Toronto Raptors Once Again Fall Short Against the Warriors

December 28, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) shoots the basketball against Toronto Raptors forward Patrick Patterson (54) during the third quarter at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
December 28, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) shoots the basketball against Toronto Raptors forward Patrick Patterson (54) during the third quarter at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

After a discouraging first quarter, the Toronto Raptors (22-9) rally back but ultimately fall to the Golden State Warriors (28-5) 121-111.


Thoughts and Observations

  • Jonas Valanciunas just isn’t cut out to play against the Warriors. He was getting assaulted at the rim and any pick and roll that included him as the secondary defender got torched either by the ball handler or the roller. JV just isn’t quick enough to defend the action.
  • Pascal Siakam continues to get the ceremonial start for the Raptors for now. He played the first six minutes of the game, but was never seen again. The starting lineup has fluctuated with a net rating barely above or below zero and that’s not going to fly against this Warriors team.
  • Cory Joseph

    isn’t the player he was last year. His defence has slipped and he’s barely able to get past his defender off the dribble. If he can’t do either of those it’s going to be a problem, as he’s not a good passer or three-point shooter.


  • Coach Dwane Casey subbed in Patrick Patterson when the Warriors went to David West at centre a couple of times. This is extraordinarily hard for West to guard. Patterson at centre also seems like a good foil for the Death Lineup, as 2Pat is spry enough to switch on the perimeter and a decent rim protector.
  • Terrence Ross was the Raptors’ saving grace during the first quarter and is now the life-preserver Casey throws onto the court when the team is struggling offensively. Oh how the times have changed.
  • DeMar DeRozan finally surpassed Chris Bosh all-time scorer in Raptors’ history with 10,290 points and counting.
  • This is the first time the Raptors have lost by double digits this season.

    Valanciunas ended the game with seven points and rebounds. He was actually very open, but the Raptors’ guards cannot find the correct angles to deliver the pass in the screen and roll. If JV doesn’t score he’s useless against the Warriors, because he’s not capable of guarding their small ball strategy

    Oracle was unusually silent. The arena maintains a reputation of Roaracle akin to CenturyLink field, where being loud a proud is the norm. However, after years of success the stadium is noticeably demure.

    RBX (Raptors Bandwagon Exchange)

    • Buy: Patterson was playing the 5 for the final 10 minutes of the game and looked good doing so, racking up a block on Steph Curry driving on the rim. He may have shot 20 percent from range on Wednesday night, but his minutes are getting increased as Casey is realizing Siakam isn’t as good as he seems. The potential for a boon is there – Patterson just needs to realize more of his potential in newer roles.
    • Sell: Something is up with Joseph. He hasn’t been able to keep his man in front of him since the road trip started and hasn’t been able to finish at the rim. Nobody is talking about this yet, so you might be able to sell for a little higher than his actual value.

    Three Stars of the Night

    1. Kevin Durant: 22 points, 17 boards, seven dimes, five blocks, eight of 15 from the field (53.3 percent) and three of five from deep. Is this a NBA game or MyPlayer?
    2. Steph Curry: Curry puts up an uncharacteristic 28, 7 and 7, but it somehow feels hollow. His pull-ups don’t feel automatic and he just doesn’t look to kill teams personally anymore. Curry focuses more on getting the entire team involved while staying as efficient as possible. It works, don’t get me wrong, it just feels weird.
    3. Kyle Lowry: Although his 27 points weren’t efficient, those points and combined with Ross’ explosion were all that were keeping the Raptors afloat for the first and third quarters. Lowry had 11 assists and continues to look good from deep, hitting five of his 12 three-point attempts (41.7 percent)

    Stat of the Night


    This game marks the second time in a row the Raptors shot below 40 percent from the field. The offense seemed like a dream earlier this season, but it’s starting to feel like it’s crashing down. The Warriors had 20 turnovers, giving the Raptors plenty of opportunity to stick around in the game. If it weren’t for the turnovers the Warriors would have blown them out, as the Raptors had 22 more shot attempts than the Dubs and still came up short.

    What’s Next

    The Raptors will end 2016 with a game on Thursday, when they’ll battle a floundering Phoenix Suns squad. After getting pulverized by the San Antonio Spurs, the Suns will be looking to turn the tide in a season that has lacked direction and motivation. The Suns are one of the worst teams in the NBA and they don’t pass the ball well. They rank bottom 10 in every statistical category you can think of. The Raptors will look to correct the ship after this loss to the Warriors.  And both DeRozan and Lowry played 38+ minutes against the Warriors, so look for them to come out guns blazing to end the game early. If not, it could get scrappy.

    NEXT: Raptors defense is a problem without solution

    What did you think of the Raptors 121-111 defeat to the Warriors? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.