleans by 11, to take a 5 point lead going into halftime.
A huge reason as to how the Raptors were able to gain control was the play of Fred Vanvleet. The undrafted stud from Rockford, Illinois, was just having his way against the Pelicans defense. Whether it was spot-up three-pointers, or dissecting and weaving through the paint for an easy two, Vanvleet was doing it all.
Turning defense into offense was a big key to Toronto’s offense thriving in the second quarter. The Raptors were 10-0 on fastbreak points, which gave them a significant edge in the scoring department.
The coaching staff made it a point of emphasis to secure a presence in the paint. The Raptors outscored the Pelicans 18-8 when it came to points in the paint during the second quarter. Wings such as OG Anunoby and Stanley Johnson showed confidence when driving to the lane, despite not scoring on all of their attempts.
Solidifying an inside-out game, was key in the little success that the Raptors had against the Pelicans.