The Toronto Raptors are 7-8 to begin their season. There have been some highs and lows.
The Raptors are coming off a wild win over the Indiana Pacers. The team now looks to get back to .500 when they take on the Chicago Bulls on Nov. 24.
Here are 3 main takeaways from the Raptors first 15 games of the season:
Dennis Schroder has done a solid job
Dennis Schroder has done a great job taking over the starting point guard role for the Raptors. When the Raptors lost Fred VanVleet in free agency, there was doubt about how the Raptors would fill his void. The Raptors signed Schroder to a two-year $26 million deal and he has been a solid fit with Toronto.
Schroder has been able to score the basketball and has done an excellent job of getting his teammates involved. He’s been big in a couple of the Raptors wins this season. Schroder is averaging 16.9 points, 6.7 assists on 43.5 percent shooting from the field and 33.8 percent shooting from three. He’s made up for a lot of what the Raptors lost in VanVleet. Schroder seems to be happy with the Raptors. He has meshed well with head coach Darko Rajakovic and his teammates.
Scottie Barnes has greatly improved
Scottie Barnes has taken a big stride in his third year so far. Barnes has seen his numbers drastically improve from a year ago. He is averaging 19.7 points, 9.1 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 1.7 steals, 1.3 blocks on 47.2 percent shooting from the field and 38.2 percent shooting from three. Even in some of the games where Barnes has struggled with his shot, he has made his impact in other ways. Whether it’s on the glass, assisting his teammates or on the defensive end, Barnes has become a true jack of all trades.
Not to mention he’s also shown his ability to come up clutch in big moments. He had 17 points in the fourth quarter against the San Antonio Spurs on Nov. 5 on route to a 30-point performance. Then he had the game-winning, And-1 dunk finish against the Indiana Pacers on Nov. 22. Barnes looks poised to continue playing high-level basketball for the rest of the season.
Raptors are confusing
The biggest takeaway so far from this Raptors season is that this team is confusing. You don’t know what you’re going to get game to game. The Raptors no showed and had their worst effort of the season against the Orlando Magic on Nov. 21 and then had one of their best performances of the season a night later against the Pacers on Nov. 22.
This team has been up and down and their record is a reflection of that. We still don’t know which direction this team is going to take because they have shown signs of being good, but then they have had moments where they have looked flat out bad. They have had terrible loses against the Magic, Philadelphia 76ers and Portland Trail Blazers. But then they have had big wins over the likes of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Milwaukee Bucks and Dallas Mavericks. It’s been a roller coaster to say the least.
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