The Toronto Raptors open up the 2023-24 regular season with a win. They defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves 97-94.
The Raptors didn’t shoot the ball well and their bench struggled. However, they relied on their steady defense and starters.
New Raptors point guard Dennis Schroder had an excellent performance. He had a team high 22 points, 7 assists on 8-17 shooting from the field and an impressive 4/8 from three. One of the drawbacks when it comes to Schroder is his poor three-point shooting, so him starting the season 50 percent from downtown is promising.
O.G. Anunoby was solid in this one as well. Anunoby finished with 20 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals on 7-13 shooting from the field and 4-9 from deep. He was a spark for the Raptors offense early when Toronto got off to a slow start.
Scottie Barnes struggled to shoot the ball, but he was impactful on defense. Barnes had 5 blocked shots and did a good job guarding Karl-Anthony Towns. Barnes was still able to finish with 17 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists.
Pascal Siakam had a rough outing from the field. He shot it 5/17 from the field. But the two-time All-Star had 15 points to go along with 7 rebounds and 6 assists.
The Raptors continued to move the ball well as they recorded 27 assists on 36 made field goals.
Toronto was able to overcome their bench woes in this one. The Raptors bench didn’t generate much, combining for 16 points. Precious Achiuwa led the second unit with 8 points.
Darko Rajakovic elected to go with a 10-man rotation. He shockingly didn’t play Chris Boucher who figured to be a lock in the second unit. Rajakovic played Malachi Flynn, Gary Trent Jr., Jalen McDaniels, Precious Achiuwa and Gradey Dick who got just 2 minutes of action.
It’ll be interesting to see what the rotation looks like for the next game. It wasn’t pretty but the Raptors found a way to win this game.
Darko Rajakovic records his first official win as the Raptors head coach.
On tap next
The Raptors will travel to Chicago to take on the Bulls on Oct. 27 and then will get their first back-to-back of the season when they host former head coach Nick Nurse and the Philadelphia 76ers on Oct. 28
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