The Toronto Raptors get back to their winning ways after a brief slide, as they handled the Orlando Magic by a score of 115-102. The entire team stepped up and played extremely well as a collective, outplaying the Magic in nearly every quarter in one of their most complete performances all year.
Here are three key takeaways from the Toronto Raptors win against the Orlando Magic on Sunday night.
Toronto Raptors takeaway: Pascal Siakam’s lift on offense was huge
Siakam hasn’t had the best season so far for the Toronto Raptors, but things are starting to look up. Siakam has now scored 30 points in back-to-back games for the first time this season, as he was not only carrying the scoring load for Toronto, but also playing great on the other side of the floor, finishing with 3 steals.
Siakam stayed true to his game and was being aggressive, just like the Siakam we saw last season. Constantly attacking the defense and the bigs in the paint was crucial in Toronto coming away with the win.
The Magic don’t have a bonafide shot blocking presence, and Siakam took advantage of that. Even on a few possessions with Mo Bamba guarding him, Siakam took it right to the rim and finished with force. This not only proves how high Siakam’s basketball IQ is, but it also displays the level of confidence he’s playing with right now. If Siakam continues to play at the level he is playing at, the Raptors will be back in the playoff race in no time.
Toronto Raptors takeaways: Raptors playing as a team is the reason they won
It’s no secret that the Raptors lack the presence of a superstar player. This has forced Toronto to focus on a team-oriented style of play, which has proven to be successful for them. On Sunday night that was exactly what shifted the game in Toronto’s favor.
The Raptors had a total of eight players that finished with eight or more points. With Norman Powell and OG Anunoby still out of the lineup, the play of bench players like Yuta Watanabe and DeAndre’ Bembry, really propelled Toronto to the victory.
Aron Baynes was a monster on the glass finishing with 16 rebounds, serving as the anchor in the paint for the Raptors. Kyle Lowry was the catalyst for majority of Toronto’s offense finishing with 15 assists, which is the second-most by Lowry as a Raptor (17). The outstanding play by the entire team was the deciding factor and was the major reason that the Raptors defeated the Magic.
Toronto Raptors takeaways: Controlling the paint paved the way for victory
There is no higher percentage shot than a shot right at the rim. It’s known that the Magic don’t have a player like Myles Turner looming around the paint ready to swat any attempt. The Raptors took advantage of this and made getting into the paint a point of emphasis throughout the game.
The Raptors outscored the Magic 50-32 in points in the paint. It was evident that Toronto wanted to exploit Orlando’s weakness from the get-go. All of Siakam’s made field goals came from within the painted area. Bembry also had some great takes to the rim.
Once the Raptors established their paint presence, it became a matter of an inside-out game. The Raptors were only able to connect on 12 three-pointers, but threat of constant finishes at the basket forced the defense to collapse, allowing opportunities for drive-and-kick plays. This dynamic that the Raptors were able to develop really proved to be difficult for the Magic to keep up with.
With a large list of positives to takeaway, the Raptors are looking good for their next game which happens to be against the Magic once again. Toronto will have to replicate what they were able to do on Sunday night to pick up another win on Tuesday night.