Connect with us

Uncategorized

10 things: Raptors showing no progress as losses pile up

Published

on


Here are 10 takeaways from the Toronto Raptors‘ 119-103 loss to the Utah Jazz.

One — The Raptors continue to slide with no end in sight. Sure, it was a very tough matchup against a veteran opponent with designs on contending, but you would at least expect to see some marginal improvements after two off days. But there was no progress made between this game and their other losses in their 1-6 slide, only more of the same. From the news of OG Anunoby picking up a hip pointer and being sidelined for “a while” to the total schooling the Raptors received in the second half, it was just a terrible day all around for the franchise.

Two — The main issue for the Raptors continues to be their defence. This is the third consecutive game where the Raptors have allowed 54 per cent shooting or better to the opponent, and had it not been for the Jazz missing a fair share of open threes, the final score could have been even more lopsided.

Advertisement

The Raptors opened the game with an aggressive strategy of trapping the ball above the arc, hoping to smother it, force contested lateral passes, then beat the Jazz with their rotation. Except, that didn’t come close to working against an experienced Jazz team who largely passed through and around the trap which then led to wide open triples or uncontested dunks. Nick Nurse scrapped his strategy by the second quarter, resorting more to a normal scheme where his centers stayed in the paint, but the Jazz eventually solved that, too.

All the intensity the Raptors showed early this season has fizzled out, and they won’t win any games until they rediscover their potential on defence.

[radioclip id=5241138]

Three — The Raptors had a good plan on offence until the Jazz adjusted. Utah was very lax defensively in the first half, and mostly relied on playing a deep drop coverage with Rudy Gobert sinking all the way under the rim. The Raptors anticipated this out of the gate and focused their efforts on the pick-and-roll between Fred VanVleet and Khem Birch. If Birch managed to erase VanVleet’s defender on the screen, the Raptors would either have VanVleet pull-up from deep, or send him downhill to sell the drive before dropping the pocket pass to Birch for his trusty floater. They were able to get these open looks because Gobert left so much space in the middle of the floor to protect the rim. But in the second half, the Jazz adjusted by sending Gobert higher on the screen or even switching out on VanVleet, which took away the gaps and the Raptors had no solutions. Toronto had 63 points in the first half compared to 40 in the second.

Four — Pascal Siakam gave the Raptors less than nothing. This was by far his worst game since returning from injury, and it’s impossible to say how much his conditioning is affecting his play. It was also a tough matchup with Gobert patrolling the paint, where Siakam is typically at his best, although his last four scoring outputs against Utah have been 27 points, 15, 27 and 35. In any case, it was difficult and frustrating to see Siakam struggle to this degree.

Advertisement

At first he didn’t want to attack the basket at all, as he was driving in to pass which led to turnovers where he forced things, or just passed up shots. Then when he did try to make a move, he was either stripped in the post, blocked at the rim or just straight up missing from close range. He could have tried the jumper, but just didn’t feel comfortable with it to any degree either from deep or the midrange. To make matters worse, his defence continues to be noticeably behind since returning from injury, as even relatively inert threats like Royce O’Neale were blowing by him.

Whether it was the circumstances or it was just a bad night, the bottom line is that it was just a bad showing from Siakam who had been fairly sharp offensively in his last two games.

Five — That’s why it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if Siakam responded with a 30-point effort against Sacramento. Some of that is just matchup based, where the Jazz have a defensive player of the year patrolling the lane while the Kings are the Kings, but some of it is also the natural ups and downs with a player coming back from major off-season surgery.

Most conversations and assessments of Siakam have long gotten to the point of over hyperpolarization and he has become the most divisive player on the team. When he struggles like he did tonight, the critiques tend to be over the top and specific lapses are generalized into his overall character as a player. There is no middle ground for Siakam, which must make it an incredibly awkward place for him to be as a player who badly wants to give his best effort to this franchise.

var adServerUrl = “”;
var $el = $( “#video_container-928511” );
var permalink = $el.closest(‘.snet-single-article’).data(‘permalink’);

Advertisement

/*
if ( “1” == true && ‘undefined’ !== typeof window.getIndexAds ) {
var so = {preroll:{1:{1:{siteID:191888},2:{siteID:191889}}}};
adServerUrl = window.getIndexAds( ‘http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=640×360&cust_params=domain%3Dsportsnet.ca&iu=%2F7326%2Fen.sportsnet.web%2FVideo&ciu_szs=300×250&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=vast&unviewed_position_start=1&ad_rule=1&vid=6282699756001&cmsid=384’, so, permalink);
} else {
adServerUrl = “http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=640×360&cust_params=domain%3Dsportsnet.ca&iu=%2F7326%2Fen.sportsnet.web%2FVideo&ciu_szs=300×250&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=vast&unviewed_position_start=1&ad_rule=1&vid=6282699756001&cmsid=384”;
}
*/
adServerUrl = “http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=640×360&cust_params=domain%3Dsportsnet.ca&iu=%2F7326%2Fen.sportsnet.web%2FVideo&ciu_szs=300×250&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=vast&unviewed_position_start=1&ad_rule=1&vid=6282699756001&cmsid=384”;

$el.after( unescape(“%3Cscript src=”” + (document.location.protocol == “https:” ? “https://sb” : “http://b”) + “.scorecardresearch.com/beacon.js” %3E%3C/script%3E”) );

$( document ).one( ‘ready’, function() {
$( “#video_container-928511” ).SNPlayer( {
bc_account_id: “1704050871”,
bc_player_id: “rkedLxwfab”,
//autoplay: false,
//is_has_autoplay_switch: false,
bc_videos: 6282699756001,
is_has_continuous_play: “false”,
adserverurl: adServerUrl,
section: “”,
thumbnail: “https://www.sportsnet.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/6282699756001-1024×576.jpg”,
direct_url: “https://www.sportsnet.ca/nba/video/raptors-need-find-defensive-identity/”
});
});

Six — Gary Trent Jr. stepped up his offence in Anunoby’s absence. Similar to the strategy with VanVleet, the Raptors also used ball screens to get Trent Jr. space to fire and he was brimming with confidence. Trent Jr. nailed a smattering of pull-up jumpers both from three and in the midrange, many of which were well covered, and it just speaks to his skill level as a whole.

As always, the temptation is to want more since Trent Jr. rarely looked to set others up, but his role on this team is to make shots and tonight he did exactly as he was told. His most impressive move was a fake where he lifted Gobert off his feet, before pivoting inside to scoop it off the glass. With Anunoby out, expect more games where Trent Jr. is asked to create his own shot, which hopefully means more than living and dying with the jumper.

Advertisement

Seven — This was a missed opportunity for Malachi Flynn. Nurse gave him an extended run, his longest of the season at 22 minutes, as the matchups were favourable. Utah has a few small guards in their rotation so Flynn wasn’t as exposed defensively, and Nurse even paired Flynn with VanVleet which has been one of the main reasons holding Flynn back this season since the dual point guard lineup is too small. Flynn started strong, nailing a floater and a pull-up three while the Jazz were dropping back, but went 0-for-7 after that point with six of those attempts jumpers that weren’t even close.

It’s unclear what the role the Raptors have in mind for Flynn, because he isn’t really a microwave scorer by trade but it almost looked as if that was what was expected from him tonight. Hopefully, it won’t take weeks for Flynn to get another chance.

Stream 250+ marquee NBA matchups from around the league, including over 40 Raptors games. Plus, get news, highlights, analysis, select NBA Playoff matchups and the NBA Draft.

Eight — It was a confusing game for Chris Boucher. It was jarring to see how smooth Birch was in the offence, as compared to how out of control Boucher was in his approach. He was either getting blocked at the rim, or he was launching threes that were completely out of sync with how the game was being played. This was a good test for the theory of Boucher’s struggles being tied to him being shifted from playing center to being on the wing, because he was back at center tonight in a matchup against Hassan Whiteside that mostly sticks to being around the rim, but Boucher still struggled to find the open spaces in the defence as he has done for every game this season save for the win over Philadelphia.

Nine — The second unit keeps getting outplayed. The Raptors were outscored 57-20 in bench points, which isn’t even that out of line with their recent performances. This is hardly surprising since the Raptors are down three rotation players at the moment, while also refusing to play Goran Dragic, and Nurse tried just about everyone. Even two-way player Justin Champagne saw the floor, and he might have looked the most comfortable out of anyone in their role since he keeps it simple by crashing the glass, spacing out in the corner and giving great effort on defence.

Advertisement

Ten — The question on everyone’s minds is how the Raptors can stop their slide. For one, it has to come on defence. The Raptors have been completely out of sorts in their execution, and Nurse’s coverages demand maximum intensity and full cooperation, both of which are absent at the moment. Simplifying their schemes might be the easiest short-term fix, but Nurse’s vision for the future is clearly for the Raptors to swarm the ball, collapse the paint and use their speed to get back out to the perimeter. Nurse also needs to find some combination of bench players who can at least keep things even so that the starters aren’t completely burnt out, although it’s hard to see that happening until they get healthier or if Boucher and Flynn find any modicum of consistency.



Source link

Uncategorized

How to watch Appalachian State vs. James Madison: NCAA Football live stream info, TV channel, time, game odds

Published

on



Who’s Playing

James Madison @ Appalachian State

Current Records: James Madison 2-0; Appalachian State 2-1

What to Know

The James Madison Dukes watched the action from their couches last weekend, but are set to take to the field. James Madison and the Appalachian State Mountaineers will face off in a Sun Belt battle at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday at Kidd Brewer Stadium. The odds don’t look promising for the Dukes, but the bigger the opponent is, the harder they fall.

Advertisement

A well-balanced attack led James Madison over the Norfolk State Spartans every single quarter on their way to victory two weeks ago. James Madison claimed a resounding 63-7 win over Norfolk State at home. The game was pretty much decided by the half, when the score had already reached 35 to nothing.

Meanwhile, Appalachian State didn’t have too much breathing room in their contest with the Troy Trojans last week, but they still walked away with a 32-28 victory. Appalachian State QB Chase Brice was slinging it as he passed for two TDs and 279 yards on 34 attempts. Near the top of the highlight reel was Brice’s 53-yard TD bomb to WR Christan Horn in the fourth quarter.

Their wins bumped the Dukes to 2-0 and the Mountaineers to 2-1. Watch the matchup and check back on CBS Sports to find out who keeps up the positive energy and who hits a stumbling block.

How To Watch

  • When: Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Where: Kidd Brewer Stadium — Boone, North Carolina
  • TV: ESPN Plus
  • Online streaming: fuboTV (Try for free. Regional restrictions may apply.)
  • Follow: CBS Sports App
  • Ticket Cost: $40.99

Odds

The Mountaineers are a solid 6.5-point favorite against the Dukes, according to the latest college football odds.

The oddsmakers had a good feel for the line for this one, as the game opened with the Mountaineers as a 7.5-point favorite.

Over/Under: -111

Advertisement

See college football picks for every single game, including this one, from SportsLine’s advanced computer model. Get picks now.

Series History

This is the first time these teams have played each other within the last seven years.



Source link

Advertisement

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

UTSA vs. Texas Southern: How to watch NCAA Football online, TV channel, live stream info, game time

Published

on



Who’s Playing

Texas Southern @ UTSA

Current Records: Texas Southern 1-2; UTSA 1-2

What to Know

The Texas Southern Tigers will take on the UTSA Roadrunners at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday at Alamodome. Texas Southern isn’t favored, but they just beat the odds in their last game, so don’t count them out.

Advertisement

The Tigers kept a clean sheet against the Southern University Jaguars last week and took the matchup 24 to nothing. The squad ran away with 21 points in the first half and mostly just sat on those in the second to pick up the victory.

Meanwhile, it was all tied up 17-17 at halftime, but UTSA was not quite the Texas Longhorns’ equal in the second half when they met last week. The Roadrunners suffered a grim 41-20 defeat to the Longhorns. This contest was a close 17-17 at the break, but unfortunately for UTSA it sure didn’t stay that way. A silver lining for them was the play of RB Brenden Brady, who threw one touchdown in addition to punching in one rushing touchdown.

Texas Southern’s win lifted them to 1-2 while UTSA’s loss dropped them down to 1-2. We’ll find out if the Tigers can add another positive mark to their record or if UTSA can shake off the defeat and take the spring out of Texas Southern’s step.

How To Watch

  • When: Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Where: Alamodome — San Antonio, Texas
  • TV: STADIUM
  • Follow: CBS Sports App
  • Ticket Cost: $69.00

Odds

The Roadrunners are a big 42-point favorite against the Tigers, according to the latest college football odds.

Bettors have moved against the Roadrunners slightly, as the game opened with the Roadrunners as a 44-point favorite.

Over/Under: -110

Advertisement

See college football picks for every single game, including this one, from SportsLine’s advanced computer model. Get picks now.

Series History

This is the first time these teams have played each other within the last seven years.



Source link

Advertisement

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

North Carolina vs. Notre Dame live stream info, TV channel: How to watch NCAA Football on TV, stream online

Published

on



Who’s Playing

Notre Dame @ North Carolina

Current Records: Notre Dame 1-2; North Carolina 3-0

What to Know

The North Carolina Tar Heels will be returning home after a two-game road trip. They will take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday at Kenan Memorial Stadium after a week off. UNC is expected to win — but not by much — so they will need to come into the game prepared for a fight.

Advertisement

The Tar Heels beat the Georgia State Panthers 35-28 two weeks ago. Among those leading the charge for UNC was RB Omarion Hampton, who rushed for two TDs and 110 yards on 16 carries. Hampton put himself on the highlight reel with a 58-yard TD scramble in the third quarter.

Meanwhile, Notre Dame netted a 24-17 victory over the California Golden Bears last week. RB Audric Estime and RB Chris Tyree were among the main playmakers for Notre Dame as the former punched in one rushing touchdown and the latter snatched one receiving TD.

Notre Dame’s defense was a presence as well, as it embarrassed California’s offensive line to sack QB Jack Plummer six times for a total loss of 47 yards. It was a group effort with four guys contributing.

The wins brought the Tar Heels up to 3-0 and the Fighting Irish to 1-2. A pair of stats to keep an eye on: UNC enters the matchup with 310 passing yards per game on average, good for 21st best in the nation. But Notre Dame comes into the contest boasting the 34th fewest passing yards allowed per game in the nation at 184. These opposing strengths should make for an exciting matchup.

How To Watch

  • When: Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Where: Kenan Memorial Stadium — Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • TV: ABC
  • Online streaming: fuboTV (Try for free. Regional restrictions may apply.)
  • Follow: CBS Sports App
  • Ticket Cost: $110.00

Odds

The Tar Heels are a slight 2.5-point favorite against the Fighting Irish, according to the latest college football odds.

The line on this game has moved quite a bit since it opened, as it started out with the Fighting Irish as a 1.5-point favorite.

Advertisement

Over/Under: -110

See college football picks for every single game, including this one, from SportsLine’s advanced computer model. Get picks now.

Series History

Notre Dame have won all of the games they’ve played against North Carolina in the last eight years.

  • Oct 30, 2021 – Notre Dame 44 vs. North Carolina 34
  • Nov 27, 2020 – Notre Dame 31 vs. North Carolina 17
  • Oct 07, 2017 – Notre Dame 33 vs. North Carolina 10



Source link

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Trending