There’s no denying that the Toronto Raptors left a lot to be desired in their game against the Chicago Bulls, losing 108-109. The loss has led some critics and commentators to point out three key takeaways from what could have been an otherwise exciting NBA playoff game.
The “Pacers vs Bucks” was a disappointing loss for the Raptors. The key takeaways from the game are as follows: 1) Kawhi Leonard needs to be more aggressive, 2) Fred VanVleet is a must have, and 3) The Bulls should not have been able to win this game. Read more in detail here: pacers vs bucks.
DeMar DeRozan is a killer for the Toronto Raptors.
That’s an odd statement to let float about in one’s head, and it’s even weirder to observe in action. DeRozan returned to Scotiabank Arena for the first time as a member of the Chicago Bulls on Monday night, hammering high-difficulty shot after high-difficulty jumper down the stretch to help his club put the Raptors away.
Toronto is currently 1-3 to start the season, demonstrating both their limits and their youth, but still presenting many reasons to be optimistic for the future.
We take a look at three significant lessons from the Bulls-Raptors game, like we usually do.
Takeaways from the Toronto Raptors vs. Chicago Bulls game
3. The Raptors have an offensive turnover issue.
This one is easy to understand. The Raptors let up 21 turnovers (14 of which were shared by Fred VanVleet and Scottie Barnes), and this club just does not have the offensive firepower to overcome such a deficit. The Bulls took advantage of the miscues as well, defeating the Raptors at their own game and scoring 27 points off of their errors.
Gary Trent Jr. told reporters, “It’s really just in the flow of the game.” “Everyone is attempting to make a play, to bring something about.” Nobody goes out there and tries to turn the ball over on purpose.”
It wasn’t only Raptors players who were squandering the ball. The Bulls’ defense, which many analysts thought would be porous before the season, was rock solid all night. The Bulls did a nice job of funneling VanVleet and Barnes down to the baseline when they were on the move, forcing lengthy kick-outs that were easier to pick off.
Lonzo strips Fred VanVleet after stopping Anunoby. How many players in the league are capable of containing both of those players? pic.twitter.com/biFyTpn9nz
October 26, 2021 — Steph Noh (@StephNoh)
This will be a lot easier part of the game to handle once Pascal Siakam returns, as it will be for everything, since the creation burden won’t be as heavy on VanVleet and his rookie teammate’s shoulders.
2. Fred VanVleet, too, need patience.
While it may not be as clear as it is with OG Anunoby, VanVleet has entering a season in which he will be tested more than ever before. FVV has the task of making this club click offensively put upon him with Kyle Lowry out, Siakam on the bench, and the squad lacking in creators and scoring threats.
That’s no easy feat for a guy who has never been or pretended to be a prolific offensive initiator. VanVleet has always been at his best when he’s not on the ball, swooping over screens and moving deftly to find wide spaces where he could collect and shoot to spectacular effect. Last season, he improved as a pick-and-roll playmaker, but he’s still nothing near what a guy like Lowry supplied Toronto for years.
Even so, he continues to work on that aspect of his game whenever he has the opportunity. Despite the fact that the burden he’s carrying right now would overwhelm any athlete in his position, he’s doing an outstanding job of persevering.
Yes, VanVleet committed eight turnovers Monday night (his career high), but he also handed out 17 assists (another career high), trying his best to find his teammates in open and comfortable situations.
For the first time since 1996-97, DeMar DeRozan and the @chicagobulls are 4-0!
Zach LaVine has 22 points and five assists. Nikola Vucevic had 17 points, eight rebounds, and three steals. 15 PTS, 17 AST for Fred VanVleet (career high) pic.twitter.com/fmje5pEvtB
October 26, 2021 — NBA (@NBA)
When questioned about VanVleet’s high-assist, high-turnover night, head coach Nick Nurse quipped, “It’s like pinball.” “It’s like crash, crash, crash, crash as he goes down the lane.” As much as he was being pounded about, I felt he was handling it very well for the level of violence he went through.”
It’ll take time, but VanVleet is showing great progress in his new position, and the reps can only help him.
1. Toronto must make the most of its assets.
This Raptors team has a lot of flaws, as has been discussed numerous times already and will undoubtedly be discussed again throughout the season–they don’t put much pressure on the rim, their half-court offense is terrible, they are young and thus have a lot of inexperienced guys, their core players are adjusting to new roles, and so on.
This indicates that if they don’t capitalize on their strengths, they’ll have a difficult time winning games.
Against Chicago, the transition assault was still not up to par. There were a number of readily correctable errors, including outs that were delivered straight into traffic, lobs that were a smidgeon off or not laid down, and ball-handler choices that were made a beat too late. Toronto was able to score 18 fastbreak points, but the total might have been much higher.
The bright side, of course, is that these problems seem to be mostly connected to connectivity—a mix of young players and new faces resulting in early misfires. The transition offense should improve with time, particularly given it has several players who are traditionally (or ostensibly) adept at attacking and creating in the open floor.
The “3 key takeaways from Raptors’ disappointing loss to Bulls” is a blog post that lists 3 key takeaways from the game. The author of the article, Scottie Barnes, looks at the game and provides his thoughts on what happened in it. Reference: scottie barnes.
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