In the last play of overtime, Toronto lost AJ Griffin on defence. Some confusion surrounds what happened in that last play, as various reports claim different things about who was responsible for AJ on that play. Regardless of who was at fault, one thing is for sure - this should not have been the deciding factor in the game.
Some areas that need attention include communication and match-up recognition during critical game moments. If these issues are fixed, Toronto can compete for a playoff spot.
It's been an up-and-down season for Raptors fans. After a promising start, the team has struggled lately, and their chances of winning the division title have seemingly disappeared. There are many reasons for this decline, but one of the major issues is health. The other one is communication on defence. At times, the players seem to not be on the same page as to what they are supposed to do on the court. This lack of situational awareness can lead to problems during close games, and it's something that needs to be corrected if Toronto wants any chance at making playoffs this year.
Let's Not Forget Raptors Played Well Despite Being Under Men
Despite playing well throughout the game, Raptors' decision not to challenge Trey Young for the ball allowed Young to make a long pass, resulting in a game-winning layup. Although it may seem minor at first, this small decision proved pivotal in determining the game's outcome. In many ways, it was an example of how even small decisions can have significant consequences.
Raptors need to keep the ball in front of them. You would rarely lose someone like that, especially at the end of the game. It also reminded a lot of people how much 3.8 seconds is in basketball. We were 3.8 seconds away from double OT.
OG should have known that AJ was behind him. AJ was OG's man and as much as he has been tremendous on defence this season, he should have denied AJ on that play. There's no excuse for that.
Scottie is still Raw
Reality is setting in for Scottie Barnes. After an impressive rookie season, people are starting to realize that he's not the next Tracy McGrady. Maybe not yet!!!
Raptors fans should temper their expectations and give him time to develop further. It's safe to say that Scottie Barnes has not lived up to the hype thus far in his second season. Many people expect him to be Tracy McGrady 2.0, but he is more like Scottie Barnes - a consistent contributor with a lot of potential. At least not yet!!!
He had an impressive rookie campaign, but things have been tougher this season. Despite his struggles, Raptors fans should temper their expectations and give him time to develop further. He is still young, so there is plenty of room for improvement. Furthermore, Toronto needs all the help it can get right now as they battle against tough competition in the Eastern Conference.
Malachi Flynn is carving minutes for himself
With the recent opportunity, Malachi Flynn has managed to play a more consistent role on the team. He had a season-high in points against Atlanta.
Flynn was never considered one of the top prospects coming out of high school, but he worked hard to improve his skills and prove himself. His confidence and competitiveness were key traits that helped him succeed, as was his dedication to improving his game. While he may not be blessed with elite athletic ability, Flynn has succeeded due to his efforts. If you are determined to achieve your goals, Malachi Flynn's story is an excellent example of what you can achieve. Malachi Flynn is currently a key member of the bench with all the injuries to the Raptors lineup.
There's no denying it, he's a good young professional player that the Raptors can count on when his number is called on. While Flynn may not be known for his explosiveness or physicality, he makes up for it with his skill and determination.
He's a great competitor, and he's willing to do whatever it takes for the team. His hustle and effort make up for his lack of size and athleticism.