Raptors Beat the Cavs 100-88, and they looked good doing it.
It was a long road back to the lineup for Pascal Siakam, Scottie Barnes, and Dalano Banton. Still, all three players are finally healthy and ready to contribute to the Toronto Raptors. Siakam had been sidelined with a groin injury, while Barnes and Banton missed time due to knee and ankle injuries. The return of all three players is a welcome boost for a Raptors team that sometimes has struggled with injuries. While Siakam and Barnes are both expected to see significant minutes moving forward, Banton will likely come off the bench as he continues to work his way back from his injury. With the addition of these three players, the Raptors should be able to field a more complete team as they look to make a push for the playoffs.
After missing a few weeks with a sore groin, Siakam was back to his old self on Monday night, leading the Raptors to convincing victory. Siakam did a little bit of everything, managing 18 points, 11 rebounds and five assists in 30 minutes of action. He was especially effective in the third quarter, where he scored eight points and grabbed four rebounds to help Toronto take control of the game. With Siakam on the lineup, everyone looked in their place. He makes everyone around him better.
Surprise lineup changes
Last night, the Toronto Raptors made a surprising lineup change, deciding to start Thad Young and Juancho Hernangomez in place of Barnes and Gary Trent Jr. This is a significant change, as Barnes and Trent Jr. have started 175 of the 176 regular season games they’ve been healthy for dating back to last season. The move paid off, as the Raptors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 100-88. Young and Hernangomez were both solid contributors in the starting lineup, with Young scoring 10 points and Hernangomez adding 5 points and 6 rebounds. With this win, the Raptors improve to 11-9 on the season.
The strong bench was vital, with Trent Jr. and Barnes shooting a total of 25 points and 11 rebounds. Toronto's shooting increased to 44 percent from the floor, and their three-point slump significantly improved with a 12-of-28 night-- they had been last in NBA three-point shooting since Siakam got injured. In fact, over their past 10 games, they have only sunk 28.2 percent of their shots from deep.